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Science Without Bounds - the new religion?
July 13, 2006
11:04 pm
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thanks, i guess noone of us ie perfect. This country is too perfection oriented, yea? Lot pf pressure to be right, well no wonder its the strongest economy but its taxing on the people, or maybe its just me.

July 13, 2006
11:48 pm
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guest,

yea, the country is perfect oriented. shallow minded as it is. doesn't mean we all have to follow though. just be yourself. btw-have u been around to the neighbor girl's house lately. that seemed to be going well for u last i read.....

and what happened to just looking? she seems to have went on a walk about or something.....haven't seen her on here in a while.....hope all is well with her.

July 14, 2006
1:17 am
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I dont know, yea didnt see her around in my thread. I dont read the other threads so I dont know if she's here or not.

The neighbour girl, I'm in 'no contact'. Its been a big pain for me. Hard to forget, like a drug. But I'm staying away. If she comes begging, then I'll see otherwise I dont thikn anything will happen. I doubt she'll be faithful to me and I cant deal with that. She flirts and does all kinda suspicious stuff with married men. I dont feel comfy with that kind of girl, nope. Too bad she's too sexy. She's left a strong mark on me, I hope it washes away.

July 14, 2006
1:18 pm
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Hey Tez,

It is nice to hear from you. You asked on 07-12-06

"Is this what you believe? If so then what is the reason for this belief? Since the clarity of your thinking is a delight to me, why should it be otherwise for your bf? Or is it that you fear him sitting in moral judgement upon you?"

Moral?. When I left the abuse, there were people that knew about it. Friends, family, and people at work. When I was at my lowest, I let it bother me that people told me I had been weak for too long. This is one of the reasons that I quit telling anyone.

"This above statement would seem to me to indicate that you believe in the high probability that your bf will not like what he might see in your mind if you open up to him." Well, this is because I am not perfect,. and I feel If have to be. I do not advertise the imperfections. I am stuck right here.

And clarity? Thank you again. This clarity is not always well-received. I have been told I am too smart for my own good, too blunt, smart-ass.

Now, here is my response to your question about self- love. I think I love myself the best I know how. I have not had very good role models, and I have not researched or practiced new ways in a long time. (if ever). I know I at least care about myself, because I care for myself. I satisfy my body's demands for sleep, food, water. I avoid physical danger, Recently, I find I am shielding myself against mental pain and/or danger. Now I am trying to learn how to treat my mind.

And - " That is, could you give yourself permission to accept whatever you see and not sit in judgement upon that you that you see? Could you just be 'the observer' watching yourself see yourself, nothing else?"

I am still trying to find a good place to try this. Home is too hectic, but I will try, and let you know.

Thanks Tez,

Bevdee

July 14, 2006
9:57 pm
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Bevdee.

Thanks for your response. All the best with finding a quiet place.

When I was a gungho, practicing Bramha Kumaris Raj Yogi, I used to faithfully get up every morning at 3.30 am for meditation. Everything was sooooo quiet and peaceful - no external distractions.

I still experience this at 3.30 am when I sometimes awake after sufficient sleep. If I can remain in an Alpha brain wave state it is amazing what I can 'see' in my unconscious and make conscious.

July 16, 2006
2:51 pm
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ez,

3:30. Yikes. The only time I wake up at 3:30 is because my bladder demands it.

You asked me - "When you feel the racing thoughts slowing down and a peace and serenity pervading your whole body, could you then in your mind's eye recapture the 'view of yourself' that you saw in the mirror? Could you give yourself permission to be 'not OK' and to be OK about that just the same? That is, could you give yourself permission to accept whatever you see and not sit in judgement upon that you that you see? Could you just be 'the observer' watching yourself see yourself, nothing else? "

Yesterday, when the house emptied out, I tried this. At last!! When I put the 5 house dogs out, they barked, stood up, and beat their paws on the door, so !! I need to leave the house. Actually 3:30 is sounding better and better, because, by noon, it has been about 103 degrees here the last 3 days. I will have to discipline myself to go to bed at 8pm.

You said - " I am intuiting that there is a deep need at this stage for you to bring up into your conscious mind exactly how you actually see your 'self' to be without any self-judging whatsoever. "

And I say yes, your intuition is correct. I know this, but when I try, I find I am freezing up. Locking down. The truck stalls!!

No.

I stall, and find myself making excuses. The truth scares me because it is so different than what I told myself. I think I told myself everything was ok, because that was the only survival skill I had.

But - because I am my own worst critic, I am scared, Tez. Why can't I be as forgiving of myself as I am of others? This is a vicious cycle I am in. And it is all because I am so f**kin scared. Scared to go forward, scared to stay put. Scared I will revert.

Now I have a question for you, if you don't mind?

About this self-love. Do you love yourself? Now? All the time? Do you have to remindyourself? How often? Does that make sense?

And -

I sense that you are a much more tenacious person than I am. How many days/months/years did it take you to accept and love yourself, if, indeed, you have reached a level of accepting yourself? Some days, especially in the mornings, I feel fantastic! I like myself. I am relaxed, but if one or two things happen to stress me out, the feeling is just.....gone.

Is your meditation the discipline that helps you maintain your self-love?

Man I hope that doesn't come across as sarcastic, because I am sincere.

Because!!! While I was fixing my hair this morning in front of the mirror, and looking into my eyes, NOT crying, but thinking about your suggestion. "Can you find a quiet place to sit in a comfortable chair? Can you find the right time to do this? If so, then could you take one hand in the other as a loving mother would take your hand?"

I like to screamed.

Loving mother.

Not only can I not imagine it, I want to run in the opposite direction. That is just too alien a concept. I am trying to think of something else for this imagery. I don't think that motherimage is going to work for me.

