What has been the most persistent cause that throws you off feeling good?
(Eg: Need for love; traumas like betrayal; social issues; financial security; familial responsibilities; health issues; fear of living and uncertainty or existential dread; nostalgia; FOMO and YOLO; death etc.)
What understanding about it so far that helped you become less prone to its attacks?
What has been the most persistent cause that throws you off feeling good?
For me, it’s hands down morality.
- I’ve become okay with the unavoidability of it while being a self.
- Feeling happy actually makes me less prone to its attacks, which acts as incentive to feel good.
- Not being in conflict with it or not trying to change it makes it go away easily.
- It’s “me” that’s playing the mischief, when it’s weak it’s easy to let it go.
- Cognitive dissection of why, what, social underpinnings of it etc also played a part in losing its grip.
- When feeling bad about it, calm observation makes it go away easily.
these questions are a big help Kiman …
is it possible that you would please write an example , an example of this [ morality ] which is principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior…
because i learn mostly when there is an example …
i hope you did not actually experienced these !
These are very heavy examples…i felt a little bit empathy !
appreciate Kiman for sharing these with us …
this part number 5 is the most difficult one for me …
but Feeling happy, calm observation , not trying to change it , and knowing that It’s “me” that’s playing the mischief…these are really really
helpful Kiman …
What might be causing you trouble in this area? I’d be interested in hearing.
i have to think about this so i can write about it …
it may take a while …but thank you edzd for your interest in hearing !
In general: any and all selfish and delusional pursuit of happiness that is not appreciation and enjoyment of the raw sensate present moment.
In specifics: modern addictions that keep us enslaved and distracted from the raw present moment: social media, digital entertainment, pursuit of social status and power, pornography, comparison to other, etc.
I think the common suggestion to forcefully remove the distractions upon realising how much time they rob from us is a potent solution. Like, remove TV from your home, install site blockers etc.
It’s not wholesome in that it’s not effortless, but it’s better than riding the never-ending cycles of getting pulled into it and feeling bad.
More importantly, that will help to squarely face whatever underlying emotions(boredom etc) that are making us seek distractions.
Some status is required for a comfortable life. But the bar is not high. What feelings are driving you to seek power? You feel your future is threatened without power? Do you live in a rough neighbourhood?
Is that feeling to seek power a reaction to your being bullied back in childhood or being mistreated by fellow humans now?
You love the feeling of dominance and control? How does the feeling of control feel, experientially? What does lack of it feel like? Does the feeling correspond to reality or is it irrational? Does it demand far too much from you to possess that for the little practical benefit it offers?
Observe what genres you watch. See what they reflect: dominance/submission/intimacy/motherly love/masochism.
Examine your ideas of manliness, what a man means, signs of self-hatred and feeling of rejection, trauma of past rejections turned into subtle hatred, need for control as a substitute to need for acceptance…
Whether you seek acceptance from the partner in an intimate setting because you don’t accept yourself for what you are.
Comparison is self-bashing. It’s again a need to be accepted, fear of rejection. Envy is also the same.
All in all, observing your thoughts and emotions help notice the dysfunctional and dissatisfactory patterns. Then either they drop away or the attention shifts to the real cause behind the feeling of lack.
Push factor to become actually free is the dissatisfaction of the real world, pull factor is the PCEs. Try exercises like keeping everything aside for a while and try having PCEs or EEs, by just enjoying the rain and its pitter-patter or the landscape around, sounds of birds and occasional passing by vehicles etc.
@being.simon and @Kiman
The problem with sort of advice is that it has the danger of confusing actualism with a kind of morality. Ones actualism method then becomes an exercises in self-discipline and control, which is getting off the mark.
It is always this moment whether you are watching TV or the leaves falling outside, so I certainly wouldn’t make any strong admonitions about the entertainment activities you mentioned.
Of course it does make sense to think of whether one’s compulsive indulging in web-surfing, social media, porn etc. is truly making you happy and harmless. It can definitely help to take a break or moderate these things if you are overdoing them and spend time getting more in touch with one’s thoughts, feelings and senses.
As for social status and comparison. These are a fundamental social identity building blocks - best seek to understand how they operate rather than attempt to purge them. They are ‘you’ at a deep level - not simply a bad habit that you need to kick.
@Kiman yeah that approach of ‘watching how you tick’ in regards to all these issues makes sense.
@Srinath I don’t get the morality part. @being.simon said he’s feeling addicted and distracted by various modes of entertainement. Isn’t it better to remove whatever that is causing distraction and face the underlying emotions squarely?
Distractions always act as a patch-up solutions to listlessness, boredom, inability to not do anything. So when the distractions are removed, the said emotions would be faced.
