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What is Truth?
March 23, 2004
11:28 am
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mj
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Yes Ginger, I need to find my truth from within.

March 23, 2004
3:04 pm
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gingerleigh
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Hey MJ, sounds like you're grappling with some hard stuff over there. I think I recall you are in Oregon? Do you have any sunshine there today? We have snippets in Seattle from this morning left over, but if you can, get outside a little, even if it's gray and misty.

March 23, 2004
6:16 pm
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Molly
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Gosh, if you haven't felt a little bit crazy, I don't think your alive.
That desire to ram your car, to leap over the edge, to take the salad, and toss it all over the table in public, to scream out loud at the top of your lungs, and not give a damn, to break glass, to punch, to rip to act out when you know upps not politically correct........ Its a hard practice to create, but it is possible to remove most of those feelings, by removing the irritants, or at least removing the power of what ever is irritating you. The concept of death can be consoling some times, or the rush of energy of anger, neither one of those support love for self. Realization that feelings are self controlled, learning to re-program the mind process, getting it that you have the power to be content, not always happy, or passionate, but complete, and shrugging off the crap is a great place to be, but you are the only one that can start it.

March 24, 2004
6:05 pm
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mj.

On 23-Mar-04 you wrote:

"When you speak, you observe yourself speaking, you are hearing the words come out of your mouth....When you type....It is the words coming from your finger tips but from a place within.... the I."

Yes ... there is 'an awareness' of a process of physical, biological and mental events taking place that you describe. But is the 'process of events' that which constitutes the basis for the existence of the 'I'? If so, it is a very temporary and dependent 'I' that is always changing and will one day terminate.

Or ... is the 'awareness' of the process of events the 'real I' observing what it falsely thinks is its actual 'I'?

Or is the awareness of an 'I' itself only a conditioned and dependent manifestation of these events of which you speak?

March 24, 2004
9:56 pm
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mj
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? Will we ever know?

March 24, 2004
9:58 pm
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mj
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I went to my counselor today. He told me to listen to myself. He asked me to follow-up with my dr. on the Wellbutrin. I go tomorrow.

Another Day 🙂

Thank YOU for being here for me.

March 24, 2004
10:20 pm
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nikka
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Namaste, Tez, Ginger, Molly, Twinks, mj. Whew.

*grin* At it again I see. The 'mind -process' an excellent symbolic representation of 'mind,' Molly. A process not some separate and autonymous object, but a process, perhaps like transforming a solid ingot into molten metal. Objects can be defined but where do we touch the process of melting.

Ego. I. Another process perhaps, the 'process' which 'distinguishes' one bit of consciousness from another? Or is ego simply the process of illusion which Consciousness (unity) uses to 'amuse' itself: allows itself to 'believe' that it is separate, independent, disconnected?

This bit which seems to be writing this is uncertain. The Unity it has appeared to find has only been fleeting. That ?Unity-experience? has never lasted long in 'real time' and memory persists for much longer. But, I have found that 'changing my mind, appears to change my reality.' Of course, the facile portion of that process is the saying/writing of it. The challenge for this appearance is to act as though the words symbolise a required process, a journey, made across a vast distance, but all done right where this appearance am.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes about thought as a train. Each thought an individual car. One's task is to watch the car directly before the viewers eyes without following it down the line or looking far upline to track a car to the point before one.

I suspect, mj, that there are only oblique ways to communicate what the process does, what one can expect. The guides tend to be unable to pinpoint their experiences with universal symbols easily recognized and understood in the same way by all entities or appearances. One finds guides to begin one's practice, even to support one, or to suggest a better way to build the mind-trap. But what seems to truly matter? The experience as perceived by the conscious bit that actually practices process.

I spoz we all might give that a go.

Nikka

March 25, 2004
11:37 am
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mj
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I have been researching SPECT this morning. Has anyone had this done?
I think it is interesting that science can observe colors on the brain which model hyperactivity or none.

http://www.brainplace.com/ac/w.....yspect.asp

I don't feel really good today. Nausea, foggy brained, and tired.

March 25, 2004
6:12 pm
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It seems to me that the underlying assumptions made about the mind by those espousing the virtues of SPECT, is that 'mind' is a function or a manifestation of the physical brain. It could well be an erroneous assumption. The brain could well be a manifestation of the mind.

By observing and trying to interprete the SPECT outcomes, we might well be like primitive man speculating on the nature of the sun or moon.

The 'mind' - as we think we know it - could well be:

"the process of illusion which Consciousness (unity) uses to 'amuse' itself: allows itself to 'believe' that it is separate, independent, disconnected" - as Nikka puts it.