Bevdee

July 16, 2006
10:48 pm
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Bevdee.

You asked:

"About this self-love. Do you love yourself? ..."

Yes. But, in answering this question, more fully so that we are not talking about different things, I need to define what I understand by the term self-love.

For me, self-love is not a feeling but an attitude that I take towards my 'self'.

This attitude is based upon my understanding of this 'self' that I call me. It is an attitude of respect and appreciation for the processes that 'I' see happening within 'me'.

For example at times 'I' see a frightened little boy, at others a raging bull. These are emotional states that automatically erupt depending upon life events and my interpretation of same.

So 'I' see the 'thinking' me and the 'feeling' me. Meditation has taught me to become the observer of both of these entirely separate but interacting 'me's.

Since I thoroughly understand my emotions and from where they originate, my thinking 'me' has learnt to have compassion for this 'damaged' part of my 'self'.

In practical terms, acting with love for myself means the 'thinking' me recognizing why the emotional 'bull is raging' inside and thinking thoughts like:

" 'steady Eddy' there is nothing threatening 'us'. You(the emotional 'me') have been triggered off by that facial expression of that 'father figure'. You 'feel' that a thump across the back of your head is coming just as it did when 'we' were under dad's tyranny. I'm looking after us now. That is not going to happen. If it does, I'll(thinking me) take care of 'us'".

About self-love, you also asked:

"... Now? All the time? Do you have to remind yourself?"

If the upsetting event is very great, I sometimes become the emotion. This means that my 'thinking' self comes completely under the control of my emotions and I think thoughts that are completely serving my 'emotional desires' as opposed to thinking thoughts conducive to resolving the problematic situation. But this is rare these days. Mostly the thinking 'me' can 'count up to ten' breaths, feel and acknowledge my 'feeling' self and then go to work thinking how to resolve the situation in an appropriate way for all concerned. When I can do this, and I don't always succeed, love has triumphed - IMO.

About fostering self-love, you also asked:

"How often?".

Every moment of the day if this is possible. I need to take the position of the observer as much as possible.

The highest 'I' needs to ride 'shotgun' on the front, highest seat of my 'stage coach' watching out for the welfare of both the passengers, i.e. my emotional and thinking self, and those in my environment.

About your questions, you asked:

"Does that make sense?"

Yes, they certainly do.

About self-love, you also asked:

"How many days/months/years did it take you to accept and love yourself, if, indeed, you have reached a level of accepting yourself?"

It is an ongoing process, it is a 'journey' not a 'destination'. Genuine self-love is a combination of wisdom and compassion. Both are one and the same. A certain level of wisdom is necessary to see that this is true. Wisdom/compassion comes from seeing how things 'really' are - not how the majority of people see things.

Sometimes self-love and love of others doesn't 'feel' good. Sometimes it is tough love and it feels awful. Often a loving mother feels terrible for denying her screaming child lollies, offering unwanted fruit instead. Conversely, you've probably seen plenty of unloving mothers, feeling good while stuffing sugar saturated lollies and drinks into grossly overweight little children's gobs.

"Is your meditation the discipline that helps you maintain your self-love?"

Yes, it is instrumental in seeing who 'I' really am. It is at the core of wisdom and compassion. But 'we' are not 'there' yet, by a long chalk.

"Loving mother.

Not only can I not imagine it, I want to run in the opposite direction. That is just too alien a concept. I am trying to think of something else for this imagery. I don't think that mother image is going to work for me."

The above statement of yours is a huge signpost pointing to something within your emotional self. I think that I can see a tiny frightened little girl in there hidding away from the world lest she is rejected yet again as she was so long ago by her mother. She appears to be like Cinderella hiding in her scullery imagining herself to be dirty and ugly. When the prince visits her house she daren't show herself. If only a fairy godmother could transform her into a beautiful princess. But when the handsome prince finally visited the 'scullery' and the shoe fitted, he saw Cinderella as she really was and loved her soot and all.

Do you imagine your current boyfriend to be more dense than Cinderella's Prince?

If he is not able to see the beauty in your tiny princess inside, is he worth giving the time of day? Do you doubt his ability to see past the 'oh so very superficial' soot?

Can you not find huge compassion and unlimited regard for that tiny, desolate little girl within you?

July 18, 2006
3:25 pm
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"Since I thoroughly understand my emotions and from where they originate, my thinking 'me' has learnt to have compassion for this 'damaged' part of my 'self'. "

Intellectually, I understand why I feel the way I do, but I have berated myself for not being stronger then the damage.

"If the upsetting event is very great, I sometimes become the emotion. This means that my 'thinking' self comes completely under the control of my emotions and I think thoughts that are completely serving my 'emotional desires' as opposed to thinking thoughts conducive to resolving the problematic situation. But this is rare these days. Mostly the thinking 'me' can 'count up to ten' breaths, feel and acknowledge my 'feeling' self and then go to work thinking how to resolve the situation in an appropriate way for all concerned. When I can do this, and I don't always succeed, love has triumphed - IMO."

I have been working on this technique of talking myself through it.

" But when the handsome prince finally visited the 'scullery' and the shoe fitted, he saw Cinderella as she really was and loved her soot and all.
Do you imagine your current boyfriend to be more dense than Cinderella's Prince? "

I can't believe you said Cinderella. and no, he is not dense.

"If he is not able to see the beauty in your tiny princess inside, is he worth giving the time of day? Do you doubt his ability to see past the 'oh so very superficial' soot? "

I don't know if I can dump it on him all at once. I myself have trouble dealing with more than a little at a time.

