The Narrative Shell Game

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SemanticMap
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The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:58 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
What is real? Is an electron real? It's a useful abstraction despite my inability to perceive it directly. While narrative around the self can be clearly dysfunctional is there benefit and utility to its existence? What is it that ontologically decides whether or not the self is real? Is that decider not part of something we can call a self?

What are you looking for at LU?
If possible, a deepening of understanding. If possible, connecting with people who have deep understanding. If possible, a greater sense of ease of being. I would have left it at the first sentence, but a minimum of 200 characters is required.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect myself to be sensitive to definitions, premises and unstated assumptions. How much will blinders be applied when asked to look? Wouldn't walking through a gateless gate entail a positionless position?

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I had a Satori from my intentional spiritual search in 2004. I was turned inside out, consciousness is primary. Narrative became foreground in my awareness, but I never lost my sense of self. If anything it was heightened and what became my focus was the relationship between self and other, how we relate to each other, especially when we are guests in each other's consciousness. I am able to sit in Samadhi, and participate in transpersonal communing, but the experience often includes active psychological and emotional states that reflect having a sense of self.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 10

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vinceschubert
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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:16 pm

Hi, vince here. i will accompany you on this investigation.
i get the impression that you have considered this stuff extensively already.
While narrative around the self can be clearly dysfunctional is there benefit and utility to its existence?
This is a good place to start. Can you give me examples of dysfunctional narratives? ..and examples of utility?
What is it that ontologically decides whether or not the self is real?
Great question. Really loaded. Let's start with defining "real", "self", and describing what happens when a decision is made.

vince

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SemanticMap
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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:04 pm

Hi, vince here. i will accompany you on this investigation.
i get the impression that you have considered this stuff extensively already.
While narrative around the self can be clearly dysfunctional is there benefit and utility to its existence?
This is a good place to start. Can you give me examples of dysfunctional narratives? ..and examples of utility?
Example of dysfunctional narrative: accurate or misperceived traumas of the past influencing how we participate in the present. Internalizing a sense of unworthiness which then creates a psychology that chooses not to go through doors because they decided they would be rejected even if they tried.

Utility in self-narrative: Knowing current limitations. If I can't lift and carry 200 lbs, trying to lift and carry my 200lb son would be a disaster. I build a counter-factual model of myself as a guide in decision making.

Beyond just basic physical limitations, creating a mental model of one's biases, proclivities and appetites helps temper and compensate how we relate to and interact with the world. Example: Coping with addiction tendencies.

Coping with the loss of a limb or faculty. The difference in automatic/autonomic behaviors creates a self-consciousness to begin to retrain autonomic processes.

Modeling the self towards self-understanding has been critical as part of my healing process. Digging into the local body-mind, feeling the emotions, stream of consciousness Journaling and looking at the output. Owning that as being a part of "me" is healthier and more functional than trying to dissociate from it and call it all a product of the universe.

Even in flow-states where the self-model/self-concept phenomenally is experienced as absent or thinned out, much of the atoms of behavior and thought that arise during flow states were integrated into the system through periods of learning and adapting where self-consciousness is present.

My son wants me to start throwing a football (US meaning) to him so he can get better at catching. That recognition "I need to practice in order to improve." has a self concept baked into it. And he will feel self-conscious about his ability until capability is established. ​
What is it that ontologically decides whether or not the self is real?
Great question. Really loaded. Let's start with defining "real", "self", and describing what happens when a decision is made.

vince
Real: That which is phenomenologically present. Qualia of Consciousness.

Over time and through life experience, the we build counter-factual temporal models of how phenomena evolves in the conscious experience. This is pre-verbal and pre-conceptual. The verbal and conceptual are layered atop the phenomenal model. The accuracy of the conceptual models depends on the objectivity and self-awareness of the mind creating them.

Self: If we create a hierarchy of things that stick around in the conscious experience over time, there is a local system of thoughts, emotions, bodily perceptions, and the conception of the phenomenal models are called mind/psyche/body etc. In deep meditation these domains of sensation become quiet.

Self-Concept / Self-Relationship : within the fields of mind, emotions, psyche, there is a conceptual modeling of the self (that which is most local in the hierarchy of what comes and goes).

Decision Making : This is an automatic process, a re-balancing of tensions between desire, self-concept, aesthetics, opportunity, perception, empathy, etc.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:08 pm

Good evening SemanticMap
and describing what happens when a decision is made.
Decision Making : This is an automatic process, a re-balancing of tensions between desire, self-concept, aesthetics, opportunity, perception, empathy, etc.
It may take a bit of relating here to reach a point where we use language in a way that is useful. For example, i asked for a description of what happens, and you gave me a definition.
Second hand information, what you have heard or read, what you understand, is a distraction here. What i want is descriptions of your experiences. Every answer needs to come from memory or what you are currently experiencing. So, when i ask for a description of what happens when a decision is made, it needs to be noticed what thought patterns happen. What sensations occur.
Example of dysfunctional narrative: accurate or misperceived traumas of the past influencing how we participate in the present.
Have you got an experience of this happening to you? Can you describe your experience of it? i don't need the details of what it was about. Just describe what you experienced.
Internalizing a sense of unworthiness
What was the process on internalizing this?
which then creates a psychology that chooses not to go through doors because they decided they would be rejected even if they tried.
What were the stories that you call "a psychology"?
Utility in self-narrative: Knowing current limitations. If I can't lift and carry 200 lbs, trying to lift and carry my 200lb son would be a disaster.
This is a good example.
I build a counter-factual model of myself as a guide in decision making.
i presume that this is built on experience and other things. Can you pull from memory what those other things might be?
creating a mental model of one's biases, proclivities and appetites helps temper and compensate how we relate to and interact with the world.
Ah, this is a big one. Would you call this a part of a story of a Self?
Modeling the self towards self-understanding
We will be doing a lot of that here. Investigating how we actually work. ..or really debunking how we think things happen.
Modeling the self towards self-understanding has been critical as part of my healing process.
Is this healing process still happening?
trying to dissociate from it and call it all a product of the universe.
There'll be no denialism happening here. No theory. No idealism. No religion. i will ask you to not believe anything that is said until it is experienced directly by you.
My son wants me to start throwing a football (US meaning) to him so he can get better at catching.
i like these real world examples.
That recognition "I need to practice in order to improve." has a self concept baked into it.
Yes, i agree. It's a thin line though, where the description of ability becomes a judgment, and judgment is a doorway to suffering. More on this later...
Real: That which is phenomenologically present.
Ok, good. i do prefer the word actual rather than real. ..and remember, always from the perspective of the organism's experience.
So if i ask is the Statue of Liberty actual? You would have to say "I'm not seeing it or touching it, so it exists only as an image in my mind. (It's probably still out there, but there is always the possibility that it has been destroyed and I haven't heard about it yet.)
Over time and through life experience, the we build counter-factual temporal models of how phenomena evolves in the conscious experience. This is pre-verbal and pre-conceptual. The verbal and conceptual are layered atop the phenomenal model. The accuracy of the conceptual models depends on the objectivity and self-awareness of the mind creating them.
This is a lot of words saying (i think) that Self is a story. Is this accurate?


