pain reducer 389b: changing how we relate to the worrying mind

In pain reducer 389a we explored the idea that chronic, persistent, unhealthy states of worry–a form of mental-emotional stress–can be a component of physical dis-ease states.

To restore the system to health in such cases, then, requires that we uplift the mind-heart from the habit of chronic, persistent, unhealthy worry. Of course this is not the only step we take, for our health is the product of many factors. It is, however, an important step–often bypassed in an over-emphasis on symptomatic treatment.

Chronic, persistent, unhealthy worry is not an asset but a liability.

Think about it like an investment portfolio consisting of 50 stocks. If, on right analysis, we see that certain companies are consistent losers, robbing the total portfolio of value and not likely to become winners, would we not want to prioritize divesting from them? Such consistent losers in an investment portfolio are not assets but liabilities.

The worrying mind is like a familiar friend. Even though this familiar friend frequently creates trouble for us–giving rise to agitation and and preventing us from experiencing peace, we maintain the relationship out of convenience. This friend is just there, showing up on cue, ready with its negative opinions of life. For this friend, the day is not complete until it has found something to worry about. Its core thesis is mistrust!

But if we ask ourselves, do I really, really need to maintain this friendship?, if we spend sufficient time reflecting on and examining with discernment the nature of the relationship and whether it is beneficial or detrimental to our lives, what might we conclude?

What makes us have to keep on maintaining a relationship with chronic, persistent, unhealthy worry? Is there really any reason we could not sever ties with this familiar friend, if, on intelligent reflection, we conclude that the relationship is not beneficial but harmful?

This chronic, persistent, unskillful worrying mind, in the final analysis, is essentially tainted by self-centeredness; it is composed of personal hopes, personal fears. “I want it to be this way.” “I don’t want it to be that way.” This heads-tails attachment to getting “my way” and aversion to not getting “not my way” is a root dynamic that sources chronic, persistent, unskillful worry. There may be a measure of love in the mix, but that does not automatically cancel out the harmful effects of the above-mentioned taints.

The important skill here is shifting from the perception that “I am this worry” to the perception “there is this worry, and here I am witnessing it”. Witnessing the link between triggering events and the arising of unhealthy worry, one gains a degree of insight. Stepping back and observing the thoughts-feelings of worry, we can remind ourselves if i do this again, if I give in to this habitual worrying, with its attendant agitated words and actions, i would harm myself. By stressing out in this way I’m going to make myself sick.

By reminding ourselves again and again of the harm that accrues, we eventually develop a distaste for worry. We eventually do not want to hang out with that old friend anymore. We recognize that in habitual worry we can never find lasting peace, we literally poison our system.

And yet, we understand that old habits die hard. Recognizing the tainted nature of unhealthy worry when we are triggered for whatever reason helps us to weaken our identification with it.

Sometimes we only realize these things in hindsight. We are triggered, and launch right into autopilot mode with seemingly no alternative. It is merely an entrenched mental-emotional reaction, with its reflection in the coarse neural pathways. With right practice we incrementally train ourselves in the right way, and eventually we can catch ourselves doing that habitual worry thing right as soon as it arises, then restrain ourselves from flowing in those mental-emotional patterns.

But what would we replace worrying mind with? We think if I’m not this worrying mind then what am I? That’s what makes giving up the habit difficult. Giving up the habit means to relinquish control, with the stubborn insistence on “my way”.

Within our being is a great number of possibilities, a great number of alternatives to worrying. We might go down the evolutionary ladder into apathy and numbness; in this direction we further separate ourselves from Truth, and thus our suffering increases. We might also climb the evolutionary ladder into love and trust; in this direction we further unify with Truth, and thus our suffering decreases. It all depends on where we decide to go.

Both directions may result in a reduction of pain. However, one direction is only an apparent reduction of pain without any healing, a ”psuedo-safety” in the words of the Pathwork Guide. The other direction is an actual reduction of pain with an accompanying healing, true safety.

Since our context is health, let us decide to go in the direction of healing. We can start right here and now with an affirmation: let I purify the mind-heart of attachments giving rise to chronic worry; let I supplant worrying mind with trust. Here and now I surrender space for Truth; Blessed Divine Truth, I ask You to guide me toward healing. Feel free to modify as you see fit. But remember, affirmations work when repeated sufficiently over time, and with inner conviction. Mere empty repetition of the words does not propel us in the direction we want to go.

Deep within our being is a vulnerable self-level. This vulnerable self-level is full of angst; it is the source of worry. And this self-level is full of angst because it is disconnected from Truth. Being disconnected from Truth, it is in a state of ignorance. When this vulnerable self-level, full of angst because it is in a state of ignorance borne of being disconnected from Truth, is brought forth into full conscious awareness, layer by later, Truth can contact it. Truth can surround it, permeate it, suffuse it, penetrate it, love it, teach it, heal it, purify it. Quite often it is painful, but in the way healing medicine applied to a wound is painful–temporary, accompanied by a sense of relief an inner knowing of this is the right thing to do. It’s that good hurt.

This Truth, It is a state of being. It is the Higher Self, the Superconscious Mind, a Face of the Divine Jewel. What Truth says to you and what Truth says to me may be different things at different times, because you and I each have a unique blend of constitution and circumstance. One cannot grasp the essence of Truth by use of the intellect with its rational propositions. It cannot be proven like a geometry theorem. It cannot be examined technologically like DNA sequences in chromosomes. It cannot be packaged and sold in a four-week course.

This Truth must be experienced directly. It is blissful; It is powerful yet devoid of pretense; It is relaxed yet ready to mobilize if need be; It is more concerned with mutual upliftment and less concerned with one side dominating another; It is all-inclusive benevolence; It is–in the words of Paramahansa Yogananda–ever-new, ever-present.

It is not an idea of the mind; It is not a state of over-excitedness; It is not generated by the little ego with its many hopes, fears, and dreams; It is not a thesis that forces itself upon us; It is neither female nor male, yet is both male and female; It is not separate from us, and yet it is separate from us only because we have decided to be separate from It.

Copyright (c) 2020 Justin Jaucian

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