A question has been asked in regard to my spiritual biography, or timeline, as part of an upcoming interview with Jerry Katz. All that I have been able to come up with is a kind of curiosity. Where does the impulse to seek, or anything else for that matter (to love, to work hard, to play, to learn to fly), come from? I don’t know where this came from, or where it started, was the best answer I could think of, but it seemed certain that a better response was hoped for, and that I should be able to come up with such. Read more
Rowing, In and Out of Confluence
That self is still unfindable, and Scott Kiloby’s Unfindable Inquiries can help to see that all our deficient selves are but one missing person. There are 21, and counting, excellent facilitators that can help you look to see if you can actually find, whatever seems stuck, problematic, needed, or believed in your day-to-day experience.
I am resigning from Living Inquiries, effective July 1st, and will no longer, or very rarely, be offering the Unfindable Inquiries as part of the sessions we all have been engaging in. I will continue to offer what I have been offering for quite sometime now, whatever you want to call it or name it. There was some veering off script, and many wonderful experiences had, but having veered off, there’s no pull to wander back. It has been a great trip, to be here with so many, other Facs and Scott Kiloby included, but someone seems to have left the island.
It bears repeating: There are many competent Living Inquiries Facilitators that are willing to look in this way. Take full advantage, fearlessly. I’ll still be continuing with sessions, just looking–in whatever way comes up. Feel free to contact me, and see what is new at The Deepest Peace. We have nothing to lose, because there is nothing or no one to defend, protect, or to promote.
Truman Burbank: Somebody help me, I’m being spontaneous!
Young Truman: I want to be an explorer, like the Great Magellan.
Teacher: [indicating a map of the world] Oh, you’re too late! There’s nothing left to explore!
Boulder, CO Compulsive Intensive with Scott Kiloby
Awhile back, I wrote about the impact of the Compulsion Inquiry on my life, and on the lives of others we’ve worked with live and in sessions. You can read all about it here, in general, and its relationship to the homeostatic body here. The point is, we’ve seen some good come from the CI, for all kinds of people with all kinds of compulsions and all kinds of addictions. If you’re interested in finding out what this is all about, I hope you’ll join Scott and I in Boulder, CO, on March 1-3. Maybe you’re addicted to a substance or an activity. Maybe there is something you’d like to think about or act upon…just a little less compulsively. This is what we look at with the CI. We’re leading away from compulsion and addiction, towards freedom.
There are some spots left, and you can register at ScottKilobytalks.com. Pretty sure you’ll be glad you came. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions. Here are three posts that explain more about the CI:
The Compulsion Inquiry~Self as Contraction, Manifesting as Compulsion
Homeostasis and Compulsive Behavior
Hope to see you there.
The Enneagram, Core Stories, and Forgiveness
There is this belief, resulting in recurring suffering in relation to, what is referred to in these circles as the core deficiency story. No one comes to the inquiries looking for the “brilliant genius,” or the “devoted peacemaker.” This makes sense in the same way psychologists do not tend to see fully integrated, content individuals. The concern here is with the concept of the inevitability, or necessity, of eventually meeting that core root of suffering and its attendant identification as if it were a requisite, necessarily painful, and therefore noble, right of passage.
When we overlay the Enneagram on this trend, what is implied is divisive differences, mainly towards the negative connotation. Fours are hopelessly dramatic, fives are frustratingly mental, and so on. Our defense mechanisms are maddeningly consistent, and ultimately at the source of all inner and outer conflict. Our compensatory style is the way we erroneously assume to protect ourselves from the world, and it is what others find to be difficult about us in relationship. It is the card you wear on your forehead in this game/life of Liars’ Poker. We cannot see it, yet we lead with it in all our interactions. Others can quite clearly see it–it’s right there on your forehead–and relate to us accordingly.
