Desire is a meeting place

matteo_tranchelliniDesire is a meeting place. And it’s a matter of timing, aligning so much that synchronicity of desiring is much more likely. Have to have your ‘eye’ on the feeling-field, and keep the connection.

This is an inner gesture, an immediate expression of what you have learnt before. Like walking.
Ever looked at how a child learns to walk. They trie again and again until they can. And everybody celebrates the achievement. This is how we learn that it’s a pleasure we can share our achievements with those we love. And it’s wonderful to be applauded when following deep inclinations – like the strong desire to walk; all the Big Ones walk, I’ll follow the overwhelming desire to trie until I can walk just like them.

We have no examples for a tuned-in life, a life where we’re tuning in continually to the songs and melodies our destiny comes up with. We have to be the ones, we and all those that come after us, that we have been waiting for. If there is no example, let’s be it. What do we need to bring to this laborator?

  • a heart that has come alive
  • a heart that dares to be naked
  • our brightest intelligence
  • soul to soul relationship(s)
  • deep respect for natural development(s); and if possible:
  • the alchemy of a relationship with someone, possibly a life-partner

That’s it, I believe. Being open to the refining processes inherent in life as labratory – and this very wording of it – gives me a degree of freedom that is closely connected with respecting my limits.

What is transmuted is the forces of feelings that are connected with sad, with desperate, with “negative” emotions. The strength of these forces probably remain. The force, for instance, captured in the complex feeling of jealousy doesn’t disappear but is most likely one of the driving energies behind accepting my destiny as it reveals itself to be; the power that allows me to “face it” – facing whatever needs to see my face.
From my point of view this is just the case. Certainly the circumstances now make this a very natural part of the process. In life we can never repeat our experiments to verify if another outcome would be possible – what we would have done if this, that or the other happened?. So given the present state of the laboratory it is much easier for me to “face it” than at other moments in recent weeks 🙂

Since, as Heraclit said more than 2000 years ago, pantha rei, “everything flows” and “you cannot dip into the same river twice”, we are learning the art of navigation in this flow, and what are supportive ecologies to this flow.
I have been speaking of giving an example, and by that I don’t mean to say teaching people this particular metaphor but by being an example, by being beautiful, joyous, understanding, and by loving, wise navigation. Trusting life and each other, authentically being alive, continually enlarging our comfort-zone until it maybe encompasses everyone and all, becoming quite naturally comfortable with life in this existence (willing at any moment to face it when it needs our face)… maybe that’s the ones we truly are, the ones we have been waiting for.jeanbaptiste_mondino

Enlightening the Passions – Day 26 (Presence of the Past)

The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination. — John Schaar

1964-7There is a healing quality to bitter tears. When we’re moved into the depths of our despair there is a space for the traumas of the past to surface. One of these has surfaced yesterday.

Like every child under a certain age experiences the parents break up; I felt when my parents did separate that it was all my fault. My parents behavior towards me didn’t convince me otherwise. You could say they left me to believe there was something utterly wrong with me. Parents have to go out of their way to make a child accept his or her innocence. Mine didn’t.

Doing a lot of Hellinger-type family constellations I learned that children will often want to prove that their parents were right. From my present perspective I see that I proved my parents to be right by recreating difficulties, or by enacting what I think I inherted from my father, who in turn inherted it from his father – and who knows how many more generations.
When situations became too emotional he either turned cynic, sarcastic, aggressive or he withdrew in an inpenetrable castle of arrogance. There is a lot to my dealings with highly emotional situations that I seem to have inherited.

Coming from another perspective one can say that my father, by leaving, was the “doer” in my parents divorce, and that out of misinterpreting the reasons for that divorce I started to manifest behaviour in line with the larger pattern of the masculine family line.
But whichever way I have come into following a destructive tendency at important junctions of my life not only I but others as well have reaped the consequences. I needed to go to deep despair to come to realize this. I am not guilty of my behavior, nevertheless the consequences are here, and I accept needing to respond with the expanded life I now live.

jurgen-mai-19581Accepting this freely and willingly is obviously the most “reasonable” thing to do. Having come to be the way I am now, through now almost 55 years of intense living and experiencing a character has formed. Denying and avoiding feelings, repeating the ancient stories from my family album doesn’t seem like what I’d want to be doing.

