I’ve written about how applying positive-negation to yourself strips away the layers of self, leaving you as if next to nothing, which is quite blissful. The more dysfunction you strip away the better you are and so the better you feel. And then your friends and family think you’re having a midlife crisis because no one can spontaneously feel as good as you do now. You can’t slough off lifetimes of parasitic psychology and make that inner child all grows up in no time at all, can you? None of the people in your life have been able to achieve bliss through sharing with friends, whining to their moms, or boring the hell out of their therapists—and those hours of babble have eaten up a lifetime. If only they’d commit to silence and no time at all, then they wouldn’t have to worry about you, but here we are.
At least one of you brave souls at Our Undoing, “Kim L.,” is entering this state of blissful, satiated existence. She has expressed as much in the Sitting Circle, stating that, “Things are flying over here. I am beginning to find bliss. I have never been happy before. I don’t really know how to appreciate it yet.”
That is a profound realization: you’ve never been sustained in happiness and so you don’t know what to do with it. Coming from a good place is foreign to so many of us that we need to unpack this. Let’s get to it!
I’ll bet Kim L. has felt happy and fulfilled for no reason before. Plenty of times. But they were fleeting because her normal state of person was whatever else it was. Depressed? Angry? Forlorn? I don’t know her, so I cannot say. I can say there’s not a person alive who hasn’t had periodic moments of feeling happy or even blissed out. But, oh, how fleeting. How these moments snap back into our normal state of funk. Some people are so depressed that when they feel happiness, it feels like a taunt. Some people struggle against happiness because they want to feel their feelings. They identify as unworthy of anything but penance.
There is seemingly no end to the ways we make ourselves miserable. And we live in a miserable society that uses this against us, tells us we’re clinically depressed, so they can sell us drugs that repress the feeling that is itself a product of repression. And that drug has side effects, which become full frontal effects in our lives. Oh, the misery. The torture. The horror! The horror!
But there is a way out of the circus of mind, and positive-negation lights the way as quickly as you allow. When you shed the skin of your former frowny self for someone a bit more smiley, it is such a drastic change that it may be alarming to others and, like, “Now what?” to you. Here’s an observation that might be helpful to Kim and others reading in a similar state: Words matter in that they reflect where you are inside. Understand that you are not finding bliss, you are bliss. Actually, no, you are blissing. A minute ago you were depression or anger or whatever it is that you were. Now you’ve come to understand enough of your dysfunctions that you are no longer those dysfunctions. You’re functional. Hooray! But it is a slippery slope. If you treat how you feel as something separate from you, something you find, then you can just as easily lose it or find something else. That’s no good, right?
On the other hand, you can so fall in love with the new you that you forget to keep yourself in question. You may assume that this is as good as it gets. This perpetual great feeling must be enlightenment. You tell the proverbial card dealer, “I’ll stay,” because you’ve gambled enough and it has paid off. That’s when you move to Hawaii, join a hippy commune to do some good in the world with like-minded people, and have your life fall apart, only to wonder why, since you’re such a good and happy person now. Must be a challenge from dark forces. Time to learn magic and do ritual cleansings and spend the rest of your days pretending to like incense.
That’s no good either.
So just realize that blissing is you. Not something you found but something that came uncovered and took over as dysfunctional-you began to disappear. Blissing and happiness are perfect platforms at the last stop on the personal breakthrough train. Eventually, however, one must exist the train.
Kim L. goes on: “During my meditation today I thought if I ever do break through and drop the ego for good how will I tell anyone? I won’t have the need to tell.”
Perhaps. Or perhaps it will go the other way, because when you see that this breakthrough isn’t just for you, it’s for all of us—it is all of us—it might be hard to not want to share it. When you understand all is one in-and-as your being, not just as knowledge or a feeling, it’s kinda hard not to include other people in the ol’ one waking oneself up routine. Could go either way and it will be interesting to see.
I hope Kim L. keeps writing. And I hope more of you feel comfortable sharing what’s happening with you, if anything. If nothing, share that. And be open to feedback.
But more importantly, be open to silence, which gives its own feedback. And then give up the word “to.”