Introductions to Discussions


Each discussion on this forum has a central theme. The standing discussions, those that have a specific entrance from the Lobby, are global topics that everyone needs to explore in their pursuit of Higher Consciousness. The Member-Initiated Discussions (MID's), found in the Member-Initiated Discussions Hall, vary with the current interests of those who are participating in them. These have themes that people sometimes find are particularly challenging in their pursuit. Exploring them with other seekers is often helpful in "feeling your way along."

Here, on this page, you will find an introduction to each discussion. This will give you a good idea of the theme you will find in a discussion, so you can jump right in and participate. As you can read about in Forum Insights, in the Consciousness Education Center, the more you post, the faster you will grow. This fascinating dynamic shows itself over and over. Participation is the key to maximum benefit from these forum discussions.

All discussions are pruned bi-weekly to leave only the most recent posts. Think of this as a verbal discussion you might have. When you approach a group of people in a verbal discussion you might first listen to the current exchanges, so as not to interrupt. But you do not need to catch up on the entire history of the discussion in order to participate. The same holds true here, which is why we delete posts beyond a certain age. MID's, the entire discussion, are deleted if they sit idle for more than a month.

There are powerful insights that are added to every discussion as it develops. If you wish to retain these insightful posts, you can copy the text from the post, using the browser menu options, and paste it into your own word processing file on your computer. Please remember to give credit to the author, when copying his or her words.


(click on any title to see the introduction)

Standing Discussions and their location:

The Terrace: "Relationships and Emotional Intimacy"
The Solarium: "Emotions and Higher Consciousness"
The Hearth: "Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment"
The Gazebo: Book Club


Member-Initiated Discussions   (since Aug. 2006)

A Beginning
Alcoholic Family Issues
Alcoholism and Addiction
Alcoholism and Addiction Dynamics
Anticipation of Issues
Art of Disappearing, The
Astounding Denial Messages
Basics, The

BE Who You Value BEing
Black-and-White Thinking
Bringing Up an Issue
Building Trust
Claiming Self-Responsibility
Codependence (2)
Comments about Anything on BTN
Communicating Open and Honestly with Children

Conscious Parenting (see also ... "Parenting & HC")
Consciousness Lesson
Couples Relationships and Consciousness Counseling
Core Issues
Dating Game, The
Dealing with Death
Dealing with Parents - Conscious or Unconscious
Economics, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Higher Consciousness
Engulfmeeennnttt!!, AHHH!
Enslaved by Engulfment??
Family of Rearing
Fight, Flee, Freeze, Flow
Focus on Codependency
Forum Fatigue
Gender Socialization Issues
Getting to Know You ... Getting to Know All About You
Healthy Sexuality
Holidays - Gift Giving and Receiving
Holidays in Higher Consciousness
How Depressed Are You?
In Memoriam
Insight of the Day Discussion
Issues from Sexual Abuse
Liberty, only, supports the pursuit of Higher Consciousness
Loneliness and Aloneness
Medical Drama
Men, Women, and Emotions
Midst of Many Selves
Mother Nature
Narcissism 2
No Worries!
Nurturing the Growth of BTN

Outside the Norm
Parenting and Higher Consciousness
Path of Emotion - What do YOU do?
Physical Aspect--The Challenges of Illness/Injury
Physical Health and Higher Consciousness
Physical Realm
POE Work
Power Plays
Pursuing Higher Consciousness in Everyday Life
Questions About Love

Reactions: Bad, Responses: Good
Seeker Profile
Sexuality and Consciousness
Sexuality Issues
Sharing Nature
Sibling Relationships
Spam Email Issues
Unconditional Love
Unwilling Parents
What Do You Want?
What's In It for Me?
Willing to Feel, Or Feeling Indulgent?
Women and Mastery
Workplace and Consciousness Issues
World Events and BEing There
World Events 2

Standing Discussions and their location:

The Terrace: "Relationships and Emotional Intimacy"
Started May 25, 2005 - SB

The relationships you have in your life provide one of the most effective means for measuring the consciousness you have realized, and for receiving instant feedback about what lessons you still need to learn. Each relationship acts like a mirror for your dynamics, your ability to create certain experiences, and the ways you embrace and deal with your lessons of consciousness.

Learning to see the reflection in the mirror is one of the major lessons in any relationship. Our unconscious wants to see the reflection as the other person, or even to demonize the reflection. It is a challenge in every primary relationship to remember that the reflection we see is not the Devil, it’s not even our partner. Instead, it is a reflection of our own issues.

I am speaking, of course, about the stage of relationship known as the power struggle. In stages preceding the power struggle, the attraction and romance stages, the image appears angelic, as a saving grace, there to make you whole again. But it is still your own issues being reflected back to you.

Knowing the stages of a romantic relationship can be very helpful. In addition to reading about these in Feeling Your Way Along, you can find out even more by reading the books by the founder of Imago Therapy, Harville Hendrix. Look for Getting the Love You Want, or Keeping the Love You Find.

We suspect that parent-child relationships and child-parent relationship also have identifiable stages that they must go through, although we have not yet come across a good description of these stages. Certainly, there are developmental stages for every individual that continue to emerge throughout one’s life. But the stages of relationship between a child and a parent would involve the dynamics that occur when the two individuals try to relate from their respective developmental stages.

Use this topic to explore how your relationships are directly related to the level of consciousness you practice. In other words, if you want a Higher Consciousness relationship, you must learn and practice Higher Consciousness dynamics. Parents who want their children to develop greater consciousness first need to learn how to be more conscious. Children who want to create conscious relationships with their parents must first learn their own lessons of consciousness. The quality of relationships in your life is a direct reflection of the level of consciousness you practice. Anyone can learn the skills, if they are willing to deal with their own issues.



(continued May 31, 2005 by Donna BE)

Welcome to the discussion on Relationships and Higher Consciousness!

Relationships offer one of the most powerful vehicles for personal growth into Higher Consciousness. Your relationships offer the perfect environment to invite your issues to surface in your awareness. Remember that awareness only serves your growth when you use it. So, here’s an opportunity to explore your awareness in this group and use it to begin a discussion. A few suggestions…

*First, take some time to reflect on one of your significant relationships. It may be your romantic relationship, a child-parent relationship, a parent-child relationship, or a close friendship.
*Next, you might begin this discussion by sharing with the group how you use this relationship to better identify your issues.
*If you like, tell them what level of consciousness you practice in this relationship. Be honest. Do you, as an example, show vulnerability and offer safety at the intimacy level of consciousness (level four)? Or, do you go after perceived safety, staying in your comfort zone at the security level of consciousness (level one)?
*If you feel reluctant to address issues in your relationship, hoping to prolong the romance stage, it’s ok to talk about that also. *You might even ask others in the group how they assess the quality of their significant relationships and how they use them in their pursuit of Higher Consciousness.

So, how about getting the discussion going!

(continued Jan. 11, 2006 - SB)

We would like to add to this central topic of relationships & Higher Consciousness. You have already heard that relationships provide an invaluable vehicle for personal growth, once understood correctly. First, one must have a clear understanding of how one's issues result from the imprints in their unconscious.

Second, one learns how these same issues create an internal template, called an imago, that determines who one finds attractive. This naturally leads to romantic relationships that measure high on the imago scale. Thus, romantic relationships have a built-in capability for raising the same issues of childhood, making them a perfect (if not divine) vehicle for personal growth.

As a result of proper framing of romantic relationship work, the seeker usually goes looking for how these same issues show up elsewhere. The relationships one has with their friends is the next logical measure. Then their children and their siblings.

At the end of the list for nearly everyone comes the relationships one has with his or her parents (or primary caretakers). These come under close scrutiny (i.e. exploration for the purpose of finding Personal Truth), looking for the issues, the imprints, the sources of emotion, and if there is a good working relationship between you and your parent, an answer to the question "who is responsible for what" --- thus, growth occurs.

Work with parents is especially difficult because there are so many patterns and roles that must be discarded in order to arrive at honest exchange. And life is just too damn short to accommodate all the sorting needed. By the time the seeker is clear enough to be ready to deal with parent issues, he or she is usually old enough that their parents are elderly or deceased, making it even more difficult to explore together. The younger one begins their seeking in earnest, the better the chances of completing this stage of relationship work. By the way, parent work can be done even after your parents have died. It is a little harder, but doable.

Child-parent relationship work is the most powerful work one does, up till now, because you are dealing directly with the most fundamental issues. All your lower consciousness reactions will muddy the waters of truth in every attempt to honestly explore. (Notice how many "if's" are inherent in this work.) It is innately difficult, even when parents are cooperative and willing to deal with everything (which rarely occurs). Parent work is advanced emotional work, which is why it presents such difficulty for most people.

Remember that parents are the living images of the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. To the unconscious, they are equated with God. When you do your child-parent relationship work, you are beginning your work with God. This work continues beyond parent work, but it gets a good start here. This is where you end the work of issues, and begin the work of Enlightenment. But it must go in proper stages: self, romantic partner, friends, children, siblings, parents, God.

Relationship work is truly an Enlightenment system.

(continued Jan.20, 2006 - SB)

One can begin their self-discovery anywhere. The start is usually driven by where the disharmony is at its greatest. It can be issues with a parent, a spouse, one's identity or purpose, aloneness, with children, or any other situation in life. Regardless of where the issues are located, this reflects the first stage of relationship work, the relationship with self, where the skills of consciousness are first learned.

There is much discovery that must occur here, before one begins their journey of creating all of their life to reflect their newly-claimed Personal Truth. When one has connected to Personal Truth, and discovered its access to the divine, there comes a realization that nothing less will do. So the journey begins to clean up all relationships. There is a natural progression already described.

This is a "deep and thorough house-cleaning", rather than the occasional "picking-up" or "superficial cleaning" done up to this point. There may even be "re-modeling" involved when re-constructing one's life to reflect Personal Truth. If you commit to BEing in Truth, there are no partial measures. There can be no acceptable level of denial. All relationships are de-constructed and then reconstructed, usually in a predictable order.

Work? You bet! Frightening? Undoubtedly. But it can be done if taken in stages, one step at a time. There is no hurry to "get the job done." Just "feel your way along" and you will know what needs attention now. This forum is a place where we all can share this process and take heart in each other's courage. How long does it take? "A lifetime, maybe longer."

(continued Apr. 18, 2006 - SB)
Relationship with self
Relationships with people connected with errands (activities of daily living)
Relationships with those in close proximity (e.g. neighbors)
Relationship with work associates
Relationships with friends (people with whom you share common interests)
Relationships with lovers
Relationships with siblings
Relationships with children
Relationship with committed romantic partner
Relationships with parents
Relationship with God

These are all specific relationships that raise specific issues. No one gets a pass from any of these. Even if the role is filled in the negative, "no siblings" or "no children", there is a relationship.

When looking at "Relationships and HC", we do not need to restrict our scope to romantic relationships. The unconscious is always working. Imago is always guiding our sense of attraction. Our issues are always present. And the degree of risk grows at each new step.

Romantic relationships are perhaps the easiest in which to see our emotions. However, with a little attention, all the others become vehicles for growth too.

(continued Jun. 5, 2006 - SB)

Anyone who practices the Path of Emotion for discovering and living in accordance with their Personal Truth (see Feeling Your Way Along), eventually must address the discrepancy that obviously exists between the current state of a relationship and the potential it has for moving into a whole new level of consciousness, the Intimacy Level.

This disharmony occurs with every relationship of importance. It is usually felt first in a romantic relationship. However, siblings, friends, parents, children, work associates, neighbors, and all remaining relationships are subject to this same review.

This prospect frightens most people to some degree, since there is no guarantee how the other person is going to react to your invitation to them to begin looking at themselves. Because you want to grow into Higher Consciousness, and you do not want to break-off important relationships, you naturally want the other person to assume their responsibility for personal growth, and relate to you in a mutual pursuit of Higher consciousness.

After, a few attempts to probe the waters of having both your continuous growth and an on-going relationship, you quickly learn that there will always be much resistance from the other person. They may or may not find their own truth about the inherent value and necessity for personal growth. As you continue to enact more of your Personal Truth, relationships quickly become strained. You are rocking the boat containing the unconscious agreements upon which the old relationship was created. As carefully as you try to approach this dilemma with sensitivity, caring, respect and patience, you will inevitably be seen as a threat and a danger to the old relationship.

It will be obvious that one of the most common experiences of the pursuit of Higher Consciousness is the need to make the choice over and over again, about continuing a relationship that began before waking up to the pursuit (and how would this be done in truth) versus acknowledging that the relationship no longer serves your growth, and having to accept its dissolution.

We propose that we include in this discussion thread, talking about our various attempts to invite someone else into the pursuit of Higher Consciousness and the results in the relationship. Personal Growth is never easy. Perhaps we can help to make the journey easier to deal with, by comparing notes.

Share how you acknowledge and approach the discrepancy between what is and what could be, what you say to the other person, how they respond (or react), how they discover the need to claim their own responsibility for this pursuit (not just coattail on your discoveries and changes), how they perceive you, how you deal with the evolving stress in the relationship, what else you go through as a result of this recurring experience, and so on.

Go to The Terrace




The Solarium: "Emotions and Higher Consciousness" Started Apr. 14, 2006 - Stephen and Donna BE

As explained in Feeling Your Way Along, most people need to learn emotional skills as an essential step in their pursuit of Higher Consciousness. We have determined that this value needs greater emphasis here in, if we are to provide the quality forum experience that was envisioned.

The other areas of this forum provide either a frame for exploring consciousness issues in a specific context, such as in relationships or at work, or they provide a theoretical discussion to explore the vision of Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment, as it is presented in a variety of teachings. These are very helpful too, but they do not substitute for direct learning of emotional skills.

Consequently, we are introducing a new topic in the Solarium to better provide a foundation for emotional expression, emotional discovery and emotional exploration. This is an area where anyone, and hopefully everyone, will have ample opportunity to learn and practice basic skills. We invite you to use this forum discussion to share your emotions with fellow members.

Since willingness to feel is the first choice of consciousness, exploring emotion is the primary tool for pursuing Higher Consciousness. It is at the heart of seeking, so it is located at the heart of, the Solarium.

The situations in your life provide a context for your emotions. It helps to begin a post with a short description of the situation surrounding your emotion. Then proceed with descriptions of what you felt. Explaining the situation is only necessary to allow others to understand the emotional invitations you encountered in that situation.

In more advanced emotional skills, two individuals often do not need context. But for emotional novices, which most of us are, context is helpful, if not essential. The point to remember, however, is that the context is not the main subject. Do not allow yourself to indulge in the natural inclination to paint elaborate stories, and thereby avoid sharing your emotion. It is your emotion that provides the means for exploration. Use situations only to explain emotion. Use emotion to explore inward.

As you use this area, strive to keep your descriptions about the situations to a minimum. Instead, use your post to share your emotions and to respond to the emotional sharing of others. The more you talk about emotion, the easier it is to identify your own experiences.

There are skills of exploration that every seeker must develop. There are also skills of relating that are required for developing relationships with others. In the former, you are the presenter. In the latter, you are the listener. In the former, you must learn how to name, describe and explore your own emotion. In the latter, you must learn how to be helpful in someone else’s discovery. There are specific skills to be learned in both roles.

The basic emotional skills of naming an experience and describing it to others are challenging enough for many. Do not let your apprehension about “doing it right” interfere with the opportunity to practice sharing your emotions. Do not worry about how well you do it.

This is a time when it is appropriate to “just do it.” The idea is to open your doors to allow others to see you. The listeners will engage with you to clarify and understand your report. A simple statement like, “I was filled with anxiety when I saw the police lights in my mirror,” is an invitation to your fellow seekers to begin exploring together.

Sharing emotions is a skill that gets easier with practice. Say how you feel. Try to describe the experience in a way that allows others to understand what you feel. Offer basic details about the situations in which you felt the emotions. The benefit is gained simply through exposure. Others will tell you when they understand your experience and when they do not.

Emotional skills are usually obtained as one progresses through years of counseling. They cannot be “book-learned”. Emotional skills require experiential learning. This takes time, practice and guidance.

This is not counseling, however, since there is no attempt at tying-in personal history to current experience. There is no defining of personal issues. There is no reaching for specific goals other than the ability to communicate real emotions, and therefore relate in more meaningful ways.

We are not trying to help someone thoroughly explore an emotion, so that they arrive at greater truth. Nor are we taking into account their history, characteristics or goals. We are not trying to counsel. We merely want to help people get used to talking about their emotional experiences, using emotion words, exploring the experience of specific emotions, seeing how emotions come in sets and layers.

If they are also lucky enough to find a source of their emotion, so much the better. But getting to sources, testing truth and choosing truthful behavior are not the objectives of this forum. Discovery of your unconscious sources of emotion may occur in these discussions, or when you use your personal journal or your counselor to further explore something you raised here. But it is not the intent of this forum to complete your inner exploration, and the remaining steps in the Path of Emotion.

The Solarium is not the only place where this type of communication can occur. However, we want to provide one specific place where it is the central value. This will encourage the expression of real feelings, practicing vulnerability and safety, and seeing how emotions are a legitimate path into Higher Consciousness. Hopefully, this will lead to greater self-discovery, connections to more people, application of experience to the pursuit of Higher Consciousness and humanization of membership in

For further reference, see the Lessons in Consciousness, published on April 15th and May 1st, 2006, called “How Do You Feel About That? – Parts 1 & 2”. Especially note the section in this lesson that explains what to do if you feel you have “bitten off more than you can chew”.

You can also refer to the forum section called, “Forum Insights”, located in the Consciousness Education Center (CEC), for periodic discourses on emotional skill-building. These are learned skills that will develop only as you practice them. We will periodically facilitate the learning process as moments arise.

This is one of the central skills in using the Path of Emotion to pursue Higher Consciousness. We applaud risk-taking, vulnerability and sincere exploration. You will be amazed at how much validation and support you receive, as well as how your rate of growth increases.

Exposure is not weakness. To the contrary, exposure is the first step to true vulnerability, the power behind unimaginable self-discovery and self-realization.

So tell us, “How do you feel about that?”

(continued April 19, 2006 - SB)

Whenever anyone shares an emotion that is not yet integrated, they inherently feel vulnerable, shaky, uncertain, exposed, afraid of judgment, and apprehensive about letting loose such "uncontrolled" power (like they are unsure what's going to happen when they let it out of the box). The natural inclination is to shrink back into the crowd, go away, hide in your room, or any other form of retreat that provides respite and relief from the agony of exposure, i.e. safety.

We invite you, instead, to share the next level of emotion. This means coming back to share your next experience, describing what you feel about what you felt. This process can go several layers down. In each new layer of emotion, you realize something different. Like all fear, when it is brought into the light of examination, it tends to lose its punch. A deeper and more meaningful safety is often created internally by proceeding further, rather than retreating.

We work with emotion to defuse them of their drama and to claim their power. The rest of the world may thrive on drama. Certainly, the entertainment industry (music, movies, television, stage, sports, news, etc.) wants us to believe that "drama is life". But drama does not serve consciousness.

When we support the drama, in ourselves or in others, we are no longer working to claim self-responsibility for what we feel and then do, our emotion and behavior. When we allow the drama to run, we cannot claim the power of our emotion. It is being dissipated and squandered as a mini-storm.

Feel it, yes. Feel all of it, yes. Feel it to its natural depth, yes. Thrive on the turmoil in ourselves or others, no. Endorse the chaos, no. Believe it is evidence of being alive, no. Encourage the attention of others who thrive on your turmoil, no. Feel - yes. Drama - no.

When one is trained to handle something viewed as dangerous, it no longer strikes fear. It's only emotion. Emotion cannot harm, regardless of how it feels. It's only emotion!

(continued April 28, 2006 - SB)

I feel respect for your experience.
I empathize with your frustration over not understanding.
I imagine that my previous statements raise issues in the category of "understanding being the key to safety".
Therefore, lack of understanding equates to lack of safety.

I feel mixed about assuaging someone's fears and frustrations. On one hand, I want to be as safe as possible to encourage further exploration. On the other hand, too much safety often leads to complacency for those who do not continuously seek. Since I can not immediately know who will settle into their comfort zone and who will continue to reach beyond their comfort zone, I permit myself to be somewhat challenging. When I feel this level of trust in their seeking, I rarely feel the need to challenge.

Vulnerability is the laboratory for self-discovery.
When I trust that someone will constantly choose their own growth through seeking, always reaching just beyond their comfort zone, I have no need to challenge.
When someone refuses to reach outside their comfort zone, I have no need to coerce.
When someone presents as a seeker, but resists their vulnerability, I challenge their image.

I feel responsible for remembering my role in this reality as a guide, and discerning which is occurring with whom.
I know I am completely trustworthy with anyone's vulnerability. I am, perhaps, the safest person in the world for those who truly seek.
I accept I will not be liked by those whose image of seeking is in question.
I accept I will be rejected by those who devalue seeking.
I do not want to alleviate all discomfort (that which I am capable of alleviating).
I want to provide ultimate safety for those who ultimately seek.
I will answer all true questions, in the time and place where such dialogue works.

I feel nothing but complete respect for those who choose willingness to feel and willingness to deal. Many members are creating this reputation here. Sometimes, it is created over time, through two steps forward and one step back. I feel delighted by the manner in which members are using this area to identify and share their continuous emotion. I would feel disappointed if I contributed to its transformation into a mental exercise.