By the grace of the experiment so far, which is turning into a practise, �both an understanding and an expansion into what I call feeling-field have occured. This is far from stable and it needs continual care so I can establish a new type of relating. Being feelingly open and at the same time authentic. Part of that is being open to the consequencesof all of my behavior and manifestation, knowing that I’m not guilty but responsible.

This enables me in a more compassionate and maybe also powerful way to participate in life more fully; regaining trust based on deeper and more naked realities about myself and others. Participation, trust and surrender, as much as clarity, penetration and courage have been the qualities that have carried me through an eternity these last weeks – for as much as I have been destructive, a nuisance to myself and others, for as painful and horrible all of this has been, the qualities I mention above are probably those that played a role in getting me this far; the alchemical essences that started a transformation on a level I have no control over, whatsoever.

And having told so much about myself you might ask, “But what about those people around you? What about your partner?” I can only express my deepest gratitude for when it really, really mattered she and my friends have given me the support I needed to be able to come this far.
And I want to thank those who’ve commented showing their own heart and soul. This is the world I want to live in. To see and be seen on that level is wonderful, it nourishes the soul.

1954-ich-mit-meinen-eltern


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Day 12

“Thanks to the human heart by which we live; thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears.” – William Wordsworth

Last night, brushing my teeth I looked in the mirror, and what I saw made my inner critic come out. The feeling that goes with that is very similar to distrust which is the negative of curiosity; curiosity being in this case “taking a look at myself, trusting that there will be something here that can cause delight, new understanding, an interesting game… etc.”
So I was looking at myself distrusting, and then noticed the feeling. Upping the volume a bit it then became possible to switch back and forth between distrust and curiosity. (If you look at the picture, what do you see?)

And then I realized that actually every evening, when I see myself there, there is also feeling… “I’ve never really noticed before,” I thought, “that the heart is always at work – it’s never silent.” Well, that’s a conclusion, of course, because my heart could well be silent when I’m not listening. But as soon as I take notice I can hear it feel…

What does the heart sound like? I don’t think I can ever hear it’s pure song, at least I don’t think I ever did. Being conscious will always color it with aspects of consciousness which are in turn resonating with the particular circumstances the heart is noisy about. If, as I did in front of the mirror, I intentionally change the headline of the melody from a skeptic to a curious one, from “He doesn’t look too good” to “I wonder what a change in the lighting would do to the looks of this face”, then the the tune my heart sings doesn’t necessarily change, but it feels different.

Hmmm, maybe not too clear.
Listening a while to my heart during my morning experimental focusing time, during my “meandering in the feeling space” time, I saw that consciousness always has intention; I’m always focusing / defocusing in some way (I’m dubious if the Buddhist ’empty mirror’ consciousness, the pure witness, exists as a reality – I know it does exist as metaphor for making sense of a particular kind of experience; I have used it myself to understand certain states I’ve visited).
Consciousness is always alighting on something, some content, some concept, some intuition, some revelation. It’s like the light – there is no light in empty space; at least you cannot know if there is or isn’t; so you need to hold something in light’s path that it can bounce off from to know if it is there.
So whatever I’m feeling in it’s purity, consciousness will also color it one way or another. And what is happening within me since I started this experiment is a kind of meshing up, a disentanglement and purification – alchemy comes to mind again.