vince

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SemanticMap
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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:10 pm

Hi Vince,
Good evening SemanticMap
and describing what happens when a decision is made.
Decision Making : This is an automatic process, a re-balancing of tensions between desire, self-concept, aesthetics, opportunity, perception, empathy, etc.
It may take a bit of relating here to reach a point where we use language in a way that is useful. For example, i asked for a description of what happens, and you gave me a definition.
Fair enough, I took the priming for definitions and missed the request for a description instead.
Second hand information, what you have heard or read, what you understand, is a distraction here. What i want is descriptions of your experiences. Every answer needs to come from memory or what you are currently experiencing. So, when i ask for a description of what happens when a decision is made, it needs to be noticed what thought patterns happen. What sensations occur.
I have given you my digested synopsis from exploring my own experience directly. I operate mostly in flow states, meaning the next thing to do or where to shift my attention is fairly automatic. A decision point emerges when the flow splits by perceived possibility or when the path forward becomes murky.

For example, in deciding what to say here, the words arise as I hold the tension in mind of what to say given the conversation so far. A review process takes place to see if the words said so far is clear and adequately balances the tensions I experience.

Over the last couple years there was a drive in me to jockey for a higher salary at work. The scuttle was that you typically don't get promotions unless you have one foot out the door, so I started applying to other jobs. I got a job offer which was slightly higher pay than the raise I was being offered to stay. That decision between staying at the current job and going to a new one was a drawn out and difficult process. When I went for an on-site visit, my energy body expanded to a very high state in reaction to the potential inexperienced. The job felt special to me and would have fed my ego just as much as my current job did. It was a deep visceral experience and while I was visiting the site I also visited the city and attended an SRF temple which further made my spirit sing. On the drive back home I experienced my expanded state contract and it hurt to leave. I could feel the associations with my home life return to my consciousness. The trip had allowed me to dump all my cares and concerns with my home life.

This job offer was a real fork in the road and I had to make a consequential decision that would impact my life, my wife's life and the lives of my children. I weighed tons of factors, and sifted down to the crux of the matter. I had a known upward trajectory at my current work place and a promotion vs. an unknown, but likely fantastical experience. But we had no savings, there was no sign on bonus, and the move would have been just about me meeting my own needs and leas about factoring in the needs of my wife and kids. The new company was a startup whose future was unknown and ultimately I went for stability for my family as the weightiest factor.

Most of my daily life decisions, what to wear, what to eat, what route to take to work, etc. are on auto-pilot and routine. At work, decisions are made when something feels out of balance. Deadlines start coming closer and the rate of progress of the software team I lead starts to intersect with the deadlines and I have to feel into the situations to find how to address a potential missed deadline, or where my team members are getting stuck in their developments. I do a lot of plate spinning and juggling between emergent issues. My process is to hold all the factors in my system, play with them, and wait for a resolution to the tensions to emerge.
Example of dysfunctional narrative: accurate or misperceived traumas of the past influencing how we participate in the present.
Have you got an experience of this happening to you? Can you describe your experience of it? i don't need the details of what it was about. Just describe what you experienced.
Yes. Plenty of active examples in my life right now. I have a hard time divorcing the details, the situations, from the experience.

The most relevant example right now is my relationship with my wife.

Before her, I was engaged to another women 23 years ago in college who was herself traumatized by a prior abusive boyfriend. She didn't trust me and would read my emails and IMs to see if I was interacting with any other women. I did become attracted to a classmate and I let her know. She became enraged and we spent a few weeks in hell where I internalized being a bad person for triggering her insecurities. That period in my life and internalization of that narrative, that I was doing something wrong or being abusive, has affected me greatly. After that relationship I became aware of Polyamory as a way of living. I was drawn to it, never fully participated in it. My wife knows I have that interest/orientation but doesn't want to participate in a poly relationship. So I have been repressing myself to keep from triggering her insecurities.

Recent changes, I've informed her that I will be practicing polyamory within 1-2 years and she has to decide whether or not she can accept that and stay in the relationship with me. She is in school and will finally have a job, which is why I chose that time frame. I care about her stability. But my caring for her and caring about how I impact her life is bringing back my experience with my prior partner. I lose my voice around her when I want to talk about things she doesn't want to talk about. I am in the process of trying to find my voice. Away from her I feel clear, but when it comes to speaking with her in my awareness, the internal system shifts and I feel cowed.

So the synopsis would be observing myself being one way by myself and being a different way with her present in my awareness and part of the difference brings back painful memories with my prior relationship.
Internalizing a sense of unworthiness
What was the process on internalizing this?
Out of my own ignorance and insensitivity, the actions I take negatively affect the lives of others.

There are many things in my life that I regret and am ashamed of. Products of character flaws in my system.
which then creates a psychology that chooses not to go through doors because they decided they would be rejected even if they tried.
What were the stories that you call "a psychology"?
Using the past as an indicator of the future. It's not just the narrative, but the embedded feeling the narrative is associated with.

Like in the situation I detailed. My wife carries a lot of pain from our past and from her past before that. I empathicly feel it, and prior efforts at open communication have crashed and burned, so I've developed an internalized sense of continuing to try to communicate just creates more pain. So I've become awkward at it and avoidant of it until a back-pressure builds up and I awkwardly try to initiate communication on things I feel I need to talk about, and that crashes and burns. She's avoidant, I'm avoidant. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. A dent in the psyche.
Utility in self-narrative: Knowing current limitations. If I can't lift and carry 200 lbs, trying to lift and carry my 200lb son would be a disaster.
This is a good example.
I build a counter-factual model of myself as a guide in decision making.
i presume that this is built on experience and other things. Can you pull from memory what those other things might be?
Contributing to the counterfactual model: External testimony. Videos.