"Can you not find huge compassion and unlimited regard for that tiny, desolate little girl within you?"

I am thinking real hard about this. Compassion. I have fought very hard against feeling "sorry for myself". Did I not allow compassion, confusing it for self-pity?

Oh, this all just makes me so HUNGRY!!

Bevdee

July 19, 2006
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bevdee

On the 18-Jul-06 you said:

"Intellectually, I understand why I feel the way I do, but I have berated myself for not being stronger then the damage."

Could you clear up a little misunderstanding for me. I'm not sure which 'self' you want to be stronger.

Are you talking about your 'thinking self' 'straight jacketing' your 'emotional self' into submission so that you can feel the way you want to feel?

If this is what you mean by being "stronger", then you will be wanting to act like a mother who puts a straight jacket on her little daughter when she flails her arms around in a tantrum in her best efforts to get both attention and love.

Your 'thinking self' needs to be very gentle with your 'emotional self'. Our 'emotional selves' eaves drop upon everything our 'thinking selves' think!

I run a small business manufacturing electronic sludge level testers. My distributer hasn't given me an order for some time. My 'thinking self' started to have thoughts like: "This distributer is stealing my intellectual property and getting these testers made in China at half the price." I started discussing the matter with business associates and before long my gut was churning, tension in my muscles was building and I could feel the fear. My emotional self 'heard' every word that I said and thought as well as what my business associates said. Then the phone rang this afternoon. It was my distributer. They said: "Have you received our order that we sent last Thursday? We've completely sold out. The local Government Councils are buying your tester like hot cakes. We estimate that the rest of the waste water management industry will follow suit as soon as the Councils recommend that they do so."

My 'inner child', my 'emotional self', my 'amygdala', call it what you will, heard every word and every thought!
My 'emotional self' immediately shut my 'fear system' in my body down. Different peptides coursed through my veins. I felt elated. This means that my working memory sensed the response of my eaves dropping amygdala, my emotional self, as a feeling of elation.

The point of recounting my above experience is to demonstrate what I'm about to say. If I try to force the state elation on my amygdala by strong thoughts of "This is how I ought to be" or "This is how I should feel" then my underlying thought is really "I'm not OK the way I am. I should be different." If my eaves dropping emotional self hears this it feels fearful! "We are not OK, Not OK, Not OK, shit ... shit ... shit" Then I feel anxious and ill at ease.

On the other hand, if I think things like: "I'm not OK but that's OK and we're going to be OK no matter what." then provided I believe my own story I feel good. If I don't believe my own thoughts then my eaves dropping emotional self then hears these thoughts of self-doubt, doubting my capacity to be honest with myself and therefore my ability to handle my affairs. Then it is more "panic, shit ... shit ... shit" coming from my emotional self.

One way out of this dilemma in 12 steps programs is to hand over my will and my life to a God of my understanding with complete faith that this God will make things right if I do the footwork. But my dilemma is that I don't believe this Judeo Christian line. I have no such faith.

However I have developed a faith in the belief that my thoughts can be understood and controlled in a way that is authentic and not based upon 'faking it until I make it'. But my thoughts will never gain direct control over my emotions. If I think fear provoking thoughts my emotions will always react by arousing my body's fear systems.

Having given the above as a prelude to answering your question, I will now attempt to answer it as best I can.

You said:

"I have fought very hard against feeling "sorry for myself"."

And then you asked:

" Did I not allow compassion, confusing it for self-pity?"

In a previous posting I said that wisdom and compassion were essentially the same thing.

Self-pity is as you know 'feeling' sorry for yourself.

Self-pity is an emotion of sadness and depression based upon your emotional self eaves dropping on your thinking self continually thinking such thoughts as "I'm no good, I can't help how I am, I'm hopeless, I'm a victim of my life's circumstances, I'm powerless ... ... ..."

Compassion is based upon the wisdom of a higher self that understands both your thinking and feeling self; it is that higher self that stands aside from both and gently nurtures your thinking self into attaining the wisdom of thinking genuine nurturing thoughts towards all sentient beings, cochroaches included.

The emotional self cannot distinguish between nurture directed towards oneself and another. Try it if you don't believe me. Nurture a real child in this world, yours or anothers, and you will feel good. This is why 12 step self-help groups work. The members seek to nurture each other and all feel good.

But seeking just to feel good is not a noble quest in life, because feeling good is a byproduct of enlightened thinking. Seeking the truth is a quest for enlightened thinking; that is seeking to know the truth about who we are, where we are going and why we are here. This is man's eternal quest in which religions have by and large failed deliver, IMO.

It is finding really believable answers to life's great questions that can deliver the wisdom that leads to right thinking that leads to feeling good that leads to peace of mind that leads to ... love.

I aint't there yet - but I have made substantial changes in my self and my life. Be warned - it has taken many years.

July 20, 2006
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Tez,

Good to hear from you.

You asked me this- "Could you clear up a little misunderstanding for me. I'm not sure which 'self' you want to be stronger.
Are you talking about your 'thinking self' 'straight jacketing' your 'emotional self' into submission so that you can feel the way you want to feel?"

Yes. I did not think of the straight jacket, but YES!

And maybe this is why I have had this "victim mentality" for so long. Victim of the straight jacketing. Of my mind. I have felt so "put-upon".

I would like both selves to be stronger. When my emotions are all jumbled up, I can't think straight. Do you know what I mean? My thoughts go round and round, and I can't focus on anything. I can't concentrate.

"If I try to force the state elation on my amygdala by strong thoughts of "This is how I ought to be" or "This is how I should feel" then my underlying thought is really "I'm not OK the way I am. I should be different." If my eaves dropping emotional self hears this it feels fearful! "We are not OK, Not OK, Not OK, shit ... shit ... shit" Then I feel anxious and ill at ease."

