Posts Tagged 'pain'

293. Colors that run away from each other

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In this painting you can see the pain. It is in the lines, it is in the intensity of the colors, it is in the way the colored areas run away from each other, concentrating in themselves, as if the whole picture is falling apart. And you also see some environment: A horizon with two trees, a part of a cloud and maybe a fruit on a limb.

The drawing is of faces overlapping, worried and separate, in spite of the closeness, pressed into the presence of each other.

The white is like the knuckles of a clenched fist.

At some point I discovered some dirt that was somehow transferred to the paper after my hand touched some food. I erased some of it but could not get rid of it completely. Erasing vigorously leaves marks too. The solution was to place the signature on the stain. It is like placing myself on some mess that I had created, to cover it up. Here is one of the things that life seems to be about sometimes.

My artist friend H observed in my art that even when I speak about torturous pain, the paintings have some cheerfulness to them. He recommended, carefully indeed and lovingly, to express the pain more freely, and maybe there will be a physical relief from it, not to mention the psychological relief. Maybe this is why there is a bit more expression of suffering in this painting than is usually expressed in my art. Or maybe it is because I came to the table at 3 or 4 at night, when the pain made me jump out of bed, and I started to draw right there.

But I can’t escape myself. Even the suffering in my life is viewed from an aware place that is basically calm, curious and loving.

I love my friend for who he is and for how what he is, is being expressed in everything he does. And I also love myself enough to allow what-makes-me-nowadays, to express itself with all the facets that it has.

Maybe it is strange to many people that there is no full expression of the suffering in my art. Instead there is what looks like a distanced or muted expression. How can one not scream about his suffering in his art and indeed tear people’s hearts when they become witnesses to it? But this would be untrue to my experience.

Yes there is some distance when I experience being more than my body. My body shakes with pain many times, but there is the bigger me, to whom this looks like a fantastic, colorful, emotions-full, drama that I had created for myself, not knowing who I am. Yes, it is not the usual life, to have one foot in the body and another in a much freer place.

 -And what if I hit you on your toes with a heavy hammer, will ask an imaginary friend?

-It will hurt.

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291. Tossing and turning

sleeplessness

I have been going through hard times with the pain, with meds that had terrible side effects, with a disappointment at the inability of medical Marijuana to help and with it own side effects too. I moved from having the pain relieved somewhat but starting to have heart problems, unpleasant changes in the digestive system, struggling with heavy sleepiness for most of the day and so on, to having the pain increased dramatically, when I quit using the meds and started the medical marijuana, still having the heaviness of not being fully awake.

Clearly there was no solution in the physical realm.

In a conversation with my inner guide, he said: You have to do everything with your heart. Let your heart guide.

Aren’t I a heart all through, I asked?

Yes, but there is still some fear, my inner guide said.

Yes.

Hence this night, desperately searching for sleep with no relief.

There is nothing to hold on to in this picture. You come to something and it moves away. The state you hope to be helped by is itself helpless. Round and round everything moves and never stops.

I went to my table. I dipped my brush in the first color that called me. I started to follow the experience of the moment, attending to the lines, the ways in which they came to each other, the way they moved, desperately searching for some calm. I wanted to be true to the experience, so I had to allow the feelings speak through the lines, and I witnessed everything, the feelings, the truth in the lines, the composition, the minute changes in the feelings, and as I was doing these, my lines started to express my new state of being: The witnessing.

Then I knew I had to stop. The decision to stop had to do with a feeling of beauty that I started to follow too. You can say that when you become a witness of your inner workings, you start being aware of beauty. And Beauty is somehow connected to love, to sharing, to playing and to being deeply happy.

And it is the time to leave this text too and move on.

Where is it that I want to move to now?

Where is it that you want to move to now?

285. The dream and the life

White House Dream

4:40, early morning.

I don’t know when it started. From that point on, I had the same dream all through the night, till now.

The White House exploded and burned down.

All the people who worked there came to work in my living room.

