Friday, October 20, 2017

Over-reacting & Suffering

     When we're betrayed by someone we assumed loved us, doesn't it feel as if we've physically been "stabbed in the back"? When we're "heart-broken" doesn't it feel physically real? And there are many other examples of emotional trauma feeling as if someone had actually tried to kill us, leaving us mortally wounded.
     Threats to our sense of self are interpreted, & thus feel very much like attempts on our life. That is why we feel them and react to them so powerfully, so viscerally. We unknowingly conflate our ego (self-concept, reputation, plans, etc) with our very life.

     So we take many things way too seriously, way too personally. We over-react and therefore suffer & cause others to suffer. An insult is NOT attempted murder (even though it can feel like it).

     “Until we have developed the wisdom to see what is necessary or not necessary for our survival, we will continue to suffer. From the wisdom that we develop, a moral standard will emerge that can be the guiding principle by which we can measure all of our actions. This is a principle that is not conditioned by concepts or conceits but is one of the very principles of nature itself and can form the way in which we conduct our lives. This is right action.”
     Sayadaw U Tejaniya. “Where Awareness Becomes Natural. A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in Daily Life.” Shambhala, 2016.

Katie Hoffman      "Swimming in a River of Shit"

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