Exactly. My underlying thought is " I am so not perfect"

Something else I have been thinking about is the importance of language. The impact that written or spoken words can words have on a person. I must apply this to my "self". "selves?". You said that already, though.

"The emotional self cannot distinguish between nurture directed towards oneself and another. "

So, is this why we get caught up in putting others needs ahead of our own? When we don't know how to nurture ourselves? Maybe this is why I love animals so much, and find loving them safer.

"I aint't there yet - but I have made substantial changes in my self and my life. Be warned - it has taken many years."

I know there is no quick fix. I know it's going to take a long time. I can't do too much at once. It takes me time to ponder the thoughts and emotions I have, rather than shoving them away. And sometimes, if it i a painful thought, I set it aside, so to speak, and come back to it later.

I have started concentrating on my breathing. I am finally at a point that I am getting enough oxygen. So finally, I am not feeling dizzy, or yawning. I am feeling better every day. I have been incredibly tense for many years. 15 or 16 years. It's great not to wake up tense every morning, and I am finding myself laughing more easily than I used to! Singing at the car radio. This is really kind of exciting.

( I am a real hillbilly redneck,though I prefer the term "southern belle". When I get emotional, I revert back to "my" slang. In contrast with your very proper English. I hope it is not too hard (oops. difficult) for you to follow, and if it is, I apologise, and applaud you for doing such a good job, at the deciphering!!)

I want to ask you another question, if you don't mind? Are you some kind of therapist? I ask because you have such a talent for signalling in through the noise!! From the way you have deciphered my posts, I perceive you to be very intuitive.

Thank you for your compassion.

Bevdee

July 20, 2006
7:25 pm
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bevdee.

Sorry about the underlining in my last post. I stuffed up the underlining control codes again.

On the 20-Jul-06 you said:

"I would like both selves to be stronger."

It is very hard, if not impossible to change our 'emotional selves'. Our emotional centres are 'hard wired' to retain our emotional encoding for life. But we can change and control how we think about and what we believe about and what we do about our emotional reactions to life's situations.

Dr. Phil put it this way yesterday on TV when he said:

"We can't change what we feel but we can change our behavior."

What he was saying in a few words was that our emotions will always react much the same way to any given situation no matter what. We cannot change that reaction and our resulting feelings. But we can change what we think about those feelings and thus we can change our consequent thought driven behavior. In turn, if we think positive reassuring thoughts about our bad feelings then our erupting emotions will then subside instead of being maintained and sustained by negative and fearful thoughts.

And you asked:

"So, is this why we get caught up in putting others needs ahead of our own?"

For some it can be the reason but there is also at least one other reason that we do this.

I think that many of us put others' needs ahead of our own for another reason. Sometimes we do this because we believe that our needs for their approval, nurture and support are a higher priority than our needs that we relegated to second place in meeting their needs.

However when we do that and the loving support is not forthcoming from them, we become very upset. When we do this in order that ..., we are operating upon a merchant bargaining system, not in giving genuine self sacrificing love, and we usually don't know it.

If we have already taken care of our own nurturing needs first by self-nurturing then we are free to give nurture and support to others without expectations or needs for a return. If we get a return it is a bonus but not a necessity. In addition in nurturing others we get the bonus of the self-nurture that I mentioned previously.

For example, a well adjusted mother who self-nurtures, is free to give love to her children in a way that is in their best interests. However, if that mother is not self-nurturing and 'needy' and yearns for their love in return then she is compelled to indulge her children's every whims to both her and their ultimate detriment. We see such examples every day.

"Are you some kind of therapist?"

No. Ever since I was 17 years old I have had an avid interest in psychology and have read on the topic ever since, studying both formally and informally. One of my formal qualifications is a uni degree from our state university in which I majored in Psychology. I attained this degree in 1995. Whilst in helping myself, I have helped many people over the years I have never set up a practice, nor do I ever intend doing so.

I have also an avid interest in both philosophy and in religious beliefs without formal qualifications in either. Though I did study philosophy formally in one subject undertaken as part of the prerequisites for getting my teaching qualifications.

Formal and informal studies gives 'head knowledge'. But there are other ways of knowing. D'Adamo's book talks about these other ways of knowing in his book. The way the mystics have of knowing is the most powerful by far IMO. We all have this ability to see what is in a mystical way. Our ignorance is what blocks off this way of knowing.

The best university that I have attended is the 'University of Hard Knocks'. I enrolled at birth and will graduate at death or possibly at some time thereafter and the 'lecturer's' performances are par excellence if I will only listen with more than my ears. 🙂

July 20, 2006
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hey Tez, here's something to make life easier for you: http://htmlcode.discoveryvip.com/

You can type your post there, then click on the checkbox at the bottom of the box and copy paste the html here. Should work.

Now you owe me total englightenment in the form of an easy to take tablet.

July 20, 2006
10:17 pm
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Tez, you say below:

HOW? How do we change hard-wire emotions, and what we think about those feelings if they still are felt? HOw does one think positive feelings about bad feelings? Not ALL feelings are included in this assessment of yours...some maybe but not all. From a personal standpoint if I think positive feelings about my mother's illness (which there are none)...isn't that lieing to myself? But if I think she will be better off in heaven after she dies...then that is a positive to her passing. If I am hurt because I don't measure up, and my slef esteem is low, then does that mean I think of a time when it will be better??? I don't think so. So IYHO...how does this work?