Facing emotions that underlie the need to seek distractions actually removes the need for self-discipline and control.
So I interpreted the danger as only a possibility, not a certainty, depending on what originates those measures/strategies.
Has anyone mentioned yet that the cause of unhappiness is simply trying to be something you aren’t? You’re just a dude with certain affinities and limitations living under a roof alone or with a few people located within a particular part of a particular jurisdiction which itself is located nowhere in particular in the grand vastness of it all; employed to perform certain tasks on scheduled days at a particular rate with only a finite number of heartbeats left; a heart that does still beat each time in time to everything else that’s happening in the universe. That’s what you are. But what are you trying to be?
Personally, I was speaking of my past, not present
But you are completely right. These are great pointers to dive deep and finding the underlying psychological drives.
And as both of you say, in general, acting out these things consciously with awareness starts to sort them out.
I also believe these things simply must be burned out until we have enough experience of them not fulfilling us until we can accept abandoning them and lose interest.
@Kiman my bad for not reading the OP, so I’ll need to back-pedal a little here - without necessarily nullifying the gist of my post. I guess this is about what Simon thinks he struggles with (or used to struggle with). That is always a highly personal matter and not something I’d like to call into question.
Besides my sloppy reading, I think it was the way Simon had written it that made me think he was espousing a general view about the practice of actualism in the modern world, rather than his own personal struggle with potentially addictive media. And it was here that I detected the problem. You have to remember that actualism is always threatening to turn into morality in ones hands. The cunning identity is always trying to turn it into a version of itself. Its your job to spot this and desist from going there, over and over.
My experience with entertainment et al. was that yes, it did help to curb mindless and compulsive activities of all kinds. That would allow me to see underlying emotions that I was trying to avoid and to become increasingly aware of this moment of being alive. But it didn’t help beyond a certain point. If I got too strict about it then the spontaneity and ease would be gone. I found moderation to be work better.
But look that was me. There’s no one size fits all. If you found that you benefitted from a stricter media ‘fast’, then I would be good to hear about it.
Oh. Sorry it was a general open ended question apropos to everyone.
The most persistent cause of unhappiness for me is when something bad happens (including unearthed memories and worries) and my awareness (if you will) shrinks to being just me against the world. It’s all rather silly as I need not be a dude struggling with survival and status concerns if I don’t want to be. But during those times, I forget it’s a simple choice between accepting how I am here alive and well at this moment happening everywhere simultaneously and continuously without bounds or being a rat in a cage fighting for alpha rat status.*
This most often occurs at a poker table. It also occurs when my desires for a perfect relationship meets reality whether in real life or when alone and something made be think about it. And it occurs in the presence of pretty women who seem able to distort my priorities quite a bit. It can also occur around men who’s status would make them desirable friends even though I don’t function like a networker at all. And it can occur while reading News stories.
I noticed another one tonight. When things go really bad and poker is a good proxy for this. When you lose a big pot it can feel like you just got robbed. I have an inherent belief that someone is in charge and I ask variations of those questions: “Why me?” or “Why now?” So that’s another cause for happiness: Belief that someone is in charge of the universe. Related to that is the belief that I deserve fair treatment or even special treatment.
One I failed to mention was morality before. When I witness or read about a person doing destructive things, I am outraged at their behavior. I feel they have broken a social contract. I suppose this is the belief that we are all bound to one another morally; that we have obligations towards one another. That doesn’t quite feel on the money. There has to be a better way to categorize the feeling/belief.
I’ve had a version of this, like “how can people be so obtuse?”
Callous too. the obtusenes is always callousness anyways. Valuing the well being of others so little that one’s own identity takes priority. Always triggering. Reading the news or sitting with Qanon sympathizers are reliable ways to find those triggers.
After allowing myself to calm down, the next thing I do is try to make sense of it as quickly as possible. The tactic I find myself settling into is marveling at how stupid the human animal is. This perspective is difficult though, because, I simultaneously recognize the person in question to be a stupid animal yet realize fully that I am a member of the same species. Inevitably, the question arises: Why am I able to think clearly and they aren’t. After all, it’s not difficult. This is an ongoing investigation. Currently, I regard myself to simply be several degrees smarter than them. Yet this is unsatisfying too. Because I know of many high IQ people who hold ludacris positions. It’s a mystery making it difficult to process.
Once I run into this wall, I step back and recognize how my fear of stupidity* is ruining this moment.
*Another persistent cause of unhappiness. This one related to morality. It’s interesting that morality/immorality is just intelligence/stupidity once you take out all the strict prohibitions and interdictions.