OK, I Feel Upset. … Oh, Great!
It’s wonderful to be right in the middle of an upset.
What’s wonderful about that? Well, as I’ve said before, I can’t handle a vasana unless I feel upset in the moment.
(“Vasana” is a Vedantic term for a persistent reaction pattern triggered by a current upset which resembles a past upset.)
I cannot intellectualize an upset. I cannot think of an upset and flatten the vasana underneath it unless I actually do feel the upset in its full glory.
So I do feel upset, which means I have the opportunity to flatten the vasana.
Notice that we can take the attitude of welcoming an upset for exactly this reason: it’s THE time to flatten the vasana at its base. Welcome the unwanted guest.
I’m not going to rush through handling this upset because it’s too valuable a circumstance. I get to deal with the vasana, I get to go over the upset, I get to describe the stages of release. Much too valuable to rush.
Given that we know that the most demanding circumstances we will probably face in our lives are just ahead of us – disclosure, first contact, moving from duality to unity, Ascension – knowing how to flatten a vasana is absolutely, in my view, bootcamp training.
Once in my life, I’ve had my hair stand on end and I know that being in the middle of tremendous fright is no time to begin learning something. So let me practice on a garden-variety upset instead and be prepared for the really mind-bending situations I may face in the future.
First let me describe the upset and then walk through the steps I recorded earlier (1) for managing the upset.
The upset is that I’m separating from something, which is as yet poorly defined, and feelings are arising in me over the process of separation. The nearest I can come to describing what “it” is is this: My mail program has several folders and one of them is called “Alternative Press.” I already have stopped reading the mainstream media and watching most TV. My entire lifeline with the world beyond the 2012 Scenario lies in reading the emails that come in to that one folder.
They come from Truthout, Alternet, Common Dreams, Information Clearing House, Global Research, and other alternative news outlets. They mostly are pointing to the criminal or corrupt activities of the cabal and its supporters.
There is nothing in any of their reports that points to any knowledge of the 2012 scenario and I’ve felt more and more disconnected from them over time. At last I’ve decided that I need to let go of these non-2012-related analyses. I feel confident enough in the 2012 scenario not to need to follow the world’s news, even when reported from the alternative side of the good-and-evil fence.
However, walking away from that folder is what has produced this upset. That’s as much as I know about the situation going in: I know I’m upset; I know it relates to the news articles that end up in that folder; and that’s all I know.
Now I want to walk through the steps involved in the process I call “be with and observe.”
- Stand in the face of it, without reacting.
Ok, so the first thing is to stop whatever else I was doing and switch into “being and observation” mode. So I was moaning and griping to myself until I realized I was gripped by a vasana. The moment I realized it, I began to be with it and observe it.
- Observe what is happening to you internally.
I noticed I felt disgruntled, exposed, vulnerable. I notice I cannot be with these feelings very well. I want to DOOOOO something. I don’t like these sensations.
- Ask yourself precisely when the upset started.
I’m aware of precisely when the upset started. It started when Julia Roberts in the movie hauled out her laptop and began to write an email to the boyfriend she recently separated from. Now the upset can, many times, lift from seeing the precise moment when it started. Mine hasn’t, so I’ll continue.
- Try to put a name to it – dismay, horror, indignation?
Annoyance is a good word. Gripeyness. Irritability – yes, that’s the best word yet. I think irritability best expresses it. At this point too, the upset could lift but it hasn’t for me. However I know it happened when Julia started plunking away on her computer and that I feel irritable. Next step.
- Ask yourself what earlier, similar incident is in play here? Take the first thought you get.
Believe it or not, the earlier, similar incident that arises for me is the increasing separation I felt from my first wife, many, many years ago, which eventually led to separation and then divorce (she died some years ago so I don’t think mentioning it will cause any harm). That was the first thought I got – or rather picture, because I saw myself in our old home in Ottawa, Ontario.
That this is the earlier, similar incident at play here is completely unexpected and I could not have arrived at a sense that this was an issue if I had approached the matter logically or rationally. But it is the mind-picture that my mind tossed up to me when I asked it “What earlier, similar incident is at play here?”
I have no idea at this moment how the situation of Julia Roberts writing an email would bring up reminders of my first marriage. And I won’t even attempt to “think” about it. I’ll just let it be. This is not an intellectual process.
