What is an enlightened response to suicidal despair?
Hi Colleen I know all about enlightenment.. from reading Ester and Jerry Hicks. Im in such a depth of despair through my own fault .. Its just hard to bring my self back into the now … i wanted to end it all early hours of Sunday morning .. still here so i havnt .. but cannot shake this dreaded feeling..
Firstly let me say that many, many people have been there, are there and will be there – in that experience of deep despair, the kind that feels too heavy to carry on and can make life seem like a torturous, pointless burden.
I am sorry for your suffering. I too have experienced this many times in my early life, so it’s not something that only happens to a select unlucky few. Perhaps there will be some comfort in knowing this.
Despair can come from:
• believing a thought that is not true;
• body-mind chemistry (lack of nutritional support or chemical interference);
• carrying burdens from others including family ancestors;
• not getting what the ego wants (ego is always dissatisfied)
• and believing in a false separate self.
All of these have in common a root belief in something not true, OR ingesting something untrue.
When we focus on and ingest something that is not true, we experience heaviness and contraction in the nervous system.
Our nervous system is actually in service to tell us when we are focused on a truth. When we focus or ingest a truth our nervous system opens with lightness and the experience of freedom.
This is real enlightenment. The true knowledge that brings light to the darkness that lacks truth.
What has helped me immensely, and others when facing the storms of despair is to transform these types of deep contractions, into real openings, into enlightenment.
In fact, suffering can be made to be useful, when it takes us into questioning and wisdom. So don’t stop until you find the wisdom, truth and real seeing that lifts the pain, transforming it into opening.
Suffering shows us where there is a lack of truth, a lack of enlightenment.
So on that point, let’s look at the word enlightenment. I want to convey to you my meaning. The word “enlightenment” can be used in so many different ways.
How I use it, and other direct path teachers of nondual enlightenment like Rupert Spira, Adyashanti and Mooji, is to mean the freedom that comes to the heart, mind and gut when truth (true knowledge) replaces false (false knowledge).
I don’t mean it in the context of getting what we want from life, in fact true enlightenment frees us from the suffering of wanting itself.
The most painful of all false knowledge, is the belief in a false separate self, and all of the confusion and torturous thoughts that this false self-idea wields.
The false separate self is never satisfied and always wants more.
I am only vaguely familiar with the work of Ester and Jerry Hicks, but from what I do know, their message seems to be more about manifesting what we desire, (along the lines of the Secret) and so please know that I am using the word enlightenment, in a very very different way to what you are referring.
So when you say “I know all about enlightenment”, I’d like to lovingly suggest that you might not know about the enlightenment that I am referring too.
Nondual enlightenment actually frees us from chasing objects in a futile attempt to try to gain lasting happiness. By objects I mean ‘anything’ from others love, approval, respect, etc and objects like things in the world.
This “pacman” path is a roller coaster that old souls eventually get tired of and then its time for enlightenment, to be free of this dance.
Teachings like “The Secret” can in fact leave people feeling very sad, because of the belief taught that ‘personal thoughts create your reality’.
Then when well-meaning folks try to “create a better reality” for themselves and fail, they feel worse off. Like failures.
So just in case this is a factor for you, I’d suggest that you seriously question the limited false simplicity of the beliefs behind these teachings. They might serve in some ways, but can often result in very limited seeing and suffering.
We can think “Summer, summer, summer” all we like, and winter will still show up. To blame ourselves for winter, can be deeply harsh and unnecessary.
I cannot give you all of the knowledge needed to see what I am pointing to in one message, as this is a full and rich teaching, but I can offer you a possibility and love.
Ultimately, thoughts, feelings, personality all arise in you.
They are temporary, always.
They are the contents of you as awareness, but you are something free of the contents. Most do not know this. Most are not enlightened by this truth.
Very few even want to know this because real enlightenment is a dying process, we die to the false self. In fact,
I supported a lovely client once who was suicidal, she wanted to die, so I asked her “How could you die to everything that is causing you suffering, without ending your physical life?” – this might be a useful inquiry.
Enlightenment is about dying to everything false, to all the beliefs we have about being small little creatures on a little blue planet, fighting for scraps of love, peace and happiness.
Enlightenment is freedom from the mind, feelings and personality that are a part of the dance of life, sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter.
We find ourselves as the changeless, seasonless self, as nondual reality itself, in which all these plays of life rise and fall. This gives us back to ourselves.
We realise, we are what we were looking for so desperately. We are the love, peace and joy that we wanted through trying to get what the mind said it needed.
I know this can sound philosophical and abstract, I wish you could feel and know this. It’s as ordinary and as real as my hands typing this message to you now. I hope you will sense this in my message, and that this will open a door in your mind and heart to your true self.
So what then to do with the dreaded feeling?
It is natural to want to be free of this.
Freedom is our birth right. But ironically, as they say “what we resist persists”.
If you need help, find it, there is no shame in that. Drive to a hospital if you need to have a sanctuary.
Then when it seems right, whether with someone to help you or alone, love this sadness, as a divine mother loves a sad baby.
Don’t identify as the one that is sad, because this is not true.
See, feel and know yourself as the awareness, the sacred mother space that sadness has come to for truth and love.
Sadness belongs, it is a part of life, it is in you but you are not in it! Let it be there but don’t believe the thoughts that come with it.
It may help to remind yourself, “I am awareness” and sense that you indeed are aware. And you as awareness are currently aware of the feeling of deep despair. Be gentle with this process. Seek true seeing and true being. That is enlightenment.
And like Rumi, the enlightened Sufi poet said:
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
Seek real enlightenment. Seek the real you.