In a World of Discomfort

            It’s not a comfortable thing, the ego (personal thought system) falling away. I have been uncomfortable for over four years. That’s when it happened, but I didn’t recognize it. All I knew was that something had happened, I was no longer relating to the world as I had been, I was increasingly uncomfortable, and I expected one day I’d understand. And then one day last year I did. But all that’s happened since is that the discomfort has come into sharper focus as I discovered the explanation for it. And, oh, yeah, and all sorts of new discomforts occurred as I dismantled an entire life and moved to a new life in Australia. Which has had its own discomforts.
            But the outer changes and its attendant discomforts, which pass pretty quickly as I adjust, are insignificant compared to what’s going on within. I live within; that’s my “world”. And that is often, not in struggle, because I refuse to engage, but in turmoil. Because all my mind knows to do is to hurl all of its former ego responses into the void left by the ego’s falling away. And I watch it doing this knowing that those responses no longer apply; they only ineffectively mask the void.
            Sometimes I have glimpses of the void without the mask. Boy, that’s unpleasant.
            When this first happened, someone suggested to me Bernadette Roberts’ “The Experience of No-Self”. Even though I had not yet acknowledged what had occurred—I told myself it was only the “self-concept” that fell away—I did relate to much that she wrote. She looked right into the void for months, it seems without her mind attempting to disguise it, which sounds horrific. I wondered which was worse, but then realized a void is a void. My mind’s masking it has done nothing to alleviate the discomfort; it’s only confused me and made me more uncomfortable.
In times of turmoil I’ve been tempted to doubt, and it’s really funny to watch that fall to the ground like so much dust. No matter my turmoil, I trust. Hell, I know the Truth is true
I have sometimes thought I was in resistance, but then I’d find there was no substance behind that either. It sure had all the hallmarks of resistance, but all I’d have to do is think I’m in resistance and see that, no, really I was just shadow boxing.
Neither doubt nor resistance is real to me anymore. No, I am just damned uncomfortable with emptiness, ineffective, meaningless responses, and values that, well, aren’t even values anymore because I’ve seen they are valueless
This sounds a lot like “the period of sorting out”, which was, for me, the longest, most uncomfortable period because, unlike this stage (aptly called “the period of unsettling”), I had very little awareness of Truth, nearly no trust in It, and no peace. I am buoyed at this stage by knowing that the Truth is true, which makes my discomfort irrelevant when I care to remember It.
Oh, yes, I’ve had the void slip into Spaciousness instead at times. I have glimpses and episodes of Love and Serenity. They’re the other side of the void. But, well, their time has not fully come yet. I have not yet finished with the void as a void.
I have the tools I learned over the years to deal with the ego. But, the thing is…the issue isn’t the ego anymore, is it? It’s gone; the issue now is the void it seems to have left behind. I use the tools I have, but they bring temporary relief from what I know to be unreal responses anyway. I have no tools for the void except trust in the process and acceptance of the void and its attendant discomforts. This, too, shall pass.

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Jeremy said…
Liz, I am so very grateful for your openness in sharing this! No candy-coating this with pretty platitudes! Yes, this can seem to be discouraging news to the 'me' I think I am. But like you, I know that only Truth will suffice. I am (often with great trepidation) committed to forging ahead to have Truth revealed to this mind, no matter the discomfort. There is ultimately no turning back, only delay.
ACIM Mentor said…
Jeremy, keep in mind I'm able to watch it and write about it. Which means it's not my whole mind - just something in it. Very revealing about the ego.
Jeremy said…
Yes, your reply and also your statement in the last paragraph of the posting, where you say: "I have no tools for the void except trust in the process and acceptance of the void and its attendant discomforts. This, too, shall pass." These are crucial recognitions that, I feel confident, will carry you through. I find great comfort in these recognitions, and these recognitions are now not only yours, but mine as well. Thanks again.
Deb said…
I am honored Liz. You continue to point to the true honor that is for myself as I continue to elevate perception.

You give no false expectations of the journey Liz and evidently, it seems, to be that which I want. In trust.

I carried this insight for a handful of days and then was led to a 1986 interview with Bernadette Roberts by Stephen Bodian. It is a list of questions she responds to and is a compliment to this article.

She used the word heroic to describe this experiencing and sounds fitting.

Explorer came up this morning. Yes, an inner exploration.

My love and peace, Deb

Hi Liz,
I am grateful for your sharing of the discomfort. The discomfort is valid, but only to the body called Liz. Let me offer cairn’s experience of it.

I appreciate the void because it is Safe there. The void is empty, meaningless, and silent. The good news is: The void is free of illusions and a Safe-zone for Truth. Only “thinking” makes the void uncomfortable....nothing more.

~~~God is beyond thinking. God is beyond feeling. God is beyond words. God is formless. God I am.~~~

In the “I am” it is very quiet there. The quiet is PEACE.

Is this your experience too?
ACIM Mentor said…
Cairn, my next article is about what I call the void.

What you describe is what I call "Spaciousness". It was how I came to experience the emptiness I'd been feeling for a few years after the ego fell away and I did not recognize it. Spaciousness was followed by a Golden Light. It was after this I discovered what had preceded the long emptiness.

The void has come since.

Sometimes I experience the void as liberation rather than a sense of falling into an abyss. I suspect that is the truest way to experience it.

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