I feel certain of my willingness to explain (and explore, if necessary) anything I have written or said previously.
I choose to offer explanation in a separate discussion thread, in the Member Initiated Discussions.

Go to The Solarium




The Hearth: "Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment"
Started May 18, 2005 - Stephen BE

This discussion, about Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment, is the central discussion for This is the “raison d’être,” the reason for being. Everything that comes from BEing There Enlightenment Systems, every book, every article, every course, every retreat, every personal discussion, every evolution of a website, is an expression of this theme. It is by understanding this topic that everything else that you encounter here, as a member, will make sense.

We highly recommend that you engage in this discussion regularly. Ask questions of others. Test your ideas about Higher Consciousness and about Enlightenment. Explain the foundation of your perceptions. Share with others who are newly exploring the possibilities of a Higher Consciousness world. Regardless of your prior exposure to the concept of Higher Consciousness, you should be consistently exercising your belief system through this discussion.

If you have little or no exposure to “Consciousness”, you will learn quickly by engaging with others in this discussion. You will find that there are many different perspectives about levels of consciousness. And you will probably see that many people hold strong beliefs in this area. Do not let their strength of conviction deter you from your exploration. There is no proof for any single perspective, and there is no dogma required for the realization of Higher Consciousness.

In the end, your Personal Truth will be the determining factor in the lessons of consciousness. And you can begin to hear and respect your Personal Truth right now, regardless of how sophisticated you may, or may not, be with these concepts.

Anyone who sincerely pursues Higher Consciousness also practices a high degree of humility about the lessons they have learned. As the American philosopher, Alan Watts said, there is wisdom in insecurity. Those who pursue Higher Consciousness have learned to embrace the experience of insecurity. Those who also feel insecure in this discussion will be invited to feel welcome. A sense of conviction in Personal Truth does not display itself in expressions of superiority.

Following your Personal Truth will naturally lead you to the lessons of Higher Consciousness, which when learned, give you the perspective that everyone is right where they need to be in order to learn what is theirs to learn. Pretending to be otherwise is antithetical to the pursuit. Learn to recognize your Personal Truth, and then commit to following it, and you will realize Higher Consciousness.

One of our favorite quotes, one that we have used as a corporate motto for years, comes from Vaclav Havel. He said, “Consciousness precedes BEing!” We take from this that before any reality can exist, there must first be a consciousness of that reality. In other words, before you can realize any level of Higher Consciousness, you must first have an awareness of what that consciousness is. What will it look like? How will it feel? What might it mean in your relationships? How will you make the necessary changes? What existing beliefs will be challenged? And so on … First you awaken, then you can realize.

To work on your consciousness, means you must first have a vision of that consciousness. You need to be able to direct your efforts. Without such a vision, you can only wander aimlessly. So, use this discussion to explore, test, question, experiment, explain, challenge and confirm.

If you would like references for this discussion, you can read about consciousness, and the levels of consciousness, in our foundation book, Feeling Your Way Along (©1995), which you can find in the Bookstore. We respect the writings of several other authors, who explain levels of consciousness in terms that are understandable to the western mind. Highest among these is Ken Keyes, Jr., who wrote Handbook to Higher Consciousness (©1973). You can also read Yogi Philosophy (©1903) by Yogi Ramasharaka, and you will begin to appreciate that Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment are timeless concepts, and they certainly are not inventions of the western world. Go to The Bookstore.

We invite you to make this discussion the centerpiece of your exploration. We welcome you.

(continued May 30, 2005 - DB)

Welcome again to the discussion on Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment!

As Stephen stated, Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment is the reason for BEing. It is at the core of all work, all play, all relationships, all aspects of life. You’ve read about the pursuit of Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment in our books.

But, right now, you can start the conversation off with some of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perceptions and questions about Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment. That’s pretty broad. So, break it down to start the discussion.

How about starting by sharing one of your beliefs about Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment that is dear to you. If you recall, tell the discussion group when and where you were first introduced to the idea. You might also share how that belief shows up in your behavior. And, where you struggle to live in accordance with that belief in your everyday life. Maybe, ask how others in the group relate to your belief and if it, too is dear to them. This will get the conversation rolling!

(continued Dec. 28, 2005 - SB)

Spirituality is a great topic for discussion, and it seems to spark a lot of interest in many members. It is also the easiest aspect to associate with consciousness. I want to remind everyone that consciousness is determined by four aspects - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is far more complex than "spirituality" alone.

This would be a good room to explore how we advance our skills on other aspects. What do we do on the physical aspect, for example, not just to maintain our health, but to pursue consciousness? How about the mental aspect, what skills have we discovered need to be learned? Where have we sought guidance? How can we measure them? And so on.

There are many discussions occurring here on how one deals with their emotional experience to learn the lessons of consciousness. You might need to interpret an individual post a little to see the emotional skill-building. But it is there.

Remember to look at the big picture. How do you know which aspect needs attention? How do you steer this ship? How do you choose a heading? How do you find a master? How do you accommodate your world when you feel you must change course? How do you rise above the immediacy and remember the greater perspective?

The more you realize, the more there is to see. There is so much to learn, it may take an entire lifetime, maybe longer!

(continued Jan 2, 2006 - SB)

Skill-building does occur on each aspect of BEing. But we quickly dissipate our energy and get off-track when we try to build everything at once. Emotional skills are where nearly everyone needs to begin their pursuit. This may continue for years, as we all have much inner work we must accomplish before we are ready to simultaneously include another aspect in our daily work.

Remember, when the skills of the emotional aspect rise enough, there will be a discovery of the next "aspect of least development" that will occur naturally, using the emotional skills that have been learned and integrated. Eventually we will be working on all four aspects simultaneously, but it is important to realize that this would require full-time work. There would be no time for anything other than the full-time pursuit of Higher Consciousness.

The other aspects often look more appealing to focus on, so our unconscious will want to escape the emotional work and divert our attention to these. It is an easy diversion to take. People who choose to focus on another aspect are usually avoiding their emotional work. This strategy is self-defeating, and can only "work" in the short run. It helps someone to create an image, but that image lacks substance. Emotional work is first, and when successful will lead one to the next set of lessons naturally.

Yes, there are other skills to talk about. And it is okay to wonder about them, seek them, stretch to understand them, and (if it doesn't divert our attention from the more pressing emotional work) try to learn them. But there are some very large "if's" here. Seeking Higher Consciousness skills on an aspect other than our least developed aspect, will just further our imbalance.

I love hearing from others in this discussion who pursue consciousness from another tack and where it led them. There usually are some pretty strong opinions in defense of a specific discipline that someone is practicing. It helps to hear how it is guiding them. It helps further to ask them how they are dealing with their inner emotional work. It invariable involves some form of denial that is framed as mental discipline. It is an interesting discussion, at any rate.

(continued Feb. 26, 2006 - DB)

I'm also interested to know what some of your concepts of Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment are?
What does your picture of Higher Consciousness include?
What is your vision of Enlightenment?
I'd like to share in your perspectives.

(continued May 9, 2006 - SB)

We hope you will provide constant feedback about your growth process. We see as a lifelong relationship built around our commitment to consciousness guidance. We will know if we are being effective for your growth only if you tell us.

We are in continuous pursuit of Higher Consciousness. We read, study, make connections with teachers, explore consciousness systems, ponder, psychically cast a broad net, discuss, reflect and meditate. Our job is to assimilate, filter, distill and communicate what we find to hold merit.

However, all consciousness must be gained in sequence. No one gets to skip levels of consciousness, or the lessons inherent therein. We want to be a home for people on all levels, without disparaging comparisons or shades of elitism. One truth about the pursuit of consciousness is that those who have realized the most are also most humble about their pursuit, and therefore the most accepting of the journey of others. Self-aggrandizement is always evidence of false claims.

Many of the things we have learned would only be appropriate to share after other lessons have been addressed. Some of the systems of consciousness, and their teachings, would make the head spin of someone who was not prepared to consider them. So we constantly assess the level at which we communicate.

Should we speak more freely of lessons to come, or should we slow down and allow for the security that grows from familiarity? Your feedback is essential. This forum discussion is a perfect place to examine these questions at any time.

(continued May 24, 2006 - DB)

Issues are part of the make up of our unconscious. The issues are not extinguished regardless of how well we identify and learn to deal with them. The unconscious can not be reformed.

What we are after is to learn to deal effectively with our issues so they do not continue to move us through our lives. We want Personal Truth, instead, to be our navigational system that drives our Truthful Behaviors. Consciousness, BEing There, occurs when behaving in accordance with our Personal Truth.

We are not failing when the issues continue to emerge, they will. Our job is to seek our issues and to work with each issue using the Path of Emotion, each and every time an issue is identified and/or triggered.

An issue brings an invitation to behave unconsciously, reactively. We can learn to decline that invitation and behave responsibly, truthfully, and consciously.

Remember, it's not ever about the issues, it's about how we deal with them. Anyone care to share how effective the Path of Emotion works for you?

Go to The Hearth




The Gazebo: Book Club
Started May 25, 2005 - SB

A book club is a gathering of people who share a common interest in a book, who meet so they can discuss their experience in reading it. When applied to books about Higher Consciousness, the book club becomes a study group of people who are helping each other to learn necessary constructs and skills.

Some of the topics they might talk about are:
· What they learned,
· What they missed,
· What they agreed or disagreed with,
· What the author meant by a certain passage,
· What it brought up for them,
· Other authors who compare or contrast,
· Where it fits in the sequence of their learning,
· The writing style,
· How to apply what they learned
· Or a multitude of other topics.

There is no right way or wrong way to discuss a book, as long as you stay primarily on the book being discussed. To digress into the universe of all books, makes it impossible to maintain any cohesive discussion. And with the international membership of, you will be introduced to books from all over the world.

If there is a particular book you would like to include in this club, you can put a suggestion in the suggestion box at the Frontdesk, or send a private message to the forum host by clicking the "Host" icon in the header. As long as there is widespread interest, and applicability to the content of this forum, then a club discussion can be scheduled. If there are only a few people interested in discussing it, then it can still be opened up for discussion in the Member Initiated Discussions. Books that are published in languages other than English are nearly impossible to include in this forum.

The books from BEing There Publications™ are the most pertinent books to learning the skills needed to pursue Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment. So, you will see these books rotated into the discussion cycle frequently. Even if you have previously participated in a specific discussion, you can usually get more each time you test what you think you know, by discussing it with others.

We recommend that you always stay engaged in the book club. Keep abreast of where a book topic is right now, as well as where you think it might be heading. As long as there are new eyes in the book club, there will be new perspectives to consider.

(continued May 31, 2005 - DB)

Welcome again to Book Club!

It's common to feel nervous when you're new at participating in a forum discussion. Remember that you are sharing in a common pursuit, Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment. You're always safe at to expose your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and questions.

Here’s a suggestion to get you started…
*Take a moment to reflect on one significant message you discovered while reading.
*Share that discovery of yours with the group. What was so significant about it for you?
*Tell how you applied it to your life.
*What happened next?
*Let the group know where in your life you struggle with integrating that message.
*Now, ask other seekers in the discussion group what they relate to, identify with and have to share in response.

So, take a deep breath and jump on in!

(continued Mar. 20, 2006 - Host)

A. Book Club Guidelines
Book club discussions are most productive when participants have had time to read the book and reflect on it before entering the discussion. Of course, anyone is welcome to participate in the discussion, regardless of when they began reading the book; even if they have not read it. It is always okay to join a discussion at any stage. A late start does not mean you cannot join in. It is also okay to move forward or backward within the book being discussed. The club is here only to serve people’s understanding of the lessons in the book being discussed.

In order to provide the most benefit from the book club, the following timelines and processes are used for planning. These guidelines are not set in stone. If you find they do not help your book club experience, please let the host know.

B. Book Selection
The book to be discussed is primarily determined by popular vote of the participants, with the host making the final determination (taking into account the vote, availability of the book, predicted length of discussion, variation in theme, and so on). Participants are responsible for communicating to the host their desires to discuss a book. Don’t just wait-and-see what others want to discuss. Being assertive about your desires helps the host to make this decision.

The host will periodically call for suggestions. You can send her a Private Message (PM) (look for the icon in the header of the book club) with your nominations before mid-month, when the next vote will occur. You can nominate any book. Remember, however, that there is a recommended reading list in the Bookstore. These books are recommended for a reason. They serve your growth into Higher Consciousness. (See section “D” below.)

The current vote is for the discussion that will begin in 2.5 months (assuming each book requires one month to explore). If the current book is “book #1” and the next book is “book #2”, the current vote will be for “book #3”. The results will be boldly posted on the book club discussion as soon as a determination can be made following the vote. This allows the participants just enough time to order the book, have it delivered, and to read and ponder it before it comes up for discussion in the book club.

C. Length of Discussion Period
Some books will require more than one month to adequately explore through discussion. The host will determine the length of discussion period for a book by taking into account the needs of the participants and the level of interest being expressed in the discussion. This period will not extend any longer than necessary to gain the central lessons of the book. Shorter, simpler books may need only one month. Longer or more complex books may require even more than two months. It would be a rare book that required more than 2 months discussion; possible, but rare.

The length of discussion will not be extended just because people are reading slowly. The book club presumes that it is interest driven. Also, the lessons of the book do not need to be fully comprehended before moving on to the next book. It may take years to fully comprehend the lessons in some books. It serves the best interests of the book club to keep the material fresh. It would be better to discuss a book a second time, later, than to stretch it out. Further, specific topics can be initiated in the Member-Initiated Discussions (MID Hall), to carry-on a topic of interest that extends beyond the book discussion.

D. Recommended Reading List
BEing There claims a certain responsibility as consciousness guides by reviewing and recommending specific books. Not all self-help books are equal. Some are mere gibberish, tripe, nonsense. Some are so antithetical to personal growth, we wish we could ban them, or at least put warning labels on them. Many are selling feel-good promises and mass-market messages.

Even sincere and scholarly books on spirituality, Enlightenment, emotions, relationships, consciousness and psychological issues all have a point of view. We do not recommend a book just to challenge your thinking. Nor do we try to balance our recommendations for the sake of political correctness. We believe in the truth that is expressed in the books we recommend; not necessarily everything that is written there, but its essence and most of its specifics.

By not recommending a book, we are not saying it is without merit. We are not even aware of many worthwhile books. We do, however, screen out books that deny the foundation constructs of BEing There (see Feeling Your Way Along). Many best-sellers do just that. We also admit to a bias: if a book appeals to a mass market, it probably is selling concepts that have mass appeal. The concept of inner work in order to realize Higher Consciousness is not such a concept, as anyone who has walked this path has soon come to realize.

If you think a book belongs on the recommended reading list that is not there, send a suggestion to the BTN staff (Members' Suggestion Box). We will gladly review it. If we are asked, and if we have the time and inclination, we will even post our review in this forum, so everyone can read our opinions. We believe it is helpful to learn how to screen books for their value to the pursuit of Higher Consciousness. Only books that meet this very high standard are included on the recommended reading list.

Go to The Gazebo




Current Member-Initiated Discussions (these change frequently):

A Beginning
Started March 28, 2008 by Rena Wix

To everyone -

I have been reading and exploring for several days but always "waiting until next time" to post. I find myself trying to compose just the 'right thing'. Finally decided to just post this little note to get myself out of neutral. I find I think of things I want to ask or say but when I get to the actual screenn, I go blank. Getting started seems to be the important thing for this day though. Rena




Alcoholic Family Issues
Started April 4, 2007 by Milosh

Hi everyone,

A lot of people seem to come from families where alcohol is/was being abused a lot. I am starting to learn now, that certain dynamics might exist there and could be a common factor to everyone who ever lived with an alcoholic. But I'm also not sure about this.

I'm coming to a dead end street when I try to share about these stuff. A very distressing and confusing thing it can be to live with an alcoholic. My dad drinks since I know for myself. But it is not until several months ago that I admitted to myself that he actually is an 'alcoholic'. I was always aware of his drinking problem, but there was just something in that word that is so official. I was constantly telling myself that he will stop drinking. I was telling myself that he is not an alcoholic and that I do not have problems because "there are people with lot worse cases" (my tend to ignore and diminish my side) or because "he only drinks on weekends", "he is a good guy"... Now I see that there's a lot more to it. I'm especially glad to see books written on this subject.

Anyways, let this be a place where we can share our thoughts about this




Alcoholism and Addiction
Started May 20, 2011 by Christopher

I'm starting this member-initiated-discussion because I perceive a lot of energy behind this issue coming from recent posts in the Solarium. While I acknowledge that it is a primary and core issue for me right now, my wish is that others will feel invited, in a safe way, to explore their own issues with alcoholism and addiction. Here are some of the pertinent quotes from the Solarium:

Quote: As I type, I'm noticing that my extremities are ice cold and my armpits are sweaty. I feel shaky, insecure, angry, sad and depressed. My unconscious is saying "you have enough on your plate right now, leave this issue alone." Feels like another growth opportunity. Shannon L

I am not sure I even know how to drink in a healthy way…and wonder if drinking is just not my thing. Chris R

Alcohol is a big factor in my family history & addiction is apart of mine (food etc). Laura

I had a few glasses of wine and after dinner I proudly proclaimed "I have a pretty good buzz on". Tycee was less than impressed and said to me "you are not available to yourself or me when you are like that". It was an 'Ah Ha' moment. Why would I choose a behavior that results in that?! That was when I decided to pass on alcohol. Chris J

I can feel the power of proclaiming "I'm an alcoholic". Brian

I am slowly beginning to realize that I have always wanted to give up alcohol. Christopher

I empathize with your struggle with alcohol and can connect to my own addiction struggles. Heather

I am an alcoholic, have a deep family and personal history with alcohol and I just came from my second Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting tonight. It was scary to attend, but less so than last week, and easier yet knowing that a friend who I invited also attended with me. I felt supported in a mutual way, as many of us told stories about our experiences, including the following one, which I shared tonight at the meeting. This past week I told my parents that I was attending AA and that I was an alcoholic. Two interesting things happened. One is, that my mother said "we support you," answering co-dependently for my father. There has been a noticeable space developing between my mother and I, with her having been in contact with me significantly less following my announcement. The other is, that my father systematically listed to me, all the relatives on both sides of my family who are alcoholic. Everyone except himself, who he conveniently did not mention, despite the fact that he drinks every day. He is obviously in complete denial. I feel pain that my father drinks. I feel pain that my mother participates in silence and denial. I feel sad that they continue to perpetuate these unhealthy dynamics. And I know that this is not my responsibility. I am dawning to the awareness that his life is his choice and his responsibility and I continue to see that I have been entitled that they will understand and genuinely support me.

What is your experience with alcoholism and addiction? In what ways are these dynamics coming up in your life and in the life of your loved ones? If I have done this correctly, a poll should appear after my post. Please answer it and feel free to add your comments. (NOTE: I voted "Intimately", but it will not accept my vote, for some reason.)





Alcoholism and Addiction Dynamics
Started March 3, 2010 by Christopher

Feeling really sad tonight. Can't find the source or unwilling. Not wanting to post at all and having trouble finding words. I figure it's exactly the time to post.

Milosh wrote:
I've been struggling with myself a bit. About the usual stuff - everything.

I'm struggling tonight as well. I put together a playlist on my computer called "Makes me Cry" and I've been playing it all night. Feels good, somehow. I found out that my dad is an alcoholic. I never knew this. Feeling some shock, both that he is and that my mother never told me before. He doesn't drink much these days, and I knew my dad's brothers do drink a lot, but this doesn't seem to matter. A few weeks ago my mom told me on a walk that he used to drink until he blacked out during his medical residency due to feelings of unworthiness compared to other residents. I can relate to the unworthy feelings. She'd find him on the lawn, passed out. He wouldn't remember in the morning. I'm wondering if I need to give up alcohol entirely. How have others dealt with the presence of alcohol in their lives





Anticipation of Issues
Started March 5, 2008 by Stephen BE

Anticipation of issues is one of the great ways to propel your growth.

This admonition from the conversation in "Bringing-up an Issue" sparks another discussion. In Feeling Your Way Along, we introduced an exercise as part of the Path of Emotion that allows someone to anticipate the issues that may arise from Truthful Behavior (Step 4). In so doing, a seeker may gain multiple lessons from a single issue, simply through anticipation.

Here, I suggest that we play, what amounts to, the "What Would You Do" game. In order to avoid falling into infinite loops of unworkable situations, I suggest that we only consider the issues that arise from real situations. We could all imagine situations that can defeat the Path of Emotion, but curiously, when only real situations are considered, we have never encountered one that exceeded the system for living truthfully.

Remember, we have engaged in 8-10 hours of therapy per day, for 3-5 days per week, for 50 weeks per year, for thirty-four years. Multiply that by the two of us, and then that by the number of issues present in each of those people, then add in our own work on our issues, and you can see how remarkable is the previous statement. The Path of Emotion ALWAYS works when the individual is willing to do the work.

So keep the situations real, or the Truthful Behavior already resulting from your Path of Emotion, and anticipate the issues that might arise. Together, we can ease the process of exploring our experiences, and thus finding and claiming the next level of Personal Truth for each of us.

