The existential torment that lies at the core of each of us is yet another apparition of the Tao in disguise, and once acknowledged it evaporates and becomes pure energy to thrive on, but because the programming for torment runs deep it keeps coming back, so the release device has to be deployed roughly about every 12 seconds, which happens to be the length of time a cortisol rush lasts – cortisol being the flight, fight or freeze drug we produce endogenously and which is highly addictive, hence we forget to turn it off when there’s no danger around and then must invent fear-based scenarios to justify the feeling.
If we look at torment, what drives it is dread – existential terror – and it’s not necessarily rational and mostly isn’t, neither is it directed at anything particularly, merely the enormity of being a transient phenomenon in a transient universe, while needing to attach to stories and pictures or all we have is utter chaos.
So there’s no real need to analyze it, nor any benefit.
What we have to do is ride with it and use it to fuel us rather than deplete us.
Notice the fear you feel, beneath all the bravado and well-constructed charm or otherwise, of other people – and of dying – and of just something as imaginary as Christmas say – of infinity, eternity, destiny, loss, and all the other imponderables – but instead of doing anything about it, instead of rationalizing it away, instead of papering over it with external distractions, instead of seeking salvation from it in your phone, just bravely acknowledge it – ‘I feel afraid – I feel afraid of [you fill the list in] and
I’m not trying to change it, I simply feel afraid and that’s that’.
And then remind yourself, ‘and it’s perfectly OK to feel afraid’.
The fear will then stop bothering you.
And instead of fighting with the experience honor it as a manifestation of the Tao and love it as a gift, say, ‘I love this,’ a few times and you’ll suddenly feel it – and when you do the fear will have ceased and in its place sublime delight – and a great sense of triumph over momentary insanity.
But you’ll have to keep doing it if maintaining the state is your desire – the way to remember is to watch your solar plexus and whenever it’s getting too tight and uncomfortable, use that as the memory trigger.
Then follow this simple protocol and all will be well.
1 – stop holding the breath and breathe naturally and slowly
2 – drop the weight from the upper body into the lower body
3 – lengthen the spine by floating the crown of the head as if reaching for the sky
4 – drop the shoulders
5 – soften up your muscles by will
7 – relax your chest and feel your heart area wide open
8 – tilt your weight backwards so you’re sitting in your back more than your front
9 – draw your mind into the back of your skull
10 – note the terror-torment-turmoil inside
11 – recall this is the Tao loving you and repeat ‘I love this’
12 – formulate an intention to thrive on everything no matter what and to inspire and support those around you by it. And carry on as you were.
And watch how your need to seek validation and comfort externally is reduced and the more it is, the more others give it to you anyway.
May it serve you well.
With love, your brother on the path