The Living Force
Chu said:Yas said:What I see sometimes is that we can tend to expect that the road will be a happy one, that there will be no suffering in it and that we just have to "love ourselves" and follow our hearts, etc... I know there is a great deal of learning to love ourselves sincerely and following our hearts, but sometimes that can be misunderstood and we can forget that in order to truly love ourselves and follow our hearts, we have to be "attuned", so to say, we have to be able to see ourselves as we are and to discern what is it that our "heart" wants. And that means looking at our illusions and delusions in order to see past them, which will be painful because we lose the sense of comfort.
Indeed! And don't get me started about the whole idea of "you must hug yourself and you'll be fine!" :P What little I is one supposed to "hug", if one doesn't know his or her machine? That's just BS if you ask me. It's loving oneself more objectively, during and after those moments of friction, deciding to do our best even when it hurts the false parts, applying "tough love", etc. that's the challenge, IMO. That requires more love than "hugging oneself".
I am reading Gurdjieff's "Life Is Real Only Then, When 'I Am'" and what I get from it so far is a different side of Gurdjieff I didn't know (of course I haven't really read much of his work). What I see is his humanity, his inner struggle in the same terms of the various struggles that many people here are facing. And what I'm seeing is that this inner suffering never goes away as we might expect it to do (or maybe it does after a really looooooong time), but actually, the aim isn't to make it go away, but to walk towards what we want in spite of that suffering, we do not fight it, it's there, it hurts, yet we continue to walk and maybe it can be a fuel as well... as one factor that can give a deeper understanding of life and our "human condition", as well as the spark necessary to light the fire within.
Thanks for putting it like that. It is horrifying to realize how mechanical and selfish we are, but until we do, why want to change? I agree with you, it never becomes easy (in fact, sometimes it gets harder depending on the realizations one has), and there may not be any "reward" in the end. At least not in the way we thought or were programmed to believe there might be one. But when we stop and look, there are always many things to also feel grateful for, like the stoics would recommend doing regularly. Sometimes I think that, had I not learned anything at all, or having not kept trying at least, I would not have much to be grateful for either. So, in a sense, that brings "love for oneself", because we do have a part to play regarding where we are at in life. Just as we can see how our mistakes and mechanicalness led us astray/make us stupid/manipulative, etc. many times, we can also find a bit of solace in the fact that, through efforts and thanks to this wonderful network, even being able to See that, is something to be grateful for. Because from that comes the force to change, to give back to the Universe, to Be as best as you can be, no matter how many lives it takes. And we can find short instants of happiness in the present, without the illusion of eternal "rainbows and unicorns", or anything like that.
Thank you both for this wonderful exchange.