Contributing to decision making: Instincts/intuition. Social identity.
creating a mental model of one's biases, proclivities and appetites helps temper and compensate how we relate to and interact with the world.
Ah, this is a big one. Would you call this a part of a story of a Self?
It's a story of a self, lowercase. Very immediate and visceral needing to cope with the dysfunction of the meat suit. Modeling triggers, avoiding triggers as a form of management.
Modeling the self towards self-understanding
We will be doing a lot of that here. Investigating how we actually work. ..or really debunking how we think things happen.
Modeling the self towards self-understanding has been critical as part of my healing process.
Is this healing process still happening?
As indicated, I am not done healing. Still working through difficult situations.
trying to dissociate from it and call it all a product of the universe.
There'll be no denialism happening here. No theory. No idealism. No religion. i will ask you to not believe anything that is said until it is experienced directly by you.
I'm good with that.
My son wants me to start throwing a football (US meaning) to him so he can get better at catching.
i like these real world examples.
That recognition "I need to practice in order to improve." has a self concept baked into it.
Yes, i agree. It's a thin line though, where the description of ability becomes a judgment, and judgment is a doorway to suffering. More on this later...
Real: That which is phenomenologically present.
Ok, good. i do prefer the word actual rather than real. ..and remember, always from the perspective of the organism's experience.
So if i ask is the Statue of Liberty actual? You would have to say "I'm not seeing it or touching it, so it exists only as an image in my mind. (It's probably still out there, but there is always the possibility that it has been destroyed and I haven't heard about it yet.)
And I have memories of videos of it. I'm on the same page epistemicly.
Over time and through life experience, the we build counter-factual temporal models of how phenomena evolves in the conscious experience. This is pre-verbal and pre-conceptual. The verbal and conceptual are layered atop the phenomenal model. The accuracy of the conceptual models depends on the objectivity and self-awareness of the mind creating them.
This is a lot of words saying (i think) that Self is a story. Is this accurate?


vince
I am not sure about your purpose in capitalizing the Self. There are circles where Self is used as a term to denote your original face, in contrast with the accumulated belief of who we are.

The issue I've had with almost all spiritual teaching, even non-duality, is that it creates a layer of narrative on top of existing layers.

So to put all my cards on the table, part of the reason I'm here is to find out how much of the "Liberation Unleashed" is a meta-narrative maintained through a feedback loop of creating an echo chamber.

The story of No-Self and transcending a lower-case self is just another story we tell ourselves.

At the bottom of your post you have a link to your blog. You've updated it infrequently and remark at how much gardening is taking your interest.

How much is the narrative of "I'm helping others find their way free of a narrative of self." Just another narrative of self?

I'm here, in the den of people telling the narrative of "I can help you free yourself from the narrative of self." to get clarity on that question.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:47 pm

Good evening.
I'm here, in the den of people telling the narrative of "I can help you free yourself from the narrative of self." to get clarity on that question.
This sounds like a narrative to me.
So to put all my cards on the table, part of the reason I'm here is to find out how much of the "Liberation Unleashed" is a meta-narrative maintained through a feedback loop of creating an echo chamber.
Ok, well here are my cards on the table. i am not LU. i guide. Seekers seek. We link up at LU. We use their forum to relate.
i don't really know why i guide, other than i get good feelings when seekers give positive feedback.
i started my blog a year before waking up and stopped adding to it a couple of months after. It may or may not be helpful to read some of it. It was helpful for me as i was going through that phase.
i have no interest in proving anything. I'm offering what i have. Either you accept it or not.
If you would like another guide, i can ask.
If you want to work with me, let's go.
i can promise you that it will be uncomfortable. My terms are absolute honesty.
Your use of words leads me to imagine that you have a complicated idea about who you are. My job is to tear that down, so that you see what is actual. If you bullshitted when you put 10 for the answer about how willing you are to question current beliefs about your self, it will become apparent quite soon.
Fair enough, I took the priming for definitions and missed the request for a description instead.
Ok, good. To reiterate, everything that you write is to be preceded by "I feel.." or "I think.." That is don't talk about your experiencing in the third person. Always the first person. Always description. Never definition.
I have given you my digested synopsis from exploring my own experience directly. I operate mostly in flow states, meaning the next thing to do or where to shift my attention is fairly automatic. A decision point emerges when the flow splits by perceived possibility or when the path forward becomes murky.
This is all definition. Not interested. First person only please.
Over the last couple years there was a drive in me to jockey for a higher salary at work. The scuttle was that you typically don't get promotions unless you have one foot out the door, so I started applying to other jobs. I got a job offer which was slightly higher pay than the raise I was being offered to stay. That decision between staying at the current job and going to a new one was a drawn out and difficult process. When I went for an on-site visit, my energy body expanded to a very high state in reaction to the potential inexperienced. The job felt special to me and would have fed my ego just as much as my current job did. It was a deep visceral experience and while I was visiting the site I also visited the city and attended an SRF temple which further made my spirit sing. On the drive back home I experienced my expanded state contract and it hurt to leave. I could feel the associations with my home life return to my consciousness. The trip had allowed me to dump all my cares and concerns with my home life.

This job offer was a real fork in the road and I had to make a consequential decision that would impact my life, my wife's life and the lives of my children. I weighed tons of factors, and sifted down to the crux of the matter. I had a known upward trajectory at my current work place and a promotion vs. an unknown, but likely fantastical experience. But we had no savings, there was no sign on bonus, and the move would have been just about me meeting my own needs and leas about factoring in the needs of my wife and kids. The new company was a startup whose future was unknown and ultimately I went for stability for my family as the weightiest factor.
This is good description. ..and thanks for that, it give context.
My process is to hold all the factors in my system, play with them, and wait for a resolution to the tensions to emerge.
Good one. i do this too. With guiding, i read your response and let it go, then trust what flows when typing happens.
Yes. Plenty of active examples in my life right now. I have a hard time divorcing the details, the situations, from the experience.
Ok, i have some techniques and exercises that might help with this. (once we have established a working relationship)
I lose my voice around her when I want to talk about things she doesn't want to talk about.
Is "I lose my voice.." a way of saying that the idea of bringing these things up engenders a fear that stops it happening?
I am in the process of trying to find my voice.
Is this a way of saying that you are trying to overcome that fear?
but when it comes to speaking with her in my awareness,
Do you mean speaking with her about it? I don't get the "in my awareness" bit.
So the synopsis would be observing myself being one way by myself and being a different way with her present in my awareness.
So you have two stories about your selves. ..and two experiential responses.
and part of the difference brings back painful memories with my prior relationship.
..and you see similarities between your current situation and that previous one?
What was the process on internalizing this?
Out of my own ignorance and insensitivity, the actions I take negatively affect the lives of others.
This tells me nothing about the process of internalizing.
There are many things in my life that I regret and am ashamed of. Products of character flaws in my system.
Ok, you have a story about what is good and what is bad and you judge that you are deficient in some areas. Is this accurate?
Can you paint a picture of how an awake person might view this?
Like in the situation I detailed. My wife carries a lot of pain from our past and from her past before that. I empathicly feel it, and prior efforts at open communication have crashed and burned, so I've developed an internalized sense of continuing to try to communicate just creates more pain. So I've become awkward at it and avoidant of it until a back-pressure builds up and I awkwardly try to initiate communication on things I feel I need to talk about, and that crashes and burns. She's avoidant, I'm avoidant. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. A dent in the psyche.
Good description. Ok, so is it accurate to say that you have a strong desire to resolve this, while at the same time knowing that it can't be? There's a story that it should be resolvable?