What is important about this? When I look at you or anybody my heart sounds with that, and my consciousness (in which there are streams from the past, present and even the future) colors it – and in turn is conditioned by the hearts melody in a, most likely highly complex, kind of free jazz, to use a musical metaphor. So again, what are all these thoughts good for when exploring being with feelings unconditionally?
Well, for one I discover that there actually doesn’t seem to be an “unconditionally.” That’s an imagination that seems to come from overrating the power of consciousness.  But more importantly it helps me when I look at you, when I enter the feeling-field with an other person.
I might see you as looking skeptically at me, whereas you just feel curious.
Being super-social animals we do have an amazing capacity to accurately feel the persons we are with. But even if – and I actually believe we do – we feel exactly as our friend, even if our mutual hearts are in unison, we still can and do sound often quite different. It takes time to tune in to each other to get wonderfully polyphonic… (and I’m not talking about the make-believe symphoney here that so often is the suffering that we sell to each other as “I’m feeling fine.”)

So today was dedicated to entering into the feeling-field with these considerations in the background (I only formulated them now, though). And I feel that my body is very much relaxing when I listen to my heart in a more consistent way…


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Day 10 (Interlude)

A calm day starting out beautifully. And the interesting fact that, if a day starts like this it’s hard to focus on the more challenging feelings. So I took that as an invitation to explore – with my imagination, a major tool if used with care and not to avoid this, that or the other – my family feelings which I hardly have. That’s not a surprise, I guess, for people who have been following this experiment from the start, and it’s natural to me. I hardly remember my father’s birthday or my mother’s. I need to make a mental note of the birthday of my girlfriend and her daughter, and I actually don’t know the one of my grandchild.
This is shocking!
Not to me.

I’ve tried a couple of times in my life to at least get a semblance of family-feelings going, but it never worked. My guess is that in an important period in my young years something didn’t develop that later simply doesn’t develop anymore. So I have to make do with a sense of loyalty. And I do have a keen sense of that.
A couple of days before I started this experiment one evening I was asking myself, “What would I like to leave as a legacy?” And it was very surprising for me to realize that one of the 3 ‘things’ I would love to leave for those that come after me was “a happy family”. And by family I mean the person closest to me, my son and my girldfriend’s daughter, my grand-son, my next of kin, my soul-brothers and soul-sisters, which are not part of the same bloodline but in some sense are much closer to me than most of my kin. So actually I mean a “happy extended family”. And I really don’t know what I can do to help this come true – my guess these days is, if I can consistently be a true human, and by that I mean someone who is feelingly, intelligently and spiritually present with the whole field of life and living, than this will possibly take care of itself; it will be a consequence of the way I live…

Actually one of the fascinating discoveries in between the high waves of strong feelings that are so common these days is what I’ve come to call feeling-field. It seems to me that with/through this field we are much more connected to life than through our intelligence and even our consciousness.
Oddly enough, in writing this I show that I still believe there to be a clear demarcation line between consciousness and feeling. Yet, feelingly observing those nearest to me it seems like there is no such line. We meander in between consciousness and feeling most of the time.

Con-science means ‘knowing with’, and one of the things that are very, very clear is that we live in a society that has been over-emphasizing consciousness for some hundreds of years . This resulted in an education that is all about knowledge; feeling is a weakness that we still suffer from but we’ll conquer that in the long run.
Well, we can’t really leave it behind, can we? We can put the volume down so much so that it seems like it disappeared – dispassionate science, objective knowledge, processes and situations as ‘things’ behaving according to ‘natural laws’, and so on. All of this has led us into a world where we cannot feel with (com-passion: with feeling) others except in a very abstract or hollywoodesk-romantic kind of way. Just look at the way that around these days the professional helpers dance around our wallet hoping to profit from the Christmas-sentimentality by showing pictures of children with huge eyes and thin, extremely thin limbs.