"What he was saying in a few words was that our emotions will always react much the same way to any given situation no matter what. We cannot change that reaction and our resulting feelings. But we can change what we think about those feelings and thus we can change our consequent thought driven behavior. In turn, if we think positive reassuring thoughts about our bad feelings then our erupting emotions will then subside instead of being maintained and sustained by negative and fearful thoughts."

July 20, 2006
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whoops...meant to put the quote first after "You said below"..just reverse them...

July 21, 2006
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On my way.

You asked a very important question when you wrote:

"How do we change hard-wire emotions, and what we think about those feelings if they still are felt?"

I said in your quote from me:

"...our emotions will always react much the same way to any given situation no matter what. We cannot change that reaction and our resulting feelings. ..."

I am saying that I do not believe that we can change our hard wired emotions except by direct intervention such as making lesions in the amygdala which will have disastrous consequences for our quality of life.

What we can change is "what we think about those feelings" - to use your words.

You are asking me how do I do that?

OK let's take a real life example from my partner Joy's life. On the 2nd April this year, just under 4 months ago, her youngest son, aged just under 32 years old, died totally unexpectedly without any known illness or any warning whatsoever. It came out 'of the blue' and was a complete shock.

We have only just now found out from the coroner that he had a vary rare disease called Fibromuscular Dysplasia.

On the day of her son's death she came into my workshop absolutely devastated and collapsed in my arms in complete and utter desolation, sobing uncontrollably. I had ten seconds flat to come up with something to console her. I don't think one can get any less theoretical and a more practical situation than this to put one's beliefs into practice.

I quickly established what thoughts were feeding her emotions and maintaining her feelings of helplessness and utter loss!! She kept saying over and over: "He's gone, forever. I'll never see him again - ever, ever."

Such a thought I pointed out to her was totally unsubstantiated and without any foundation whatsoever. Sure, I said, his body ill never come back to life again - but his body is not him. I pointed out to her that there exists massive amounts of verifiable, anecdotal, empirical evidence that substantiates the extremely high probability that death is not the end but a transition state of consciousness. In contrast there is absolutely no anecdotal, empirical evidence whatsoever to substantiate even the possibility that all consciousness ceased completely with death.

I then set about helping Joy to find meaning in his death that gave her a reason to believe that it had to be that way.

Further, I convinced her that her son had the full amount of his alloted time right down to the second.

The rest of his life that Joy thought that he missed existed only in her head. Neither she nor he missed out on anything. Thus I convinced her that nothing was lost at all - in fact there was something greater to be gained.

Low and behold unbeknown to me, Joy's daughter went to a medium who, without any prior knowledge or 'subtle probing', blurted out that Billy had died in the month of his birth and that he was in a 'waiting room' awaiting the next stage of his journey. The medium had one chance in twelve of guessing the birth/death month correctly and eleven chances in twelve of being wrong. It would be a stupid punt to take if the medium wasn't tapping into some 'after life' consciousness, Billy's or otherwise. This reassured Joy that perhaps Billy's consciousness did still exist in another dimension extremely close bye. Next, unbeknown to me and without my blessing, Joy went to another medium who told her that she would have a new grand daughter next April 2007. Now Joy has a daughter who is trying to get pregnant and a daughter-in-law who is considering it. I suggested to Joy that if consciousnesses 'reincarnate' then Billy's consciousness, being very attached to his sister, might have unconsciously colluded with his sister's unconscious to take the only opportunity available to him to get close to her again. This gives meaning to his timely death - were this to be the case.

Whether I am right or not is of little importance. What is important is that Joy found meaning in his death, a perception of his gaining from his death - not loosing, and Joy would be gaining a brand new relationship with Billy through her grand daughter. This and a few other thoughts have prevented the sustaining of her emotions of grief. Joy still gets waves of grief when things like death certificates, photos, Bill's personal belongings etc come in the mail. But her new found positive thoughts and belief of gains have prevented other very negative thought patterns of loss sustaining and prolonging these shortlived waves into much more devastating and lengthy emotional states of intense grief.

I'm not suggesting that what fits Joy fits you or anyone else. But unless we have a philosophy of life and death that makes sense out of our brief stay on this earth with its suffering through our gains and losses and our own certain mortality and that of our loved ones then we are in for a very rough and painful emotional ride indeed!

At this juncture I'm not about to attack your beliefs. That's the last thing I want to do in the moments of your own grief.

I will only say that I personally have found modern day Christianity, as opposed to what Christ knew and taught, completely lacking in its ability to meet my needs in relation to emotional upheavals of any kind.

If you can find some comfort in taking up your emotional cross and carrying it for Christ, I sincerely wish you the absolute best - I hope that it works for you. If it doesn't then come back to me on this thread and I will see what I can do to be of any help.

July 21, 2006
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Thak you Tez...alot to digest. I'm going to take some time to do so.

July 21, 2006
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Tez,

Good to hear from you.

You said - "It is very hard, if not impossible to change our 'emotional selves'. Our emotional centres are 'hard wired' to retain our emotional encoding for life. But we can change and control how we think about and what we believe about and what we do about our emotional reactions to life's situations."

Hard wired. Irreversible?

Control how we think.

what we believe about it

What we do about -

I am faced with visiting "home". My hometown. In about a week, I am driving to visit my mother. She has some family business matters that she feels I need to participate in.

It will be interesting to observe how I feel. In the past, I usually have clenched abdominal muscles by the time I get within 30 minutes of her house. I don't visit her in person very often, our relationship is mostly phone and email. She gives me updates on my sister and her children, her aging mother, my stepfather's children and grandchildren. It's all surface.

There are so many good things about my mother. I want, before she dies, to be able to love her without it hurting.

So, this time, I want to see how I feel, and how I deal with the emotions. It may be too soon.