Anticipation, literally, allows us to cram the work of multiple lifetimes into one. We no longer have to learn one issue at a time. Instead, we piggyback issues, learning the lessons they bring, many at a time. In some situations, some issues, I know I have gained the discovery of dozens of lessons from a single issue. If I had been content to allow them to come up as individual issues, I'd still be in the second grade.

Seekers go looking for their lessons. They get that this is the only purpose of life, and they are unwilling to waste another day, another minute of their life in avoidance or fear. Whatever we find through anticipation, can only speed our growth into Higher Consciousness.

Yes, we may have to be willing to change more quickly. From experience, however, I can tell you that once a truth is known, there is no value in delaying its implementation. Part of developing faith comes from the tenacious and methodical implementation of Personal Truth. The lesson is: If a behavior is truthful, the consequences can only lead to the discovery of further truth. Truth delayed is untrue!

So, who's got a real situation, or a Truthful Behavior, they want to play with? Share it with the rest of us, so we too, can explore what we would do in that situation. Who wants to play?

(... continued March 6, 2008 by Stephen BE)

Okay, this process might need some modification as we proceed. Cindy, you only describe an issue you face. This is not the same as having already worked with that issue so that you know the behavior that will reflect the truth you have claimed. Anticipation of issues can only be completed as you make your preparations to carry-out the already identified Truthful Behavior. I invite you to first work with your issue, and then come back here to anticipate any additional issues that may arise as a consequence of completing the first.

I know I probably confused the exercise when I included the suggestion that any situation could be used to anticipate future issues. I am getting clearer today. I think I need to modify my invitation to play as follows.

As was the case in "Bringing up an Issue", there may be situations that you become aware of that might cause you to wonder how you would respond if you were one of the main characters in that situation. It is not a current issue for you, however you could imagine being in a similar situation. These would be useful to anticipate here.

On the other hand, if you are in a specific situation now that invites you to feel disharmony, then you are experiencing a current issue; an issue that needs the full work-up for you to discover and claim your Personal Truth, from which flows Truthful Behavior. It would be avoidant to try to circumvent your own work by polling others about how they would respond if they were in that situation. No one can relieve you from your own work.

So, if you are feeling a current issue, do your work. After you know what the Truthful Behavior would be, then you can try to anticipate additional issues that may arise as you fulfill your truth.

If you see situations that you can imagine would challenge you, but are not really a current issue, then these can be worked with by projecting yourself into that situation and exploring. That's the essence of anticipation. The ability to see yourself in all situations is a magnificent tool of growth.

For example, what if you had been born in Germany in say, 1915 or so. You would have been too young to have suffered the horrors of WWI, but you grew up in its aftermath, a depressed, totally desolated economy, and unrelenting world-wide scorn. You would be a young adult by 1935, as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came into political power. You would be of an age that would be expected to serve your country in the military. You have already seen some of the persecution of the undesirables in your country, Jews, gypsies, Catholics, developmentally disabled, mentally ill; all in an effort to "purify" the race. You may disagree with some of their tactics, but you are beginning to enjoy the benefits to your country. Then, as a twenty-something, you are called into service. What would you do, given your current level of self-awareness?

Do you see how anticipation of such a scenario will raise significant issues in any feeling person? Everyone is well-served to find their issues here, and work them through. This is the kind of issue-anticipation that magnifies one's rate of growth. If we get far enough into this process, I'll explain why this is so.




Art of Disappearing, The
Started 5 October 2011, by Tycee

This is a poem I found in a Buddhist magazine that I thought I would share for exploration;

The Art of Disappearing,

by Elizabeth Namgyel

When they say Don't I know you

say no.

When they invite you to the party

remember what parties are like

before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice

they once wrote a poem.

Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.

Then reply.

If they say We should get together

say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.

You're trying to remember something

too important to forget.

Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.

Tell them you have a new project.

It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store

nod briefly and become a cabbage.

When someone you haven't seen in ten years

appears at the door,

don't start singing him all your new songs.

You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.

Know you could tumble any second.

Then decide what to do with your time.

The poem is about renunciation which she describes as a "focus change" where one has chosen to no longer "live in "fantasy." She says, "We are no longer interested in joining the party where we feel a need to assert who we are, who we want to be, or how we want others to see us."

I found it interesting (the poem) and like some of the phrases such as;

"know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time." I was reminded of keeping focus on the true purpose of my life, knowing this life could end for me at any time.

I am interested in other members opinions about the poem, and would like to open discussion about how to disappear in the crazy world.





Astounding Denial Messages
Started April 19, 2006 by Stephen BE

We are constantly collecting material for many books we have in mind. One working title, for a book on the essential value of vulnerability, is "The No-Denial Zone". As part of this book we are collecting messages that propose, support and defend the use of denial as an effective emotional skill.

There must be an infinite number of these messages, as we continue to encounter them everywhere we go. Like when you have an eye for a particular style of vehicle, it appears frequently, so too, when you have an eye for denial messages, they seem to come out of the ethers.

We would love to use this forum topic as a place to share some of those we have heard, and especially to hear some of the messages you have come across or that you carry around with you.

Please tell your most astounding denial messages! If you know where it originated, please credit the source. If you can trace where you heard it or picked it up, identify the source in relation to you rather than by name. If you can quote it exactly, like those in written form, give credit to the author. If it is an institutional value, document it as well as possible.

This can be both fun and frightening. By sharing our experiences about denial messages we have lived with or encountered, we can take some of the scariness out of them. Keep on the lookout for denial messages. And become a reporter of truth.





Basics, The
Started Dec. 4, 2010 by Milosh

I want to focus my attention to the basics of the teachings. Because that's where the beginning is.
The first thing I'm gonna mention is the unconscious. It is in the book Feeling Your Way Along, named as the "Construct #1".
I don't know much about the unconscious, except through how members here mention it. I'm curious.
I looked up in the Wikipedia about it and it says:
In psychology:
* Unconscious mind, the mind operating well outside the attention of the conscious mind as defined by Sigmund Freud and others




BE Who You Value BEing

Started April 12, 2012 by Stephen BE

Anyone who has been in counseling with Donna will recognize her signature phrase:
BE Who You Value BEing
This is a powerful, all-encompassing lesson that deserves a round of exploration. It is a lesson that needs frequent, periodic review. It will be helpful to consider how this lesson has shown itself in your experience.

I recently had a run-in with a person who verbally assaulted me, unexpectedly, and without any cause or justification. We call this a pot-shot or a sucker-punch. It is a favorite dynamic of those who claim no responsibility, but instead blame other people for their state of misery. They look for any behavior that they can use to rationalize their pervasive state of anger, and then justify acting out toward what they perceive as the immediate cause.

They are the emotional equivalent of a punk, an emotional punk. They take their sucker-punch and then run, before you can even get your footing in engaging them. They count on the element of surprise to guarantee their success in a hit-and-run. You never see it coming. And you are left with no recourse, no engagement, no possibility for dealing with the inevitable issues that always follow such behavior.

In terms we use to describe borderline experience: The rug is pulled out from under you; The snow-globe is shaken just to see the storm and destroy the peace; The world is rattled; You are slimed by the drama; You are instantaneously demonized in an overwhelming display of unconscious behavior. Anyone with borderline characteristics, as well as anyone who has encountered borderline behavior, can probably recall many such experiences in their life, as the unconscious perpetrator or the unwitting victim. Unfortunately, it is all too common.

This behavior is especially disturbing to me because I grew up with it. I never knew how it was going to appear. But I knew it was coming sooner or later. And when it did, it was often life-threatening. It invites a level of constant fear in me that is consuming. It takes an enormous amount of psychic energy to recover from such an attack, and leaves me reeling in disbelief. "What just happened?" I work diligently to eliminate the possibility of such experiences. They are crazy-making, unresolvable, and lack any benefit of growth through interaction.

I can report that I dealt with this encounter in accordance with my truth, by discontinuing the exchange and walking away. But my unconscious has been playing the scenario over-and-over in my head. In my head fights, I fantasize all the ways that I could decimate such a low-life. My unconscious wants to win, and keeps replaying the scene with an infinite number of ways in which I could claim victory. Some involve clever and elegant words that strike to the core. Some involve politics that will leave that person in isolation and shame. Some are downright violent, involving anything from use of the martial arts I know, to devious plans for murder. Winning is the common factor in anything my mind goes to. I just want to crush and annihilate this self-declared enemy.

The fantasies are a natural expression of my unconscious. If power is the game, then power it is! Power consciousness, when played to the extreme, requires either death or complete and unconditional surrender. And I'm up for either. I want to plot my revenge. My unconscious would have me believe that any of this is possible, necessary and justifiable.

The problem with believing the unconscious is its tendency to misperceive, plan poorly, and focus on the only outcome of victory. Consciously, I know this is naive, stupid and misleading. The unconscious doesn't care. I am forced to face my choice of who I value BEing.

My original response, to disengage and walk away, was in alignment with my truth. But I cannot say it was a result of conscious behavior in that moment. I was in a state of turmoil, conflicted about protecting myself in a not-yet-physical fight. There was no manifest danger to my safety. There was no physical self-defense required. I could still walk away. So I did what I knew to be in alignment with truth I had previously claimed. It was not a conscious choice, but a choice that was well-programmed. In reflection, I am pleased with the choice. My truth is confirmed. I acted in a way that I value. I was BEing who I valued BEing.

It scares me to think that I could have easily acted differently. What I fear most from this experience is how easily I could have made a different choice, i.e. not BEing who I value BEing. All of my mind fights, while I walk away with a clear and decisive victory, result in me not BEing who I value BEing. It's a tough choice to make in the heat of the battle. But my limit to the use of violence, either verbal or physical, is the presence of a clear and imminent danger to my physical safety, or the safety of someone I protect. I cannot justify the use of violence just because I am emotionally endangered. It would not be consistent with my values. And most of all, I choose to BE who I value BEing.

Had I not considered my values in this area, I would have been unprepared for the experience. It was only my years of unrelenting search for Personal Truth that had prepared me. My reaction was consistent with my truth because I had been practicing living in truth. Sometimes the choice to BE who you value BEing is made years in advance of an event where that value is challenged. BE who you value BEing becomes a way of considering all possibilities in life. Seeking is proactive. If you wait until events dictate an instant choice, you will often find your reactions to be out of synch with your truth.

I invite all to consider how they are preparing for possible choices. Will you be programmed to BE who you value BEing, even in situations where you do not have the luxury of self-exploration and conscious choice-making? What challenges have you faced in the moment of truth? How have you prepared for future moments? How have you fared when your unconscious wants you believe its lower consciousness agenda?
Those who post the most, grow the fastest!




Black-and-White Thinking
Started December 19, 2008 by Sher

Good idea about starting a topic about Black/White THINKING. Thanks.

I have been noticing my B/W Thinking with how it relates to the holidays.

As I am observing my reaction to some of the holiday craziness, I am noticing that I have to be careful not to swing the other direction and totally discount some of the holiday traditions that I do connect with at this time. Participating in this Christmas season does not need to be an all or nothing experience. It would be just as reactive to say that “nothing is right” with the holidays, as it is to jump in full force and participate (just because the world says to).

I am trying to take each piece and tune into the situation, and then behave in Truth. I cancelled the cookie exchange party with people I didn’t know, but last night, made cookies with my kids. My B/W thinking might have encouraged me to never bake another cookie, but that is just as crazy as making 11 doz.

What do others think?





Bringing Up an Issue
Started 9/25/07 by Stephen BE

How do you know you have an issue present?

By the presence of internal disharmony.

How do you deal with that issue?

You practice the Path of Emotion, going inward first, until you update your Personal Truth:
1. Choose willingness to feel all that you feel and to deal with all that you feel.
2. Explore your experience, starting with the disharmony. Get to know the territory that is revealing itself to your awareness. As much as possible, explore until the source or sources of that experience emerge.
3. Test those sources for their current veracity, using your Ring of Truth. Is that [belief, value, perception, early life experience] true for you now? (Of course, you must recognize your individual experience of the Ring of Truth.) Once your current truth is identified, then claim it fully (an active process). Once current truth is claimed, the behavior that is consistent with that truth is self-evident.
4. Enact the behavior that is consistent with your truth, being inwardly prepared to deal with whatever consequences occur from your truthful behavior.

Okay, you got this far. That is no small feat. Very few people in this world can even get to this level of consciousness. But let's not stop there. (If this is too new, and you haven't gotten there yet, then review Feeling Your Way Along, and ask questions, lots of questions, in these forum discussions.)

Suppose the truthful behavior that resulted from your Path of Emotion requires you to engage another person. Let's say you have an issue with that person, and you want to explore it with them and, hopefully, have them agree to a different behavior.

How do you bring up an issue, in truth, with the greatest possibility for a favorable mutual agreement?

This is the step in development of consciousness that represents the next phase of growth. First, one must learn to know himself or herself and update and claim their Personal Truth. Then they must learn how to engage others in truth, in hopes of creating intimacy. These are separate levels of skill. Unfortunately, most people never get to the level of creating conscious relationships, because they hit hurdles in their own inner development (usually their unwillingness to feel and deal with certain emotions, like for example, impending abandonment by the other person).

Assuming that everyone here will ALWAYS choose willingness to feel and to deal, then eventually everyone will encounter the problems inherent in raising issues with those you care about. The problems come from the difference in dynamics between you and the other person. You are practicing the skills of the Fourth Level of Consciousness, while the other person is still relating from the Security, Sensation and/or Power Levels of Consciousness.

If you strive to live your life 100% in accordance with your Personal Truth, you will learn to approach others truthfully. Unfortunately, the people with whom you want to engage probably do not yet know how to respond from their truth. It is likely that they have not yet discovered the value of truth and truthful engaging.

So here you are, striving and floundering to BE in your truth and behave in truthful ways. And there they are, continuing to react the same old ways, without consciousness and devoid of Personal Truth. You are in truth. They are reacting. They defensively proclaim that they are being "truthful too", but they do not yet even know what Personal Truth is. Truthful behavior vs Unconscious reaction. Different dynamics.

They can only see you through their own perceptions, limited by their current level of consciousness. You appear to be using a much more powerful set of dynamics. To someone concerned about power, this is even more distressing. They feel like they are losing the exchange and must fight even harder to prevent being overpowered. The content of the issue is lost. Only the dynamics matter. While you are interested in truthful resolution to the issue, their aim is to avoid being overpowered, and possibly annhilated.

Let's explore this experience, since everyone has probably encountered it. Let's find ways to behave in ways that are consistent with Personal Truth, regardless of the responses you receive. So here are some of the relevant questions:

How do you raise an issue in a responsible, truthful way with someone who continues to operate from the old system of engaging?

How do you enlist their participation in what you have learned is a healthier way of BEing?

Once the issue is raised, how do you see it through to a satisfying resolution?

How much responsibility do you assume in trying to educate them, or assuage their feelings of threat, or raise their consciousness, or get them to see the value of BEing in Truth?





Building Trust
Started Dec. 4, 2010 by Tycee

I have been reflecting on building trust that last few days. I have unconscious trust issues that invite me to trust no one and to not let others in. I also have entitlement that I be able to completely trust others and if they do anything untrustworthy, I feel entitled to shut the door on them. This does not feel truthful, of course, and certainly isn't how I would like to be treated.

When trust has been broken, and the other person has apologized and expressed willingness to behavior change, I notice I have an invitation to discount my experience and automatically trust them. This codependence was expected of me as a child. I was expected to forgive my father's wrath over and over and believe his presentation when he apologized and said it wouldn't happen again. I also have fear that if I allow a process of building trust, I am foolishly setting myself up and so I want trust to happen instantly. I struggle with the gray area and the complexity of conflicting imprints.

Really, trust takes time to establish and no one is entitled to it. I have entitlement to be trusted when I know I have been trustworthy (entitlement to be seen) - but this leaves no room for another persons need to work through their own projections and issues.

When I tune in, I realize trust is an emotional experience and it can't be arbitrarily created or forced. I am responsible for my emotional experience. If trust is broken, it takes as long as it takes to rebuild it. It takes as long as it takes to build it in the first place.

ld love to hear other perspectives regarding trust building in relationships. How do others regard trust? What imprints make trust building difficult and what helps? How does personal responsibility fit in?





Claiming Self-Responsibility
Started Jan. 8, 2007 by Michelle

Your experiences are ones that I bet you could predict might happen, but hoped you wouldn't encounter so loudly. You have worked very hard with your unconscious. It is interesting to see that even after working so hard, it does not escape you. I sometimes think, if I just had time to spend meditating, reading, staying with my feelings, I would be more grounded. Then when I have the time, it's kind of scary to commit to these because it much more appealing to have an activity that doesn't involve much reflection.

You won't be able to escape the feelings, but if you realize that you are now floating in a place that has lost it's anchor and try to be patient with this unsettling feelings, they will come and go.

I am a very beginner at meditating, but I have tried Tonglen and I like it. On the in breath, you breath in the feeling of anxiety for example. On the out breath you give that feeling space or calmness. You can do this for yourself, then extend it to others who might be feeling the same as you are. I do feel calmer and more grounded when I am done.

Thank you for sharing your journey. Remember the most unsettling times are the greatest opportunities, or so it is said. Michelle

(continued Jan. 9, 2007, by Stephen BE)

I sometimes think, if I just had time to spend meditating, reading, staying with my feelings, I would be more grounded. Then when I have the time, it's kind of scary to commit to these because it much more appealing to have an activity that doesn't involve much reflection. (Michelle 1/8/07)

Michelle, I translate this, perhaps mistakenly as, "I would be more grounded if I was actually in touch with my truth, but I don't really want to claim that level of self-responsibility."

"Groundedness results from claiming responsibility for Personal Truth."

I think I would include this in the "Universal Truth" file.

Remember, self-awareness does not become Personal Truth unless it is put into action, through truthful behavior. In this way, self-awareness is nothing but a "booby prize."

You describe perfectly the dilemma that most seekers must face repeatedly. It is very helpful to put it into words so we can all see ourselves very clearly in the mirror. Do we really want Higher Consciousness, or do we just want to flirt with it?





Codependence (2)
Started 29 Oct 2010 by Tycee

Donna BE wrote this in the Terrace,
Seeking to ever rescue someone from an unpleasant emotion, or any emotion for that matter, will irresponsibly get in the way of the divine design of their path, as if we know what's better for them.

I read something recently that reminded me of what Donna said and what Stephen and Donna teach and practice. It was about a traditional Native American value, common among many tribes according to the author. It is called the path of noninterference or the path of peace.

The author writes,
Spiritual 'being' essentially requires only that we seek our place in the universe; everything else will follow in good time.

the highest form of respect for another person is respecting his or her natural right to be self-determining. This means not interfering with another person's ability to choose, even when it would keep them from doing something foolish...
The author is Michael Tlanusta Garrett

The relationships I have the hardest time with my codependence in are the one with my adult son, my husband, my family of rearing, and relationships where I have some level of investment.

The other day, Donna was sharing about how as a parent, at one time in the lives of our children we really were responsible for them and thier safety. As adults, to continue to try and take responsibility for them and their choices and conversely, not take responsibility for our own truth is an act of robbery.

This comes up for me in interactions with my son frequently. I have to grab ahold of my unconscious codependent enmeshment in order to speak my truth even when he doesn't like my message - and to assess whether or not it is appropriate to say anything to him. Did he ask for my input? That is one way to test.

With my partner, I have had trouble keeping my nose out of his business. My interference and control have contributed to my son's engulfment imprinting and to inviting engulfment in others. I have also had a hand in shaping my son's entitlement with my interference. These are issues I now watch him struggle with - and it is his struggle, not mine. I am there to help if he asks.

To me, codependence is really ugly and destructive. I find it disgusting in myself and in others. It is not in anyway nice. Something I have noticed is there seems to be common justifications that allow us to keep from getting the gravity of it and I am guilty of these:
There is an invitation to frame it as trying to be nice - which is missing the impact of it and minimizing it's ugliness.
It seems easy to see that I am taking responsibility that is not mine - but not as easy to see that I am not taking responsibility that is mine. It seems more palatable to view it this way and allows me to bolster my desired image of being nice and a martyr simultaneously.

In what ways do you minimize the gravity of codependence, or in what ways have you minimized it in the past?





Comments about Anything on BTN
Started  Oct. 5, 2005 by Stephen BE

This is a place for members to submit "letters to the editor" type comments about any of the long-term or standing pages on this website.

These include the news articles, current or archived, One Last Insight, the business or membership directories, any of the dozens of information pages, the guided tour, the short courses, the study guides, or any other item you wish to comment on.

You may also respond to any comments posted here. Please enter the title of the news article or the page about which you are commenting in the subject line of your new post. If a running discussion emerges, it can be split-off into a separate page later.

(continued in another post)

This forum discussion is here for members to sound-off on anything they read here. Does it touch you? Are you moved? Is it disturbing? Is it helpful? Are you challenged to update your truth? Is it completely off-base? Are you confused? Does something contradict another understanding you have? What happens when you apply what you learn? Do you need to speak-out about something? Do you struggle with a specific teaching? Is there something we overlook in the pursuit of Higher Consciousness? And so on.

If a comment strikes a chord, it may be directed into a discussion thread. If you read a member comment that you agree with or that troubles you, you can respond to it. The important point here is, your feedback is always appreciated and may even be crucial in modifying a message. Feedback and comments are what keep us on track by challenging us to go back and review the truth we believe we have discovered.