The suggestion here is to level the playing field of such divisive differences–by simply stopping, right here and right now, and fully accepting our own inherent human frailty, in whatever way that manifests in our interactions with the world, thereby creating a more compassionate and utilitarian perception of that world, and the people who appear in it. For instance, “So it seems that I am overly needy (or distant, or unreasonable) in my relations with others.” Then go from this insight/confession, to something as simple as, “Ah, there it is.” One need not be a grasping drama queen, nor a cold-hearted son of a—, or an unmitigated tyrant. See that this doesn’t imply an overarching, fixed and unacceptable identity, but simply a quirky proclivity to respond, a perceptual filter. The implication of the core story is that we will meet, just past the gates of hell, our festering inner nemesis and wrestle with it mightily until it is vanquished, and forever laid to rest (dramatic overlay added by this sometimes-four author). In short, the assumption is–there will be blood. Must we hang ourselves from a cross for our apparent sins?
“Yeah, I kinda suck at that” is an astonishingly simple yet profoundly forgiving way to view the way we show up in this comic-tragic play. We all come up short, one way or another. Knowing and allowing this is how we see we’re all in this together. Not all personal defense styles, such as despots and serial killers, will be subsumed under the designation of quirky, but there’s definitely a core deficiency story in there somewhere that was not inquired into, nor accepted.
The other side of the coin is to see these idiosyncratic proclivities as gifts–not as lifelong curses, but as the offerings we give back to the world. We do not have to do battle with our theoretical disabilities if we are willing to see the inherent strength or talent that is hidden just underneath. Perhaps Shakespeare was a four, Einstein was a five, and Mother Theresa was a two. Go with whatever is annoying about yourself, rather than suffer interminably in the role of misfit.
In relationship, use the acceptance of your own “failings” to happily allow others to be exactly as they are. See the strengths and talents that are barely obscured behind their best defense. Our core stories can all too easily become another’s deal breaker, and vice versa. The reversal of this perception is called forgiveness–the capacity and willingness to see beyond appearances–and it begins at home. Look right at the one you love, or the one you cannot tolerate (often one and the same?), and see that the love you feel for the first is what the latter desperately needs. Both reveal the world as it is, within and without. Remove the Ace of Spades from your forehead, and stand naked before kings and jokers alike. Thy kingdom come.
Let Go Or Be Dragged
After a weekend of seeing people from all walks of life go through the Compulsion Inquiry (CI), intermingled with the Unfindable Inquiry (UI), it is apparent that we’re all holding something back, so to speak. And when that point of retention is found and released, great relief can be found and witnessed. You might even call what’s left peace, freedom, or happiness.
It could be said that what is being held onto is a definition of ourselves, an identity that consists of what we think we want or need to be happy, what we’ve decided we don’t want, and the image we carry of ourselves that must be just so, a carefully constructed amalgam of comforts and aversions. And so we behave accordingly. Multiple comforts equals maximum peace. So-called adverse situations create tension, anxiety, anger, and fear. What happens when we stop running continually towards a perceived sense of comfort? When we become willing to NOT turn away, and have a go with the underlying physical sense of discomfort which is driving all this running towards or away from? The zig and the zag relax into a steady baseline of rest.
The CI helps us to let go of the things, substances, activities and circumstances we are absolutely sure we need. We see our comfort zone–a drink in the evening, comfort foods, the perfect companion or lover, and the more obvious compulsions that occupy our time, money, and interest. Whatever it is you think you need; whatever discomfort it is you think you cannot or will not tolerate–those are the “yes, buts” that keep us from freedom, from the peace that surpasses all understanding. Some of them are subtly filed under “Yes, I want this, but the wanting is not really a problem.” Some of them are life or health threatening addictions. Either way, it has been witnessed this weekend that giving up our perceived sources of comfort, even a cookie, is both surprisingly effortless, yet somehow hooked up to a substratum of intense, heretofore unseen sensations that often carry a mighty and surprising pinch.