vince

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SemanticMap
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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:58 pm

Hi Vince,
Good evening.
I'm here, in the den of people telling the narrative of "I can help you free yourself from the narrative of self." to get clarity on that question.
This sounds like a narrative to me.
So to put all my cards on the table, part of the reason I'm here is to find out how much of the "Liberation Unleashed" is a meta-narrative maintained through a feedback loop of creating an echo chamber.
Ok, well here are my cards on the table. i am not LU. i guide. Seekers seek. We link up at LU. We use their forum to relate.
i don't really know why i guide, other than i get good feelings when seekers give positive feedback.
i started my blog a year before waking up and stopped adding to it a couple of months after. It may or may not be helpful to read some of it. It was helpful for me as i was going through that phase.
i have no interest in proving anything. I'm offering what i have. Either you accept it or not.
If you would like another guide, i can ask.
If you want to work with me, let's go.
i can promise you that it will be uncomfortable. My terms are absolute honesty.
Your use of words leads me to imagine that you have a complicated idea about who you are. My job is to tear that down, so that you see what is actual. If you bullshitted when you put 10 for the answer about how willing you are to question current beliefs about your self, it will become apparent quite soon.
I've got no problem proceeding with you. I'm being transparent. That honesty thing you are asking for. If you can help me achieve greater clarity, fantastic. But I will also not simply adopt a point of view or stance just because you say so. Clarity is about seeing the truth plainly for oneself.

Fair enough, I took the priming for definitions and missed the request for a description instead.
Ok, good. To reiterate, everything that you write is to be preceded by "I feel.." or "I think.." That is don't talk about your experiencing in the third person. Always the first person. Always description. Never definition.
I think I can work at couching things in terms of I think and I feel. I'm feeling a little amused and bemused that you asked me for definition and are now saying never definition.
I lose my voice around her when I want to talk about things she doesn't want to talk about.
Is "I lose my voice.." a way of saying that the idea of bringing these things up engenders a fear that stops it happening?
Going into the memory of the experience, I feel that there is anxiety and fear in me, and I also feel like she emits a defensive wall. Tightening of her facial musculature and voice. She feels (in my experience) non-receptive and self-protective.

I'm going to switch topics to highlight an example that seems clearer to relate in a different situation.

I have a .5 hour commute between my home and my workplace. During that commute I turn on the audio recorder and talk to myself, reflecting on how I feel and things that get stuck in my system. During my commute I experience what I will analogously describe as the shutting down of one program to start another. Going to the workplace, my home mind shuts down, my home personality shuts down, and my work mind and work personality boots up. I have known observationally that who I am in terms of expressed personality is context driven.

When I am alone, my attention is absorbed in the feelings I carry with me and their associated narrative. When my wife is present and my attention is on her, how I feel morphs and changes. What I have to say morphs and changes. A different mind enters.

I'm seeing a psychologist to work through my marital problems. I experience him as a very dominant personality and directing of the conversation. What I have to say morphs and changes in his presence.

When I say I lose my voice, there is in-part a fear of rocking the boat, but a significant contribution is also that the voice I have when alone evaporates and a contextually associated voice comes forward. I can feel this happening in real time.
I am in the process of trying to find my voice.
Is this a way of saying that you are trying to overcome that fear?
Yes and no. That shift in voice that is present can cause problems. Making agreements in two different contexts that conflict. Telling different narratives about what I want in different contexts, because the dominant operating desires differ. When contexts collide, the voices collide internally.

When I say I am trying to find my voice, it's not just about not being ruled by fear, but also includes finding the unified personality that doesn't lose itself during context switches.

There is a difference between who I am and want to be when alone and who I am and want to be when strong contexts are present with me.
but when it comes to speaking with her in my awareness,
Do you mean speaking with her about it? I don't get the "in my awareness" bit.
Let me know if the accounting of my experience of shifting personality per context explains what I mean by "in my awareness". When she is absent from my experience my attention shifts to my own system of emotions and thoughts. When she is present in my experience and my attention is absorbed in experiencing her, my system morphs its internal organization and changes to adapt to what I am experiencing from her.
So the synopsis would be observing myself being one way by myself and being a different way with her present in my awareness.
So you have two stories about your selves. ..and two experiential responses.
I have different stories and experiential responses per strong context, yes.

This is known/observed by watching the system shift and reorganize during context switches and in comparing memories of feelings and things I've said.
and part of the difference brings back painful memories with my prior relationship.
..and you see similarities between your current situation and that previous one?
There is only one similarity about them, and one similarity in how I relate to them that is obvious to me. (1) both women have been through trauma and carry that pain with them. (2) I tend to lose myself into trying to make them happy, cater to their needs over my own.

One perspective that I am aware of but haven't played too deeply with is that I am still catering to my own needs when I am trying to cater to theirs. I experience their pain as my pain and try to mitigate it, attempting to mitigate my own experience of pain that I feel.
What was the process on internalizing this?
Out of my own ignorance and insensitivity, the actions I take negatively affect the lives of others.
This tells me nothing about the process of internalizing.
"I am responsible for how others feel, for their experience with me/around me."

I feel this is an active belief I have that becomes a gateway for me to internalize. Internalizing would include behavior modification in that context to avoid or mitigate triggers, adaptive coping mechanisms, finding explanatory narrative that stitches together a coherent understanding.

I believe I understand why I am this way. I have an explanatory narrative that goes back to childhood.
There are many things in my life that I regret and am ashamed of. Products of character flaws in my system.
Ok, you have a story about what is good and what is bad and you judge that you are deficient in some areas. Is this accurate?
Yes. I have an explanatory narrative that I've developed to account for the experiences I have of shifting personality.
Can you paint a picture of how an awake person might view this?
No, I can't. I've lost any kind of model for what an "awake" person might say or do.