Descartes’ saying, that we have to torture nature so that it will reveal its secrets, might be regarded as extreme in our day and age but we’re still acting accordingly. In physics the Holy Grail (the myth of the Unified Theory which, supposedly would explain everything physical by reducing it to extremely tiny billiard balls governed by unbreakable rules that are thought to explain everything) is now closer, the conviction goes, because we have just finished for 10 billion or so the biggest machine of all times that smashes particles into each other. Dissect, smash, separate, analyze, torture, freeze, kill, these activities are supposed to reveal reality. Yes, indeed, we live in a civilized world! Feeling is a subjective luxury that governs economy by herd mentality on Wall Street and all the other stock exchanges all over the world – who, by the way through the mechanisms of extreme greed brought us to the brink of systemic change where everybody can now see that “the emperor wears no clothes”, as Andersen’s fairy tale goes.
Truth is gained by torture of nature and greed is the feeling governing the capitalist economy – and culture, of course, and religion to bless the large masses of us who buy our bliss at the prize of ignoring what we feel stirring in the depth of our souls.

This is a depressing perspective, one that might depressurize you enough to stop for a moment and maybe decide to reclaim the primacy of your own experience, the nobility of your own soul’s judgment, the deep breath of your openness – for we are super-social animals that, through ages of suffering and hard learning and a century of wide spread richness (at least in the West, and in many other parts of this world as well) and individualism have the unique chance to truly develop further.
I’m learning to see, by passing through the furnace of facing myself just the way I am on the feeling level, the level that is still largely uncivilized and uncontrollable – the only control being ‘desensitizing’, making dead, denial, active ignorance and skillfully channeled romanticism – I’m feeling-seeing the wonder of our interconnectedness, the beauty that in spite of thousands of years of civilization we still have everything it takes to be here, and through the alchemical fire of what is called civilizedness, we now finally have the means to realize, for a change, the healthy consequence of what we are: super-social, so social that we could move to the next stage of evolution: the one planet, Earth, opening up to the rest of the multiverse.

I’m done glossing it over: In the presence of feeling-seeing, in the actual flow of being human with other beings, humans and otherwise, in the soulfulness of every meeting – and the dullness of the superficial that also lives here – in the experiment of passion-intelligence-spirit this world is a truly awesome place.

And I am interested…


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Experiment: Day 9 (Shame)

This morning, as I was looking out of the kitchen window, feeling the hot fires of jealousy flaming up in my breast, I was thinking, how nice it would be to return to Advaita Vedanta – my old friend – and deconstruct all of this feeling and emotivity and return to the pure “I-am-ness” that I’ve experienced sometimes when still going down that non-dualistic path. But seeing what that path has done to it’s realizers from a sociological or we-fullness perspective (it’s pure feudalism or top-down thinking and practice) I guess, I can’t really return there. And also, what I said to my heart-sister Helen in a heroic mood still holds true, “I’m not going to transcend… a truly new way needs to come out of all this.” Something, I would add, at right angles to the usual spiritual approach to the challenge I’m facing.

And surely honesty is at the root of that, being radically true about what goes on in my heart and mind in the more immediate sense. By that I mean, not drifting off with the wings of my fantasy or drowning with the lead of my imaginings wrapped around my throat. A psychological way to say it would be, “Stop compensating.”
It’s all about taking a deep look at reality as it unfolds on the feeling level, not with the morbid sense of how horrible it all is or how heavy – even though one could say that and stay within the realm of truth – but because it is clear that “this is the weather inside.”

One of the things becoming clear about jealousy today – sorry if this topic bores you a bit by now – is that it really thrives in the absence of knowing what the other is up to. The clearer that becomes, and can be trusted, the less space there is for all kinds of fears and conjectures. Participating in what the other thinks and feels, a shot of reality, can help. In my case, anyway, one of the things that adds to the pain is the “fog of unknowing”.
And this fits with my sense of where I might be going a bit more this second week of the experiment, into listening closer what is going on in the feeling-field and what about the people around me.
One of the things that happen in deep sharings of feelings, when we speak about and with what it is we feel now and about its naked resonances with our life and past (not in an epic way but more of a brief reporter’s stance), is what today was pointed out to be something that “influences past, presence and future” all at once in the flow between us.
For me it was at times like the burning inside became a kind of liquid burning, a slow flow of deep, deep presence… “not of the mystic kind” as the person said I was with. And at the same time it also was mystic as later we laughingly concluded, as it was having many of the qualities described in the traditional texts of people who describe their mystical experiences.
Who would have thought that to be possible?