(A little known secret about me - I have been known [only in the past] to sometimes stir the hornet's nest just for the excitement. Not saying I ever do it now, but you never know!) We are human, we have issues, and while we work constantly on our issues to arrive at ever-greater Personal Truth, we may miss something, overlook something, or misinterpret something. In other words, do not blindly sanctify our teachings, ever! (good advice for all teachings, all writings, from all sources)

We write so that others may find more of their Personal Truth, and then reflect that truth in their behavior. Work to discover your own truth. Use this forum to help in the discovery and sorting process. And please, let us know how its going.





Communicating Open and Honestly with Children
Started  Sep. 7, 2010 by Shannon l

In a discussion started in the Solarium I wrote about being a "port in the storm" for my children. I believe that communicating open and honestly with our children (especially about emotions) is what allows us as parents to be their "port in the storm". My guilt comes from being reactive to what they say and do. I would like to become better at staying grounded and calm so that I can express my thoughts and feelings in a more effective way- a way that invites my children to behave and communicate in the same manner. At the same time, I feel it is important to maintain a safe environment with clear cut boundries.

Does anyone have feedback on how to do this?





Started 1 August 2012 by Tycee

We may have a behavior style that we regard as "endearing" or "cute". We see ourselves as carrying-on a style that we believe gives us character or credibility or protection. We may not think it is the most elegant style in the world, but it remains comfortable and familiar. Like a twenty-year old shirt, it's not something that we would put on display. But if we run into someone while we are wearing it, we see no need to apologize either. The behavior, like that shirt, has seen its day. It is probably ugly, worn, tattered, and due for the trash heap. But we keep it around, simply because we have a certain attachment to its familiarity.
Current in the "What's New" section.

When I read this I thought about my communication skills and style. I grew up in Western Colorado, in Cowboy culture and within an Italian family. Communication was not highly valued and few FOR members had adequate communication skills. I am better than I used to be, and I still feel like I have work to do. I value eloquence and deliberate communication, and I tend to ramble and repeat myself. I have trouble finding the precise way to express something and trip over my own tongue, particularly if I feel nervous. Sometimes I am so sure that I am not being clear, that I repeat myself and I receive feedback that I was being clear.

One of my tendencies is to be too casual in settings that call for formality. My language is lazy at times. This is one of those familiar dynamics, because I grew up with it but I do not value it and it is not effective. When my communication is lazy, it demands the other person to use energy trying to understand me that they wouldn't use if I were clearer. I am working with this and it is my goal to develop eloquence.

What do you work with regarding communication?
Do you have outdated tendencies that you are working to update?
What do you do to improve your communication skills?





Conscious Parenting
Started 19 February 2009, by Tycee

There have been some great posts pertaining to parenting issues recently and I wanted to encourage more discussion with this specific topic.

I am highlighting these posts as a jumping off point - but we can go any direction.

I worked hard this week to try and find my way to parenting from something other than my codependance which shows up looking like controlling and also spoiling. This is very murky to me still and I wish I could push back the hands of time re do some parenting that I did in the past with less skill. I am happy to have today to keep working on this. Happy

I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and thought about my oldest daughter’s birthday yesterday. She is still away at school, but we made her a cake and sent a video of us singing at “her party. Then it hit me…..She is twenty years old! I can no longer say that I have four teenage daughters. I connected to a lot of grief about losing my “little girls” and also grief about the stage of life that I am going into.
I had a dream last night that a cute young man came over to us at a restaurant and asked her out…..(not me). I am not the cute young woman.
I have grief about not being more present when she was home during her childhood and I am also missing her as she is away at school. My second daughter leaves next year and there is sadness there too. Our family is in quite a transition and so there are lots of feelings of loss. Sher

I can so connect to not being present when my son was little. I had such ideas about being a good mom---- but sitting still and just being there was not something I did with any regularity. My house was clean, there were meals on the table, I went to law school. But Jake would certainly have been better off if I had just sat down and connected. I am working hard hard hard to practice this as best I can in the limited time that I have left with him here in the house. Each time he lets his guard down speaks with me or connect with me I am so happy and thrilled that although I missed much in the past ----I can still make progress today. Happy

I connected to my experiences of feeling pressure to update my parenting; to make an impact because time was running out..
I began therapy when my eldest daughter was a junior in high school. I really wanted her to wait a year (or more) before she went to college--hoping to create more connection. She's getting married in a couple of months and I'm noting tonight, as I post, that parenting grief is part of my emotional experience, again..or, still. Karen

Our eighteen-year-old daughter and I were talking the other night; she is a very perceptive girl and was questioning how I was handling a problem with Rachael (fifteen years old). I very much felt I needed to be "THE DAD" and decide how things should go. I had a defense all ready to go and wasn't listening; just waiting for her to stop so I could talk (yes, yes, I see all my reactivity But I did it differently; I could see how I was sabotaging all I had learned and what I hold as important to right....make my point. I told her I thought she was right and I was glad she brought it up. I won....I saw my reactivity and updated it fairly well and I connected with Emily. She told me later that she was sorry she was upset but glad I listened to her. I had an opportunity to create distance or connection....I felt that just maybe I can make that happen more and more. David





Consciousness Lesson
Started December 5, 2006, by Seejay

Hi All,

I value the Consciousness Lessons very much, and would like to initiate a discussion about them.

Vulnerability is such an important behavior, and experiencing the unconscious imprints that are in place can be a very disharmonious experience. The connection that I feel to the people here on the forum is a great reminder to me that vulnerability leads to intimacy and connection.





Couples Relationships and Consciousness Counseling
Started Sept. 18, 2009 by Anita - Greg

I am going to go out on a limb and start a new topic. My spouse and I are still relatively new to consciousness counseling. We have done quite a bit of reading, participated in a number of individual as well as couples sessions with Donna. We have a better understanding of our issues and how our unconscious drives our behavior.

Prior to starting counseling, our relationship was growing further apart as our parallel lives that we have been leading for years separated further and further. We recognized that this was not the type of relationship that we wanted to have together which brought us in the counseling.

My experience thus far is difficult to put into words. There have been
moments of deep connection when we are vulnerable and exploring our issues together separated by long periods of disharmony and power struggles as our unconscious and continues to try and pull us back to behaving in ways in which we remember our parents acting toward each other. I am frustrated with these periods of increased conflict, anger, sadness,hopelessness and depression I am feeling as I work through this process with my spouse. Some days my unconscious just tells me to give up and throw in the towel.

I am wondering if this is a normal experience for couples as they begin this process. Does the saying “it’s gotta get worse before it gets better” apply ? Has this been the experience of other couples on the forum?






Core Issues
Started November 13, 2006, by Karmillah

As we navigate through the Path of Emotion, we have committed to Willingness to feel and deal with all that we Feel. We’ve explored these emotions and worked through the various levels till we’ve reached a profound understanding and recognition of our Core Experience, e.g. Abandonment, Co-dependency, Being Ignored, Engulfment etc. Sometimes we have different names for the same experiences, e.g. ‘not-good-enough’ and ‘low self esteem’.

We all have core issues – some are common to us, others not. Learning to see and know our core issues is fundamental to our ongoing growth. However, these cannot always be done in isolation.

With the help of a partner, a good therapist or even a Forum member (in my case), we’re able to unearth them.

Up until recent, I had no idea what co-dependence meant, until I read discussions by Tycee and Michelle on the issue of co-dependence.

I identified in their sharing and went searching for additional information on Co-dependence and lo and behold, I found that co-dependency is indeed a core issue of mine. To verify if this is indeed so, I worked through the Path of Emotion and found it glaring at me.

Brian talked about Engulfment and I knew exactly what he meant, only I’ve never thought about it that way. His sharing showed up another aspect of myself that I had never considered. This gave me a deeper insight into my behaviour in intimate relationships. Using the Path of Emotion to clarify and confirm was such a meaningful exercise. I’m truly humbled and grateful to Brian for mentioning it.

So, I wondered if the Forum Members would consider engaging in an ‘Issue sharing’ discussion listing all the issues that one could possibly experience, to aid the rest of us on our Path?

The benefit to us all, I believe would be immense.

What say you?





Dating Game, The
Started July 9, 2009 by Stephen BE

When I was 16 years old, I went away to prep school at a boys boarding school. I graduated two years later, and within a week I was at the US Air Force Academy, which was all male at the time. This was all during the late sixties and early seventies, when the rest of my generation was breaking free from restrictive controls. By the time I was 20 years old, I was thoroughly convinced that I was a social moron. So I got married at 21 (and divorced at 24). What else could a moron do?

I did not know how to engage with girls. I was dumb-struck in their presence. I was awkward around them. I desperately needed advice, and I found it in all the wrong places: an older brother (who was worse than a moron); movie idols; new age gurus (it was just beginning then); and anywhere else I could find a word of advice. I had long-since accepted that my parents knew nothing except their religious doctrine. And the friends I made after leaving the all-male world, I soon realized, actually knew very little about appropriate, useful, social engagement. Both men and women were imbeciles, but since I was also an imbecile, I couldn't tell just how imbecilic they were.

Quite simply, I did not know how to be. I did not know how to be me, nor did I know how to be what others wanted from me, nor did I know how to mimic an idol. Socially, I was lost, and desperate for companionship. It was not until I as finishing graduate school, and had begun to examine my life, that I could make a few choices about what I wanted, and what I would and would not accept from others. I was always serious about relationships, whether a serious moron, a serious imbecile, or a serious somewhat self-responsible adult.

I knew I did not know how to play socially, so I decided I would skip that part and regard every relationship as a potential permanent relationship. It was just dumb luck that I found Donna, who after her own rough start, decided that she also wanted to use our relationship for continuous growth. In Hendrix's terms, I was a classic fuser, and she a classic isolator. I desperately needed to be in a relationship, and she was always guarding against potential engulfment. How we made through the beginning stages, we'll never know. I had to learn how to not be desperate, and she had to learn how to not push me away.

Anyway, since those days of late adolescence and early adulthood, we have learned a thing or two about how people engage with each other. As we watch, especially, the young adults in our membership, we wish we could just tell them how to be, so they would not have to suffer the learning stages that we went through. Dating is a difficult game for nearly everyone. It is difficult for adults too, who through divorce, have re-entered the game they gladly left behind decades ago. Some people, male and female, seem to have natural talent for dating. But they are rare, and I imagine that they have other problems emerge when it comes to commitment. Most of us, however, are pathetically inept at the early stages of relationships, the dating. It's a wonder that the human race has survived this long!

It seems appropriate to offer a forum for discussion of this game, a discussion for everyone, whether in or out of a relationship, whether confident in or befuddled by the game, whether currently experiencing the insecurity inherent in this game or looking back on memories of the game. Everyone has a stake in how they meet people socially, especially potential romantic partners.

I can say that I think I am quite perceptive about this game, but in truth, I'm not having to go through it. My perceptions are the result of decades of observation of others, rather than a degree of personal success. I am a classic example, now, of the "... those that can't, teach" rule. Still, observant wisdom can be better than moronic guidance from peers. Perhaps we can help each other.

The first step in the dating game, of course, is that classic question, "How do I meet people?" We can start there, or anywhere else someone cares to begin. Let's test our ideas.
Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.






Dealing with Death
Started May 5, 2007 by Sher

I decided to start this MID to help us all process the uncertainty and "fragility" of Life.

My 16 yr old daughter was one of 12 kids that went on a geology field trip to Utah Arches. She was so excited to go today because they were going with her favorite teacher. They made it 3 miles up the trail, had lunch, and the teacher started complaining of chest pain. He died on that trail with all the kids trying to save him. He was 55yrs old.There were no other adults with them, but luckily, a nurse came along and she, with another man, did CPR for at least 35 min. The boys ran back down the trail to get help at the visitor center as the four girls stayed to help comfort the teacher's son who had also been on the hike. My daughter called me after they made it down to the visitor center and was very upset. She loved that man.

I can imagine that this will be a huge significant event in her life that she will always remember. She will be going through a whirlwind of emotions. Right now, she is trying to process exactly what happened and what went wrong. She said "I kept thinking it would be OK, and wasn't". "One minute I was sitting there talking to him and the next, he was gone." She is in shock right now and mostly just wants to talk and be held. They were brave kids on that trail today and have really bonded together through that experience. They had to ride home on the bus, thinking about the events of the day.

We just never know.





Dealing with Parents - Conscious or Unconscious
Started June 18, 2009 by Tycee

This morning I have written yet another letter to my father. I have been writing them for months, but have not sent any of them, yet.

What I am finding, more and more, is how my codependence and entitlement has colored my view of reality concerning my parents, and others…. And myself proportionately. This was part of my session yesterday. I have not completely wanted to see the reality of my parents, especially my father – which equates to not allowing myself to see reality in general. What I am connecting to this morning is how I let myself off the hook for the same behaviors I let my parents off the hook for. A beef I have with my parents is their lack of showing genuine interest in me – their self-absorption. I see that in me and am looking for all the places it shows up. One is here on the forum. I feel selfish and this is really the first time (lately - last month or so) that I have really seen it. Obviously, I find it distasteful, and I am sure it is distasteful to witness - but it is a part of me I must own to change. My unconscious is always after me to seek recognition – the way I survived among narcissists growing up.

In session, we talked about dealing with the root (parents) and when we can do that we stop creating the symptoms (manifestations of parents). I hope I understand that right – correct me if I do not, Donna BE. In the experience Chris and I are dealing with at the salon, I have manifested the symptoms with lots of imago matches. We are preparing to deal with a number of them this afternoon and evening. I feel nervous, but ready to do it and get it done and learn all I can from the experience.

I appreciate the help I have received with these issues.

How is everone else doing with dealing with parental relationships? We are talking around the forum about it. I thought I would start a place to specifically talk about these relationships. Would others like to do that?
We already have a conscious relationships area - I didn't want to disrupt the flow of conversation there.






Started December 26, 2006 by Deeds

Hey everyone,

Thinking about avoiding “the holes” in our lives got me thinking about distraction. This is a good time of year to think about all the things that we do to distract ourselves. At Christmas we are a little more exposed and vulnerable to introspection. We have a holiday, no work to hide behind and distract ourselves with. We have our nearest and dearest around us (oh shit) and enough food, drink and toys to satisfy even the worst glutton. All the things that we have been told will make us happy, and yet… they conspicuously FAIL to do so.

Everything that we have ever believed in is challenged and found wanting. So, we feel inadequate and threatened, but we have no idea what to do. Maybe I’m not doing it right, we plunge in and redouble our efforts to work, eat, drink and consume. Not working is it? But, some of these activities distract us and some of them can bring oblivion, the ultimate distraction.

Is this not the root of all addiction? The desperate search for the off switch. When we fear and hate what we have become we will swap our condition even for the life of a junkie? Or a workaholic, an alcoholic, a shopaholic. We can all look down on the junkie, hopefully with compassion, but what about the rest of us. It’s amazing how creative we can be.

Family, sickness, neurosis, relationships, sex, politics, religion, war, discrimination, tribalism. There are many distractions that are not so obvious, anymore good ones?

All of this and for what? To avoid and distract ourselves from what? Yes we are threatened and afraid, but of what? I find it difficult to express and was hoping for some help, perhaps together we might throw some light on the question?





Economics, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Higher Consciousness
Started Sep. 15, 2010 by Stephen BE

Quote: I know in America we are having a bit of an economic crisis, ... (Heather, Solarium 9/14/10)

Quote: what's an economic crisis in West, it's normal in Serbia. (Milosh, Solarium 9/15/10)

What is important about this simple dialog between Heather and Milosh, is that it reminds us that there was a time when people felt the call of freedom and were willing to put their lives on the line in order to achieve it and protect it. What Europeans accept as normal is what led many to flee Europe for the promise of a land where they could create their own wealth, without having to support a ravenous monarch or dictator.

Europeans, and to a lesser degree Asians, were willing to die to get to America. They were willing to work to their death in order to self-reliantly bring home their subsistence. They were willing to expect themselves to deliver their own needs, and not blame anyone else if they failed.

The United States was started as the grand experiment in personal freedom. The fact that we are now experiencing the same political and economic problems as Europe may be greeted with apathy in Europe, but it is a major disaster to the original raison d'etre of America.

Quote: While America's liberal elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others. (economist Walter E. Williams)

I raise these hot-potatoes because it is essential in everyone's growth to begin to see the limitations that are placed on every seeker by, now that the US has followed European policies and turned to socialism, every society. These limitations are usually restrictive, often unpleasant and sometimes even lethal.

Quote: Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. (Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th century French political philosopher)

These are some of the Costs of Living in Truth (COLIT) that every seeker WILL encounter, after they get past the drama of their more immediate personal issues. In other words, it doesn't matter whether you think of yourself as a "political person" or not, it doesn't matter if you shy away from economics because of a lack of interest or lack of education, these are issues that will affect your ability to make choices based in Personal Truth.

Any political system that mandates certain behavior, necessarily stifles the growth opportunities of its citizens. Any economic system that attempts to codependently "spread the wealth", or "punish the wealthy", or institute the desires of the ruling class, must necessarily take from some in order to give to others. And "taking" always involves the exercise of power, often at the point of a gun.

The story of Robin Hood, who takes from the rich to give to the poor, has survived for hundreds of years because it endears us to the concept of someone strong enough to protect us from the evils of those whose only pursuit is power. Imagine, however, if the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood were the same person. The sheriff wants to garner all of the power, so he invents an alter-ego to convince the masses that he will protect them from harm. He is the same force with two faces. He promises safety in return for surrender of some of their liberty, their independence. By giving the black and white characteristics different identities, he can polarize the people and assure that he is in control of both factions.

Quote: Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. (economist Milton Friedman [1912-2006])

There are no good guys and bad guys. There are only human dynamics. And as long as security, sensation and power dynamics are allowed to run unchecked, there can only be the continuous power struggle, i.e. "a lack of belief in freedom itself". No resolution. No higher truth. No relief from the universal and perpetual state of power struggle.

We work on our own issues so that we free ourselves from the slavery of our unconscious, with all of its delusions about what we need in order to survive. By claiming greater self-responsibility, we are able to create truth-based intimacy, and consequently, a world that is far superior than that created by our unconscious. This process follows into our creation of our society. Self-responsibility, freedom, liberty, is the key to a more fruitful, supportive, growthful society, just as it is within the circle of our daily lives and daily issues.

Every time we accept more "protection", every time we buy into the two-faced monster of power, we sacrifice the opportunities that liberty affords us in our growth. Self-responsibility can only be practiced when government does not interfere in our individual choices. Self-responsibility can only be practiced when we endeavor to create our own sustenance, our wealth. It is entirely reasonable to expect to retain that which we create. No government should be able to take whatever it wants, regardless of what it promises in return. Economic crisis occurs when governments interfere. It has always been this way.

Quote: The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. (Greek historian Plutarch [c. 46-120 A.D.])

Quote: The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore. (Fidel Castro, Sep. 2010)

There are so many lessons that have been passed down to us by those who see the need for liberty in the pursuit of Higher Consciousness, that in order to avoid a much-too-long initial post, I will have to spread-out the quotes and lessons I have collected over the years. I want, however, to invite everyone to consider this equation of personal liberty and personal growth, and how governments that purport to be "protective" are actually the devil in disguise, the destroyers of liberty.

This post has already grown quite long. And I am confident that it will raise the political hackles of some people. But it belongs here nonetheless, simply because of the intrinsic and sometimes insidious effect that politics and economics has on personal growth and the pursuit of Higher Consciousness. I invite everyone to examine their beliefs in these areas, and explore them here. Politics, economics, liberty and the Pursuit of Higher Consciousness are inescapably intertwined. Remember, there can be no sacred cows in the pursuit of truth.


Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.





Started May 10, 2006 by Deeds

There are certain people that bring out the worst in me. They are not enemies in the true sense of the word, often they are just people I don’t like for some reason. I am always happy to hear of their misfortune and have even been prepared on occasion, in my dark past, to stick the knife in. Not very nice, but true. I was reading one of the Dalai Lama’s many books in which he spoke about the Chinese occupation of his homeland in Tibet. He spoke of the lessons that he had learned from the Chinese, lessons about himself. Powerful, deeply unpleasant but very important lessons. Then I read Stephen’s post on relationships with people other than partners. I added the people that I don’t get along with to the list.

I can think of a business acquaintance that I believed had put one over on me. For years I bad mouthed him at every opportunity. I couldn’t stand the sight of him. Then, thinking about it the other day I realised that in that specific instance I had failed to properly read the contract and had to pay a penalty. I was angry and humiliated and since I wasn’t prepared to accept the blame, I gave it to him.

As I pondered the list I was surprised and shocked to realise that my own sister was on it. I realised with a jolt that I don’t like her very much. That’s a terrible thing to say, but I can’t avoid how I feel. Now why I feel that way is more difficult, it probably says more about me than her. It's something I need to work on.

Does anyone else have enemies/unfriends that might make good teachers? (Work, weddings and funerals are always a rich vein.)





AHHH! Englufmeeennnttt!!
Started Aug. 10,, 2009 by AndrewBE

Issues of engulfment have taken a forefront in my awareness lately, both in learning and dealing with my own issues, and speaking with others about their experiences. I don't feel that I know much about the dynamics of engulfment, but I'd like to and I'm getting to know my own experience better. I thought I'd start this MID to examine the aspects of engulfment in more detail.