There was place for all of them but it was crowded. They rearranged the pillows on my bed and this made it possible for them to sleep there. Trump said to a reporter that they did not need that many people, that all those who left, only made the White House work better. “We don’t need that many people, he said, it is a simple thing to run a country.”

I think this dream touches on my getting rid of a big part of what I kept before, and how having stuff that conflicts with your freedom to be who you are, is slowing you down or even preventing you from being you.

And this connects to having mental habits that don’t support your free flight.

In the last period of my sleep, most of the pains in my feet subsided and if I was careful enough I could keep it that way and get some sleep. Only one pain seemed to stubbornly menace me. It woke me up and I sat up in my bed. The people from the White House were not in my bed any more, but I still was under the spell of the dream. I felt that unpleasantness of having uncomfortable things that fill up all the space.

I tried the stronger ointment on the top of the right foot. This will take care of it, I thought. I cannot use this all the time but now it is okay.

The pain did not stop. I put the ointment again.

The pain started to subside but the parallel place in the other foot started to hurt. I treated the new pain with the stronger ointment too. Now both feet hurt. It was a hard-to-live-with pain.

Nevertheless, sitting in bed, I fell asleep and started to fall. I woke up abruptly and avoided the fall.

This pain too, in the context of this writing, has to do with thought patterns that block flying. Have you ever considered that pain is a thought? We will have to talk about it some other time.

I went to the kitchen to make some coffee.

Long ago in this continuing fight with the pain, I made up my mind that I won’t succumb to suffering. If the pain keeps me awake, I’ll do something pleasant.

On my way to the kitchen, a bit more awake, my mind started to think with some coherence.

The thoughts that came to me were about the trauma. There was that time long ago, when I felt that I was succeeding in becoming like my father. For some reason, habitual most probably, I still consider that little sweet boy to be me, even though the only thing that we truly have in common is this infinite consciousness, who has always witnessed us from inside.

I was three and a half. I climbed all the way to the top of the structure in my new kindergarten. I stood there, at the top, and knew that I had made it. Now I am like him. This kindergarten was my new place. All the kids were older than those in the kindergarten that I left. It is happening, I thought. I am becoming my father.

He was in the war in the Galilee and in that same day he was killed.

My mom was shocked and did things in strange ways. Without talking or hinting at any reason, she brought me back to the baby’s kindergarten that I just left a few days earlier. I talked with her about it many years later and I know that she wanted me to be closer to her workplace so she could come during the work-hours and see me, in case I needed her. But in those days, in a child’s way, I understood it differently: By wanting to take my father’s place and by succeeding in being like him, I killed him. He had to go. There was only a place for one. My mother knew, I thought, even though I did not tell her (I believed that people could see each other’s thoughts), and did not want me to take my father’s place. She wanted him. What a disappointment. She knew I was dangerous and putting myself at danger too. People will know what I did and will come to kill me. I had to be protected against them and prevented from any further success. This was my understanding in those distant days. And indeed I understood it also to be a punishment for following my dream, not to mention the punishment of not having a father any more.

I did not talk. I did not feel anything accept for some resistance to this predicament. I accepted my punishment as just. My subconscious was quick to learn that he had to prevent me from succeeding. I also learned to be careful not to anger Mom, as who knows what else she could suddenly do? Every time I had the feeling that I succeeded in something, my subconscious interfered and some form of blocking appeared. I did not feel these blockages, Just as I did not feel anything in the beginning. The whole air around me was making it impossible for me to be able to evolve as I wanted. The air did not let me succeed. I only felt my resistance to the air in my back and the back of the neck, as if I was pushed backward to a wall and wanted to fight my way out of this.

This is how, in my child’s mind, I paved for myself a life of struggles and some significant failures. Today I look at all this as an admirable invention of a very talented mind. But I don’t want to jump far ahead so quickly.

Everything that started to feel like success, the sky stopped. I would discover that something shocking had happened again, only too late, when the failure had already happened, and I would turn to be emotionless. Sometimes when I thought that I succeeded in something, I started to see in my imagination an angry crowd coming after me to shame and punish me violently.