Perhaps the most sophistocated tool to be used in examining the brain/mind interactions in the mind itself. The Buddha obviously thought so. He came up with some startling revelations with which modern science is only now concurring.

March 25, 2004
6:21 pm
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mj
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I guess I need to study the teachings of Buddha for his revelations. Tez, what do you think of antidepressants?

March 26, 2004
10:35 am
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mj
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I just read this article "Rejection really hurts" and thought I would pass it along for any interested parties.

http://www.neuropsychiatryrevi.....ction.html

March 26, 2004
9:54 pm
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mj.

You asked: "Tez, what do you think of antidepressants?"

Depending upon from which perspective I'm coming, I have several differing views about anti-depressants.

If a person is suicidal then I think they are of immense value.

If, in the long term, a person becomes totally dependent upon them to the exclusion of any cognitive therapy then I think that they can be a downright hinderance to that person's mental health and wellbeing.

If I am asked to explain how they work from a conventional scientific perspective, then I would say that they alter the brain chemistry to the extent that they inhibit the responses of the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain.

If I were to take a pseudo-Buddhist perspective, I would perceive that the depressed person was unable to see the mind's ignorance and delusional perceptions regarding the nature of the perceived overwhelming threat to the 'ego self' that is causing the depression and thus the consequent detrimental physical responses of the brain.

Perhaps, antidepressant drugs are neither 'good' or 'bad' of themselves. It is perhaps our subjective judgements about the way that they are used that determines our views about their worth.

March 27, 2004
8:24 am
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mj
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Thanks Tez

In truth, I do not like how I feel physically since starting wellbutron but then again, maybe with working with my counselor I will be able to modify my behavior while changing my changed emotional responses. I am already noticing that I go to bed much later and wake up early. I am trying to start a new business so this is probably a good thing as well.
I noticed last night that my husbands snide comments slid by without much reaction. I think I am on a much better path with ending a job that was against my moral values. I had a lot of changes all at once which I believe threw me into a chemical imbalance. I haven't had any suicidal thoughts since Sat. so maybe it is a good thing to get a little help from this drug at this time.

I really appreciate your support and guidance. Hugs

March 27, 2004
8:28 pm
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mj.

I think that I have just a small inkling of where you are coming from. Some years ago now, I had what is commonly called a 'nervous breakdown'.

I was a teacher of electronics and communications subjects in an Advanced Diploma course in one of our government funded Institutes of Technology. The students were ill-prepared to handle the course and my fellow colleagues just 'fudged' the exam results in order to retain sufficient 'bums on seats' to please the higher echelon. I tried to honestly assess the students and was denigrated and ostracized by my bosses, colleagues and students alike, for my trouble. In the end I went along with the flow. However, the internal conflict and cognitive dissonance that I experienced in my head drove me to the point where I had mental blackouts in the classroom and became totally dysfunctional.

I was immediately placed on sick leave in the care of a psychiatrist who was a dedicated 'pills' man. He put me on Prozak, Prothieden and a few other pills. I became a zombie. When I realized that he was not going to treat me with any form of psychotherapy, I objected. He said: "On what experiential and educational grounds are you challenging my authority" to which I replied: "I have a major in psychology from the Universtiy of Queensland" to which he replied: "I have a degree in medicine, post grad qualifications in Psychiatry and fifteen years experience in treating people in your condition". He thought that he had me stymied. I said: "Your diagnosis and treatment might be right and mine wrong or vice versa. But... either way it is my body that will pay the price of whichever treatment not yours. So I'm choosing psychotherapy from now on" to which he replied: "I've never seen anyone in your condition recover without drugs. I will not treat you your way. Before I say goodbye, I will give you one last piece of advice. Get your girlfriend to keep the medication that I prescribed handy and to watch you very carefully. Tell her to get you back to me as soon as you have a relapse."

That relapse never came. I went to work on myself. By reflecting, contemplating and meditating at depth, I looked at the events and my imaginings of the consequences of changing my situation, that had led up to my being so chronically depressed. Unwittingly, I had set myself up between a 'rock and a hard place'. It was a lose-lose situation that could only get worse. But fear, raw fear of not having an income and losing material things, as well as my girlfriend, kept me imprisoned in that situation. When I faced and challenged my fears and my value system, especially my self-evaluation processes, I soon saw the way out and took it.

Now in a much more precarious financial position, I am much happier and well along the road of recovery. I recently broke up with the lady in question(a 17 year long relationship). Though a very sad event, I am handling it quite well and life is going on into the next chapter without the doom that I had imagined happening all those years ago.