Oh, and Tez? I go to that U of HK, too!

Thanks,

Bevdee

July 21, 2006
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Bevdee.

It is good to hear from you too.

When you said ...

"Oh, and Tez? I go to that U of HK, too!"

... I nearly pissed myself laughing. I must have a warped sense of humor, eh! It took me a few seconds to work out what U of HK meant. (University of Hard Knocks for the benefit of those not following this interchange)

Back to the serious stuff ...

Speaking of our emotional centre you wrote: "Hard wired. Irreversible?"

Yep! For all intentions purposes I believe so. In geriatric wards, nurses will tell you that emotions are the very last 'thing to go'. In my dear old dad, all his cognitions went; yet the blazing anger, apparent in his tired old eyes when something triggered him off, remained to the very end.

I once acquired a ten week old wild cat. Its ferocity, I have never seen the like before or since. It sunk its teeth into the loose skin between my thumb and first finger like a vice grip with sharp teeth. It then proceeded - with a buzz saw blur that was its two front paws moving too fast for my eyes to see them - to shred a large area of the skin on my hand. In agony,I flung it into an open wire mesh cage with wire mesh small enough that would hold a small rat. The kitten was so small that it simply went straight through the wire mesh and ran down into the wood pile.

My then wife took a week to coax it out with food. That cat lived with us for 13 years before it finally died. It terrorized every dog in the neighbourhood that ventured into our yard and cornered it - shredding the dogs' noses every time. That cat never became tame ever. It would accept a pat at arms length from my wife at the time but that was it. I could not get near it.

Fear and dislike of humans had been indelibly imprinted on its emotional centres for life. Sure it cognitively learnt to deal with its fear of humans in a way that modified its behavior somewhat. But that was it. We humans have the same type of emotional centres as the cat; only our developed neocortex and a few other charactistics differentiate us from our animal cousins. Much cutting edge research on rats by Dr. Joseph LeDoux is being extrapolated to explain human emotions. My belief in this regard is based upon my own experiences and upon LeDoux's research and that of others.

About your coming trip to see you mom, you also said:

"So, this time, I want to see how I feel, and how I deal with the emotions. It may be too soon."

You'll be fine if you can remember always that emotional responses are not absolutely reliable pointers to facts. Yet most human beings seem to act as if they are.

What seems to happen to me is that when I feel threatened I tend to automatically believe that there is actually a threat. Sometimes there actually is a threat; but mostly there isn't. Yet when there isn't a threat, I have a hard time realizing that there isn't.

If you will permit me to give an example, take the situation with my partner Joy. She sees me smile at an attractive woman who Joy knows has the 'hots' for me. Joy has a history of infantile abandonment wherein the Children's Services Department sent a woman out to her home. This woman smiled at her mother and father. They both smiled back and whispered words that Joy could not hear. Soon after Joy was placed with relatives. Joy has no CONTEXT based memory of this episode. But it happened - her mother told me before she died. Now when this woman smiles at me and whispers something innocuous into my ear, Joy's emotional centre erupts. Why? Because that emotional centre does have an Emotional memory of the feeling that she had as an infant. That memory is retriggered by this woman's behavior towards me. An infantile fear of being abandoned floods Joy's nervous system. Joy's thinking self goes into overtime looking for the threat where there really is none. Joy's thinking self soon identifies this woman as the aggressor and works overtime looking for someone to attack. That someone is both me and this woman.

Suddenly, without realizing Joy's inner turmoil, find myself under attack by her. I feel an overwhelming sense of oppression and entrapment. I feel no longer free to respond in a normal polite way to this woman with whom I have absolutely no indention of becoming involved. I feel the terrible threat to my own rights of self expression. I immediately see myself as being under threat from my partner Joy. How can this be?? My thinking self, if I have a modicum of self-control, might stop and think further than the superficial thought: "I'm my own man. I don't have to answer to Joy! She's not mymother!". Key word "mother"!! Before I could even rember contexts my mother in her overcontrolling way had caused emotions to erupt in me as a small infant. It was this awful feeling of being controlled by my mother that erupted when Joy attacked me in her jealous response to my interaction with this other woman.

Here we have two emotional memories from the past, one in Joy and one in me, both soliciting the thinking self in Joy and in me as their respective allies in fighting imaginary aggressors. If my thinking self can break this deadlock by realizing what is happening in both Joy and I then I can use my thinking self as an ally to seek an appropriate solution rather than one that will reinforce the conflict. This is what mediators do to seek conflict resolution between warring partners. Why not do it for myself??? So, seeing Joy really needs to feel reassured that I am not going to leave her, I grab Joy, give her a hug, and say to her:"You're my girl and don't you forget it!" to which she usually replies: "Yes. And your my man and don't YOU forget it!!".

When you see your mom, she will have emotional reactions to some things you might say or do. Her thinking self, being on autopilot and perceiving an imaginary threat, might respond in a way that might trigger off your infant and childhood emotional memories. What will your thinking self do??? Will it stop, count ten breaths, and while doing so think: "Hey! What I'm feeling ain't because there's a threat to me! It is only a feeling based upon the recall of an emotional memory from my long gone past. I'm OK but MOM ain't. I need to convince her that I'm not here to judge her because of her failings as a mother. What do I have to do to give her love and nurture?" Then you might say: "It's OK mom. I love you just the way you are." and you might give her a big hug. Your emotional centres will in all probability feel the hug as much as your mother will and you will both probably break down and sob. Or maybe not, I don't know. I'll bet London to a brick that you will feel good.

Alternatively, you could choose to think: "Bloody hell! I've come all this way and this is what I get. More of the same old, same old. What an ungrateful bitch! All she cares about is my sister and her self. What does she care about me! Well ... she can go and get ..." What would your emotional self make of these thoughts?