And for some time it raised it’s head, one of the most dreadful feelings of all: Shame. It is a social feeling, like guilt, only worse, because when you’re guilty you can confess and chances are that you will be forgiven – but shame is a dark secret, something that you feel so bad about that you will under almost any circumstance deny it and do everything in your power to let nobody in on. Yes, there are things in my life that I have done that I’m ashamed of, and that I will not tell to anybody. I deal with it in the deep shadows of my soul.

The sense of shame is like a dark fire, and, feeling into it I think, “No wonder that in some cultures the only way to clear your family of the shame you brought upon them (shame is a collective thing) is suicide.” Feeling into shame some images come up, and “O my god, how can I do that?” Feeling shame is dreadful, a cold and dark fire, slowly gnawing at your insides – no wonder Christians believed and some still believe that Hell is full of shameful people.
Shame is a cold hell because it goes with the knowledge that what you’re ashamed about should never ever come to light. Even writing about it like this makes me feel a sense of dread; as if it was dangerous to admit to having felt this. Ashamed of feeling shame, because, you might think, where there is smoke there is fire, so that I must be guilty because I admit to feeling shame.

I still remember vividly how it was being caught lying, even as a grown-up. That was dreadful, and if I could I would have buried myself to disappear. It is hard, when I now think of it and reconnect deeply with that feeling, to sit straight, and to hold this for more then a couple of minutes.
Yes, shame is very social; it absolutely humiliates you – or better, under the influence of shame you humiliate yourself so that the others might allow you back in to the fold after a while. Yes, feeling shame comes when you do something that even you yourself feel you shouldn’t do, and in a sense it is unforgivable, which makes it worse than guilt because it lies outside the range of hope.

I can only maintain feeling shame if I hardly breathe at all; as soon as I take some deeper breaths it gives way to a deep, tearless sadness. There is a sense of remorse and a strong need for salvation – no wonder that the Catholic Church has been abusing this feeling for such a long time to recruit people for it’s own purposes. I can feel shame for not too long a time.
And then I think of sexual shame; this might be the worst because somehow the very activity that ignites the reward centers of the brain and the body, that simply “feels good” is thought of badly, very badly indeed. So you’re prone to do things that bring shame on you. No wonder that in our society we have been ‘deadening’ ourselves so much. Shame is such an ugly feeling that I’d rather feel jealousy than shame any day. Shame is the only feeling that makes me immediately feel disconnected, and feel that I deserve it.
Once it’s there it’s slow to go unlike most of the other feelings that simply and easily peter out if you don’t focus on them anymore. It seems the only thing that makes it bearable is a shot of self-pity. Shame also doesn’t have many ways out; you cannot easily create a story in your imagination that turns it into blame, for instance or into other feelings like anger – which is, by the way, a good way out of sadness. Shame calls for repentance, a repentance that is as secret as what led to one’s sense of shame.

I might revisit shame when I feel a little less weak than I do these days, for now I’m happy that it slowly fades because there is nothing I need to be ashamed of anymore for real, I think. “But,” a voice in the back of my head – or was it my heart? – says, “is this really true?” This I’ll know when I lay down my head for ever…