I'm not sure I know of anyone who doesn't relate to the experiences of engulfment from some aspect, be it more from the side of being engulfed, or more from the side of behaving in an engulfing way (or anywhere in between).

For me, when I feel engulfed, I feel smothered, non-existent, invisible, oppressed, unconsidered, controlled, uncared for, distrusting, unloved, and that my needs will not be heard, considered, or attended to and I'll be snuffed-out.

When I unconsciously feel like my needs won't be met, I become guarded, closed-off, and shut people out in order to meet my own needs and take care of myself. That has a real affect on how I perceive the world, and how I create relationships. It makes me unavailable to deeply connect because of my unconscious perception that opening up (i.e. vulnerability) will be taken advantage of and I'll be overcome by engulfment. The picture I have is that of a crack in a dam leading to its collapse. I always get surprised when an emotional experience carries such a perceived threat with it.

What's your experience? Do you relate to feeling engulfed, or maybe behaving engulfingly (probably making that word up, but I like it), or both? Have you identified certain triggers, or certain circumstances which change the tint of the experience? Can you define any sources of the experience?

Throw-in your two cents however you'd like; let's see what happens!





Enslaved by Engulfment??
Started July 29, 2007 by Donna BE

Recent discussions in various topics have included mention of Engulfment (a few examples: Rebecca dealing with engulfment surrounding her move to Colorado; Andrew sympathizing with her struggle; Tycee acknowledging feeling engulfed by her own co-dependence; Karen talking about sexual presentation and boundaries). So what is Engulfment??

Engulfment is yet another common core issue. Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting The Love You Want, identifies two core issues, Abandonment and Engulfment. That is an interesting simplification of core issues, but that is a discussion that exceeds the scope of this post.

In very general terms, engulfment is a fear of being swallowed up and rendered powerless by some perceived “authority”. Imagine in nature, the tidal wave engulfing the houses and high rises on the beach, wiping out their existence.

This can be translated to mean a person, a relationship, an employer, a corporation, a clique of people, the government, the society at large, etc..

The emotions associated with the fear of engulfment or the experience of engulfment, can include:
swallowed up
tread upon
triumphed over
wiped out
extinguished (To name a few)

Where does engulfment stem from? There are several sources in our E.L.E. (early life experience) that result in the experience of engulfment and then perpetuate the anticipatory fear of being engulfed. It is important to first note that the child regards their parent as God. God! The child looks only to the parent as their “reality meter”. The child trusts the parent implicitly. The child will defer to the parent when faced with a discrepancy between the parent’s and their perception, each and every time without hesitation. The child knows unconsciously that the parent is their only key to survival.

When a small child (1-2 years of age) is developmentally ready to explore their world beyond their parents’ lap, they follow this natural urge by attempting to climb down. If this endeavor is consistently prohibited by the parent, because of their own issues, the child will feel any number of emotions on the preceding list.

This is true as well, with older children who are overly controlled, especially when the control is arbitrary. When the parents react to the child’s need for individuation with such overpowering behaviors, the child is imprinted with “Everyone who loves you will _________(fill in a word from the list) you!”; “If you’re vulnerable, you’ll be _________ (fill in a word from the list)”; and, “If your parents, who have the greatest investment in you treat you this way, everyone else with less investment will treat you worse.”

No wonder those of us with engulfment issues are so apt to stay guarded and run at the slightest sign of perceived encroachment.

So, I’ll pause here to ask you…

Is engulfment something you want to discuss here?

Is the picture of what the issue of engulfment looks like more clear?
Do you experience many of the emotions on this partial list?
How do you guard against this emotional experience in anticipation of it?
What does reacting to these emotions in your behavior look like for you?
What questions do you have about engulfment?





Started Jun. 29, 2006 by Donna BE

Someone's dying in your vicinity is a great opportunity to explore your emotions surrounding death that will guide you toward your Personal Truth.

Many years ago, I worked with elderly clients and their families and I took each opportunity when in the presence of someone dying to explore my beliefs around death. Not morbid, not selfish, not weird, just embracing the lessons offered to you.

About 20 years ago, I had a sister who chose suicide as an alternative to willingness to feel and deal with her emotional experience. Profoundly sad that she opted out of the lessons available to her at the time, to instead delay them.

I can relate to pain, suffering, disconnection and the many emotions that can invite someone to consider the "exit" of suicide. I spent much time, however, trying to identify with her choice. I could not. I cannot. It's not one that feels truthful for me. I hope that her next life will be one that she takes full advantage of, rather than trying to escape.

No matter the circumstance, death brings up grief to those still living. I'm with you in yours!

(continued Jun. 30, 2006 by DB)

There are a myriad of ways people attempt to avoid the pain of feeling their issues (Exits): over-indulgence in alcohol, sex, food, work, drugs and gambling; martyrdom, extreme sports; insanity; and, suicide.

As in suicide, they sometimes succeed. The person usually feels consumed by pain and just wants it to stop. Regardless of the immediate intent, suicide, with some rare exceptions, is an extreme act of selfishness and anger!

Suicide can invite guilt, co-dependence, blame by others, self-blame, grief and its stages, abandonment, confusion, disconnection, awkwardness, anger, helplessness, relief (yes, I mean to say relief), hopelessness, anxiety, futility, and more.

My training and work in the field of crisis/suicide intervention prior to my sister's suicide allowed me many opportunities to update my imprints of responsibility for other's lives and/or potential deaths. And, my consciousness work provided me much footing when I was invited to take the blame for not preventing her death ("You're a psychotherapist, couldn't you save your sister?").

Thank goodness I was clear that it was not my fault nor was I to blame for her choice. She, and only she was responsible for her emotions, her behaviors and her sources.

This just left the great sorrow, disappointment and grief to experience. That was plenty enough. I chose willingness to feel it and to deal with it. It passed from foreground to background in my experience, as all grief eventually does when not avoided and denied.

Over the next twenty years, I have experienced occasional waves of sorrow, a periodic longing to dialog with her about our childhood, and a hope that, in her journey she has extrapolated the many lessons available to her as a result of her "exit".

Exits are an illusion, a self-delusion that only delay the lessons and make the presentation more and more dramatic.





Family of Rearing
Started August 16, 2007 by Brian

In different places around the forum, we talk about the issues that come up in dealing with our family of rearing (FOR). But, I can’t recall having a place for a discussion that revolves around dealing with these relationships. So, I thought it would be helpful to start one, here. I’m dealing with these dynamics on a day-to-day basis, and can appreciate how pervasive and important they are. I’m sure that my experience is a shared one. So, what comes/came up for you in dealing with your FOR? How do you/did you deal with it? What lessons are/were available to you? What would you like to talk about?




Fight, Flee, Freeze, Flow
Started January 28, 2010 by Tycee

Fight, Flee, Freeze, or Flow is a phrase or slogan apparently used in Aikido training. An Aikido student shared it with me.

We have talked in other areas about fighting and fleeing. I can very much relate to freezing as an unconcsious reaction as well. It is different than pausing for consciousness. Usually, when I freeze I go unconscious. It is most generally associated with abandonment/anihilation fear for me.

Something I noticed here on the forum was that some members were highly active while Stephen and Donna were away, and then less active or gone when they returned. I wondered if freezing had anything to do with that. Does anyone connect to what I am saying and if so can you share what was happening for you?

What about freezing in general. Do you relate to using this unconscious reaction and when does it happen for you? What are you feeling at these times?




Started 9 Jan 2011 by Milosh

I want to start a thread on the financial subject, just because now and then something comes up and I want to post about it. I assume others as well do, too.

Well, I ain't got much at the moment, but I'll give some perspectives from the transitioning period of being a school boy to the "now go and get it" area.

This might be boring, but now that I started...

I learned much stuff in school, but now when that part is over I'm thinking "man, if only some of those time was spent into learning about how to actually get some money..", if you know what I mean.

Now, my choices are my own and somebody else may have arranged their time and effort better than i did. There's another thing.

The transitioning period brought a new perspective. I remember when I was finishing college, I started focusing on the "how to get money, job, now" and I remember it dawned me "aah, so this is what people (other adults) are thinking about and doing all the time. I didn't see that before."



Focus on Codependency
Started 18 July 2011 by Tycee

I was going to add this to the addiction thread, but I think it deserves it's own thread. I have been focusing on my own codependency and the damage that it has and does create. I think it is common to not get the gravity of the problem with codependency. I thought perhaps others would like to explore this too.

My thought is to first define codependence. Then we could discuss our own codependent dynamics and look at what results when it is acted out vs. when we remain in truth.

In the High-C Journal, Volume V, chapter 47 is dedicated to codependence. It begins on page 99 and ends on page 108. Reading the chapter would be a good starting place. I have also recently read The New Codependency by Melodie Beattie, who wrote Codependent No More, and I found them both useful.

Here are some helpful pieces from the High-C Journal regarding defining and identifying codependence:

Quote: Codependence "...allows someone to pretend that they do not have to feel the abandonment that is universal, their fundamental aloneness."

Codependence is a creative, albeit unconscious, set of behaviors to mutually support the efforts of two people to avoid their aloneness, by avoiding their sense of abandonment.

Codependence is the emotional energy that motivates behavior, rather than the behavior itself.

Trying to rescue someone from their uncomfortable emotional experience, however, is always an act of codependence.

If you expect a reward for your action in helping another, your behavior might be codependent. If you want to receive laudations for being "good", you are probably being codependent. If you excuse untruthful behavior in yourself, in the name of "loyalty", you are definitely being codependent. Codependent behavior always has strings attached to it, a price tag for accepting it.

Quote: So much of our communication can reflect our need to control. We say what we think others want to hear. We try to keep others from getting angry, feeling afraid, going away, or disliking us. But our need to control traps us into feelings like victims and martyrs. Freedom is just a few words away. Those words are out truths. We can say what we need to say. We can gently, but assertively, speak our mind. Let go of your need to control. We do not need to be judgmental, tactless, blaming, or cruel when we speak our truths. Neither do we need to hide our light. Let go, and freely be who you are. (From The Language of Letting Go, Melodie Beattie, p.187)

A big, big codependent dynamic of mine is to dumb down in order to avoid abandonment. It disgusts me. Then, I can overcompensate for it and be aggressive, rather than truthful and assertive, when I speak my truth.

How do you define codependence?

What codependent dynamics have you identified in yourself or others?



Forum Fatigue
Started April 19, 2007 by Deeds

Hi everyone,

This has been bugging me so I thought, post it and see what develops.

Some of the ideas and concepts we look at here I find difficult to express. I also find that I am wary of my own motives for posting, entitlement, presentation, rescuing. I fear that I may upset or annoy somebody. I fear that I will receive no response. I also get what I can only describe as forum fatigue. In the back of my mind I have several things that I mean to deal with but they may be scattered over several posts. I find it hard sometimes to bring myself to focus on one subject. The end result is that I remain silent. If the forum is quiet I then feel a building desire to fill the silence and I also check that. I feel that as a result I lose some spontaneity and sparkle.

I feel that much is left unsaid, even here where we practice vulnerability. Perhaps this is appropriate, perhaps some reserve is necessary? The question is how much? When does reserve become frustrating. Take the book club, absolutely silent. Why is that? This is not a critcism, I'm curious.

Hopefully others will have feelings about posting, or should I say, not posting, that they are willing to share.





Gender Socialization Issues
Started Jan. 28, 2010 by Tycee

The sexuality MID has several themes running through it - childhood imprints and issues, sexuality and spirituality, and gender role socilaization issues. I am starting this thread to talk about gender socialization and we do not have to stay in the sexual arena - but could.

If anyone is interested we could also start a sexuality and spirituality thread. Let me know, or start one!

As far as socialization is concerned I think it would be useful to ask ourselves what is means to be a man or a woman from our own personal perspectives. Who were our role models? What did they teach us?

To start:
I learned that being female was bad and undesirable. I felt this so strongly that I tried to be a boy as a child, and to disown anything female about myself. I tried to dress like a boy, be rough and tumble like the boys, etc. I was sad and scared when I started developing into a young woman.

I was imprinted that way by many sources. One was the males in my FOR were more recognized and admired. Masculine traits were more celebrated, such as physical strength, being atheletes, being the bread winners... and the teaching that we should deny emotions and avoid any display of them was considered masculine and promoted. This was practiced by both genders but when a woman displayed emotion it was seen as the weakness inherent in her gender.

Another source of my imprint was the women in my FOR were victims and taught that a woman's identity includes being a victim. Not real exciting to think about becoming a woman when it is associated with being a victim.

What does it mean to be female in your FOR?
What does it mean to be male in your FOR?





Getting to Know You ... Getting to Know All About You
Started July 13, 2006 by Tycee and Karen

Karen and I were talking this morning about starting a new thread as a place to share some about ourselves and get to know each other. We simultaneously started singing the lyrics to the song, "Getting to know you!" It was fun.

Our thought is that we can share our stories and get to know each other and also add how it feels to share about ourselves. What do you all think? I will start.

(cont'd. by Karen)

This is fun. It feels a bit like a cocktail party with an added dimension. Tycee, I like how you included your consciousness work.

Here's some of my stuff...





Healthy Sexuality
Started March 1, 2008 by Tycee

In therapy, Donna. has been talking to my partner and I about sex and sexuality. One of the experiences I have is relief as she talks. Donna is so comfortable talking about sex that it invites my comfort too. She says it is taking the buzz out of sex. I thought it may be a good place to start talking about sex again. What is the source of your "buzz" about sex?

I have recently realized that I am playing out the same dynamic now as when I was a teen. I begin to work on claiming my sexuality and start to get some footing but as soon as I perceive someone else to be pointing out that I don't quite measure up - I immediately buy into that message and retreat. I buy into it because it is my internal message from my puberty years. Sometimes I think I perceive the external message correctly and sometimes I don't at all. When I retreat I am not measuring up. I have discovered that it is true for me that I am worthy of learning to become a fully sexual and sensual woman. Wow, I feel fear saying that. My unconscious jumps right up and says "Who do you think you are". Another imprint - "Only exceptionally beautiful women are worthy of claiming their sexuality". Not true. I flash on Donna talking about it not only being ok to claim our sexuality, but our responsibility. It is part of our energy that we must claim and be responsible for as part of our growth into higher consciousness.

We talked some about issues of sexuality when we were reading Good Girls Guide to Bad Girl Sex. Some of the same fears and issues were expressed by others then. I wonder where we all are now with it.

Wanna talk about it?





Started Nov. 26, 2006 by Karen

(This is a new topic and I've moved related posts [from other discussions] to this area.)

There is usually a lot to talk about as we deal with feelings and expectations that surface at this time of year.
How do you feel about “the season”? About gifting?
For those of you who live in countries other than the U.S.: Do you have events/celebrations that carry obligations to feel and behave in certain ways?
Donna asked about the Loneliness of this season. Krista wrote about feeling left out. What are you feeling?
Here’s a place to explore...





Holidays - Gift Giving and Receiving
Started Oct. 26, 2005 by Tycee

Donna mentioned that it was important to gift those you are in intimate relationships with and to look for opportunities to be magnanimous. She was discussing the difference between a gift and codependence and how a codependent gesture cannot be a gift.

We are headed into the holiday season and these issues are forefront during this time of year - for me. I really got yesterday that when you receive a gift that isn't codependent - it is so wonderful.

When I get a gift - I have to work through the internal messages of "I don't deserve this" or "What does the giver want from me now" - my imprints. When I do work through those and I know the giver is acting in truth - wow- I feel so appreciated, seen, loved, valued. It is just wonderful. Something as simple as a kind greeting like "Hi Ya" - feels like a gift when I know the giver was in truth.

(continued Feb. 28, 2006 by Stephen BE)

Notice, everyone, how much less interest there is in exploring this issue when the pressures of the Christmas season have waned. The issues remain unresolved, in all likelihood, but out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

When we know we have issues with certain situations or events, but decline to probe them when they are not forefront, we create the need for increased drama to get our attention. You can count on this: The unconscious will not be denied its due. The issues exist and the unconscious will find a way to make them unavoidable.

If you truly want to live your life in harmony, it is necessary to learn how to reduce the drama, and eventually eliminate it. This is the lesson, right here in this discussion. The drama has subsided for now. But watch what happens next fall.

Seekers get this lesson: go looking for the issues rather than waiting until they blind-side us.

(also continued Mar. 19, 2006 by SB)

Take heed, everyone. The cautionary message in the previous post could not be over-stated. This is where one learns to "get ahead of the issues curve". Choose to deal with issues when they are not pressing, and you will be surprised at how the quality of your life changes.

This dynamic is the issue, not the specific of holiday gift-giving. A word to the wise ...




Holidays in Higher Consciousness
Started 11/16/08 by Donna BE

It is "that" time of year again. The Holiday Season that we have already begun to discuss in other topic areas. Although a useful discussion, year round, it is especially important to seek your issues that are lingering just below the surface, awaiting their triggers right now as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s approach. Like the night sky at certain times during Earth’s rotation, it appears to bring planets and stars more clearly into your view. They are always there for your seeking. They just seem a bit more easily accessible with the change in proximity.

"Holiday" is a common synonym for "vacation". They are regarded as sanctioned times to take a leave of absence; not pay attention to what you normally do; take a rest from work; take a break from responsibilities. Hmm…Doesn't vacate infer vacant and empty?

The television commercials hawk, “Escape to_______!”. So, what are people trying to escape from anyway? Are we prisoners?

Don’t get me wrong; it is pleasant to enjoy rest, relaxation, recreation and truthful celebration. It’s even necessary. Indulging in our societal message, however, that we are entitled to surrender our accountability, self-responsibility and veritable Consciousness; that’s the problem!

I read somewhere that the word “Holiday” is actually a contraction of the words Holy and Day. So, let’s work to honor the essence of the term by maintaining and cultivating Consciousness instead of caving in and feeding our unconscious.

Here are some suggestions:

*Reread The High-C Journal, Vol. I & II, Chapter 18, “Seasonal Shock and Denial”. Stephen offers such wisdom to help you prepare.

*As always, use your journal to “anticipate your issues”, exploring and uncovering the unconscious imprints inviting your reactive behaviors.

*You might list the common, historical obligations, assumed in your family, both immediate and FOR and Explore!

*Reframe the people around you, especially your FOR (family of rearing, for anyone new) as inadvertent elfin helpers, gifting you opportunities for growth. That will help with your entitlement to begrudge them their issues.

*Share your challenges here on BTN, most people have a myriad of internal dilemmas occurring now, to work with.

*Explore your tendencies to just go along with the celebrative presentation OR, to rebel against the invitation and not participate at all. Instead, seek your Personal Truth. There is not a “rule” to adhere to.

*Share any suggestions you find helpful.


Please do not regard any of my postings as professional counseling. I don't have enough information available for me in this setting to be able to offer professional input to anyone.




How Depressed Are You?
Started 11/10/11 by Stephen BE


Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are depressed, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.

If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.

Seems like, during this season of maximum depression, that we could all use a few good laughs, a few good cries, and lots of good sighs. Sharing our experiences of depression can work in either of two ways. We'll either feel a little lighter, or we'll feel overwhelmed by the sadness. Let's try it and see where it goes.

Me? I've been getting too fat in the last few years. I'm a natural mesomorphic body type, but overindulgence and under-activity have taken a toll. Situations have contributed to my natural tendency to over-eat. Lately, I've been using a medical protocol to lose some of the excess as quickly as possible. It's got to be the most depressing eating style imaginable, short of not eating at all. Between the seasonal change from fall into winter, seasonal denial setting into the general population, and this "not-eating plan", I think I have found new lows in my naturally depressed mood. It's got all the characteristics of a severe flu, without actually needing a bathroom. I'll keep you posted. I think I'll go to bed now.




In Memoriam
Started Aug. 24, 2008 by Donna BE

I learned sad news today that one of our forum members, Neil (posting as neiljeffrey) died today in a bicycle accident. I was told by a co-worker and friend of his, that he was bicycling with two of his friends on the Colorado Monument (in Grand Junction, Colorado, near his home). Apparently Neil’s tire hit the bicycle in front of him and caused him to flip over his handlebars, landing hard on the road. He sustained injuries to his head and was flown by helicopter to the local hospital to die an hour later.

I will miss Neil’s presence here on He was a nice man with a sweet heart and a kind soul. He left two sons and many friends. Godspeed, Neil!

Death is unpredictable. We never do know when it’s our time to leave the planet and pursue our next set of lessons in our evolution as a soul. I carry this awareness with me and try to utilize the precious time for my growth into Higher Consciousness.

Death is unpredictable. We never know when our friends and loved ones will leave us. I seek to stay current with my intimates in the event that we unexpectedly part. I want to leave nothing unstated, unexplored or unresolved. I savor each moment shared, hoping there will be many, many more.

I know that you all had contact with Neil here on BTN and some of you had a closer connection with Neil over the years. Please share your thoughts, feelings, grief, and anything that Neil’s death triggers for you. It is a blessing to have such a supportive community of seekers to connect with around the pleasant and unpleasant occurrences of life.

Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. Lao Tzu

Please do not regard any of my postings as professional counseling. I don't have enough information available for me in this setting to be able to offer professional input to anyone.





