I wonder if sometimes we don’t even realize there’s another way? That it is possible to not be bound to compulsions /addictions, to certain ways of being, to identification, to depression or anxiety. There seems to be a complacency or acceptance with stuff that makes us suffer. Or maybe we like our fantasies and pretend world too much, not realizing how much suffering this brings us? I wonder if we are just so used to our various “have tos” and our various dramas that we assume that’s just how it is. I come across new things in my own patterning constantly- it’s all open for exploration.
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A few years ago, during the bedraggled final tatters of our relationship, my ex-partner and I were out walking our dog when we got into yet another heated argument. I can’t even remember now what we were disagreeing about, but as he asserted his view I asked, ‘But how do you know that’s actually the case?’
He replied, angrily and brim-full of conviction: “I know that’s how it is, because I AM RIGHT!”
Denial runs deep in our various cultures, and seems particularly prevalent just now. Climate change deniers are turning their backs on worldwide scientific consensus. There are those who deny that well-documented events – including the Holocaust – ever happened. Some even deny that the earth is round. The human mind, it seems, has an extraordinary capacity for denial, even of the most obvious facts.
Many spiritual teachings refer to the illusion of the separate self; the belief in being an isolated and deficient self seems to lie at the heart of our suffering. When we assume – or when life circumstances have led us to conclude – that we are unlovable, wrong, damaged or inferior, we are bound to suffer for as long as we continue to believe that assumption. Many of us know that suffering intimately, just as we know the relief that comes when we realize that we are not the person we have assumed ourselves to be.