04 December 2012

Emotional "Pain," Resistance and Self Realization

Email 1 from M. to me:

I am so very angry. I spend two years following advice you give on your website. I follow this self inquiry of yours as far as I can. Now I have nothing to go on. All I get is useless advice to become love and maybe something will happen. I have limited ability to affect my feelings. 

I eat medication to calm the cycling and you suggest me to become love. Do you know what kind of depression follows every good period. Do you have any idea how much it can hurt. Do you have any idea what it feels when deep layer of pain covers everything. Do you know how it feels to crash in to depression and pain again and again. Do you know how it feel when good things turn to pain. Do you know what it feels when this happens again and again despite everything you do? 

And you suggest me to become love. All the effort I spend and all I get is futile experience and most painful advice anyone could give. I feel like screaming. I feel like shredding myself to peaces. I hope never finding your website. I hurt. Do you have any idea how much it would hurt to become love. Why don't you suggest me to walk in flames and burn. Why don't you suggest me to walk in water and drown. 

Email 2, from Ed to M:

Your entire email is full of resistance.

Stop resisting, and welcome the depression and pain.  Then they will move through you, pass through your beingness with much less pain.

Who said opening would be easy?

Also, if you read my blog, I have been advocating using a much softer approach than Robert suggested, one of loving oneself and loving others to make change happen more rapidly.



Email 3 from M to Ed: 

You are correct about me resisting. This very hard subject to read, write or think about. It is like pushing against a pressure. I have no idea how to stop my resisting. How to stop doing something that is so very central in me. I can't welcome pain. I have fought against it for so long. I have spent thousands of hours finding method against suffering. My whole quest to enlightenment has been finding a way to move beyond pain. To stop resisting and welcome pain in its different forms is inconceivable.

Email 4 from M to Ed:

If my struggle against pain goes away, I don't know what will be left. If I give up and just accept pain, it means I have wasted so much. If I give up I don't know if there will be me left. This constant struggle is what defines me. My endless struggle. Because big amounts of pain really hurt. And because they hurt they are unacceptable. Pain is unacceptbale. It is wrong. And so on.

Email 5, from Ed to M:


Listen carefully. Very carefully.  This may be the most important advice you have ever heard.

Two points:

Depression and anxiety are not painful; they are uncomfortable but do not compare to the word “pain” applied to physical pain, such as from a burn, a broken bone, a deep cut, a pliers twisting your flesh, or a knife wound.

I know M. because I suffered from a deep depression of a long time, took lamictal and other anti depressants, as well as anti anxiety agents.

Psychological/emotional symptoms are not painful, they may be deeply uncomfortable, but it is not like the pain of cancer.

You can look at these feelings as they arise and if you look closely, you will see the word “pain” does not fit them.  You have created a boogey man by calling them painful and then resisting something that does not exist: a painful emotion.  The same with the term suffering.  Suffering is an evaluative term, which really means you do not accept an emotion or mood.  This is your resistance.

Now, resistance can cause pain because the body tightens up to fight the feeling.  The tightening, the holding back can be painful.  The resistance is painful.

So, from a place of feeling relaxed, you can look at the depression and anxiety with an openness and acceptance, one layer at a time, and you will see these moods for what they are: passing psychological phenomena that are not really you at all and which do not touch you.

You will eventually find that beneath the deepest emotion you feel, jealousy, depression (which is really a mood, not an emotion), hatred, etc., there is an underlying bliss, an ecstasy.  But you have to go deep within yourself to find it.  It underlies all emotions, all moods, all body feelings, and lies buried deep within ones sense of presence.  Find it.  It is magic.

Point 2: The advice I gave was not to love your emotions, even though that would help greatly.  It was to find and love the I Am, the core of your beingness.

Within the inner void in you is an energy, the sense of I Am.  Find it, nurture it, love it.  This is the practice I suggested.

Fall in love with someone.  Watch that love and you wil see it is your love.  It arose within you.  It is your love.  The other merely triggered the arising in you, but it is your love.  That love for another can grow until eventually you recognize that that love IS YOU.  It arises from the I Am.  You can use that love for another to recognize the love of your Self, for you.

Self realization is not best accomplished by being a spiritual warrior.  Rather it is best accomplished by becoming a lover or others, of animals, of yourself.


