Cultivating New Attitudes (part two)

Yesterday there was much discussion about what feelings we wanted to be experiencing. Instead of having the feelings that you want, you have to endure feelings that are something else, not pleasant or not to your liking. However, we note here that the “something else” that you receive in place of what you want, is not necessarily the opposite of the pleasant you desire to feel. For example, you could answer that question of not feeling happy without saying or meaning “I feel unhappy””. Just because you are not happy or more specifically, not experiencing the feeling of happiness, does not mean that you are unhappy.

Using informal unexamined logic; most people assume that if something is true, its opposite is false. If you are not this, then you are definitely its opposite. It might be the case where you are simply not experiencing happiness, and rather than experiencing unhappiness; you might feel like you are under some kind of anesthetic. In fact, when we talk about feelings, often people find themselves suffering because they are incapable of feeling.

The structure for a balanced outlook is complex. We can be shaken from balance, where natural happiness and peace are normal easily by inner and outer events including natural evolutionary awakening. In a deep place inside, everyone who is not awakened is spontaneously using a base illogical view regarding how they perceive they are alive from which extends many other wrong perceptions that produce suffering. In Buddhism, we call this fundamental illogic, your innate view. That is why the transformation into the enlightened state in your interior creates such a tremendous change. That programming of the innate inner view is gone. The continuous infusion of the illogical view dream state and all of its ramifications in perception is destroyed at the time of awakening.

Until that awakening, the perceptions, feelings, and resulting emotions are important indications of success as a human being. Experiencing high quality feelings becomes a goal for many seeking gratification of desires, not of material objects but now of positive emotions. Therefore, it becomes vitally important to gain skill and understanding in what prevents the quality feelings from being experienced. What prevents some from feeling love toward others becomes mixed with a fear that others are going to find out that they do not feel that genuine love. Trying to love, but not feeling love, but also being afraid that others will find that out can act as a further obstacle to producing that love. So, what else prevents you from feeling? What prevents you from feeling happy? What prevents you from feeling respected?

Some say there is a model somewhere out there, let us say of happy and its feeling or sensations of well-being. Someday we will have to discuss philosophical universals a bit more and the issues raised by Buddhists regarding universals. That is an interesting philosophical problem with universals, but let us just suppose for our informal logical discussion here that there is a model of happy out there, which is like a universal standard. You might have expectations of how you well you match that model of happy.

What prevents you from feeling satisfied with life? Perhaps the punishing distorted view of not seeing things as they are justifies and holds unhappy states of mind. However, if we see beneath the intricacies there is an important dynamic that prevents you from feeling by not allowing you to be here in the present moment. Yes, we see your body, yes we can hear your voice, but where are you? You are not here. You are not centered here in the present moment. The human mind has a very interesting permutation where you can be in your physical body right here, and your mind is either in the future or in the past.

Very often, when people live too much in the past reviewing memories and experiences as the method to understand their world and their place in it, they are never actually alive in the present moment. They are not connecting with the energy of the world and because they are not aligned with their energy to the world around them, they often say that they cannot feel anything.

Now, I know it is not easy to understand how someone could be physically present, but not actually here in their awareness. However, the dream and sleep states are examples of awareness that has gone somewhere else. When you are asleep, the you is not here but still people can see your body, isn't that so? However, at that time, you have no awareness of body or hearing, depending upon the depth of your sleep.

A partial departure would be like someone who is daydreaming. They can hear you, their eyes may be open, and yet their awareness is nowhere near that place, is that so? You can talk to them, and they may not hear you, or they may hear you and answer in a very dream-like state, and suddenly, they shake themselves, and say, "Oh, I must have been daydreaming." Like that, there are degrees and variations of physical presence and lack of awareness presence. Living in the past and too much fear for the future strains awareness and causes lack of orientation, anger, frustration and stated even more simply, lack of alignment with the energy of the world.

There is a famous story about one of the earlier Dalai Lamas; I will say the fifth Dalai Lama, a long time ago. One famous realized yogi of Tibet came to visit him. He was ushered into his presence, and this yogi began to chastise the Dalai Lama to the surprise of others. "You pretend to be here! You pretend to be right here in front of me, but actually you are down in the market buying curtains." The Dalai Lama erupted into laughter and said, "Exactly so. You are exactly right. I was not present." To be continued…

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