I chased after enlightenment in my 20s. I was an intentional seeker that fell into a crowd of intentional seekers.

I got a Satori, but it wasn't what I thought I would get.

Since then it's mostly been deprogramming of any idea or expectation of what a final state of being would look like. The Satori didn't magicly fix my personality or erase my emotions and life trauma. That's what I wanted. What I got was the ability to watch it all happen in real-time.

I could tell a narrative about the personality and psyche unraveling, but it would just be telling myself a narrative to fit into an archetypal story of becoming "awake", a derivative source of significance/relevance.
Like in the situation I detailed. My wife carries a lot of pain from our past and from her past before that. I empathicly feel it, and prior efforts at open communication have crashed and burned, so I've developed an internalized sense of continuing to try to communicate just creates more pain. So I've become awkward at it and avoidant of it until a back-pressure builds up and I awkwardly try to initiate communication on things I feel I need to talk about, and that crashes and burns. She's avoidant, I'm avoidant. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. A dent in the psyche.
Good description. Ok, so is it accurate to say that you have a strong desire to resolve this, while at the same time knowing that it can't be? There's a story that it should be resolvable?

vince
I have a strong desire to resolve the cyclic dynamics yes. I have a strong desire to work through the poor communication with my wife because I believe life will be less turbulent. I believe there is a way to working towards the feeling of being able to "breathe" while present with each other. Not feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells.

I don't know what you are referring to as "knowing that it can't be."

Yes there is a story that it should be resolvable, either through developing communication skills, processing emotional buildup before it explodes, and relating differently, or getting a divorce so that we detangle the feedback loop.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:15 pm

Good evening Sem. (do you mind if i call you that? SemanticMap seems clunky to me)
I will also not simply adopt a point of view or stance just because you say so.
Excellent. Anything that i tell you needs to be validated by your experience. Don't accept anything except that which resonates with you. ..and even question that.
Oh, instead of quoting everything that i write, just quote the specific question/statement that you are responding to. Thanks.
Clarity is about seeing the truth plainly for oneself.
Yes, but more than a mental seeing. Do you know the word grok? That's what we are looking for.
I'm feeling a little amused and bemused that you asked me for definition and are now saying never definition.
Yeah, the line gets a little brurry sometimes, but you get what i mean. (i hope) i don't want internalized information. i want your responses, both mental and physical.
Going into the memory of the experience, I feel that there is anxiety and fear in me, and I also feel like she emits a defensive wall. Tightening of her facial musculature and voice. She feels (in my experience) non-receptive and self-protective.
Ok, here I'm going to tell you something. Something that you can only verify from one perspective. Yours.
People (everybody) have a brain function that makes life easier. That is, they predict. They predict from partial information a picture of what they encounter. They then relate to that picture as if it were what or who they are interacting with.
Usually, that prediction is built from experience. That is that we can only imagine something that has been experienced.
It is limited to that and also embellished by it.
Some of us are good at reading body language, but to be convinced that we know the details of what is going on with another is foolhardy.
I'll bet that your trepidation starts even before you attempt to talk with your wife? (? means I'm asking if it is accurate.)
She feels (in my experience) non-receptive and self-protective.
Does this tell you something about how she perceives you. (judgemental/accusatory/superior/etc?)
I have known observationally that who I am in terms of expressed personality is context driven.
Yes, everybody does this. ..and at work, i imagine that you inhabit different personalities depending who you are relating to. ..but i imagine that you are saying that what happens with you is more like a split personality?
Do you see it as pathological?
finding the unified personality that doesn't lose itself during context switches.
Got it. So when the switch happens (particularly into the spouse role) you feel some kind of betrayal has happened?
there is in-part a fear of rocking the boat,
Is it accurate to say that there is a story of great suffering that could be initiated?
Let me know if the accounting of my experience of shifting personality per context explains what I mean by "in my awareness".
Yes, got it. Thanks
(2) I tend to lose myself into trying to make them happy, cater to their needs over my own.
How do you feel about yourself when you do this?
One perspective that I am aware of but haven't played too deeply with is that I am still catering to my own needs when I am trying to cater to theirs. I experience their pain as my pain and try to mitigate it, attempting to mitigate my own experience of pain that I feel.
Of course. It's called empathy. (grin)
"I am responsible for how others feel, for their experience with me/around me."
You are certainly involved, but responsible?? We'll come back to this one later.
I feel this is an active belief I have that becomes a gateway for me to internalize. Internalizing would include behavior modification in that context to avoid or mitigate triggers, adaptive coping mechanisms, finding explanatory narrative that stitches together a coherent understanding.
Would it be accurate to say that you feel that you have control? That you can decide to do these things? That you can choose what to do?
I have an explanatory narrative that goes back to childhood.
Would you say that you are a victim of past experience?
No, I can't. I've lost any kind of model for what an "awake" person might say or do.
This is good. Let's discover how it is.
The Satori didn't magicly fix my personality or erase my emotions and life trauma.
This won't either. It will however change how you respond to it.
What I got was the ability to watch it all happen in real-time.
This is a useful tool. (even if it has been painful)
but it would just be telling myself a narrative
It's also useful that you can see when this happens.
Yes there is a story that it should be resolvable,
i like that story. i imagine that it will happen in a way that you don't expect.

vince

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:26 am

Good evening Sem. (do you mind if i call you that? SemanticMap seems clunky to me)
Sem is fine.
Clarity is about seeing the truth plainly for oneself.
Yes, but more than a mental seeing. Do you know the word grok? That's what we are looking for.
I grok.
... I also feel like she emits a defensive wall. Tightening of her facial musculature and voice. She feels (in my experience) non-receptive and self-protective.
Some of us are good at reading body language, but to be convinced that we know the details of what is going on with another is foolhardy.
I'll bet that your trepidation starts even before you attempt to talk with your wife? (? means I'm asking if it is accurate.)
Yes it does. As a point of reference, though, I have many female friends who I am able to communicate and share in-depth with and do not experience this block/barrier to communication with my wife.
She feels (in my experience) non-receptive and self-protective.
Does this tell you something about how she perceives you. (judgemental/accusatory/superior/etc?)
I don't feel like she actually sees me.

