Our unconscious belief that we are the suffering
I went for dinner with a friend of mine last evening. We haven’t seen each other for about more than a year. And we spontaneously had a conversation about life, which eventually led to the topic of human suffering. It reminded me of one of my past experiences and I thought it could be nice to share it.
It was a few years ago when I went to an event concerned with a field of self-discovery. In all my life I went only to a few such events, for I never really felt attraction. And most of them were led by a man I deeply honour and I regard them as a part of my “phenomenology study”. Nevertheless, this one was worth the time and money, but above all valuable for me in terms of a profound realization I received.
Let’s call the topic of this realization “the essence vs. the suffering”.
It happened during a small collective exercise. There were about 150 people in the room and we were all encouraged to find a person that we believe represent our own essence. It was a while as I was looking around at all the participants and there were two people I took into account. But I wasn’t sure at all. Anyway, I walked to the one where the feelings were pulling me stronger. It was a guy who shared his childhood’s story in front of others just before the exercise started. He was raised by his grandparents because his parents couldn’t take care of him. I recognized a very sensitive part of him. A soft personality, raised in an aggressive environment. There was a lot of sadness and grief, every time his grandparents argued. He then runs into the garden and was praying that to stop.
And then another one, which I subtly considered before the exercise started. He somehow impressed me. Middle-aged, around 50, bald, looked like a monk and also my father a bit. Very rigid, a kind of a “strong-wall men” like our fathers are (no emotions allowed, no tears allowed, no vulnerability allowed). But inside very sensitive as I could personally experience. By the way, he was the only one in the room who said before the exercise, that he cannot find his essence. While still keeping himself at a certain distance from others and with his phone headset inside his ear.
Long story short, the exercise ended up with at least 90% of all participants accumulated in a circle around two people – a man and a woman with unfortunate childhood, which they shared in the front before the exercise. They were looking each other in the eyes, the rest at them. I was first standing next to them, then I moved to the other guy.
I saw in what trap I held myself at that time. But not clearly yet…
The bottom line is that at that time I wasn’t able to recognize the essence at all. Due to the charge of the unintegrated past which I was misplacing the essence for. Unconsciously balancing between the two poles which we all know very well. They represent the distortion which lies between us and our true-self, or essence if you want. Deep down, they represent the behavioural reflection of our physical parents…
And we are completely identified with this distortion. With our “shadow”, with the suffering. We either identify with our unintegrated child-self or with our personality, what some call the ego. Either the repressive nature or the reactive nature of the shadow. Emotions or the mind. But our true essence is fading away…
What was interesting is that just a few people in the room were not part of “the crowd” that was focused on its own suffering. And even if they were not able to recognize their true essence yet, they moved their way towards it. Even if not-knowing yet, where it will lead them. Only recently did I finally realize, that there was nobody in the whole room who would recognize his own essence.
What I’m trying to point out is that what unconsciously connects people nowadays is our suffering. The heaviness of the collective shadow frequency field. This is what keeps the group consciousness held together. It holds us connected emotionally. And there’s nothing wrong about it. We are all emotionally connected. Unfortunately, for most through our unintegrated emotions – the ancestral fear, anger and grief. The point is that without “leaving” this field, without moving away from its hold over us, we cannot ever enter the unified field (the adult consciousness).
We are still buried and focused on our history. In the World War the 2nd, the 1st, in our unfortunate childhood, unhappy ex-relationships, in past disaster’s, cataclysms, tragedies and all the “sentimentality” and drama which the TV news are full of daily. We are still drowning in what happened 5, 10, 20 years ago in our lives. Unconsciously feeling guilty for what happened. Without realizing that nobody made any mistake and that all happened as it was meant to happen. And if somebody even harmed the other, unintentionally and from a pure lack of awareness, then only because it was meant to be like that. To enable the specific person, through forgiving the other, become the one he is all along.
Connected to this topic, it was some time ago I came across a short article of an American family psychologist John Rosemond. It was called “Your kids should not be the most important in the family”. Very shortly, he instigates a question of the children’s priority in family life’s hierarchy. I quote a short message: “I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, ‘Who are the most important people in your family?’ Like all good moms and dads of this brave new millennium, they answered: ‘Our kids!’ ‘Why?’ I then asked. ‘What is it about your kids that gives them that status?’ And like all good moms and dads of this brave new millennium, they couldn’t answer the question other than to fumble with appeals to emotion…“
He continues to a conclusion, that “The most important person in a family are the parents”. At the time I came across this article, I didn’t agree at all. But some time has passed by, along with some tough moments which opened me to a deeper understanding. Now, even if it sounds to me a bit rigid and retrogressive in some parts, I tend to agree with almost all his words.
We are all spinning around in the vicious circle of our own suffering, which we, therefore, cannot transcend. Inside the endless cycles of desires & wishes, runaways, pain & pleasure, victimization and avoidance of “that what is coming towards us”. Unconsciously identified with our unintegrated child-selves or personalities and projecting this misunderstanding of ours onto our children. Thus propagating even more of chaos, confusion, dishonesty and strengthening the victimization patterns down the family lineages over and over again. Instead of facing it and integrating what lies on the way.
Perhaps there is time to stop being engaged in our history so obsessively. The history is gone, it’s dead. It only lives in our memories. And we all probably need to focus more on what is important. On what is here now. And I’m not saying that we should forget the history or ignore the suffering that’s happening in the world now. Not at all. That’s another extreme which we, in our unconsciousness, propagate nowadays. If we are not drowning in the suffering, then we react to it – by trying to oppress it all somewhere into the unconscious. We certainly have to look at our history and suffering and honour it deeply to move forwards. I just point out that our addiction to suffering is exactly the reason why we cannot see forward. We cannot see that there actually is something forward – where we, instead of drowning in our sorrows or fighting with the past could move.
We all do this. Up until one day. When we stop running away – from people, from situations, from pain, from facing our suffering and from whatever life places in front of us. We graciously receive what is being given to us.
And then we begin to integrate. To contain inside the distortion made up of our suffering, which lies between us and “that what waits behind the suffering”. The essence. Slowly, day after day, we move closer to the magic hidden behind the pain, suffering and distortion of the past. And oh dear! – is it an immense and beautiful state of being. Once we’ve felt it, even just for a few seconds, we can never forget it anymore. And if we are bold enough and determined, nothing can stop us from reaching that state. For deep down, we are all innocent. Pure and innocent children of Life.
All the “unconscious patterns” are nothing but our unintegrated child-self and adolescent who were constantly working for us in the past – to become one day who we are. And thus they will stop “blocking” us (means relieve and let us live our own life) at the moment we will see and acknowledge the brilliant job they have done for us. For all the time of our life. We just didn’t see them and therefore they don’t feel respected and loved…