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man's search for meaning, II
December 21, 1999
11:48 am
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Tez, are you still out there?

December 21, 1999
12:09 pm
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Thank you...it can be hard, but she is here to teach us all lessons. For that I am thankful!

And...yes, where is Tez?

December 22, 1999
6:03 pm
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Cici, I agree, but: can we get it any clearer? Because in your post, and also in my experience is is so vage and I prefer to have something that is more shapd, then I can recognize it better (make any sense?), and finally handle it, get a grip on it.
I'm talking about that vague feeling of motivation not being motivating but somehow manipulating (and paralysing), even if it seems to come from inside oneself. What is it? What are the criteria to say this is exactly like it? And what are criteria for saying that's different.
Here are some that I can think of:
To get that feeling I need to "feel" a conflict of interests (my "own" interests against my interest to fulfill others' interests). And an obligation to take care of all the interests.
There needs to be some sort of expectation of how somebody (me / somebody else) should be or behave and how this somebody should feel about that. (Examples: You should gladly do this. I don't understand why I can't even...)
I don't have that feelíng when I'm together with very good friends because? Hm, why? Because I don't get any pressure of "how to be" from them?

Any ideas how to define this further? Eve

December 22, 1999
9:18 pm
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I have been on an emotional binge and haven’t even been logging on to the net at all.

I had a fantastic yet very painful experience that has resulted in me spending a lot of time in deep meditation and contemplation. After hours of caring for my 90 year old father, I used his phone to organise for extra help from professional carers for him. He verbally abused me for this. His eyes, tone of voice, everything was just as he was when I was a kid. Firstly, I started to justify my actions, just as I did as a kid. Secondly, I flew in a rage also just as I did as a kid. I verbally abused him back, just as I did as a kid and took off down the road. My response was instantaneous. There was no intervening cognition whatever. I was totally on autopilot. The ‘trigger’ to the emotional memory recall was a near perfect duplicate to the ‘trigger’ that laid down the emotional memory traces all those years ago. So powerful was my response that I had flash back ‘recall’ of dissociated traumatic contextual memories from childhood that I have never remembered before now. A series of ‘coincidental’ (Jungian synchronicity?) events followed; each further heightening my state of arousal to a near psychotic state. In this state, I could easily have been a Kamakaze pilot. I rode my motorcycle at high speed in an insane way, weaving in and out of vehicles with inches to spare. I didn’t care. I wanted to ‘get up as many people’s noses’ as I could. I was emotionally 15 years old again in every way. In a state of partial recovery, I knew only one way to reduce my arousal; meditation. This I did. I retreated into both meditation and contemplation.

I now clearly ‘see’ how my emotional memories from the past govern every facet of my emotions today both positively and negatively. The ‘feeling me’ is a ‘replay’ instant by instant of past emotional experiences. My unconscious interpretations of my sensory inputs trigger a sequence of these emotional memory recalls and my cognitions about these emotional responses desperately try to make sense out of them. These cognitions can and do either reinforce my feelings by re-triggering the emotion or they dissipate the emotional energy by triggering recall of positive emotions to replace the negative ones. The problem is that I have very few positive emotional memories to recall. At best I have to settle for trying to remove the falsely perceived threat by cognitive ‘reality checking’.

Eve said, "And then again there is this nagging feeling that you may all be right and there is something so full of meaning out there and I haven't even got a glimpse of it yet. What is it that makes this question so important for you?"

Well… I can only answer this in the light of the above. Each of us has a set of emotional memories; both positive and negative in varying intensities and ratios. Each set is unique. Yet it is this set of emotional memories combined with their associated ‘triggers’ that gives us such joy, sorrow, pleasure or pain. Some of us, through no conscious choice of our own, have more traumatic emotional memories than others. When there are no associated contextual memories linked to these emotional memories, we grapple around to rationalise our suffering. When young we tend to ‘blame’ others for ‘causing’ our feelings. Ideally, as we mature we learn that our feelings don’t necessarily reflect reality. We can reduce our suffering dramatically by ‘understanding’ the ‘real causes’ of our pain. But then the larger question looms: Why are we cast into this very dependent world in a very vulnerable needy body? Why are we left to suffer in our ignorance? What is so valuable about pain and suffering that it exists at all? Why do we need to eat, sleep, defecate, reproduce and die?

To paraphrase my answer, those of us who possess on overabundance of painful, traumatic emotional memories are ‘prodded’ by the need to know ‘why’. For me being told that it is the law of Karma in action is a most unsatisfying answer. It only provokes the further question: Why was I ‘allowed’ to unknowingly run up such a negative karmic account? All these questions are directly related to the meaning of suffering in life. I have little interest in the meaning in pleasure and joy; I just enjoy them. Now, pain!! That is another thing. At a much higher level that just ‘survival value’, I need to ask ‘why’.

I think that 'transference' of parental images from childhood into your bf is probably why you feel the 'pressure of "how to be"' from him and yet not from your friends. This is common in relationships. However, in your case, I could very well be wrong.

Don’t care what yuh say, I still luv yuh!

A very Merry Christmas to you all. May you all have a very smooth Y2K welcoming. Don’t get drunk. : - )

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