I have a predisposition to depression. I need to monitor my thoughts on a daily basis. At the moment I am in a very minor downer and I am doing something about it.

It is all about fear, craving, grasping, greed and self-centred preoccupation with the preservation of the unpreservable; the realization of the futility of which that can lead to depression and/or to the way out. In being challenged by recent events, I am choosing the 'active way out' of reflecting, contemplating and meditating on my present circumstances and my attitude to them - as well as fruitful courses of action to rectify the situation rather than choosing the 'reactive way out' of just helplessly slipping into 'victim mode' and then choosing to 'depress' my 'self'.

In the final analysis, I am finally coming to the realization of the ultimate truth, that, though I do exist, there in nothing that I can really lose and ... there is no independent or permanent Tez who can do the 'losing'. That is a very integrating and wholistic place to be - when I don't revert to my old well enshrined beliefs, that is. 🙂

March 28, 2004
9:39 am
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mj
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Thank YOU so much for sharing your strength, experience, and Hope.

So much Wisdom and common sense.
Thank you for being able to identify what I am going through. Thank you for pointing me in a better direction.

Love To YOU and Happiness in your Process. mj

March 29, 2004
1:33 pm
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eve
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Hugs mj,

I feel whith you. And I remember that it is easy to slide gently and unnoticed into depression. It would be so nice, if we could evaluate parts of our life, and then settle them and turn to an other part of our life for renovation and improvement. Like painting one part of a canvas after the other - and ending up whith a fine picture in the end.

But our life is more like a garden. The nice little yellow flower that you liked so much last year - spread its seeds all over the place and needs weeding. The rhododendron that you always dreamed of needs sooo much attention and fussing, because your garden gets too much sun, or has to much chalk. A lot of the things that will grow into a beautiful plants start off looking like useless lumps of brownish material, or like they'll never make it. And it takes years and years of tial and error, and experience, and friends that you can ask for help - but a garden is also fun on the way. And a good metaphor for keeping alert. The things you might believe you've taken care of - can develop a life of their own, be atacked by caterpillars or prove to grow in a way that doesn't suit you. I guess the real art of gardening is to find a way of improving the garden and enjoying the gardening on the way.

March 29, 2004
1:43 pm
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eve
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PS:
Propably nothing and noone can make me like slugs. And I loathe fighting them, too.

But occationally I can get a lettuce for myself if I do.

March 29, 2004
5:54 pm
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mj
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Yes, eve, we each have a garden within ourselves. It is a place no one else can visit. We can plant positive thoughts (flowers) or negative thoughts (weeds). Thank YOU for reminding me to tend to my flowers. Hugs and Best to YOU.

April 2, 2004
8:28 am
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eve
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Hey mj - how are you doing? I hope that you are silent, because you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun? Over here we have beautiful wheather and the sun feels very therpeutic for whatever problems bother me.

Sending you sunny greetings, eve

April 16, 2004
11:04 am
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mj
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Hi Eve,
Thank you for inquiring 🙂
Hope that you too are well.

Love and Best Wishes to All in your individual journeys of life.

I am getting my new business off the ground. I love the positive energy that surrounds me now. I have hope and a goal that keeps me focussed on each step.

I had an allergic reaction to the antidepressant on April 2, so had to stop taking it. I am learning that it is my own thoughts that create my desparation. Am working on stopping the negative when it appears and looking for a replacement of positive.

My Best to All of YOU.

April 16, 2004
3:26 pm
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Hey MJ, I was wondering where you've been! I'm really glad that your new business is doing well. Keep up that smile!

April 18, 2004
9:55 pm
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Hello MJ,,,nice to hear from you. I was wondering about you and how you were doing. Good luck with your new business!!! W.

April 19, 2004
6:35 pm
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mj
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Hi Gingerleigh and Wantabewell!

Thanks for your positive vibes!
Hope that YOU are Well.

August 13, 2004
10:38 am
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mj
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Hello fellow mentors/teachers/friends 🙂

Just popping in to share that "I" is alive and well. Thinking back on the past few years, I am so grateful for this site. When I felt alone, You were there to comfort. When I felt scared, you were there to protect. When the insane thoughts poured in, I was validated.

Thank You for caring and sharing in my journey of self discovery.

August 13, 2004
12:00 pm
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workinonit
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I have been here for three months now. I feel the same way. This site has helped me get through.

So can I assume by your question that you have discovered a truth for yourself?

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