- Try it on for size.
Since I saw myself in the living room of my Ottawa home, I’ll go there in my mind. I see myself talking to my best friend from Vancouver. He was asking me some pretty intimate questions about my marriage, which was not doing so well at the time. Little did I know then that he was also sleeping with my wife. Oh, how foolish – and irritable – I felt afterwards when I found out. So irritability is the connecting link and brought that picture up.
[John raises a good point here: Did I feel betrayed? No, this was the era of free love in the early 1970s and my first wife (not my second, by the way) was at liberty to sleep with whom she wanted. It was the fact that my best friend had not told me he was relating to her before asking me such intimate questions that irritated me.]
- Observe whether entertaining it as the cause of your upset brings release.
OK, some of the irritability left so by trying the situation on for size I discovered that it did account for some of my irritation But I still feel upset.
It does not fully release me so let me try again.
So I ask my mind again to shoot up a picture of the earlier, similar incident.
For some reason I flash upon myself giving a radio talk show when I was seventeen years old on some international incident like the Cuban missile crisis. I was a member of the International Affairs Club at my high school and the teacher had arranged a radio show for us.
Somehow doing this – commenting on international affairs – fit for me. Talking on the radio was as if I had come home in some way. I had found what would become for me an identity. And here I flash on another reason why the breakup of my first marriage came up for me – because it too was an identity. That identity crumbled. And in my turning my back on “international affairs” now, I was again crashing an identity and a deeper and earlier-formed identity than even my first marriage was.
OK, so what I’m facing right now is the collapse of an identity. Yes, I feel increased release. Yes, this is definitely what is happening. Turning my back on current-affairs journalism which is not connected to the 2012 scenario shows up for my like crashing an early-formed identity.
- Keep going until all tension is gone.
I can stop now because I’m restored to a sense of being the container in which the upset is happening, rather than the upset itself. I could say that I’m restored to being the context for the upset rather than the contents of the upset. Now the upset is draining away from me and I’m quickly feeling “restored to Self.”
So this is the “be with and observe” process that I’m recommending others take on to give us a means of handling being reactivated by seeing a strange galactic or being asked to board a space ship or having a galactic extend a blue hand towards us for a handshake, with bulbous fingertips and a cold touch.
Surrender to the upset, feel it, name the feeling, allow the mind to shoot up the “earlier similar,” try it on for size, and watch the upset drain away. If you cannot do these things because the galactic is extending his hand, then just be with the situation. That alone will have the upset pass faster than reacting to it.
Now to return to the situation which I now see much more clearly.
Julia Roberts sitting down at her laptop reminded me of me sitting down at my computer as I’m doing now, writing you. When reminded of this work, I flash on feeling a loss of identity connected with my decision to withdraw from reporting news that has no explicit connection to the 2012 scenario.
I’ve been an international-affairs afficionado since my late teens. But now that identity has become too small for me. I feel confined.
Just as I left academia in the 1970s when the empirical-materialist paradigm at its base proved too confining, and enlightenment intensives when their paradigm became too small, so I’m now leaving international-affairs commentary generally until its paradigm embraces the galactic factor and Ascension.
OOOOKKKKK. Now I feel fine again. Restored to feelings of bliss and joy. This upset was an interruption in well-being. I could have multiplied it and sent it back down into memory to rear its ugly head again some time in the future.
But instead I’ve “experienced it through.” I may have flattened the vasana the upset gave rise to or I may have to experience the upset again some time in the future. If the latter, it will be far easier the second time. It will have lost some of its power over me.
This is the process I’m recommending to you as well to flatten the vasanas that are the chief obstacle to stepping into fearful situations, becoming permanently enlightened, and so many other circumstances, many of which we will encounter in the months and years ahead.
OK, now down to some work on First Contact and perhaps another article later.
Please don’t think somehow that I’m an “expert” in handling upsets. They’re as difficult and unpleasant for me as they are for you. I just know a few details about how to handle them. But they still trip me up and I look stupid in the middle of them and fumble at handling them.
Nonetheless, a vasana that is flattened is a vasana that Sri Ramana calls “destroyed.” You can’t “destroy” a vasana by confronting it head on. (Well, some people can, but I can’t.) The best way to “destroy” it is to let it be, be with it, and observe it, just as I’ve described here.