To me I feel It says more about her fears and trying to manage her own sense of vulnerability and inferiority. I feel like when I come forward with statements of dissatisfaction with the way we are living, she takes it as personal criticism as opposed to an invitation to collaboratively address the situation. I explicitly ask to make time to collaboratively work together and I feel like I get non-committal response. When I bring up my desire to enter into Polyamory, she shuts down. I infer she sees it as a threat and exacerbates her sense of self-esteem, worthiness of being in a relationship with me. When I ask probing questions, the tightness increases, no response is made. The tightness bleeds away when I don't follow up to get an answer.

I'm trying to navigate my way to an experience of feeling like we are being emotionally present and vulnerable together, open and honest sharing and relating, but the doorways I try to walk through get boarded up. I feel like I have to pacify aspects of myself in order to make an emotionally safe enough space for her walls to start to come down. And then if the walls are down and I bring something up that I left pacified, the walls go up again.

I think of it and experience it as a control pattern for self-protection.

I haven't found "the right approach" which both honors her in her vulnerability and honors me in how I authentically feel I want to be.

If you have a different perspective on this or can show me an error I am making, I'm open to hearing it.

I actively filter myself using empathic faculties and sensitivities to see what feels safe to express. This of course is susceptible to my own trauma skewing those faculties.
I have known observationally that who I am in terms of expressed personality is context driven.
Yes, everybody does this. ..and at work, i imagine that you inhabit different personalities depending who you are relating to. ..but i imagine that you are saying that what happens with you is more like a split personality?
Do you see it as pathological?
Nothing to the extant of MPD/DID in the DSM. I agree everyone does this. Most don't have the cultivated self-awareness to be conscious of it happening in real-time. Most people believe they are one person as opposed to multiple context-sensitive splits. What's the difference between the normal human state and a pathology like DID/MPD? Is it a continuum or are there clear cut lines? I have no clue. But the pathological state I imagine would be rapid swaps within the same broader context keying off of narrow trigger content. Where as the normal human state is just splits in how the individual shows up in broader contexts. ​

In Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author puts his hand on the motorcycle to feel its vibration in higher resolution. This provides diagnostic criteria. Different vibrations indicate different conditions affecting the bike.

I've been putting that hand on my system for 20 years trying to feel to the root of issues and tune the system.

Meditation, Journaling, Therapy, Dialogue, Energy Work, etc.
finding the unified personality that doesn't lose itself during context switches.
Got it. So when the switch happens (particularly into the spouse role) you feel some kind of betrayal has happened?
A self-betrayal, yes. I feel I neglect my own needs in trying to cater to the needs of others (as I perceive/experience them), and I do this especially with my wife.

You said spouse role... i don't feel like I am wearing a spouse role, or even much of a father role. I do feel like we are "trapped" in the image of what a marriage is "supposed to look like."

I've never felt like I could wear roles effectively. They always felt like skins that would itch and be claustrophobic.

I kind of bounce around free-form within what I experience as other people's projected expectations.
there is in-part a fear of rocking the boat,
Is it accurate to say that there is a story of great suffering that could be initiated?
I'm getting stuck on what you mean by "could be initiated".

Sitting with it.

I think there are a few parts to the aversion to rocking the boat.
(1) is the feeling of shattering a dream that my wife, kids, and I are taking comfort in.
(2) is the fear of receiving/experiencing negative emotions from my wife and my kids losing that dream.
(3) that I would be a selfish asshole for destroying that dream they live in.

Contextually, I think this aspect is relevant in the "situation calculus", I finally feel like I have "made it". I have enough income to support the whole family comfortably. We just bought a really big house. So much space in it, everyone else buried in their computers/tvs/video-games, that I now feel very alone in my life. There's enough room now for my own needs/desires to come to the surface and ask for attention.

I spend a large amount of my non-work time engaged in online conversation and video dialogues to scratch a deep itch of wanting to be met and valued for who I perceive myself to be.
(2) I tend to lose myself into trying to make them happy, cater to their needs over my own.
How do you feel about yourself when you do this?
In the moment, good. After the moment and alone, like I am not meeting my own needs and at times that I have compromised myself.
One perspective that I am aware of but haven't played too deeply with is that I am still catering to my own needs when I am trying to cater to theirs. I experience their pain as my pain and try to mitigate it, attempting to mitigate my own experience of pain that I feel.
Of course. It's called empathy. (grin)
I identify as highly empathic.

And I think one of my internal resistances is that the experience of empathy is overwhelming and I fear "losing myself" and losing my bearings.

I've devised group meeting formats designed to explore depth of empathy while not losing bearings. It's kind of my schtick/obsession.

I feel like this is something my wife actively avoids with me, participating in deep mutual empathy. I experience a qualitative shift "open heart, breathing soul-to-soul" when I am able to enter into co-empathy with another person.
I feel this is an active belief I have that becomes a gateway for me to internalize. Internalizing would include behavior modification in that context to avoid or mitigate triggers, adaptive coping mechanisms, finding explanatory narrative that stitches together a coherent understanding.
Would it be accurate to say that you feel that you have control? That you can decide to do these things? That you can choose what to do?
Absolute Control... no.

Greater Capacity for Influence... yes.

Responsibility... yes.

Through cultivated self-awareness, character development and growth, mindfulness and presence, I feel I have a more adaptive system than most, and I feel that lends itself to a responsibility to step in effectively when I can, and discern when stepping in would be an error.

The ability to choose?

I don't feel there is choice about my nature. I do feel there is opportunity to become as aware as possible, to learn and practice discernment. If there is any kind of willful existential choice in my view, it would be to commit to becoming fully conscious/aware and embodying wisdom as it arises within/through the vessel.
I have an explanatory narrative that goes back to childhood.
Would you say that you are a victim of past experience?
I would say that the cultures on this planet en masse are ignorant of how to raise healthy individuals. And in particular that ignorance has affected my parents and in turn affected me through them. It's the nature of the meat-suit to internalize the way it was treated and emulate and repeat that behavior. What gets internalized in the child psyche is very hard to deprogram as an adult.

This is a gestalt abstracted point if view, but it renders the personalized victimhood story into an impersonal story. Do I believe I would behave differently and feel different internally if I was raised differently and related to differently by peers, yes I do.

This is why I have an obsession with dialogue and co-empathic relating. I think a lot of our cultural defects would right themselves if there were more people who were empathicly developed and matured.

This is my answer/response to the societal victimization I feel I endured.