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Experiment: Day 8

Even though this morning I sat with “a sense of insecurity” it was next to impossible to get to the core of it.
Insecurity’s cousin, Shyness, is well known to me and I’ve long ago come to know it’s presencing qualities and its connective character, so I meandered a bit around shyness, giving myself an easy time.
I also was wondering if after 7 days I shouldn’t go back over all the things I’ve written so far to see from the traces of the posts of this blog if a pattern that I haven’t been aware of is emerging. But somehow doing that didn’t appeal to me much. And I fear that my bright mind would spin a story that doesn’t come from the material itself but is much more made-up than I would want it to be. And also I fear that it would make me more prone again to go with the stories instead of with the feelings. And that is what is really required, because being unconditionally present with my feeling is at the core of this experiment, not the stories I come up with or even the blog posts I write. So instead of going over the last 7 days I took a look at what wants to emerge, and also kept an eye on my sense of insecurity as a kind of focus for my awareness that has the tendency to wander far and wide…

And there is also the consideration that now I have been sensitize to my feeling-sensing so very much that my 20 minutes in the morning dedicated for some day to bring up “the feeling of the day” can now be general to just be with raw feeling in itself and let me be taken by that.
Which is, of course the ideal, and it’s not really true. It seems to be true for all feelings except for jealousy: It is an immense challenge at times to just be with it; the stories connected with it, the imaginings which I now find are so deeply ingrained in the partner-relationship are now in doubt very much, in particular the feeling of having a real future together that is light and free and unencumbered by “hard feelings.” I guess I simply have to decide if I want to keep to what this experiment is about, even under the present circumstances that cause so much havoc in my throat-heart-solar plexus area so often.

Well, when I wasn’t caught up in the kinds of thoughts that accompany my greatest challenge at the moment, and when I felt calm and open and free I saw that overall the first 7 days were really very much dedicated to myself and my feelings, and that now maybe I can also focus a bit more on the feelings of those I live with. And strangely enough today more than ever I heard comments on the way I looked at them and what my expression told them about my feeling-state.
So far you’ve read – if you’ve read through all of these “reports” so far – quite a few times that some person triggered this or that feeling. And this is very true indeed. I think my experience this first week has taught me with quite some force and clarity that I can and do own all these ‘negative’ feelings. This also means that I can more easily “catch” a reaction before it jumps out into the “wilds” (out of everybody’s control, really, and self-determined by everybody involved and all they are and are connected with; I mean it’s really in nobody’s hands: wild) of ordinary life and becomes the trigger of more and more reactions. But it’s also quite clear that whatever I do, if I blindly react, if I respond with my eyes half open, or if in clarity I am with what goes on, it always also influences the people close to me. So going through all the feelings I’m going through, and going through them in the way I do – openly, owning them, feeling the connectedness, “yessing” them – doing this experiment with all that it means most likely is not only a blessing but also a stressor to those around me.

In general feeling the other is, for me, outside actually giving these feelings a name – it is most definitely different from being triggered by what they say or don’t say but implicate or do. The feeling-field has a different quality to it that seems to be beyond that. Looking closely I notice that it is as if people’s movement happen as if inside my body, I experience their moving as if the visual impression gets translated into… if my body would consist of entirely water it would be as if I would feel the water inside me move in synchrony with people’s movements outside. And these very movements are at the same time feelings in a language that has, right now, just a very few syllables.

I guess in this second week of my experiment I want to look more into this aspect of “presencing with feeling”. Now that I have somewhat honed my instrument of feeling a bit, this might be a next step in this education that happens upon me and that I co-create; trusting my senses, feelings and experiences to reveal what needs revelation, be with what needs good company, and learn what needs to be learnt – making the mistakes I need to make in this unknown process emerging as I enter into it.

One remark that touched me today was hearing, “There is so much love in your eyes.” From my perspective I was merely being with that person unconditionally, feeling the field, somewhat (but not invasively) curious about her feeling and being.


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Enlightening the Passions – Day 6 (Jealousy)

As I was sitting this morning, scanning the list of the ingredients in the alchemical mix that is cooking in the cauldron of my heart (yes, my heart is also a cauldron; actually it’s the whole region between my lower throat and my pelvis) I finally was ready to face one that isn’t even on there, and it surely needs to be: Jealousy and it’s close cousin Envy.