Insight of the Day discussion
Started March 18, 2011 by Tycee

This is the insight of the day for 03/18/2011


To be vulnerable is to be as fully aware of your inner experience as you possibly can. It is allowing your emotions to be what they are, at any given moment. Instead of trying to cover up what you feel with something else that you imagine is more acceptable, you are willing to fully feel the emotions you have, at whatever intensity they occur. It is having your emotional power at full force, hardly a condition of helplessness.

I though it may be interesting to have a spot to share about how these insights help, inspire, challenge, remind...

I won't copy the insight into this thread every day. We can all read the insights on our own and share here about them. There is also a new message in the What's New area to check out.

What I appreciate about todays insight is the reminder to stay tuned in while I am out in the world today. There are many invitations not to remain tuned in. I have the opportunity to work a bunch this week, covering shifts for vacationing folks. I work in a crisis response unit and one invitation is simply the pace and intensity of the job. It helps me to remember that feeling all I feel is important and I do not have to expose any of what I feel while in the world. I can feel it and stay aware without sharing it with anyone. I have to stay tuned in to know when sharing is truthful.

What does this days insight say to you today?






Started November 1, 2008 by Stephen BE






From Counseling Booklet #3: Issue-Hours:
If you and your partner are in pursuit of a conscious relationship, one that is devoted to the development of true intimacy, then you will strive to work through every issue completely. When an issue is completed, a new and profound sense of intimacy occurs. You have worked hard to create this intimacy.

Even though issues are not “fun” or pleasant, you have a sense of appreciation for how they, and the time they took to resolve, led you to this new level of intimacy. You value them for the awareness they invited, the insight you gained, the truth you discovered, and the intimacy you experience. Successfully dealing with the issues that arise becomes the measure of growth in your relationship. Issue-hours are, literally, a labor of love.

How many issues have you dealt with, and how much time have you invested in doing so? Issues and hours. Issue-hours! This is the measuring device for all conscious relationships. If you want to develop true intimacy, based in Personal Truth, then you and your partner must invest the time to deal with as many issues as time allows.

Issues are constantly present. There are plenty of issues to examine in an effort to create greater intimacy. The limit will always be how much time you are willing to commit to this pursuit. As you improve your emotional skills you will be dealing with issues more efficiently, which in turn, allows you to explore more issues. The less defensiveness you practice, the more issues you will resolve. Early recognition of an issue allows you to deal with it right away. All of these skills allow you to accumulate more issue-hours; not just hours, but issue-hours.

"Issue-Hours" is a concept that we created some time ago, but after writing Feeling Your Way Along (FYWA). Since it came after the original publication, it has not received the same focus as the constructs and concepts in FYWA. This is unfortunate, as issue-hours is a truly powerful aid in the pursuit of Higher Consciousness.

I thought it might be useful to re-visit this tool in this discussion, so to answer any questions, and expand everyone's understanding of issue-hours and how to use this measuring device. I will refer you to the counseling booklets 3 and 3a to start (click on this link and then on "The Free and Famous Counseling Booklets").

Then, I throw open the floor to go wherever interest lies.
Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.






Issues from Sexual Abuse
Started January 15, 2007 by Tycee

I wanted to start this topic because many of us have issues stemming from sexual abuse in our pasts and it is often kept a secret and is taboo to talk about. Talking about it has helped me use the experience to grow and gain consciousness which gives it some value in my life. I would like to invite anyone else who deals with sex abuse or has insights to share to talk with me here.

First of all, does this topic interest anyone? If so where would be a starting place that would be comfortable? We could share experiences, talk about common issues related to sex abuse, ask questions and much more I am sure. If you would prefer to private message me with regard to this post, feel free to do that.






Liberty, only, supports the pursuit of Higher Consciousness
Started May 9, 2011 by Stephen BE

Where do you see Americans in this cycle? Where do you see yourself?


The Cycle of Liberty

From bondage to spiritual faith;

From spiritual faith to great courage;

From courage to liberty;

From liberty to abundance;

From abundance to complacency;

From complacency to apathy;

From apathy to dependence;

From dependence back again into bondage.

Those who are committed to the pursuit of Higher Consciousness must be willing to give voice, and sometimes more, to the need for liberty. If we, who understand it's ultimate meaning, are silent or complacent about the infinite decision points that make the determination of personal freedom, how could we expect to see anything other than the return to bondage?

One of the insights that comes with the successful pursuit of consciousness is the ability to see beyond the limits of time. When we tune-in, we begin to recognize some of the lessons we may have encountered in other lifetimes (see "Reincarnation" in Consciousness Lessons).

If we forget the lessons of times when personal growth was severely restricted, or even cause for death, then we are creating the need to repeat those lessons for ourselves. All lessons work this way. You must remember what you have learned, or you create the need to re-learn it. Bondage vs Liberty is a fundamental lesson. In one, you are forced to focus on survival. In the other, you may choose to pursue higher levels of consciousness without molestation.

As seekers now, we tend to see our immediate issues as all there is. It is easy to forget that you had to work for an infinite number of lifetimes to arrive at this point. Growth now is possible only because you earned your way here.

One of the conditions for being able to attend to your issues is the freedom to chart your own life. Bondage, in any form, would strip you of this potential. Never take for granted the ability to make independent FREE choice. It is the only social system for self-development and the pursuit of Higher Consciousness. Remember that liberty only manifests from courage.

This topic is a constant in my life. I welcome any who wish to explore it.


Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.






Loneliness and Aloneness
Started June 2006 by Andrew BE

Feelings of loneliness and aloneness seem quite common among those of us who choose a different path in life... or at least we're the ones who recognize and tune-in to a lesson that is universal among all people.

These lessons are new for me (see my last post) and I'd really like to hear what others have found in dealing with them.





Started August 30, 2006 by Brian

As per Stephen’s request (see MID on unconditional love), I’ll start a discussion here about loyalty. My thoughts on the subject started intensely when I discovered a feeling of disloyalty on my first night back at college. As best I could, I traced the feeling to leaving my mother back in Vermont. Because I was behind in preparing to go to school this past week, my mother has been willing to take up more of my responsibility. For example, after dinner I would go right upstairs to pack, while she assume my customary role of cleaning up. Whether verbalized or not, the assumption when someone takes anothers’ responsibility is that the favor will be reciprocated; that I will take some of her responsibility. As indicated by my feelings of disloyalty, I was taking some of her responsibility to emotionally adjust to me leaving.

This got me thinking about loyalty. It’s a concept that we celebrate and demand in our friends, but here it is indication to an unhealthy dynamic. Is loyalty only a synonym for “unconditional codependence?” If not completely, at what point does loyalty turn unhealthy?

Or can it describe a healthy dynamic? Between a couple working toward intimacy, could loyalty mean a willingness to deal with any issue that comes up? At what point, if any, does this sort of loyalty become unhealthy?

So many questions about what was, until now, a simple concept – “I got your back.” I’d like to know what you think.





Medical Drama
Started Aug. 21, 2008 by Neiljeffrey

I am beginning a new discussion topic regarding the drama encountered in the medical profession.

During my most recent annual physical it was discovered that my cholesterol level was high (239). I asked my doctor what he would do and he said that, even though there is no heart disease anywhere in my family history, he would suggest to "stack the deck" in my favor by going on medication to lower the cholesterol level. I told him I really didn't want to do that and he said "let's check it again in a month". After the second blood test resulting in a cholesterol level of 225, I got a call from the doctor's office that my doctor wanted to see me again as this level was "still too high". As of this date I haven't been back to see my doctor.

For a period of several days to a week, I had to really work on staying conscious. I experienced anxiety of getting heart disease as well as anxiety of ending up like both of my parents in their mid 80's who have a box of medications each that they take every day. I wondered if this is how we end up in America as we get older, each of us with a box of medications costing hundreds of dollars a month. Doing my emotional work through the POE, I connected with my truth that I don't have to buy into the drama of the medical profession and go the path of taking a cholesterol lowering medication the rest of my life.

I started doing research on this issue and have discovered a really fascinating subject. In my brief reading, I have found out that the "lipid hypothesis" of heart disease is not uniformly held by many scientists, in fact, there is a body of scientific literature indicating that there may be no connection between cholesterol levels and heart disease. Additionally, saturated fats from both animals and plants are actually good for us. The real culprit in many "modern diseases" (heart disease was virtually unheard of in the US prior to 1920) is eating the wrong kinds of fats, processed foods and sugar which is ubiquitous in our process foods. I would add to that the dire lack of physical exercise in our culture. If you imagine our ancestors living on farms over 100 years ago working laboriously all day long, you get an idea of how sedentary our lives have become.

My belief now is that we have swallowed a modern medical myth fed to us by the "Diet Dictocrats" as they are called by one author on this subject. The traditional foods of our ancestors have been abandoned in favor of processed foods devoid of essential enzymes and other nutrients essential for our well BEing. The new paradigm for heart disease has instilled fear in many of us when we recieve reports of our blood tests showing high cholesterol. This widespread anxiety appears to be based more on dogma than truth.





Men, Women, and Emotions
Started 22 January 2009 by Seejay

I posted a question in the solarium, and Karen encouraged me to initiate a discussion here in the MID's.

The question is; Why, and how is it different for men and women to access various emotions?

Donna has explained to me that women are socialized that it is okay to feel emotions, however the downside is they are also given the message that it is okay to act them out.

I feel that I was given the message that it is a sign of weakness to feel emotions. Unaffected was a sign of strength. Crying, needing, hurting, feeling angry, jealousy, envy, desire, etc. not okay to feel much less act out. It was a cultural message from the northern european side of my family, and my parents did not want to be inconvenienced by my emotional needs either.






Midst of Many Selves
Started October 26, 2006 by Sher

Hello everyone,

As Karen pointed out, this forum is like a party, but I feel like I came in really late and don't know which conversation to join. I decided to post something that I am dealing with and wondered if some of you can relate.

Sue Monk Kidd quotes Elizabeth O'Conner: "It was during a time of painful conflict that I first began to experience myself as more than one. It was as though I sat in the midst of many selves."

Sue then writes,” I too sat in the midst of many selves. The Pleaser, the Performer, the Perfectionist - my trinity of P's. I was learning how closely these old roles were connected to another powerful role that I played out: the Good Little Girl. She was that part of me that had little self-validation or autonomy, who tended to define life by others and their expectations, by collective values and projections. As a woman I sometimes felt that I had been scripted to be all things to all people. But when I tried, I usually ended up forfeiting my deepest identity, my own unique truth as God’s creature.”

As I read this, I realized how closely her words reflect my feelings. Who am I?? It is tough to witness this about myself. As hard as it is to see myself and these (many selves) it would be worse to NOT see them. I don’t want to continue in this drama and not find these selves. It is easy for me and everyone around me to keep my “P’s” alive. What will I be if I am not the “Good Little Girl“?





Mother Nature
Started August 24, 2006 by Deeds

"All circumstances result from the interaction of nature's impersonal forces rather than divine intervention." Deng Ming-Dao in The Living I Ching

I have always believed that nature was God's creation. (I use the term "God" loosely and do not exclude any belief.) The fire hydrant theory that all of creation, including Mother Nature, is evidence of a greater power seems true to me. I have also sensed a driving force gently steering me. Something beyond myself that calls to the light within me. However no belief is worthwhile if it can't stand a little examination.

Is that power that calls me merely Mother Nature, ie the sentient, spiritual being naturally evolving within me? Or is it external, God?

When does natural become supernatural or Divine, if it does at all? Perhaps as in Taoism, there is just nature, perhaps "God" is a comforting label that helps me make sense of the things that I do not yet understand. A label that shields me from the lonely truth, perhaps we are all there is?

I have always believed that nature is not sentient but as I write these words I wonder if perhaps it could naturally become sentient without Divine Intervention?

Is that what Taoists believe?





Started 25 January 2007 by Deeds

I love movies. The big screen is such a powerful medium, it's a pity that it's not used more profitably, but there are some pearls. I thought it would be fun to maybe compare and share our all time favourites. Very often I find that the whole movie doesn't resonate but some aspect of it strikes a chord. It would be nice if we could all pick one and sit down with pop corn and chips to watch it together.

I have loads but I'll chip in with one for now. The Mission with Robert De Niro and Jeromy Irons. Anyone know it? Let's have some more.





Started 12 February 2007 by Donna BE

I have been considering starting a topic on "Narcissism" for some time to 1) explore common narcissistic characteristics with any who have interest, and 2) to add to my large file of notes on narcissism awaiting compilation as a book on the subject. (Sometime I will explain the concept that we call “futuring” ).

Narcissism, like all sets of personality characteristics show up in many forms. I am beginning with a partial explanation of one characteristic in response to a question asked of me in “Movies”.

One common narcissistic characteristic is called entitlement. Entitlement in simple terms means that one holds a belief that they have rights to certain things that they do not in actuality have. Like a right for others to believe as and behave as they value; a right to act their anger out behaviorally when someone else is doing the same; a right to expect something in return when making an offering; a right to reprimand drivers when they are driving poorly, slowly or just getting in the way; to name just a few of the myriad of ways entitlement shows up.

As mentioned in a previous post in “movies” entitlement can also show up as the dynamic we call “narcissistically techno-challenged”. You unconsciously hold the belief that you are entitled (have a right) to automatically and proficiently use a piece of technology (DVD player, software, hardware, digital camera, GPS, remote control, etc.) without reading the accompanying instructional material. So, you try to do so and feel angry, impatient, annoyed, and most likely act out those emotions in reactive behaviors. A few examples: complaining, whining, throwing the equipment, commanding assistance from another (who actually took the time to read the instructions).

Once again, “Pausing for Consciousness” and walking the “Path of Emotion” will allow you, through exploration, to understand your narcissistic characteristic and the source of it with greater clarity; do the necessary updating of the imprints moving you; claim your Personal Truth and behave truthfully.

Choosing Consciousness is a much better alternative for you and those around you!

I hope you will bring your specific questions about narcissism and those about your own dynamics as well as your experiences surrounding what you think may be narcissism. To be very clear, this discussion is in no way therapy and should not be considered as an alternative to pursuing therapy in your growth process.

So, come join me for some vulnerable conversation.





Narcissism 2
Started 1 December 2008 by d nock

On an Internet health site nacissism is defined as the excessive preoccupation with self and lack of empathy for others.

I was awakened at 3AM by a phone call from a patient's father. He then put the mother on; she told me about her daughter who had come into their room crying. She had lost her wisdom teeth about five days ago and was in pain. I gave them advice and told them she should see me later in the morning. I then lay awake for about an hour and reviewed what I felt, how I responded, and what my history has been.

I felt bothered : what could I do at three AM to help except advice and why didn't they try some simple steps first before they woke me up? Why didn't they consider my situatuon?

I responded politely; her mother started with apologizing for the timing of the call. I have been less than polite in the past; I tend to remember the times I was helpful and "forget" (dismiss as an anomaly) when I was rude. I flashed to Sherryl saying "Be nice" (more than once) in the past when the pager would go off in the middle of the night. She knew how I could be.

Empathy is not my defualt setting. It takes only a few seconds for me to put myself in this family's position. They all were awake and concerned. I had my wisdom teeth out and hurt a lot for about ten days. Why does it take a deliberate look for me to relate to others and their struggles? Why is my unconscious stuck in childhood? I am very embarrassed to have to admit I'm not programmed to think of others easily. I have given gifts not to please the person but to draw attention to me. I have trampled on posts here on the Forum with little consideration for others. I have taken a picture Sherryl talked about; she spoke of the time of breaking through dark clouds into sunlight. I "stole" her story and used it to bring attention to me. I'm sorry Sherryl and would like to clean that up. It was inconsiderate and dismissing.

I think it would be helpful if the Forum would not rescue me. I have hesitated starting this MID because of my narcissism. Am I using it as a vehicle to grow or simply another way to be seen? I must see myself as others see me and must learn to recognize how pervasive (engulfing) my nacissism is. I don't wish to present and pretend. I also know and feel that my first step in growth is to confront my problem; it is large and intimidating. I have learned that I can address it; big rocks can be broken up with lots of little chips. I have a lifetime; I want to change.

How much does narcissim affect you? Do you have the traits? Are you involved (or enmeshed) with a person with narcissism?





No Worries!
Started 12 October 20090 by Stephen BE

Thanks to Crocodile Dundee, we all learned the common Australian phrase, “No worries!” Apparently, it is the equivalent of such common American expressions as, “Fine”, “Can’t complain”, and “I’m good”. It is meant to acknowledge a greeting without exposing any vulnerability. It’s a way to confirm your present level of denial to the casual inquiry.

Before it can represent truth, however, there had to be an actual worry, something that got your attention and concern. Only after feeling it, exploring it, and dealing with it in truth, could you state, “I’m not worried about this.”

Here, at BTN, we encourage full awareness, brought about through full emotional presence. You must feel something in order to become aware of it. Conversely, if you are aware of it, you have felt something about it. Some of the things we become aware of, raise such uncomfortable emotions, we immediately work to turn-off the emotional juice. We deny our experience. Short of denying it, we avoid feeling it too much. We fear getting lost in an irresolvable concern.

We all know by now, that denial and avoidance do not serve our pursuit of Higher Consciousness. So rather than continuing to push some uncomfortable information out of our awareness, we open up a discussion here about ALL THINGS UNCOMFORTABLE and CONFUSING. If we want to truly experience the state of not having a pre-occupation with discomforting events, “NO WORRIES!”, then we need to first feel about them and deal with them.

I become aware of several things everyday that disturb my sense of security. Some come and go in minutes. Others last for weeks or months. When a worry lasts for weeks or months, there can be an invitation to alternate between obsessing about it and trying to put it out of mind (avoidance). Neither process works very well.

The better approach, I have learned, is to mull it over. I seek as much information as possible, and ponder all that I learn. There is a state of enquiry that is neither fretting nor denying. It is its own category of “pending further investigation”. During this period, I will feel all the worry and confusion and fear that naturally comes up. My unconscious demands to be assuaged, so I cannot just ignore this. In order to not get lost in an emotional state of confusion and fear and insecurity, I make the “pending” file an okay place to be.

It is my constant state of insecurity from which I draw much humility, and consequently much wisdom. “Pending” means these are the things that I cannot control, that I do not yet have an opinion, that bring with it the experiences of uncertainty and unsettledness. I thus train myself, and consequently expect of myself, to live with these emotions.

Although the emotions aren’t particularly enjoyable, neither do they hurt. They do not interfere in my sense of inner peace and harmony. They are just part of my everyday experience that I accept as reality. It’s similar to the daily experience of living with not being as tall as I would like to be, or being fatter than I wish I was, or any of the shortcomings I must encounter and embrace in myself.

In this discussion thread, I invite everyone to bring up anything that invites them to worry. It does not need to make logical sense. We will explore it together, adding pieces of information along the way. Some worries may take only days to settle. Others may take us years to put into perspective. These will be the things and events that must live in our “Pending” file, since we cannot resolve them in short notice.

God knows, we are invited constantly through the news to worry about everything in life. There should be no shortage of material to consider. For example, the H1N1 flu has been in the news everyday for almost a year. Everyone has been invited to worry that he or she will be the next victim of the “swine flu”. “Should I get the vaccination or not?” “What will happen if I don’t get vaccinated?” “Will I be the next victim? Will I die?”

This is the first “WORRY” in this discussion, then. I am confident we shall find many, many more. Included below is information that addresses this first worry.

(from HSI e-Alert 10/12/09)

Dear Reader,

If you want someone to sort out all the nonsense about H1N1, someone who's well-informed, has no professional agenda, and nothing to gain financially, then Tom Jefferson, M.D., is your guy.

For 15 years, Dr. Jefferson has been studying the nature of influenza and vaccines with the Cochrane Collaboration – a non-profit, independent organization that reviews a wide variety of health care research.

And now Dr. Jefferson and his colleagues have some good news: You can stop worrying about H1N1, and you can even stop worrying about the H1N1 vaccine, if you will only do one thing...

Dr. Jefferson wants you to wash your hands.

In fact, he wants you to wash them right now, wash them whenever you arrive home from public places or social gatherings, and wash them several times each day.

In a recent meta-analysis of six studies that tested physical interventions in curbing the spread of severe respiratory infection, Dr. Jefferson's team found that the wearing of masks, gloves, and hospital gowns had a preventive impact, but were far less effective compared to hand washing more than 10 times each day.

Can it really be that simple? Dr. Jefferson says yes.

In a July 2009 interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Dr. Jefferson noted that research shows hand washing can prevent more than just the flu.

Dr. Jefferson: "This method can fight against the 200 pathogens that bring about flu symptoms as well as against gastrointestinal viruses and completely unknown germs. One study done in Pakistan has shown that hand-washing can even save children's lives. Someone should get a Nobel Prize for that!"


Changing the game

----------------------------------------------------------- about H1N1? Hand washing? Or vaccine? In an interview last month with the Center for Medical Consumers, associate director of the CMC, Maryann Napoli, noted that during the recent Australian winter there were no H1N1 vaccines available. The result: 131 H1N1 deaths in a population of 22 million.

She asked Dr. Jefferson if it's fair to conclude that the H1N1 virus didn't turn out to be a pandemic. Dr. Jefferson: "Yes, you may conclude that the H1N1 virus is not the threat that it has been portrayed to be." And then Dr. Jefferson revealed something remarkable that you can be certain won't be highlighted by the mainstream media: Earlier this year, the World Health Organization changed the definition of pandemic.

The earlier WHO definition reads: "An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness."