William Blake said: "The mind is its own place, and in itself can create a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell."

By counting ten breaths and thinking about the question: "Into which will I make the present situation, a hell or a heaven?" I know what my choice will inevitably be.

But I have to pause, count ten breaths, get into the 'here and now' - not into autopilot and driven by my childhood memories, and think about whether my emotional response is pointing to the real or the imaginary threat. Are my demons from the past wanting to joust with the demons of the past in this other person? Or is he/she a real threat???

Doing this is sometimes called 'Reality Checking'. With what I know about my own emotional self, its still bloody hard for me to do, but with practice I'm getting better at it.

July 21, 2006
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guest_guest.

On the 20-Jul-06

"hey Tez, here's something to make life easier for you: http://htmlcode.discoveryvip.com/..."

Thanks for the kind thoughts and the URL. It is appreciated and handy to have for future reference.

My stuff up was not from my lack of knowledge but from a lack of careful scrutiny of my delimiting html code before hitting the submit button. Laziness on my part or over-confidence perhaps!!!

For example, when I enter the delimiting characters I hold the shift key down. But I forget to lift the shift key for the '/' character and end up with a '?' character instead. Then everything thereafter is either italicized, emboldened or underlined until either the end of the post or the next closing delimiter of the same kind is encountered by the server.

July 21, 2006
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If you use that link, you wont have to worry about closing the tags or antyhing. Just write your letter in the box on that page, click the thing at the bottom and you'll see the code. Just copy paste that code here, thats all you gotta do. No worrying about manual HTML coding.

Its impossible for anyone to make sure the HTML codes are OK the first time when writing long stuff.

July 22, 2006
10:27 pm
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Guest_guest.

Thanks. You are correct in what you say.

The site you suggested doesn't work on either of my browsers.(IE7 and FireFox Version 1.5.0.4) I think that all the security measures, i.e. ZoneAlarm and my browser setups, on my PC are preventing the sites javascript from running.

However, you have given me an idea.

I can simply write my responses using MS FrontPage and cutting and pasting the code.

Alternatively I can use my MS Word package and save it as a html page before cutting and pasting.

I bet that I don't do this - like you I'm impatient, looking for shortcuts that turn into 'long'cuts. 🙂

July 22, 2006
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Tez,

U of HK. I was testing you and you passed. Way to go.

"You'll be fine if you can remember always that emotional responses are not absolutely reliable pointers to facts. Yet most human beings seem to act as if they are."

I know. Here is my dilemna. In the last 2 1/2 years, my mom and I have had a pleasant relationship - on the surface. We agreed, for the sake of harmony(?), not to re-hash old arguments. (Most of our communication has been over the phone. I now live 300 miles from her. She loves to IM, cracking me up when she LOLs! She is all chat-savvy now. She IS pretty cool....I guess.)

I always have my "emotional" guard up, though. I always have the fear of her betrayal.

My sister is addicted to crack. She lost custody of her children. She doesn't work, and my mother has been "helping her" by paying her rent, phone, utilities, and I am sure she is unknowingly financing other ventures that my sister will not name. I hear all of this, and I listen to my mother when she agonises over my sister. I always felt ignored- hell, I was!! I love my sissy, and I love my mom, but it is the same old pattern and at times I resent it. I used to feel "invisible". Then I feel really really creepy, because my sister lives every day in hell with her addictions, and

I have never spoken this out loud to anyone - I still resent her. Creepy me.

creepy resentful me - my mother's confidante - friend. Not her daughter.

Getting to the point here------- I know my mother loves me the best she can. I know she is aware of the damage that was done to me, and she is sorry for it. I think she feels guilty, and has tried to make it up to me by sending me money and gifts.

I DON"T KNOW HOW TO GO FORWARD WITH HER. I don't know how to do anything WITH her. I do pretty well far away from her. Because it always seems to have to center around my sister. I love my sister. I am anguished for her. I live with the knowledge that she could OD and die any day.

"But I have to pause, count ten breaths, get into the 'here and now' - not into autopilot and driven by my childhood memories, and think about whether my emotional response is pointing to the real or the imaginary threat. Are my demons from the past wanting to joust with the demons of the past in this other person? Or is he/she a real threat???"

There is no physical threat of violence, anymore.

I know my gramma whooped Mom and her sisters. Grampa drank. And I have always suspected he sexually abused them. She and my daddy were a horrible mismatch, and she still carries her anger at him, and I look exactly like him and I am just every bit as stubborn as he is.

My mom has studied psychology since the late 60s, I think I was 8 or 9 when she started therapy. She afterward got her masters degree in counseling. Which is not to imply a person with these credentials has it all together. Might - might not. The biggest change I have seen in her has been since I moved farther away, and her awareness/acknowledgement of my sissy's addictions.

Her grandchildren and step-grandchildren adore her. My sister and I are the ones who have the problems. She is no threat to me, physically. I guess the threat I perceive is the threat of being passed over in her affections. (Again.) Having my feelings hurt. I find that my feelings are hurt at holiday and other family get-togethers because she either pays or more attention to her grandkids than she does me, or I think she does. And now I am wondering if maybe just MAYBE!! I would physically visit the woman more often, she and I would have time together!!

As I write this I am realizing that in the last 2 1/2 years, I have scheduled so little time with her. I breeze in, and breeze out, usually within 24 hours. Usually centered around some family function of which she is the hostess. This is unfair of me, and I have disappointed her.

This is an uncomfortable realisation.

The distance between us feels safer to me. I have only been there 3 times in the last 6 years.