  1. Dear Ed,

    I hope you don’t mind me expressing my opinion. I would dare to disagree with your advice.

    Dear M.,

    I fully hear your frustration with following a method that has not worked for you. Sometimes Rage and Revolt against a current predicament we find ourselves in come before Love. I hear your anger and despair. Your scream is loud and clear. Let it all out. I hear your plea and see a path that could have a slightly different beginning but could lead to where Ed is pointing to. The fact that you feel so strongly is so important – you have all those feelings so stay with them. Let them move through you. Listen and give voice to them. They are you as well.
    I would venture to disagree that your resistance to love is without its place. Every defense serves a purpose until we are ready to drop it. I honor your resistance. Feel it, taste it, express it – through rage and frustration. Perhaps it will go and something else will emerge.

    Who knows what’s your path? But here, in this post you speak of real feelings, of strong affect in the present and I would respect it – it has fire and it could be your fire. Stay with your unique flames, with your screams.

    If that was not helpful – please disregard it all together. I just had to express what arose here - I felt your beautiful, birth-giving flames.



    A little off-topic, but I am impressed. Very impressed. Your advice is clear, relevant and it's coming at right time. Your message is proper outcome to the communication we have had. I understand what you are saying. It is what I needed to hear. Your advice is so very personal and fitting that it is almost spooky.

    Or maybe I am just finally open to what you are saying.

  3. Ed, did something just happen to me? Because there was a lot of resistance and now there is understanding and agreement. I agree fully with your advice. It feels like I am floating. I am beyond what I just was. I'm not different, but more. And it feels like I have been always like this. My recent emails to you are prove that this isn't the case, but what I feel now is so solid. Maybe whatever this is will pass, but I don't see how I could return to what was.


    From me:


    Yes, something broke. It was mostly the result of two years of solide practice.

    Keep going the new, non-resisting way

  4. There is a new feeling that is some kind of mix of joy and happiness. At the moment the feeling isn't extremely powerful, but it is very deep and wide. It was this feeling that showed how superficial my "negative emotions" really are. I will write more tomorrow.


    1. Wow M., Edji, Janet. Awesome.

      The mind is so tricky. It will even confuse what Love is actually. I'm not certain if I have experienced bliss or happiness as it is used in these blogs.

      Just in reference to Edji's teaching, it feels to me that paying attention is love. Paying total and complete attention to what is in front of one, of the "other". Listening, looking with rapt attention is like the beginning and middle and end as one continuum. Actually not complicated but requires diligence.

      I get the impression that many of us feel when we see Edji give examples of paying attention, total attention to starving cats, or politics or standing at a tire store or starbucks, to the Self, that the action or reaction we see moves through that. Great guidance.

      It all feels like love to me, although I still feel that enlightenment has nothing to do with "me". No matter if that "Me" is in the form of Siddartha, Ramana, Robert Adams Edji or some other mature soul.

      But Edji, you have helped clarify how awakening and whatever enlightenment is, also includes the me.

      I apologize if the above is not clear.

      M., thank you for all you have shared and for allowing the rest of us to share in Edji's response.


  5. I am so happy for you M.

    After almost two years of listening to Ed, I also am finally really 'hearing' him.

    With Love,



  6. This paragraph struck a chord with me. I will find that out for myself.

    You will eventually find that beneath the deepest emotion you feel, jealousy, depression (which is really a mood, not an emotion), hatred, etc., there is an underlying bliss, an ecstasy. But you have to go deep within yourself to find it. It underlies all emotions, all moods, all body feelings, and lies buried deep within ones sense of presence. Find it. It is magic.

  7. For what it's worth M. I went through similiar feelings of resistance, depression in the cycle you described. The challenge lay in the fact that for some reason I understood that it was possible to be at Peace in the world but I didn't seem to be able to access the necessary tools to get to it. So I screamed and I yelled and I cursed God and Jesus, and literally broke furniture all the while wondering what the point to the whole thing was. Immediately after my outburst when I felt I had been doing everything I was asked and getting no results I got the answers I was looking for....like the feeling you say you're now experiencing. It was like the universe wanted to see how committed I was. "Oh what's going on with this guy? Wow, he's angry and screaming and breaking furniture and thinks he's been forgotten...and he's letting us know what he thinks. He's ready to surrender now. Let's let him know we love him."...and then things started to change for the better...like you say has happened to you.


