Paul's Journal

COVID infection.

  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good if there are unpleasant sensations.

  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good if I have to do things.

Maybe one day there’ll be no unpleasant sensations and I won’t have to do things any more. Then I can feel good! As long as nothing else comes up :thinking:


If I let myself feel good, I’ll feel good.

If I don’t, I won’t.


Feeling good is easy. Feeling bad is hard work!

  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good because something bad happened in the past.

  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good because something bad might happen in the future.


  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good because only children and fools are allowed to feel good.
  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good because someone might be better than me.
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  • I am the kind of person who will not feel good unless I have a guarantee of good health forever.

Possibly my source of all feeling bad “I am the kinda person who wants to continue feeling bad because if I were feeling good, I would relax on a hammock on a beach even if I knew a nuke was headed my way…as in, I would not be motivated to take action against a detrimental situation”


Lots of thoughts on this one… It seems a super common issue, some variation of becoming a ‘leaf blowing in the wind’ or a ‘actualist hobo’ or ‘being walked all over’.

It seems to me that these kind of objections to feeling good are primarily a defence mechanism against change, as in if I am to feel good each moment again that represents a change away from ‘normal’ and I just don’t know for sure what that will look like, it’s new territory.

So to counter this fear of the unknown I keep myself right where I am by coming up with these what ifs, which upon closer inspection they all fall apart. Yet this doesn’t seem enough, as in intellectually trying to disprove these what if scenarios still keeps me sitting back in the armchair instead of actually doing something.

Perhaps in some twisted way that is exactly my agenda, that by proposing never ending thought experiments and trying to counter them I can continue to sit back and avoid change (avoid feeling good).

The belief seems that I require the good and the bad feelings in order to function in the world, for motivation, for keeping myself safe, for keeping myself on track etc. That without the good/bad feelings I go off the rails in one way or another. It’s probably quite a stubborn belief because it’s the thrust of ‘humanity’ as a whole, this addiction to the good/bad. This is what life was believed to be all about for thousands of years, what all the ‘wisdom’ centres around, that life is fundamentally a battle between the good and evil.

I also believe in this, that feeling good each moment again come what may will in one way or another send me off the rails, that the good/bad feelings are required.

But it is nice to put this to myself - To really consider the possibility that ALL of that ‘wisdom’ is simply wrong, that indeed nothing untoward will come from committing to feeling good. That there isn’t some cosmic power that will destroy me the second I abandon the good/bad feelings. That the only thing holding me back from enjoyment and appreciation is me, and for no good reason either, only because of belief.

This requires naiveté though, it is such a naive thing to allow, that all of the ‘wisdom’ is just plain wrong, that all of those millions of people across thousands of years were wrong, that all of those reasons I have for not allowing feeling good are completely wrong. And wrong in the sense that there is actually nothing at all stopping me from feeling good and furthermore that there is absolutely no danger/drawback to feeling good each moment again.

The question is how to arrive at this seeing concretely, it seems to me that it must be all about action, as in proving to myself through experience that indeed it is safe to commit to feeling good each moment again. At the same time seeing what all this intellectualising is really all about - keeping myself safe from any change.

So can I allow myself to feel good now despite of X, actually do it, and then can I see that all is still well, and now can I see that X was merely a belief all along? And so on…

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I can somewhat see why Geoffrey found it so hilarious prior to self immolation, seeing this drama of ‘me’ being so precious…
If I just allow the possibility that all that was ever ‘in the way’ and causing such mayhem has the consistency of a cloud of smoke, and not even!

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Haha, that’s a very familiar one :smiley: I love Kuba’s answer. It covers most of what I wanted to say, plus a bit more, but here’s why I’m 99% convinced that ‘I’ am not needed any more, if ‘I’ ever was.

  • Looking back over my life, can I think of a single moment where I can say “Gee, I’m glad I wasn’t feeling good when that happened”? :thinking: Not a single one. That covers a lot of moments :laughing: What does that tell me about the present and the future? :thinking:

  • Can I think of moments when things would have turned out better if I hadn’t been feeling angry, jealous, frustrated, anxious, wounded, spiteful, etc? Too many to count. What does that tell me about the present and the future?

  • Can I think of moments when I put myself in danger, or put other people in danger, while in the grip of some passion? Too many to count. What does that tell me?