Every time my mother was a little upset, and later, when my wife was in such a mood, I feared that I was about to be punished and blocked.

So when I thought about the dream that continued all through the night, I felt that it was as stubborn as this disaster-bringing-fear that blocked me so many times, and also like the pain that presented similar characteristics.

On the other hand, the insistent dream forced me to experience the discomfort that is felt when you have a blocking thought pattern that takes over the space of your mind.

So what do you do?

The first thing to know is that you cannot change the situation, as long as you remain on the same level of consciousness.

This means that you can’t win against what you understand to be a war against you or against a fear that you have. You have to let go of the whole struggle, even if it feels like losing. Lose. Let the issue rest, no matter which way it falls. It will make you freer.

We need to go to a deeper state and witness the experience from there.

This is usually enough, when you deal with all minor problems. I wrote abut it in the past. But this one here is a major one. At least from the perspective of a normal human being, like you and me (as long as we see ourselves as such).

I wrote in the past about this deeper state as a child-like consciousness. Being flowingly curious without a practical reason, loving everything, playing with the reality about us as a natural expression of who we really are, and more things like these, including of course being in a creative flow. Creative flow includes all of these characteristics together (which is the real value of art making for everyone).

This child-like state feels so much better than the state in which we suffer, that naturally, looking from this state, we choose not to suffer. Yes, suffering turns out to be a choice, when you look at it through a child-like eyes and heart. It just feels bad, and you choose not to go that way. Instead, you choose to do something that feels better. The old habit comes back later several times, but after a while it just dies from disinterest in it.

But this case is more difficult because at the time that the trauma occurred I was in a child-like state. If I get into a similar state now, I won’t be able to see the difference between my good state now and the child that I was when the trauma happened.

So we need to go even deeper than the child’s state. Only from that deeper state it will become clear that this suffering was a choice too, and the deeper state that we are in feels so much better, that we naturally make the choice not to suffer. Then again, it comes back and because we are not interested in it any more it becomes weaker and weaker, and dissolves completely eventually.

What is the state that is deeper than the child-like state?

Being absorbed in who we really are. This state is the basis, out of which the child-like state arises.

We cannot even be aware of our choices if we are in the same state in which the choices were made.

What can I say about this absorption?

When in it, you know beyond doubt that you are deeply and permanently loved. Nothing can ever change this. All your choices are supported and appreciated. All possibilities are open before you and you can choose differently than that choice that you suffer from now.

In a way it looks as if a mixture of different “I”s are involved in what I wrote.

We have the child, The “I” that I am now, and the deeper “I”, the infinite witness from within. It is perplexing, but all these become one, when you choose to live in the physical world with a deeper perspective.

273. Cuing you in on a good moment

freezing fear profile

This is a person too.

You can see him dancing, even though not anatomically correct.

But when I sat down to paint this, I did not know that this would come.

I was thinking about how the energy in my body moves when I feel the fear.

So what is the fear?

It started when I was three and a half. I did not have the language to describe and explain to myself what happened and I could not choose what to do based on my story. Instead, it was created energetically, unexplained. There was a crude understanding, as children do, and it was all wrong.

So I just let my mom do with me whatever she decided to do. She was hurting and never knew how to share her feelings or ask you about yours. You can say she was a logical and practical person. She thought about what made sense to her and did it. I wrote about it in the past. It is about the death of my father in the war and how I came to think that I have caused it.

Usually, I am very good at detecting inner events like feelings, sensations, thoughts, even those very fast and quiet thoughts, that we usually are not even aware of. I am really good in catching them all. You can say, in a way, that I live partially in my subconscious.

But this fear used to overwhelm me without me noticing it. Suddenly I would be frozen without any feelings, except for finding out that I was not doing anything in spite of having decided to do something.

That something had always to do with trusting my heart and doing something independently, something that I really wanted to do.

The event that brought about that trauma also started with me, while I was, so innocently, following my dreams, and sensing success.

So many times throughout my life, when I would start moving in the direction of my dreams, this fear would freeze me and I would not feel anything for a few days.

It happened again these days. And I wanted to draw/paint how my body felt.