The UI cuts through the identification we have constructed around these substances and activities, through the behaviors and situations we avoid, and those we cannot or will not stop. Essentially, can you find the one who wants or needs this or that? And can you find the one who chooses as such, or controls the either the behavior driven by these mandates or the situations or circumstances that arise? If not, what is left but what is happening right now? Who could not want that?
The CI shows us the areas in which we are still insisting that life be a certain way, our MDR of perceived comforts. It has the capacity to set us free from that dogged sense of my will; not thine. The suffering that is engendered by the illusion of my will is seen and deconstructed at its root. The UI leaves the whole premise of struggle behind. There’s very little identity left that could quarrel with any of this. The absence of any argument with what is heralds the end of seeking and the suffering that accompanies that movement away from the home we never left.
These are only words, so the mind can get curious enough to look and see. The experience itself needs no words, and no convincing or understanding is necessary at that point. A smile is enough. See for yourself.
There is a way of looking, or adding onto the experience while looking, that can in fact intensify the energetic component. At a certain level (using the term as a way of speaking about this, but not assuming), stories can come up, Velcroed to bodily sensations, and then one jumps to the conclusion that something has been found. For instance, an image of Mom or Dad, or a small bewildered child is seen, and the body sensation can get very powerful. If one looks at the image, and watches the mind add the words, “core wound,” or “unresolved childhood issue,” or any psychological, conceptual overlay, there can be a kind of unseen dramatization of something that is much simpler.
There is some usefulness in seeing these images as a way to unhook them from a larger deficiency story. In other words, once seen the impact is diminished, and the belief in the power of the tragic story loses its appeal. So the childhood images come up, unbidden. It happens all the time. Just look. And listen to the words. Can we let them go and just experience what’s happening as it is, without this overlay? The simplicity lies just underneath that complexity.
The inquiries are not therapy, not psychological shovels. They are a way of seeing through these age-old assumptions. I am this way because…It is an argument with the past, fighting with ghosts, and ultimately reaffirms separation and suffering.
It is a tremendous relief to be freed from the idea that the past irrevocably warped us in some way, and then to take that a step further, unencumbered by family or relationship drama, and step into this wide open space, into the simplicity of what is happening right now. Can you feel that without the past? Without the psychological assumptions? Go ahead and cry, but keep looking…is that really attached to the sensation, or does the mind want to complicate and make special what might otherwise pass right through, without fanfare?
Perhaps we could use the more neutral term, “conditioning,” simply pointing to the mind’s tendency to conceptualize and add identity to every experience. Just notice the tendency.
This is not to suggest that the past be ignored, suppressed, or altered in any way. Nor is it a suggestion to “get over it.” It is instead, a way to be free of the past, free of the idea of “damaged goods.” Maybe you are not that. Maybe you are something far grander and not limited, or wedded to, any psychological definition of what hell might look like. Heaven is found right here, right now. There is nowhere else to look.
This Be the Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
Relationship and the Unfindable Self; Movements in the Mind
“See all suffering, doubts, questions, problems, issues, imagined attainments and losses as movements in the mind. The are all thought generated. Apart from thoughts, those things have no existence whatsoever. Nail this insight completely. Do not move from this until it is absolutely clear. There is nothing wrong with the body, mind, world or other people at any time. Fighting with those things is completely futile. All problems are the mind’s labels, judgments and interpretations. We must see that all problems are sustained and created by the mind which is fabricating them. That is one aspect. Believing the thoughts to be true is where the real bondage arises, because if you do not believe them, they have no power. But first you need to clearly see what you are dealing with—thoughts, pure and simple.” ~ John Wheeler, Right Here, Right Now.
“…nothing wrong with the body, mind, world or other people at any time.” Come join in the conversation at our newly-created Facebook group: Relationship and the Unfindable Self, where we discuss the inquiries developed by Scott Kiloby, and how they can be used to see relationship as that everyday, unavoidable and inevitable experience which points back to our true nature, and away from the notion of the separate, isolated individual. You know, the one with the problems…another thought believed.