  • Is there anything I can do while feeling bad that I can’t do as well or better while feeling good? What about extremes like being physically attacked? I know I could defend myself better or disable someone more humanely (if I had to) if I felt no fear or rage. How many people have been left dead or rotting in jail after a night out turned ugly for some stupid reason? It doesn’t happen because people are feeling good :smiley:

  • When you feel good, are you passive and incompetent? I doubt it. I’m not. I do things better, easier.

There’s only one reason why I’m 99% sure and not 100% sure that everything in my life would have been better without ‘me’. If I hadn’t felt love, desire, lust, pining, possessiveness, jealousy, competitiveness, etc, in the early stages of a relationship, I don’t know if it would have stuck. Maybe, maybe not.

If I think it through rationally, I’d still be happy and harmless, so would it matter if it wasn’t with that particular person? :thinking: I’m not entirely rational though, so it’s still only 99% :smiley:


This one I have had going on for a while, it would be great to finally put it to rest. The way it plays out in my life is that I feel that without the motivation of the good/bad feelings or various components of my social identity (the responsibilities and obligations etc) I would no longer take part in the activities that I care about, for example my BJJ training.

I have been reading this book on the imposter syndrome and the writer mentions something interesting, she writes that many people with this tendency justify the pressure they put on themselves as being the very reason for their success, that it is because of their terrible fear of failure that they succeed.
She makes a counter point though, that the reason they succeed is actually because they are the kind of person who cares about whatever the activity is, and that the pressure is only halting their ability to do well in their field.

This made the whole issue flip upside down for me, because before it was as if I needed something external to myself in order to sustain my interest. As if deep down I have no interest at all in the activity and the only thing driving my involvement is the good/bad feelings or various beliefs.

Whereas I can see that it is the other way around, I care about this activity already, it is one of the things I find fascinating and engaging, the good/bad feelings and the various beliefs get in the way of this fascination and involvement flowing freely.

It kind of circles around to what @claudiu mentioned recently :

Yea and I find when life is living me at its best, I experience myself as more like myself, as I ought to have been the whole time! As opposed to less like myself. It is being closer to that which I already have been being anyway.

So it’s not like when I am feeling happy and harmless I am all of a sudden some alien that no longer relates to anything that was happening previously, even in the PCE it’s not like this. Instead I find this genuine me that was blocked by all this other BS previously, it is more caring not less caring.

Is this all relating to the belief that caring about something means being prepared to suffer over something? That my suffering is the measure of my caring. What if this could be demonstrated to be false :thinking:

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Again, 100%. So many good things I thought were motivated by feelings or needed my feelings to go well don’t at all. It’s natural to assume that until you’ve got better vantage point for comparison. Feeling good as a baseline makes it so clear that ‘I’ am a hindrance. I am interjecting myself into every moment and jumping around, waving my arms in it for no one’s benefit! It’s not my fault. Blind nature put this insane, insatiable monkey here, and it happens to be ‘me’. That’s the bad news. The good news is the same as the bad. It’s all down to ‘me’.

Not only related to it, that is definitely the crux of it for me.

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There is also this second component that comes up for me here. It’s like I don’t want to allow myself autonomy because I fear that without the morals/values etc providing some kind of external structure/control to my life, I will also end up going off the rails.

Which very much seems like a silly either/or dilemma, as if without the morals and values there is just tumbleweeds rolling about whereas actually there is so much more, there is an entire human being that is capable of care and consideration. The removal of the external structure doesn’t leave a zombie behind, it makes way for something way better.

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Yeah, I think we have to put more stock in our actual experience than in what the imagination dredges up. In your best moments, are you uncaring or zombie-like?

Neither am I.

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Yeah and the interesting thing is that even in a PCE with the identity in abeyance it is nothing like that.

It makes me think of something Richard mentions in his journal, to never surrender to anyone or anything.

This fear has a flavour of having to surrender, like ‘I’ am going away and leaving this blank canvass.

But it seems to be the other way around, when ‘I’ go into abeyance then the false is out of the way and something genuine is now in place, there is no void left behind.

And this genuine me is very much involved in this life, in the people around me, the situation etc

Exactly. It only seems like a “void” or a “blank canvas” or an emotionless version of the “real world” because that’s how ‘I’ imagine ‘my’ absence. The fact of it is nothing like that, as you know!

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I am the kind of person who can’t be bothered to notice the sparkling, magical wonderland I’m living in.