The color shapes give a feeling of dancing. But if you look closely at the character of the drawing lines, you’ll see that they have the energy of wanting to grab something, they struggle and they feel lost and hopeless.

But in some ways the situation is better than in the past.

There is also an expression of pain, and one of the places of pain is the area of the feet. The body tries to get up and dance, but it can’t because it is wounded.

Also, if you check where the center of gravity of this body is, you’ll see that it is slightly under the middle of the page, and because of it, it feels as if the body is too heavy to fly up. Just this, the sense of heaviness, shows the desperate state, the disbelief in the possibility of arising. Also the lines of the drawing are expressions of feelings.

So there is more expression of feelings this time. It is good. There is no freezing any more.

Then there are the yellow lines and they are the light and the freedom that are in me too.

The blue lines also look as if they do not belong with the feelings that the rest of the body has. They are a little more relaxed, colder and freer than the body. Maybe the blue lines are like the surface of water and the body is coming out from the water.

And here, maybe, you can catch, like a detective, but in this case don’t forget to be a loving and maybe even a laughing detective, why the pain was developed and kept in the body system. The fear that freezes was in danger of disappearing. You know how careful and inventive the subconscious can be when it believes one of its programs is in danger. I meditated a lot and was getting to deep places and to different energetic environments, such that would make the fear disappear, as it cannot be in such environments. So the subconscious gave me an explanation why I won’t be able to do anything, and gave me a convincing story, to prove that I need to keep the fear. I just can’t, with this pain, do anything. The degeneration takes away more and more of the body and I’ll die one day, without flying. That’s what the subconscious says, just because I had taught it to protect me in this area.

I got you in on this moment of change. There is one solution to all problems, psychological and physical. It is: Go deeper within yourself.

 

269. On becoming a philosopher

The scream, the understanding and infinity

I just wanted to paint or draw the pain again.

In the past I used to draw the pain many times. The pain was not almost constant, as it is now. It would come every now and then and it would be quite devastating. I found then that I could draw it, the way and shape it was felt in the body, and after becoming stronger at first, the pain would start to get smaller and smaller until it would disappear. This would take some five or six drawings, which I made quite quickly in a little pad that I always had with me.

I thought I had the cat’s pajama. This gave me a way to protect myself from the pain and a way to feel capable and not out of control. But it also helped in establishing the pain. Because I did not want the pain and at least part of the activity of drawing was for the purpose of winning against it. When you think this way many times, you repeat the belief that the pain is bad for you and dangerous and needs to be fought against. This establishes the pain, in your mind, as dangerous and needing to be fought against.

I understood this and stopped this practice. But I also knew that there was a lot of good in making art about the pain. The good is, or at least some of it is in this: In order to draw you actually change your attitude from fear to curiosity. Curiosity is a characteristic of the true you, and it is of a higher vibration than fear. This makes you into a place, in which fear’s lower vibrations cannot stay. So it was beneficial in the emotional realm. And it taught me to automatically change my attitude every time the emotional reaction to the pain arose, from fear to curiosity. And you can add the sense of beauty that easily added itself to the drawing and brought a lot more good vibrations.

I am sure there is more good things to be found in this activity, so I decided to paint my pain again and find out. I wanted to let the painting bring in the thoughts and not the other way around.

All that is done with lines is a description of the pain. I took the liberty to twist appearances, as this helped to express the pain. You can see that it radiates strongly to all directions.

Sometimes when I want to give the feet energy with my hands, good, healing energy, the left hand jumps away. As if the strength of the pain’s energy frightens the left hand away.

After the lines, came the color areas, and this was done with a more relaxed state of mind. There is one line of orange round shapes going from a big shape at the bottom to a small one at the top. This is one story line. And there is a blue line of three rounded shapes going from right to left and crossing the orange story. And there is also a line of same-size round, smaller shapes, as if it is a bit farther, going diagonally through the whole picture.