Do I identify as a victim? I identify as a survivor. I am not fully conscious of how much of a sense of being victimized still lives in me.
Yes there is a story that it should be resolvable,
i like that story. i imagine that it will happen in a way that you don't expect.

vince
May it be so.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:53 pm

Good evening Sem,
As a point of reference, though, I have many female friends who I am able to communicate and share in-depth with and do not experience this block/barrier to communication with my wife.
It's hardly the same though, is it? They have nothing to lose, your wife on the other hand (apparently) fears something.
I don't feel like she actually sees me.
i get what you are saying about your feeling, but stepping back a little, do you think that it is possible that she can even begin to experience what you do?
A (probably bad) analogy would be if you were to look at a page of Chinese script. Without experience, how could you possibly comprehend?
So, you are (probably) incomprehensible to her. ..and she imagines that learning Chinese is a road to hell. (my story)
And then if the walls are down and I bring something up that I left pacified, the walls go up again.

I think of it and experience it as a control pattern for self-protection.
I imagine that is accurate.
Have you considered the probability that she can't be how you want her to be? Of course you have. What option would you take if this is the case?
What's the difference between the normal human state and a pathology like DID/MPD? Is it a continuum or are there clear cut lines? I have no clue.
Neither do i, but medical definitions/labels give practitioners something to treat. They don't actually relate to real people. ..and there's no value for us to attempt to define it either.
I've been putting that hand on my system for 20 years trying to feel to the root of issues and tune the system.
..and has your wife invested as much in this too?
A self-betrayal, yes. I feel I neglect my own needs in trying to cater to the needs of others (as I perceive/experience them), and I do this especially with my wife.
This is powerful stuff. It has the potential to motivate desperate action.
I think a lot of our cultural defects would right themselves if there were more people who were empathically developed and matured.
Oh, i agree, and speaking from personal experience, i remember it as a lonely place.
How many people have you met during your entire life that you could relate to that were similar to you in this way?
I spend a large amount of my non-work time engaged in online conversation and video dialogues to scratch a deep itch of wanting to be met and valued for who I perceive myself to be.
Does this increase the alienation with your wife?

with love

vince

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:26 pm

Good Morning Vince,
Good evening Sem,
As a point of reference, though, I have many female friends who I am able to communicate and share in-depth with and do not experience this block/barrier to communication with my wife.
It's hardly the same though, is it? They have nothing to lose, your wife on the other hand (apparently) fears something.
Fair point. And I believe myself to be co-dependently entangled with my wife. I have expectations that if we are married we do household maintenance together. That's not being done and doing it by myself brings up the pain of being alone and feeling unmet. So instead of proactive maintenance, it's reactive maintenance. Essentially avoidant until the "okay, this really needs to get done now, or else worse negative consequence X,Y,Z will happen."

That's a fair assessment of my MO right now. Put a lot of pokers in the fire and let "emergencies" guide where my attention goes.
I don't feel like she actually sees me.
i get what you are saying about your feeling, but stepping back a little, do you think that it is possible that she can even begin to experience what you do?
A (probably bad) analogy would be if you were to look at a page of Chinese script. Without experience, how could you possibly comprehend?
So, you are (probably) incomprehensible to her. ..and she imagines that learning Chinese is a road to hell. (my story)
I get what you are saying. To continue the analogy, when we got married, we were studying "Chinese" together. After she became pregnant and we married, she withdrew from Chinese studies completely and I didn't. So the fluency is divergent, but on my side I have a pent up resentment that we got together while studying Chinese and now she doesn't want anything to do with it.

I did get confirmation from her that when I bring a problem to the table she feels like it is criticism of her, even though I am not intending it. Her self-esteem is low. The way I bring issues to the table, though, probably includes the pain I feel in not being met. So at one level it's about the household, and at a deeper, more implicit/subconscious level its about the quality of our relationship. And she is responding more to the implicit than the explicit.
And then if the walls are down and I bring something up that I left pacified, the walls go up again.

I think of it and experience it as a control pattern for self-protection.
I imagine that is accurate.
Have you considered the probability that she can't be how you want her to be? Of course you have. What option would you take if this is the case?
Situation: She is in school and 6 months away from being gainfully employed. I don't want to rock the boat so much that it destabilizes her ability to get through the program.

She's been in depression, out of work for 6 years, and dependent on me financially.

I've agreed to avoid the tough discussions about polyamory, counseling, and our relationship until the winter break.

I expect things to energetically be different once she is gainfully employed and her self-esteem repairs. She'll be able to meet me on more equal footing and participate in a discussion about whether or not divorce is the right solution without the albatross of no income to support herself looming in the background.

Everyone I talk to about this feels she and I are headed to divorce. That seems to be the conventional wisdom. I'm in more of an in-between state of mind on the matter. I have no idea what she will decide in the end once she is plugged into a self-sustaining process. I am just moving forward with what feels in integrity for me.

Winter break, we have two weeks. Her mother offered to stay with the kids so she and I could get away to talk.

More important to me than whether or not we are married, estranged, or divorced, is that we develop the ability to dialogue with eachother and not avoid tough discussions. At minimum we will be bound together through parentage. We love each other, but if we can't find our way to dialogue and collaborative engagement on issues, I will probably ask for a divorce. It's not much of a relationship in my mind without that component. And I want to really give her a proper chance to meet me where I want to be met after she has her own legs and self-confidence to stand on.
I've been putting that hand on my system for 20 years trying to feel to the root of issues and tune the system.
..and has your wife invested as much in this too?
Not explicitly and not formally.

She's very intelligent. Knows about the various practices, but doesn't engage with them intentionally. I have seen for myself how wallowing in depression can bring its own intimacy with feeling and understanding one's self.

I can't say the path I've chosen for myself would be right for her. She has to walk the path she chooses for herself.

And the question of whether or not we should remain yoked when our oxen want to move in different directions is a question I want to explore intentionally and consciously with her when she does not feel an existential threat from it.
A self-betrayal, yes. I feel I neglect my own needs in trying to cater to the needs of others (as I perceive/experience them), and I do this especially with my wife.
This is powerful stuff. It has the potential to motivate desperate action.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by desperate action in this context?
I think a lot of our cultural defects would right themselves if there were more people who were empathically developed and matured.
Oh, i agree, and speaking from personal experience, i remember it as a lonely place.
How many people have you met during your entire life that you could relate to that were similar to you in this way?
More and more.

When you go around looking for people that are similarly oriented, periodically you find them. With online video chat, you can stay connected and create non-local communities.

I have a pod of 6 people that have shown up regularly for deep dialogue and mutual support for over 2 years.

