Transcript from a meeting with James Eaton on 18 February, 2017
Q: I noticed lately that when I’m going through something, and I try to open up to it, that I do the opposite: somehow I focus on it and it gets worse and worse. For example yesterday we invited somebody to lunch who has a severe illness and it’s getting worse, and I got so tired that I had to leave them and lie down; and afterwards all this guilt came up, ‘I should have given them more.’ And I was sitting with it and it got worse, because I somehow focussed on it. And just coming here, and sitting listening to your voice, the tears came and it was just sadness. And I didn’t know that before, because I was trying so hard.
James: Seeing that ‘trying’ happening is huge.
Q: It’s so hard on myself (crying softly). But when I’m in that state, I don’t get it. I don’t notice it. I still look for a trick.
James: That’s also the ‘trying’, do you see?
Q: One thing which is obvious to me is when I defocus, when I listen, when I become more aware of what is around me, then I get much more into my feelings than when I focus on them.
James: Yes. Seeing all this ‘trying’, all this ‘pushing’ is really important. It’s so difficult to communicate this without being misunderstood, because anything expressed in language can be surreptitiously taken to be something to ‘do’. The greatest example of that is in some non-duality circles where they say, ‘there’s nothing to do’, which of course is true – there’s no actual ‘me’ entity inside the body to decide to do or not to do – but what tends to happen is, when people hear that message without fully comprehending it, they take on, ‘there’s nothing to do’, and they do it! They do doing nothing! A kind of enforced passivity. It’s so disempowering. This is amazing because it shows how, even if you actually specifically spell it out, ‘there is nothing to do’, then even that will be made into something to do: to do nothing.
So whatever anyone says, your mind will spin it and make it into something to do, which obviously keeps the sense of ‘me’ in business, because now your doing something to get somewhere. That’s the whole play; that’s the mechanism: “I’m over here and I need to get over there” – so now I must be something separate that’s trying to get to that place.
The way I see it is that, at some point, you come to recognise what’s going on. You see yourself doing it, you see yourself pushing, you see yourself trying a new technique to try and get somewhere, and you just see it. “Oh yes, there it is. That’s the push. That’s the ‘me’ pushing to get somewhere.”
And then you start to see it more and more. You see it in the most subtle areas. Like when someone asks you to get the ketchup, and you’re going into the kitchen and there’s the twist in your tummy! There it is! ‘Got to get the ketchup,’ push push, tighten tighten. It’s incredible. You’ll see it down to its subtlest forms. Every area of your life is being navigated by this push. It’s the will to survive. Even getting ketchup from the kitchen cupboard becomes associated with the will to survive! It’s extraordinary how deep it goes. This is why this is a freedom message; because we’re starting to see, like with getting the ketchup, there doesn’t have to be a push in that. There’s a simple request and a simple response to the request. There’s no life and death in there.
And in deeply acknowledging that, from this aware openness that we truly are, in seeing it, understanding it, allowing it to play out, without self-judgment or self-blame, there can start to be a very natural easing and softening of that push, that tensing. This is not a ‘doing’. In fact it’s the letting go of a previous doing, a previous effort – the effort of the push, of all the trying.
So actually what you saw is fundamental. It’s the beginning of seeing the ‘me’ push in every aspect of your life. And the usual come back to that is, ‘but if I don’t push then my life’s going to fall apart; nothing’s going to happen!’ But actually it’s the opposite. It’s the push that gets in the way, it’s the push that creates resistance, it’s the push that makes you constipated so that you can’t be in your flow. Ha! I don’t like the way that sounded; a bit of a toilet analogy! But I think you get what I mean! (laughter in the room)
Q: Yes. To even make a push out of having to become bigger than the feeling.
James: Yes. It’s a really great baseline that: if you find yourself tensing in any way, tightening in any way, your going into separate ‘me’ territory. There really is no need to tighten. Obviously if you’re picking up a teacup there’s going to be muscle movements – tensions in the muscularity to make the movement happen – that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the overlay of survival tension.
So these tensions become our friends, these become our gifts, because we’re in love with being what we are now. We’re in love with that! So anything that serves to point out what is keeping us from the beloved, from being the beloved, then ‘Yes! Thank you!’. This is turning life around, making life into your guru. That’s the best teacher you’re ever going to have. Because it’s full on. It’s 24/7. It’s the endless sat-sang, the endless workshop.
Yes enjoy that! Really allow it. Bring it into the body, include the body, include the the feet on the floor. Yes. There is your power.
Q: Thank you
James: Thank you.