The revised definition removes this phrase: "with enormous numbers of deaths and illness" – which significantly lowers the bar for defining a pandemic.

When Ms. Napoli asked Dr. Jefferson about this change, he said: "I am wondering if this means that the world will always be in a pandemic. The world will always have to be doubly vaccinated and the world will always be spending a huge amount of money for vaccines, and of course, buying anti-viral drugs by the barrel load.

"Journalists and others have contacted WHO to find out why the change in definition, and they are always told that someone will get back to them, which never happens."

Later in the interview, Dr. Jefferson takes off the gloves and states simply that the so-called pandemic is a "commercial operation."

Dr. Jefferson: "Why else would the Australian government plan to immunize millions of people after the epidemic with a partially evaluated vaccine?"


The forecast: milder than expected


The Cochrane Collaboration has reviewed every influenza vaccine study conducted between 1948 and 2007. The result: "There is no evidence whatsoever that seasonal influenza vaccines have any effect, especially in the elderly and young children. No evidence of reduced cases, deaths, complications."

And Dr. Jefferson adds: "There is no problem with the H1N1 virus. It's no different from any other seasonal virus. In fact, it looks – from the Australian experience – like it's going to be milder and it can be handled with public health measures, such as hand washing."

If you have friends or family members who are on the fence about getting the seasonal flu vaccine and/or an H1N1 shot, do them a favor and forward this information so they can get an unbiased perspective from a true insider.


To start receiving your own copy of the HSI e-Alert, visit:

Or forward this e-mail to a friend so they can sign-up to receive their own copy of the HSI e-Alert.


Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.





Nurturing the Growth of BTN
Started 30 June 2007 by Stephen BE

We have developed an intimate little family here on BTN during the year and three-quarters of its existence. You all know each other and interact with each other whether you are in Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, BC, Montreal, France, Greece, South Africa, Serbia, or the UK. It feels like home for many of us. Many more people worldwide (~4000) have a peripheral connection by regularly taking advantage of the free Short Courses and Consciousness Lessons, and purchasing books in the bookstore.

In the upcoming six months or year, however, we will be looking for ways to make BTN even better. We know we need to make the free information more available to visitors, for example. Also, as has already been pointed out to us by more than one person, we need to offer greater training in the Path of Emotion. We will add more instruction in emotional and consciousness skills, for sure. And we will prepare for a much wider membership participation, i.e there will be much more marketing that you will see.

BTN was nothing more than an idea for three years prior to 9/1/05. Since then we have seen how incredibly powerful it is in helping individuals chart their own course toward greater harmony, Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment. We have seen phenomenal things occur in this little growth center. The experiment has proved its value. For less than the cost of one therapy session, members get 365 days of truthful engagement. That's priceless, as anyone who seeks to practice living in truth out in the world can attest to.

What we need most are your ideas and suggestions to make it better and make it available to more people. Even though we have a specific suggestion box link on many pages, we rarely receive someone's thoughts about how to improve. So we are asking now for your input, between now and the end of the year. You can post your comments, thoughts, suggestions and complaints here. That way others can also comment on your ideas or feed off of them to think of additional ways to improve. Or if you prefer, you can still use the suggestion box, in the members-only menu.

In addition, you will probably receive periodic requests for specific questions you might have. This will help guide us in planning our curriculum. Consider yourself one of the charter members. But charter members can't have all the fun! You have to share your little secret with the rest of the world so they can begin their journey into greater consciousness too.

Now it is time for charter members to contribute to the development of BTN. We want your ideas! We will not incorporate all of them, of course, but we will certainly consider each one seriously. Please do not expect a response to your suggestions from us. We will collect them, discuss them, hear what others have to say about them, and determine how they fit into the grand design. The results will probably show a collective consensus, rather than the individual idea. But it takes the ideas to get there.

BTN is too valuable to be sitting quietly in the never-regions of cyberspace. We're coming out! Please help us plan a renewal and debut.




Outside the Norm

Started March 3, 2012 by Tycee


I found these recently while reading and wanted to share them. They inspired me to think about how much resistance I deal with from so many sources about my path and my take on life. As everyone here probably experiences, as I grow, I find myself further and further outside the norm and one of the costs of living in truth is dealing with the disapproval and fear of people who cannot see what I am seeing yet. Sometimes these people are disapproving and critical, and sometimes they are destructive and mean in their fear. This experience is teaching me to be discerning about what I share and with whom. It is teaching me to deal with my narcissism and refrain from forcing my growth upon others or attempting to control whether someone sees or understands me. It is also teaching me to stand in truth even if I am the only one who understands what I am tuning into.

There is grief involved in this process for me consistently. There is also no other choice that would be truthful than to continue on my path regardless of costs.

This quote comes from a scientist talking about the resistance to his research and its findings by the majority of scientists:

The difficulty really is psychological and exists in the perpetual torment that results from your saying to yourself, ‘But how can it be like that?’ which is a reflection of uncontrolled but utterly vain desire to see it in terms of something familiar….Do not keep saying to yourself…‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get…into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that [emphasis added]. (p. 123) Richard Feynman(1994), physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum electrodynamics.

Raised as I was in the traditions of Western science, I had been taught that mind is a creation of neural structure and function, and of neurochemistry, that the mind plays a small role in human behavior, and that when the brain dies, the mind disappears. Case closed.
This is the ‘brain first, mind second hypothesis.’ It is the prevailing model in contemporary science.

However, there is an alternative model, as current as today’s visionary science yet as old as recorded history… This model says that mind is first. Consciousness exists independently of the brain. It does not depend upon the brain for its survival. Mind is first, the brain is second. The brain is not the creator of the mind, it is a powerful tool of the mind. Professor Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. (p.267) The afterlife is his area of research.

It is a mistake to believe that science consists in nothing but conclusively proved propositions, and it is unjust to demand that it should. It is a demand only made by those who feel a craving for authority in some form and need to replace the religious catechism by something else, even if it be a scientific one. ~~Freud

Choosing to be honest means you will speak what is true for you; no quibbling, no slanting, no shading of the truth. It also means the people around you might not like what you have to say.

Insight of the Day - Today!

Anything of interest in these quotes for you? What is your experience as you grow beyond the normal world?






Parenting and Higher Consciousness
Started May 2005 by Stephen BE

Can you parent without using the power of parenthood?

This is the key to conscious parenting. Remember that to the child, the parent is a manifestation of God: omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. There is an immeasurable difference in power in this relationship. Most parents never realize how powerful they are to the child, mostly because they never claim their personal power, and they rarely confront the vulnerability they feel between them and their own parents (or primary caretakers).

To parent consciously, one must have constant awareness of "which God they serve, the God of lower consciousness or the God of Higher Consciousness." If you play the power card that you inherently hold as a parent, you are serving the former. If you threaten to play the power card, you are serving the former. If you hold it in reserve so you can play it when you choose to, you are serving the former. There are situations that justify using this power wisely. They involve the safety of the child. If you want a conscious relationship with your child, make sure you serve only the "God of Higher Consciousness."

By its very nature, playing power means someone wins and someone loses. The only way to really win the power game is to not play.





Path of Emotion - What do YOU do?
Started 25 May 2007 by Karen

The Path of Emotion is a powerful 4-step process for consciousness growth on the emotional aspect. It’s the path to walk over and over again to gain ever-increasing insight and learn to create a life based in truth and conscious choices as opposed to unconscious defaults and reactions.

I’ve worked the steps of the POE, almost exclusively through my journal. Most journal sessions begin with lists of emotion words reflecting what I’m feeling. Sometimes, I start with an experience I’m upset about and then write about how I feel. (Step 1) Is this similar to what you do?

From the Solarium:
I also notice that often I do not use the POE on my feelings (deeds May 25, 2007)

deeds, If you don’t often use the POE on your feelings, what do you use it on?

Deeds, I do the POE pretty quickly for some situations, just in my head. If it is something I need or want to explore, I will journal. (Michelle May 25, 2007)

Michelle, do you have any examples of how you do the POE in your head? Would you share your process?

I hope many of you will share how you use the POE in your life and growth.

We each have our own perspective and sharing will surely create growth synergy.





Physical Aspect--The Challenges of Illness/Injury
Started 2 March 2007 by Karen

All of us reside in a physical body and probably have had or will have a challenge with physical illness or injury. We've had an MID about the physical aspect with emphasis on health and fitness. This MID will focus more on what surfaces when our bodies are not in optimal condition.

A quick view of posts this week brings up: Milo’s breathing, deeds' surgery, Colleen's knee injury, Sherryl's breast lump and my laryngitis. Anybody else out there dealing with a physical issue? Has anyone come through a physical challenge and have experience to share? Carla, how are you doing with your pain?

There is a lot of waiting, wondering and worrying time associated with illness and injury. How do you deal with that?

Last year, I was called back for a repeat mammogram because of a suspicious area.
I worked not to panic and I used self-talk and self-examination to get through each step.
I challenged myself to picture getting through this exam, then the “what if’s?” What if I needed a biopsy? Could I deal with that? What’s next? Could I deal with that?

This is how I’ve been getting through (dealing with??) the immediate crisis/challenge. It’s difficult to choose willingness to feel everything when the strongest emotion is terror. I have felt frozen or numb and then agitated, restless, anxious, scared and alone.

A 12-step program slogan is “One day at a time” as in Take it one day, hour or one minute at a time.
I use the experience for growth but first I seem to have to sit with it, feel and explore.

A couple of nights ago, when I couldn’t talk at all, I felt frustrated, scared, depressed and useless. I worried about never getting my voice back. I interrupted that thinking track because it was leading me to panic. I reminded myself that most cases of laryngitis clear up. But what if this one doesn’t’?

What are some of your experiences?
What techniques do you use to stay present and conscious during physical distress?
How are you feeling?





Physical Health and Higher Consciousness
Started 6/8/10 by Heather

Since my physical health is an issue I talk about quite a bit in the Solarium, it was suggested to me to start this MID and see what we can explore. I've never started a MID before, so here goes!

I hope this MID will serve to reveal the intricacies of the relationship between our physical being and emotional being and the role this relationship plays in the pursuit of higher consciousness. Regardless if you consider yourself in "poor" health or in "good" health, everyone's physical state can reflect their emotional state and vice versa. I am currently in a difficult struggle out of a constant cycle of poor health and I'm interested to hear the thoughts of others, not only who are in my situation, but those on the opposite end of the spectrum and everyone in between. For me, my exploration of my physical state is leading towards an emotional breakthrough. No thought is too small or insignificant so please join in!

Here are some questions that I have been pondering:

Have you noticed an interaction between your physical health and emotional state?

If so, are there any unconscious patterns/imprints emerging?





Physical Realm
Started 6/9/06 by Brian

Much of this forum is dedicated to examining how growth in the emotional realm contributes to consciousness growth. Because the emotional realm underlies all other forms of growth, and is for most the least developed, this focus is warranted. However, I would like to use this thread to discuss another component of consciousness growth: the physical realm.

I have been faced with issues primarily related to my physical growth when recently, I picked up the sport of triathlon. I am attracted to the sport for reasons that can be divided into two main groups: unconscious and potentially truthful. I recognize many unconscious desires to triathlon: a desire for impressive fitness and an attractive physique; a desire for the purpose that comes from a competitive and goal-orientated lifestyle; and most of all, a desire for the sensation I experience when buying a new piece of equipment, or reading a triathlon magazine. I recognize these unconscious desires, and I fear pursuing an activity to fulfill these desires.

However, triathlon is also an activity that presents me with growthful possibilities. My body, and all others, have a certain potential force. Components such as muscle mass, core strength, technical ability, mental aptitude, nutrition and equipment combine to determine how much of this potential force is realized. Training for and participating in triathlons gives me an opportunity to grow in these components and therefore pursue greater actual and potential force. By mindfully doing so, I can work toward a greater understanding of my own energy, and consequently, an understanding of the physical energy that surrounds me. This is, as I understand it, the essence of growth in the physical realm. Seeking this, because it is a part of consciousness growth, is truthful to me.

Thus, I am balanced between my pursuit of physical growth that I believe I achieve in triathlon and a fear that I am not truly seeking it, but rather using this as a justification to pursue unconscious desires. Yikes!

In an attempt to better examine these issues, I am curious to hear about your experiences in the physical realm. Do you too feel these same unconscious desires? If so, how do you process them in a way to benefit growth in the physical realm? What are your experiences in successfully seeking growth in the physical realm, and what are your unsuccessful experiences?





POE Work
Started 11/16/08 by Milosh

The Path of Emotion work. Write about it here.

Here's what I'm struggling with:

I feel futile when I think of dealing with issues via POE. Why? Because there are much issues. I am not aware of many of them, but as I (when I) move a millimeter I see another meter of road. Maybe I just need to find the right tempo of work or something else.





Power Plays
Started July 2, 2008 by d nock

I would be happy to lead a discussion about power (and how I would like to stop playing it). Another fairly recent example comes to mind. Our youngest daughter had a birthday in April; Sherryl bought her a digital camera. I found a digital video camera and bought it. Donna pointed out that I played power; I one-upped Sherryl's gift. I defended that was not my intent or dynamic (played power by defending I wasn't playing power!!!). Even now, removed from that time and circumstance, when I play back both my dynamics with Sherryl and Donna I can feel my unconscious want to defend my behavior. It's beyond annoying.

I find power to be very sneaky; pretends to be friendly and agreeable. Just a ruse to deny and avoid. What I really notice is how easily I miss it; it's a big blind spot for me.






Started 02 Jan. 2008 by Stephen BE

Dynamics are patterns of emotion and behavior. Whenever you feel a certain emotion and follow it with a common reaction, you are illustrating a psychodynamic. Everyone has such patterns. They might be called "habits", except this is much too mundane a term. "Psychodynamics" has punch. It says we'd better beware or the white-coats will come and take us away.

We want to take the stigma out of this term, and learn to see our own dynamics. There is nothing inherently wrong with most of them, they're just unconscious. We can learn much about ourselves by studying our own dynamics. And it is for this reason that I propose a discussion about dynamics.

This is sort of like reading the Merck Manual as a medical student, however. There is the inherent danger of contracting "intern's disease". This occurs when we begin to identify with every symptom that we read, and begin feeling awfully woozy. I can guarantee that you will see some of your own dynamics in this discussion, as it grows. I would hope for this, because then you can better understand how you see and interact with the world. Do not run and hide when you see yourself in these descriptions. The more you can own your dynamics, the better you are able to change those that create problems.

This is the essence of gaining consciousness. We work with emotion in order to deal with our issues and learn our lessons. Working with emotion means, among many other things, learning to see our patterns of feeling and behaving. When we see these patterns, we can give them a name, making it easier to spot them and work with them in the future.

All psychopathology is described in terms of collections of specific psychodynamics. When someone exhibits a number of certain dynamics that fall under the same heading, then we may speak of a certain style of disorder. But the number, and especially the severity, of these dynamics is essential. Each dynamic is measured for its severity, as is the collection as a whole. To make a long story short, we all exhibit some of the dynamics of some of the named disorders. This puts us on the spectrum, where we can measure how problematic any given dynamic is in our life. This does not make us sick or disordered. It just goes to show how fine a line there is between functioning and non-functioning. It is not a question of "if" we have behavior that is regarded as "crazy". It's a question of how much and how severe is it?

The more we learn to recognize our dynamics and own them, the easier it is to insert consciousness into the loop. We will, inevitably, venture into the land of what is called "mental illness", as it is a universal fear among all self-reflective humans to wonder if we are sane or not, or just how close are we to being insane. That's why nearly all humans hide to a great extent. We all fear that if others could "really" see who we are, we would be abandoned, rejected, condemned, and possibly even incarcerated.

Nothing is further from the truth. If we could really see ourselves, as well as see others, we would all feel much more empathy for the suffering of others, and more willingness to feel all that we feel. Knowing that all suffering is "fixable", through the pursuit of Higher Consciousness, we would also hold others to a higher standard of behavior, something resembling truthful behavior.

Let's start here, by questioning the dynamics we see in ourselves or in others. What patterns of emotion and behavior do we see, either in ourselves or someone else, that may or may not cause problems? This is a place where we will try to define the dynamics, and discuss ways of improving on them, when they are ours, or dealing with them when they are someone else's.





Pursuing Higher Consciousness in Everyday Life
Started 17 August 2010 by Stephen BE

There are a couple of One Last Insights (OLI) that ask for your questions about what it means to pursue Higher Consciousness. Today's is one of them. The question posed is, "What would you like to know about how to pursue Higher consciousness in everyday life?" We receive some very sophisticated and poignant responses to these questions. We also receive a wealth of support and appreciation from this portal, even if someone does not ask a specific question.

We take these sign-offs seriously and use the feedback and questions to stimulate such writings as Consciousness Lessons, Forum Insights and Universal Truth. Often a post is in response to one of the OLI emails we receive. Our BTN members have some very useful questions, questions that have widespread applicability.

In this discussion, we will address specific questions received from these OLI's. Hopefully, the question and response will stimulate further questions and input. In this way, one thought will lead to others, and then to still others. We'll see where interest takes us.

The topic is "What does it mean to pursue Higher Consciousness in everyday life?" You do not need to wait for this OLI to cycle around in order to raise a question. You can include it here, in this discussion. We enjoy getting the OLI responses too, so keep 'em coming.




Questions About Love

Started February 11, 2013 by Tycee

I had a chance to explore some questions about "love." One question, "How was loved communicated in your FOR?" led me to understand that pleasing others equated to "love" in my family.

Alice, I liked your idea about starting a MID on exploring questions about love. I am starting it here on your behalf since I wanted to post in this MID. Thank you for the suggestion. It sounds like you were imprinted with being who others want you to be = worthy of love.

...a majority of the time I felt extremely disconnected and abandoned. I see from this state of loneliness, I comforted myself with addictive behaviors. Food has been my main drug of choice but I have used other sources for my addictions as well. I acknowledge that I also used my addiction to unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy substances to continue the abuse into my adulthood, which my unconscious says I deserve.


Thank you for sharing your childhood experience of loneliness, disconnection, and abandonment and abuse. It is sad. No one deserves that. I relate and that is part of why this connection, with other seekers on the forum, is sooo great. I feel more connection and intimacy with this group of people than I ever did with my FOR.

I highlighted your post, along with Alice’s, in this MID because one of the ways love was shown in my FOR was through food. I have significant food addiction and part of that for me, was that eating was part of how I pleased others. I received the title of being “a good eater” and I was validated for pleasing the women who cooked (validating them). My unconscious perceives gifts of food as loving...even though they were often bestowed upon me when I was trying to change my diet or lose weight. My grandmother made amazing food and practically followed me with a spoon (she did when I was a child) - and then she always commented on my weight when I started to gain weight. It was a conflictual message - eat what I have made you so I feel validated and worthy, and also don’t gain weight. I do not see her behavior as loving now and my unconscious food addiction is not self-loving. Eating became a way for me to tolerate intolerable situations. Thanks for the prompting for exploration Heather.

How were others imprinted regarding what love means or how it is shown?




Reactions: Bad, Responses: Good
Started 10 Aug. 2007 by Stephen BE

I've made the commitment to myself and to my partner to eliminate all defensiveness and angry acting out behaviour.
I must admit as I discussed it with him, a little defiant voice at the back of my head said 'really, we'll see...' - this little voice concerned me and I need to go in there to see where it comes from.
And in my partners eyes I could see a 'lets wait and see'... as I was sharing (or was that my assumption - and that little voice acting up again in a different way?)
So I've committed to him and in sharing this with the Forum, I'm expressing my commitment here too.
Gosh, this is quite scary as I have no more excuses to act from a lesser level of consciousness. (Karmillah 8/10/07, Terrace)

Karmillah has pointed out the most significant step one can make when first pursuing Higher Consciousness: Eliminate all reactive behavior.

The first part of this step is to eliminate those behaviors that act-out your anger. The second part is to eliminate all defensive behaviors. Both of these cause injury to a relationship partner with whom you are trying to create intimacy. Their unconscious, then, tags you as someone who is threatening to survival. Since the unconscious knows no time, your behavior is always "now" and "life threatening". This makes it difficult to overcome this tag, regardless of how engaging and considerate you may be in the future.

We all are guilty of acting out at times, so this is a universal lesson. How do we learn to eliminate this self-destructive behavior? I thought it might be interesting to start with any tricks or devices we use to prevent us from reacting. What do you do to keep yourself from going over the edge, when everything in you is screaming that you must defend yourself right now or you will be annihilated?

Some people say they live with no regrets. I can't understand this. I regret every incident of my acting out. I wish I could go back in time and erase some of the things I have done reactively. I feel ashamed of my reactions. I never regret behaviors that I chose through consciousness. I almost always regret my behaviors that arose automatically from my unconscious.

Since I cannot change my history, I must learn and change my behavior in the future. I strive to absolutely eliminate any and all unconscious reactions, except those that are made to insure my life (not those that my unconscious falsely perceives as life-threatening).

Let's hear some of the ways people interrupt their internal wave of reaction, so that it never gets to the behavior stage. Maybe by sharing our individual strategies, we can find new ways to eliminate all reactions.





Started 11 February 2008 by Brian

I realize how easy it is to become disconnected to the forum. If I don't post for a couple days, actually doing it becomes harder - even when I have something to offer, it feels like it'll be too much work to explain the back-story... too much work to catch back up with everything. But I also realize how easy it is to reconnect. The reality of re-engaging is much more amenable than my perception. I post once (like this), get back into the groove, and I'm off and running.