    It would be wrong to say that I found this new feeling. At first everything was quite normal and then I just noticed that there was this new feeling. It might be that when I understood and accepted what you were saying in your emails it somehow made me see this new feeling. I just don't know.

    This new feeling is very positive, like happiness and joy, but it isn't forceful like mania. When depression or anxiety comes up, it doesn't overpower them, but instead steps back and gives up the stage. When after the while the depression lessens, this new emotion comes forward. But this new positive feeling and depression aren't opposing each other in any real sense. It is more like they work together. Someone has to man the stage and this new feeling is always ready, but doesn't force its way.

    The new positive feeling manifests also as subtle sense of positivity. When I woke this morning I wasn't feeling good. Feelings of sickness and depression were strong. However a sense of positivity was subtly present the whole time. You could say that the place where was before despair is now warmed by this new feeling. Now that the negative feelings of morning have gone and I feel quite normal, there is on background the feeling of sparkling happiness. It is something that wasn't there few days ago.

    Feelings of pain and pleasure have always been opposites to me. I could feel pleasurable feelings, painful feelings or neutral feelings, but never happiness and depression together. This new positive feeling is special, because it can be at the stage at the same time with painful feelings. This new feeling is so wide and so basic that depression blocks only part of it and I can feel form of it at the same time with depression.

    All I have written above may be missing the point because this new feeling is something special. Very special. Because it is so real. Somehow it is more real than my other feelings. It feels like joy, happiness, fulfillment and optimism. I can just stop and relax and the new feeling is there waiting me.



    You are doing very well. That joy feeling is the outer fringe of the Self shining throughout the subtle body. Abide there as long as possible. It will grow and grow and you'll probably feel energies flowing through it that are also part of the subtle body.

  9. This is great M. I love how you expressed yourself.

    With Love,


  10. Email from D:

    I must tell you how moved I was by the online discourse between you
    and "M". This conversation more than anything else I have read or
    heard in the last 12 months, has revealed that the Self is all there

    I had been struggling with the EXACT same issues as "M", and I was
    struggling for weeks to find the words to express them. Best I could
    manage was "What's this fucking love bullshit they're all going on
    about?". Paralysing sadness, remorse, regret. Followed by anger at
    feeling so ripped off. "Isn't it supposed to be better than this?
    You're all full of shit".

    M put my questions to you more eloquently than I could have and your
    response was EXACTLY what I needed to hear, EXACTLY when I needed to
    hear it. Especially the clarification about emotional "pain".
    Suddenly, I was in a different place with my suffering and it stopped
    being "suffering" and became a discomfort I could live with. Easily.

    And then Ruby posting as Divine Grace Shaktipat added the icing
    (frosting?) to the cake, in her post about acceptance of what is.

    And Lila's struggle and emergence, all me. Them, but me.

    It's perfectly clear now that there is no "Ed", no "M", no "Ruby", no
    "Nisargadatta", no "Sailor Bob", no "Lila", no "me". Only this vast
    Self, expressing as all these selves and providing everything that is
    needed with exquisite timing. I "knew" this, as a "fact", but I was
    totally untouched by the reality of it.

    I've had a similar reaction to your words as M had, and I'm interested
    to see what comes next.

    Thank You so much.

    Love (and I mean it!)

    And of course, none of the above is true!


  11. Ed a while ago I asked, implored even for some kindergarten plain and simple instructions on "how to live "- these posts comments answer this plea succinctly truthfully and lovingly and i am so grateful - stuff going on with me that i don't have words for getting the message ED re- shut the fuck up -seems as if you have put a spell on me I grow quieter more and more every day. This comment has been like writing a magnus opus rather than a few simple words thank you I do love you and am your loyal, respectful and most grateful devotee -Maggie
    ps hope to see, sit with you in the "flesh " next year much love Maggie


    There is something beyond me that is huge.

    Ed's Response:

    YES!, YES!, YES!!!!




  13. Yes :)
    Something radiates through me and keeps me alive.
    It feels it burns me up slowly.