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.
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.