The resistance then, is the only major hurdle between me and growth.





Seeker Profile
Started 16 February 2007 by Deeds

Hi all,

I'm trying to help BT reach a wider audience along with Andrew, Stephen and Donna. One thing that really helps is building up a profile of the kind of person that we are trying to attract, that is, seekers. The more we know about seekers the easier it is to target our marketing effort accurately. Since this is a website for seekers I thought it might make sense to go straight to the horses mouth and ask the forum members for some help.

We are looking for patterns, common behaviours and habits that seekers might share. For example I reckon most seekers would be keen readers. Perhaps they might regard themselves as spiritual people. I know that I explored Buddhism but came from a Christian background. Perhaps therapy could be a common link? These are the kinds of things that will help us to target our marketing resources.

It is a difficult task because we are few. Individually the patterns may not be obvious but if we compare our separate paths and get creative we might be able to glean some valuable information.

So think about your seeking pre BT, who, what, where, when, why and how? Your internet habits might be especially useful to explore, which search engines, which sites. Where do you buy your books, how should we try to reach seekers all over the world?





Sexuality and Consciousness
Started 6/7/07 by Tycee

I wanted to start the new MID and give us a chance to start exploring here as Donna suggested. Where shall we begin? How about, Where did you first learn about sexuality? Or if you have a better idea or desire that is fine too.

(and continued on 6/9/07 by Tycee)

Hi guys,

I would love to invite discussion in this MID and I want to do it in a way that feels safe and of interest. Many of you know that my earliest sexual training came through abuse, but I would like to hear from others about theirs. We all got imprints and have issues surrounding sexuality. One that just jumped up for me is how I have struggled to claim my yin energy and my female-ness so to speak. My imprint is that my female-ness is what got me abused and one of the ways I would act that out is through hiding my body. Stuff like girly clothes, the color pink etc.. invited my fears and vulnerability. Now I am practicing owning my feminity and part of that is my sexuality. There are so many directions this topic could go. I need some help from you to know what direction you would like it to go.





Sexuality Issues
Started 11/29/09 by Tycee

My partner and I have recently had an experience worth sharing. We are actively working with our issues surrounding sex and sexuality and we have realized that sex is the height of vulnerablity for each of us. This is not new news, but we have had a couple of tough days, dealing with psuedo-issues that we were able to track back to our core issues of abandonment and engulfment. We could see that sex invites great vulnerablity and then we each put up our radars looking for abandonment and engulfment and we manifest our core issues through a pattern of clinging and distancing behaviors around other events - non-sexual interactions. Then it is easy to become confused about what is really happening.

It is not that I didn't know this already, but I have never given it it's proper credit and fully respected the gravity of the power of the unconscious as it comes up around sex. Sex is a place where it is easy to allow my unconscious imprints to sneak in.

I wonder if others can relate to this experience - to the vulnerability of being sexual and to the powerful unconscious invitations that come up around having been so vulnerable?






Sharing Nature
Started 7/01/10 by Tycee

I thought it may be interesting to explore different experiences we have had from observing nature. I love nature and know other forum members do as well. I am imaging we could share things we have learned, or imprints we have found, or just experiences we have had.

I recently saw my first bear. I have wanted to see one my whole life and it was thrilling to see. It came to my house. I was inside looking out the window and I saw it coming over the fence, watched it stick it's nose in sprinkler water, and then come right up on our porch. I ducked down under the window and it came right to the window - inches from me - and sniffed around. (By the way, Chris had gotten our gun so we were ready if it tried to come in the window) Then it moved on down the porch and eventually meandered off. Chris and I ran from window to window to watch it. The next day we found it's prints in our garden plot. It was mesmorizing and I will never forget it.

We have been on our toes ever since! It is awareness enhancing to know predators are in the area or could be. Chris and I had just spoken about the lack of usual wildlife in the area that morning - hmmm, where are the deer and why aren't the cats going outside? It is also interesting to feel the difference in the energy of predator animals vs. non-predators. Mountain lions and bears have such powerful energy and what appears like no fear or skitishness, which may not be true. I havn't had a lot of experiences to compare.

What experiences have others had?





Sibling Relationships
Started Sep. 6, 2010 by Tycee

Hello forum members,

I had an encounter with my sister over the weekend that raised a core issue for me and I wondered if sibling relationships may be an interesting topic for others too.

My grandfather is old and has recently had heart attacks. He may die soon and he may leave some of his property to my mother, sister, and I. I say “may” because it has been communicated that way by my mother, but not by my grandfather and I have no real solid idea of what will happen. I don’t feel entitled to it and work to update any attachment to outcome.

Talking with my sister, she made several remarks that indirectly eluded to her desire and attachment to having the property and my being un-deserving of it for various reasons. Her comments were indirect and left me feeling slimed but unsure what had happened. I found myself spinning and not able to respond at the time.

I have a significant issue from childhood with being left out and when I get in touch with it, it is such a source of grief for me. I feel many emotions around it, from rage to intense sadness. Processing the experience this time I had a new memory of being sent to bed because it was my bedtime (I was 12 or so) while the rest of the family stayed awake and watched my favorite television show. I remembered lying in my bed, completely awake and listening to what the rest of the family was doing without me. It was a new piece to the issue, but the being left out imprints are many and significant for me. Every time I get in touch with it, it is still such a source of grief. I hear myself saying that as though it shouldn’t be.

I still fight the emotional experience so much. When I get in touch with the emotions associated my unconscious screams at me to flee. Get away from anyone or any situation that will trigger those feelings. I feel frustrated that I want to avoid it so much, when I know it won’t kill me to feel it. I can never forget how powerful my unconscious imprints to avoid are. I feel like that is the place where I start spinning and withdraw. I have a tendency to feel like I shouldn’t be having this intense an experience and I start self-criticizing which is part of the issue. Growing up, when I had feelings of envy, jealousy, and being left out I was criticized and punished which felt abandoning. It was like being between a rock and hard place. If I tried to communicate my fears and pain, I was punished and it hurt. If I did not communicate it I felt abandoned and hurt.

I am not a child anymore and I get to update that I am not between a rock and a hard place unless I put myself there. I am not entitled to not have this core issue and self-criticizing is just a waste of time. I have chosen to operate in a different world from my family members. I knew this about my sister and was not prepared for it. I am working with the issue, and it still hurts.

The experience with my sister brought up a lot and I am working to distill it down to what I want to bring up with her, if anything. Where I am currently is feeling like not bringing up my issue with her would be like silently agreeing, which does not feel truthful. It really is not about the land, it is about the message that I am undeserving and in the way. Still working with this…

Does anyone else have sibling experiences they would like to share, or imprints about being left out that you work with?





Spam Email Issues
Started 3/21/07 by Stephen BE

In the constant illustration that there are consciousness lessons everywhere, if one is sincerely seeking, I am raising a new topic for discussion of the issues raised by the spam email we all receive daily. I imagine this to be one of the most common experiences of web-connected life. I think that everyone with an email address receives unwanted and unsolicited email. In the US we refer to this as “spam”.

I do not know how this term started, but perhaps it refers to the canned food item by this name. The original Spam is, I think, an invention of the US War Department (now the Defense Department) during World War II. It is a combination food that includes cooked ham and lots of other unidentifiable things, pressed together into a canned loaf. It had an indefinite shelf life, did not need refrigeration, could either be eaten plain, out of the can, heated in many different ways, or prepared with an infinite variety of other foods to alter its presentation. It was an ideal food to send to war, and somehow it caught on. It remains a staple in nearly any US grocery store. But it is mostly regarded with contempt, as some sort of mystery meat.

Each day, I receive well over 200 emails at the frontdesk. In addition, we currently monitor four computers, each with multiple email addresses. All combined, we probably receive over three hundred emails. The sheer quantity of emails raises the first issue.

I want to be connected to the web, but I resent having to spend a significant amount of time sorting through email to separate the wheat from the chaff. I feel entitled to not be bothered with messages from those who abuse this, basically, free communication system. I’m pretty good at cutting and slashing my way through the pile, but I resent having to do it.

I know this is a significant worldwide problem, because we send out email too. To avoid blacklists and filters, we employ an email service that requires that every person on our mailing list must specifically sign up to receive our email, double verify their request, and give them the option to be automatically removed with every email. We must periodically rise to new standards in the legitimate email business to enable our email to get through. Yet somehow, each day, we receive hundreds of emails that clearly have not met these standards.

This is before we even get to the content of these unwanted emails! Talk about issues!





Unconditional Love
Started 6/21/06 by Donna BE

Did anyone note the mention of "Unconditional Love" in the MID, Astonishing Denial Messages?
What is the concept of unconditional love from your perspective?
What imprints are associated to it in your unconscious?
What messages do you get from people in your many relationships? mother? father? siblings? children? friends? lovers?
What does the concept of UL promote?

Let's hear your many thoughts, feelings, invitations, challenges, connections regarding UL. Eagerly awaiting your responses!





Unwilling Parents
Started 10/8/08 by Shannon

I’ve read several posts from the Terrace and MID discussing family members unwilling to work on their issues. Toni and Karen, you’ve shared your experiences with parents and siblings. I wanted to start a new discussion about the process of addressing issues in these significant relationships.

We’ve all been introduced to the picture of our parents’ as gods in our unconscious. What issues and imprints are tripped when god behaves in an unpredictable, volatile and wrathful way? What does it mean for me to not have a conscious, supportive parent who is working on his own issues? How do I feel about being the more mature, self-responsible adult?

A few weeks ago, my dad planned a hiking trip with his wife and invited me last-minute. This hike was one that he and I had discussed for months, and I felt not considered and hurt. It took me about a week to bring the issue up with him. I felt afraid of his reactivity and discouraged by his reputation for disingenuous apologies. My work has been to address the issues, regardless of the outcome. I am responsible for my message, whether or not it is received.

After a preliminary overview of “how’s the car?” and “what’s new with the dog?” I brought up my issue. I know my dad’s dynamics. I’ve addressed a few issues with him, and I can almost recite verbatim, his reactive responses. I tuned into my truth of wanting an intimate relationship with him. His behavior was creating an issue for me and I was not going to be the limiting factor by swallowing down and pretending everything was fine.

I told him that I felt he didn’t know me very well and that he and I didn’t have a very good relationship. He stopped looking at me, shook his head, said “How could you say that to me?!” He then said “I refuse to work like that! I just don’t work like that and I refuse!” Then he got up and walked out. I felt shaky and stunned. “Did that just happen? Did he really leave me in the middle of a discussion? What now? What have I done?!”

It has been a few weeks, and he has yet to clean up his behavior. My next truthful step is to go back, face “god” and say, “There is an elephant in the room. Are you willing to deal with it? You’ve abandoned me in a way that no parent ever should abandon their child. I am here, ready to process. I want to be close”. I expect to be abandoned by him each time I go to him. I expect not to be heard, to be blamed, to be missed completely. I am prepared, and I feel such grief.

What are your current experiences with your parents? Do you feel connected, heard and valued? Do you have an elephant in the room? How do you remain conscious while they throw jabs, trying to get your unconscious’ attention?





What Do You Want?
Started 9/9/07 by deeds

If your good fairy offered you three wishes what would you ask for. I suppose that no two people would ask for the same things. Requests would range from another drink to world peace. Most people would stammer and stutter probably ask for lots of money or a new car. How many of us would be able to answer in a flash because the question is one that we have pondered and planned for?

How can you get what you want if you have no idea what it is?

As I go through my list of wants I realise that many of them are based on my unconscious fears, health, security, career, relationships. The better ones are kinda vague and I thought it would be interesting to discuss them and try to narrow things down a bit.

So what do you want?





What's In It for Me?
Started September 16, 2006 by Krista

A while back in the Solarium, I posted about having taken on a task at work that I hated because it was terribly difficult and time consuming, and because I had some serious moral and ethical questions about it. However, I did, and still do, feel that it was truthful to do. I was wondering why, then, didn't it feel better? Stephen replied to me:

There are at least two great ideas for new topics of exploration in your last post. I suggest you raise them in MID and expand on your thoughts. They are lessons that everyone must face:
1. What do we expect to gain from being truthful?
2. When does "willingness to feel all that I feel" turn into "self-indulgence with my emotion?"

Your statements that raised these were:

1. Shouldn't it be that if one is confident of the truthfulness of one's choice, one doesn't mind the task/behavior/work or whatever? Maybe I really am questioning that? The ethical ramifications, my own values/beliefs surrounding it, the monetary worth?

It looks like the first discussion has pretty much played out, so let's tackle the second: What do I expect to gain from being truthful?

I've had some trouble grasping this one, which is why it's been a while getting started.

At first, I was even reluctant to admit that I wanted to "gain" anything. That brought to mind images of self-centeredness and manipulation. I felt that I was being criticized for wanting to "get something" out of this process. I found that I had a belief (quite an erroneous one) that I should want to do this work because it's the right thing to do and it's good for me and I'll be better for it in the end. Asking "What's in it for me?" isn't allowed. Kind of like eating my vegetables.

But, I do want to gain from this, and I do want to get something out of it. The big picture of personal growth work I think we've addressed in the Hearth.

So, to be more specific, what do I hope to gain from being truthful? In the example here, I still hated my task, I still felt badly, I still had questions about the moral and ethical ramifications. So, despite that I was relatively confident about the truthfulness of the action, I wondered.

I have had, and still have, a belief that if we are consciously choosing truthful behavior, nothing should shake our confidence in that. Yes, we may not like it, it may be unpleasant, it may lead to even more unpleasant consequences, but we should still have the confidence that it's the right choice. I think that's what I hope to gain. The strength to stand with my choice, regardless of the possible consequences and the issues those possibilities stir up.

In retrospect (and this is really only coming clear as I write), my wondering was really related to a desire to not have to feel the unpleasant emotions that went along with my choice. I was hoping that if I was confident in my truthful choice, that I wouldn't feel badly about having done what I did. No such luck. I still felt badly, and I see now there was no way around it. Nothing would make me like it.

So, that's been my experience with this. How about you guys? Have you been faced with choices you know are truthful, but that present other dilemmas? What's in it for you?





Willing to Feel, or Feeling Indulgent?
Started August 10, 2006 by Krista

Hi All,

This is a question that's been nagging at me for some time now. I see a lot of references here from people wanting to "indulge" in their emotional experience, but I have difficulty recognizing that vs. "feeling" an emotional experience. When does "feeling" cross over to "indulging?"

For instance, yesterday,I felt grumpy because I was tired, sore, and generally in a foul mood largely of my own making. Once I had in perspective that it was largely my own making, I was at least more resigned to it, but I was still grumpy. I'm better today, but I still wonder was I "indulging" in my foul mood or was I just "feeling" it? At the time, it seemed the wise thing to do was to shut myself in my office and just sit quietly lest I react badly to someone who unknowingly crossed my path. Or was that just going somewhere else so I wouldn't be bothered and enabling me to wallow in my own misery?

A corollary to this is doesn't putting on a smile and being nice to the people around me when I feel this grouchy require some level of denial of that emotional experience? I certainly admire, on some level, people who can have all sorts of bad things happening in their lives, but from any encounter with them, you wouldn't know it. But, aren't they also, on some level, masters of denial?

So, how do you all discern the difference? What barometers do you use? And what do you do when you find yourself crossing over from "feeling" to "indulging?"

Puzzled, ~Krista~





Women & Mastery
Started July 19, 2008 by Donna BE

Did other Taoist masters use female masters as part of their story telling? Sherryl

Stephen and I perceive that Sherryl’s question[above] was significant and brought up a potentially larger question of “Women and Mastery” that is most worthy of exploration through forum discussion!

I will start by responding to Sherryl’s question…

Traditional Taoist teachings stress the essential nature of Yin and Yang, male and female energy. It seems most incongruent however, that there is minimal written material regarding female Taoist Masters.

There is reference to a group of Taoist female Masters called “the Immortal Sisters” and a book about them called, The Immortal Sisters: Secret Teachings of Taoist Women, edited and translated from traditional Asian folklore by Thomas Cleary.

Read one write up on the book…
Quote: Immortal Sisters presents life stories and teachings of distinguished female Taoist adepts who lived from the third to twelfth centuries. Among them is the poet and mystic Sun Bu-er, who passed into folklore as one of the famous Seven Immortals and appears as a character in countless popular novels of China. These accomplished women, renowned in their own day and in history, represent a uniquely female heritage of spiritual mastery. Through poems, stories, teachings, and commentaries, Immortal Sisters sheds light on the spiritual methods taught and practiced by these women and illustrates the importance of the feminine in Taoism.

Notice the women are referred to as adepts and accomplished women rather than Masters. This is common throughout Taoist literature.

There is another well known book about female Taoist Masters called, Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress: Secrets of the Female Taoist Masters by Hsi Lai. This book is based on teachings from a 3,000 year old manual.

And yet another book that I just came across called, Women in Daoism by Catherine Despeux and Livia Kohn. It looks interesting and seems to be more about the Taoist religion rather than Taoist philosophy.

In Taoism, there are female Goddesses that are worshipped and I’ve frequently read Taoist materials acknowledging women for their sexual practices relating to longevity, but again, without referencing them as Masters.

Certainly, if we consider most world religions and spiritual philosophies, we see that men are in the foreground and women generally take a background role. We think it may be because that dynamic coincides with the very nature of Yin and Yang. Yang is associated with light, heat, exterior, striking out, extroverted, a more aggressive and foreground energy. Yin is a passive, dark [in the shadows], receptive, introverted, and background energy.

Unfortunately, the inference in the lack of female role models and acknowledgement of women as accomplished Masters, is that women cannot aspire to mastery and therefore are limited in the pursuit of Higher Consciousness and Enlightenment.

It is interesting that statistically, more women access therapy and purchase more self-help materials than men. I wonder what that might mean.

So, why else might women seem to be in the “backseat” to men in religion, spirituality and the pursuit of Enlightenment?

What are your experiences and thoughts, feelings and comments?





Workplace and Consciousness Issues
Started July 3, 2005 by Karen

The conversation at the hearth, early in the postings, was about issues at work. I am pretty sure that I have applications of ALL of my issues with people at work. I'd like to use this place on the site to continue the discussions.

I have been in my current job and supervising for many years. I've been lucky; the people that I supervised knew their job and did I didn't really have personnel issues. (As I write this, it occurs to me that I probably did but I was not aware .)

Anyway, my management style has been the "buddy system". I've created a "girlfriend culture" (Thanks, Donna) and work gets done.

When there were conflicts, I felt betrayed by my friends; it felt like a personal attack. I expected everyone to do what they should because I was such a nice person. I suspect they didn't know about the unspoken agreements that I was operating under. I am wimpy about delegating tasks, I'd rather do the work, myself, and avoid the uncomfortable feelings associated with being "the boss".

I am working on making a transition from "friend" to "supervisor" and to claim the authority of the position.
Does anyone have similar experiences and/or suggestions?
What issues do you have that surface in the workplace?
Do you have a story of navigating through a challenge?





World Events and BEing There
Started December 31, 2008 by Stephen BE

Normally, I am a big fan of The History Channel on American TV. In one show, you can get a pretty good understanding of the events that led to World War I. In another hour, they explain how the policy of appeasement toward Hitler led to his ability to take most of Eastern Europe, along with all of its resources, resulting in the deaths of untold millions in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, and so on.

It might take a serious student a full semester in college to grasp the same concepts that The History Channel explains in an hour. If you want an efficient education on world history, I recommend stopping by there periodically.

And if you want to understand the events in the world today, you MUST understand the events that preceded them. You simply cannot grasp why things are happening now, if you do not first understand what came before. Like the saying goes, "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it."

However, The History Channel is presenting a show this coming Sunday, January 4th, that betrays its claim on factual material. It is offering a presentation on Nostradamus and his predictions of the world coming to an end in the year 2012. These kinds of shows tend to plant a seed of futility and panic among many people. Who can remember that the world was also coming to an end at the turn of the century (Y2K)?

So I thought this would be a good time to open up a discussion of, not only these predictions, but any of the events in the world, past, present and future. I am no expert in history, but I have studied an awful lot of it. I know that Chuck has also. And Toni is a student of history as well. And I imagine there are others who can help to fill in holes in what any of us might have to say.

Together, we can begin to explore the events that take place in the world and how they have affected us, or might affect us in the future. It does not require being an expert or having well-formulated theses, just the curiosity to wonder.

The Pursuit of Higher Consciousness often leads us out of the day-to-day world and away from those who do not value Higher Consciousness. But that does not mean we can afford to ignore the happenings of all the other people in this world. We will inevitably cross paths with the issue-laden, unconscious, good people of the world, as well as some who are not so well-intended. How will we pursue consciousness then?

This is what we call anticipatory work. You can fulfill many lessons this way, that then do not require actual experience. It is a fairly advanced emotional skill. I think we can try it here, however, and see how it goes.

Since the world is ending soon, we could begin with that. Any subject you wonder about is fair game. Wonder and feel. Then we can explore together.
Please do not regard my postings as professional counseling. There is not enough personal history to speak directly to individual issues.





World Events 2
Started 2 October 20090 by Milosh

Well, whatever world event that comes to your focus and want to discuss it, here's the space for it.