And I've recently discovered The Circling Institute which has a formalized process of getting people to experience and relate more empathicly.
I spend a large amount of my non-work time engaged in online conversation and video dialogues to scratch a deep itch of wanting to be met and valued for who I perceive myself to be.
Does this increase the alienation with your wife?

with love

vince
It does. There is both relief and pain. Relief through being met on that level by others. Pain from not being able to commune in that way with the closest person to me.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:04 pm

Good evening Sem,
the pain of being alone and feeling unmet.... Essentially avoidant until the "okay, this really needs to get done now,
This sounds to me like that pain is taking most of your attention and energy.
If this gets intense enough, it will provide a reason to exit the marriage.
If you want to stay within this family, you may have to accept your wife won't/can't be how you want her.
To do this you will most likely have to treat your dreams of how you would like things to be as an unattainable story.
This doesn't mean that you will (necessarily) live a deficient life, forever regretful about what you imagine that you have given up.
i imagine that your wife is equally lonely and in a similar amount of pain. If you were to see her as you wish to be seen, if you experienced empathy for her isolation, you may find fulfillment that you now dream exists elsewhere (of with her if she was a different person)
i believe that this is not what you want to hear, but i do speak from personal experience. After 10 years of marriage and with 2 kids (ages 8 & 10) i too felt that my wife was the cause of me missing out on a juicy life, so i left the marriage and had 2 years of (sexual) adventure. i reached a point where that was repetitive and unfulfilling. i realized that those 10 years had been an investment that couldn't be replaced. That my feelings about myself and my feelings for that family were deep and complex. Sure, i had to accept a lot of things that i imagined could be better, but even then i realized that life does what life does and to fight it only induces suffering. Anyway, 2 days ago we celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary. ..and i have to say that we have had an exciting and adventurous life. ..and it's still great.
It's only been 10 years since i woke up, and now i see that what happened was an accidental falling into what i now know to be true. A willing, inviting surrender to what life offers is a key to (something that i can't find words to)

with love

vince

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:45 pm

Good evening Sem,
the pain of being alone and feeling unmet.... Essentially avoidant until the "okay, this really needs to get done now,
This sounds to me like that pain is taking most of your attention and energy.
If this gets intense enough, it will provide a reason to exit the marriage.
Yes it will. If she doesn't make the time to talk with me and doesn't go to counseling with me, that's not a relationship in my mind and I will exit the marriage.
If you want to stay within this family, you may have to accept your wife won't/can't be how you want her.
To do this you will most likely have to treat your dreams of how you would like things to be as an unattainable story.
The only story I really want to attain is the release of the pain of feeling unmet in my life.
i imagine that your wife is equally lonely and in a similar amount of pain. If you were to see her as you wish to be seen, if you experienced empathy for her isolation, you may find fulfillment that you now dream exists elsewhere (of with her if she was a different person)
I've been holding that space for her for years.
i believe that this is not what you want to hear, but i do speak from personal experience. After 10 years of marriage and with 2 kids (ages 8 & 10) i too felt that my wife was the cause of me missing out on a juicy life, so i left the marriage and had 2 years of (sexual) adventure. i reached a point where that was repetitive and unfulfilling. i realized that those 10 years had been an investment that couldn't be replaced. That my feelings about myself and my feelings for that family were deep and complex. Sure, i had to accept a lot of things that i imagined could be better, but even then i realized that life does what life does and to fight it only induces suffering. Anyway, 2 days ago we celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary. ..and i have to say that we have had an exciting and adventurous life. ..and it's still great.
I'm glad you found your way to happiness. Congrats on the wedding anniversary.
It's only been 10 years since i woke up, and now i see that what happened was an accidental falling into what i now know to be true. A willing, inviting surrender to what life offers is a key to (something that i can't find words to)

with love

vince
I don't know where things will end up, I can only follow what feels right for me now.

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:06 pm

Hi Sem,
If this gets intense enough, it will provide a reason to exit the marriage.
Yes it will. If she doesn't make the time to talk with me and doesn't go to counseling with me, that's not a relationship in my mind and I will exit the marriage.
You make it sound like she has control and that she is denying you these things, but she has as much ability to do this as you have to accept things as they are. How much is that?
Well, actually that's not quite accurate. You have the potential to change. You have reached out, while she is in a protective shell.
i can offer you no help in changing her directly, although i easily imagine that she would change in response to you're transformation.
What i can offer you is an ability to see the world and other people from a perspective that is currently foreign to you.
The narcissistic way that you currently view life is intensely personal. What i offer is diametrically opposed to that. It is a universal perspective. It also happens to be one where your present suffering can't survive.
If you are singularly focused on the particular outcome that you have described, then i have no ability to help you.
I'm glad you found your way to happiness. Congrats on the wedding anniversary.
There is no achievement in any of this. i didn't control anything. It happened.
i can see (to a small degree) how it happened, but i can take no credit for doing it.
i hope that you can see the potential for your happiness in waking up to what is actual, as opposed to living in storyland. (however enticing that is)

with love and compassion

vince

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Re: The Narrative Shell Game

Postby SemanticMap » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:39 am

What i can offer you is an ability to see the world and other people from a perspective that is currently foreign to you.
You know that it is foreign to me, or you assume that it is foreign to me?
The narcissistic way that you currently view life is intensely personal. What i offer is diametrically opposed to that. It is a universal perspective. It also happens to be one where your present suffering can't survive.
Let's find out.
I'm glad you found your way to happiness. Congrats on the wedding anniversary.
There is no achievement in any of this. i didn't control anything. It happened.
i can see (to a small degree) how it happened, but i can take no credit for doing it.
i hope that you can see the potential for your happiness in waking up to what is actual, as opposed to living in storyland. (however enticing that is)

with love and compassion

vince
What is actual for me is that the pain and narrative is present. I understand counter-factually and conceptually that the pain and the narrative are not necessary and can be released.

I have spent years in the past running away from the pain and trying to replace the narrative of the personal self with a narrative of no-self.

Douglas Harding exercises of headlessness entering the first person perspective more fully. Shifting focus to purely sensory phenomena and off thought. Zazen practices. Cultivating internal silence, deconstruction of the psyche into cascades of chains of cultural programming that originate outside the personal self. Both seeing directly and conceptually understanding the interconnectedness of everything.

Through the arc of my life, the narrative I tell has shifted reflecting the appearance of a healing process. And I have the capacity to see that interpretation as stitching together of a meaningful story.

I am aware of the space behind the narrative, the space the narrative unravels into, and it does unravel in deep meditation.

But the narrative doesn't stay unraveled. It comes back as the mind returns to operation and the system goes through its daily life, and associations bring emotion and thought forward.

If you can offer me something more expedient than a slow steady, maybe unending, process of unraveling, then let us begin.


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