I am sure my mom knew my sister had psychological problems, even when she was a little girl. I suspect Mom felt she had to watch over her more than she did with me, because I have always been self-sufficient. I have memories of my mother telling me she needed my help. "take care of your sister while I 'm gone, watch out for sissy" This was NOT a job I applied for!!

The first time my sister went into rehab, Mom and I discussed, via telephone, codependency and family dynamics(?) How we all played into the denial for so many years, and the ways we enabled my sissy.. She feels totally responsible for my sister's addictions, and told me that she failed both of us. This was so unexpected!! In the past, she had been so defensive. I had no idea what to say, but I told her as gently as I could that I thought she had been reared to codependency, with grampa's drinking.

One of the biggest problems I have had with my poor poor sister's addictions, and our family's .... growing awareness? (Acknowledgement might be a better word) of it is this.

I have never spoken this out loud.

She still gets all the attention, and it is all about her. Her daughters, who, with essentially no mother, need their gramma. Forever and ever. It will always be this way.

2 examples -

My mother takes care of her mother and sister, who have both had strokes, and need help getting to drs offices, groceries etc. She had 2 years of retirement, and this became an obligation for her. She wears herself out, and her husband is old, man, he can't keep up with her. Last year, I planned a week at a resort for the two of us. Spas, massaages, entertainment. Just for her(and me) to relax and rejuvenate. She invited my nieces, so the entire time was spent shopping, getting things pierced, and doing for the little ladies. We had fun, but ran out of time, and the massages were never fitted in to the excursion. I wonder if Mom is as scared of my anger, as I am of her rejection? Or just afraid of any type of emotional intimacy with me - because she puts the "walls" up too. Maybe someday I will ask her. I don't think it will be this visit, though.

I am taking some night courses. I haven't been to school in a long time. I was very nervous about it, you know? My mind has been unschooled. undisciplined for so long. When I finished the 1st semester, I passed all 3 courses, with scores in the 90s. Yeehaw!! My mom had inquired about how the classeswere going from time to time, so when I got the results, I called her to tell her. She did not seem to HEAR me, because she had had an upsetting phone call from my sister earlier in the day, and wanted only talk about that.

So this fear of abandonment -- Is it fear that my mother will abandon me again? Or is it just self-preservation? Some things are not going to change. Because of the hard-wiring in my mother. I have to change my reaction to it, and the way it makes me feel. And the sadness I feel FOR my mother because I see this heartache and helplessness in her. (In regards to my sister). I actually heard the woman whimper. This is a stubborn little scrappy woman that never backs down!! And she whimpers now.

I don't know how to summarise this. Part of it is emotional memories, and part of it is contextual. I want to do right by the woman, out of love and my feeling of family responsibility, but I need to do right by myself, for a change.

Bevdee

July 22, 2006
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Tez, oh well. I run the javascript on my comp and everything's safe. As long as you got the latest anti-virus and updated Windowx XP, everything's safe. You could search "online HTML generator" in google to get more of those types of things.

July 24, 2006
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bevdee

Your response of 22-Jul-06 surely indicates that you have done a lot of thinking about and reflecting upon the psychology underpinning your family relationships.

When I said:

"Are my demons from the past wanting to joust with the demons of the past in this other person?"

I was referring to the unconscious triggering in me of emotions conditioned in my childhood past. If I respond without realizing this then I will very likely unconsciously trigger off emotions in another person; emotions that have also been programmed in him/her in the past. These past programmed emotions are the 'demons' to which I referred.

It is so easy for me to attribute evil intentions to the other person where none exist, not realizing the mechanism underpinning the emotional interchanges.

If I focus with compassion on the suffering in another person, it usually prevents the triggering off of emotional memories in me. This tends to break the cycle of past emotions 'jousting'.

You said:

"I want to do right by the woman, out of love and my feeling of family responsibility, but I need to do right by myself, for a change."

I firmly believe that it is impossible to "do right by myself" without "doing right" by the others involved. That this is true isn't immediately obvious. But with a lot of reflection and contemplation, I think that you will find that this is true.

As you most probably know, "doing right by the woman" doesn't have anything to do with what emotions she consequently experiences or how she might react.

From my perspective, "doing right by the woman" means doing what you perceive to be in her best interests. In doing this, it undoubtedly will be in your long term best interests too, if not in your short term best interests.

When it comes to deciding what is in the woman's best interests, that is where both the wisdom and compassion comes in .

"Which is not to imply a person with these credentials has it all together."

I totally agree. For all the insights into myself that I claim to have, given sufficient provocation it all goes out the window and my emotions take over. 🙂 But I tend to recover my composure more quickly these days and admit my mistakes, regrets etc when I believe that I am 'in the wrong'.

Best of luck with your coming trip.

July 24, 2006
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guest_guest

On the 22-Jul-06 you said:

"As long as you got the latest anti-virus and updated Windowx XP, everything's safe."

You think? That's not my past experience.

Now I run Norton's AV 2005 that is automatically updated as is my XP sp2. I use Zonalarm Pro as a bidirectional firewall. I don't trust the unidirectional XP firewall.

I use both Windows Defender and Ad-Aware to boot. I am still paranoid about 'rootkit' trojans and worms that are capable of disabling NAV and Zonealarm and creating havoc!

The hackers these days are verrry smart.

I'm forever denying svchost.exe access to the net from my computer and no program that I am using seems affected by this denial of service. Hmmmm!!! Have I a well hidden polymorphic trojan or worm who, just like ET, wants to go home? It ain't getting out if my PC is infected!

Multiple scans with the latest updated NAV 2005, MS Windows Defender, and AD-Adware show nothing!!

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