Some background:
I never thought I was jealous; or that it posed a real problem. When in the past my girlfriends had a lover I hardly felt jealous about it, maybe a little pang in my heart now and then but nothing serious. A possible reason for that might have been that more often than not I was having an affair myself. And at other times, when I was not having one and was ‘on my own’ when my girlfriend was in somebody else’s arms, then still it didn’t bother me too much. Maybe I never really got very close to them, maybe I wasn’t that open, at least not in the way that I’m open now. So I really wasn’t really jealous like I always heard other people to be…
My guess is that this was so also because in some way when my girlfriends had a lover it alleviated some of my fear of not being good enough, I didn’t need to cover all bases and provide all their love-needs (which, I thought then and until quite recently, are much more than a man’s needs). That’s how I would’ve explained it. Now, I really don’t know; whatever I did or didn’t do, it was very effective in saving me from feeling ‘real jealous’.

So when this morning I decided to have a go at it it wasn’t too easy to invoke at first. It took some time to really get into, maybe because jealousy really isn’t one feeling, it rather is a conglomerate of feelings, a mixture of thwarted longing/desire, the fear of being left, the sense of being victimized – which is different from feeling abused as the action is not actively against me; there also is a sense of being suffocated, and very deep down a feeling of forlornness.
So it’s a mixture of all these feelings, and depending what part of a story comes up in my imagination/mind the appropriate mixture of feelings is activated… or is it the other way around, or even a synchrony? Whichever way it might be, when being jealous there is an automatically triggered behavior: ‘closing down’.
It’s truly hard to remain open with your partner when you’re feeling jealous, whatever form the ‘pain’ takes. It seems inescapable to want to protect yourself against what you feel is your partners ‘fault’ – after all, it is what she is doing that triggers the feeling of jealousy, and if only she would stop the feeling would not be triggered and everything would be alright; at least that’s the story that justifies and almost automatically causes closure of the heart. The irony, of course, is that the very ‘thing’ you want, being/feeling close, feeling really connected, is not really possible when you’re closing down.
But staying open is “just too painful”.
Here is the stark splendor of what this experiment is also about: Staying with the ebb and flow, the ‘just too painful’ and whatever else the feelings morph into; staying in touch with the ‘naked feeling’. And, what shall I say, it is indeed possible. It is possible to not escape into the multitude of tactics that insulate me against feeling all that, that ‘disown’ (as a psychologist might say) those parts of the melody of my character.

Jealousy is a “Blow against the Empire” of myself; from a developmental point of view it is mortifying the “I am the center of the universe” sense of self where one believes, “It’s all about me.” Just being with it, with it’s eddies of thwarted longing, it’s ripples of fear-of-loss, it’s waves of suffocated sadness, it’s deep currents of forlornness, is good enough. Yes, there is the desire to do something about it, to change the situation, to dive away, to put on an armor and take a sword and cut the knot… and those are feelings that are also part of the tangled knot of feelings called jealousy.

When one really enters the ‘field of feeling’ from any point regardless of its signature or name then it always connects – there is a flow that, if I were to use a big word, could be called the “flow of being”, but then “being” is a word that suggests something being static where there is really nothing static there; it designates something that is ‘really real’, it’s substantial, so the best I can do is call it ‘connecting flow’. One discovery, or ‘uncovering’ of these first 6 days is the connecting quality of the “feeling field” and it’s “substantial reality”.

Now, as I said before, an important part of jealousy is that you don’t want to connect, you don’t want to feel the flow between yourself and the person that triggers the jealousy because it is painful; by that I mean, the ‘jealous imagination’ (like in the Munch paintings above) is getting refreshed again and again as long as the jealousy is there.
This puts one in the midst of a paradox; the nature of feeling being to flow in an open field – even so called negative feelings – and it is the nature of the jealous imagination to want to distance and/or protect you. So I’m happy to have decided almost a week ago to explore being with whatever I’m feeling unconditionally, so that in this paradoxical situation I simply be with the flow. Never mind the paradox…


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)


Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)