To me, as I’m looking at the painting now, the orange and the blue describe an inner conflict. Two ideas in my being don’t agree with each other. And it is not shown as a juicy harsh conflict, but as an idea. One thought goes in this direction, another goes in a different direction and they disagree. Maybe it is even possible to see that there is no need for a resolution of this conflict. The two ideas can stay intact. We can get used to having contradictory ideas within us, because we all have plenty of them. Solutions, in any case, are never in the same layer of the conflicts. We have to go deeper.

The yellow line of smaller round shapes feels to me as the experience of a deeper layer of myself, where connection to infinity is felt.

How strange. In one painting you have the screaming of the pain, a more peaceful view of an underlying conflict, and a sense of infinity.

I was not interested in this case in the disappearance of the pain, but in seeing the bigger picture. I have changed.

When I told my Friend Stuart, many years ago, that I was about to separate for my wife, he told me a story. A student came to the Rabi and asked weather marrying was a good idea for him. The Rabi said it was. If you both fit each other, then you are a lucky man, he said. And if you don’t, then you will become a philosopher.

I feel as if I am married to the pain, we don’t fit, and I am becoming a philosopher.

In the end it may turn out that it was good for me…

How?

By forcing me into the deeper view.

236.The energy is left with no job

All the colors stand around me, in bottles, tubes and pencils. They are looking quietly at what I do. What will I say? They are my audience now.

I love them. They can do infinite things. They do not really look. I know. It is the whole who looks. The infinite listening-with-the-heart. The heart-of-listening. His name is I.

When the light of seeing is bright and strong, everything that is non-transparent burns into non-existence. Its energy is left with no job. It gives itself back to be used for creation.

The name of the creator is I too.

P1000269

It seems the light in the middle of the painting (the yellow and orange) is marred. It has been hit on the head.

Darkness (on the left) makes a threat. But the little child-who-flies is not afraid. He flies into the darkness to repair his past. He will find his love that he rejected in those old times. It is like the soul-retrieval that shamans do.

The goodness and the freedom-filled-joy, which is the lost part of him, will be found where it went to hide when it was not permitted to act in the world. It will be invited back and respected, loved, accepted, joined.

Again the lines tell the stories. The color shapes tell the emotions. The composition says that all is blessed, with all its tiniest details.

The white always looks with endless love and curiosity, with awe, with pride and marvel.

There is confusion there too, on the right, projecting a yes-no feeling.

Everything is okay.

 

The big yellow mother would like to say: Be careful!

But she knows that daring requires love and trust, and not carefulness. So she does not say a word. She admires her child.

#####

Yesterday in the morning I sat on the window seat and meditated. With all the lack of sleep that I collected, because of the pain, I fell asleep. I lost my balance and fell. I opened my eyes in the middle of the fall and saw the world turning around. But I was still asleep when my forehead hit the floor.

Then I woke up.

I felt fear and this conjured up memories from an event in my childhood, that now I saw more fully than before. Doors that were closed before, opened.

Fear cannot come if there is no story behind it. Falling cannot happen without a belief or a few beliefs that invite it. I know this is strange for some.

 

After some time I did this painting.

 

233. How the “I” moves to a wider view

P1000263

Being tired and in pain I became sad. Pain is a simple thing but living with it creates additional problems. Now all of them weighed on me. I thought: I can’t go on like this any more. I did not even paint yesterday and today.

My friend from Germany called. We started to talk and the phone line went dead.

I pulled a new piece of paper onto the table, dipped the brush into the water and into the first paint that my eyes saw in the watercolor box. It was olive green. This is how I choose the first color.

And then there was the drawing. No time. No pain. Brush, water, paint and the composition, the story with no words. The energy of the truth. Everything is good.

The olive green lines and the white of the paper are the best of friends. It is a holy connection. The lines, strikingly, appearing out of the white. The white does not have inside and outside. It is everywhere. It is all-there-is-everywhere. Even the word everywhere does not fit here. Is the green line real? And my eyes that see it: are they real? And my heart that has just become so full and so delighted, what about it?

(The other colors came later.)

 

Now in a different way:

Pain is part of the illusion of life, together with the body, with time, with good and bad.

The true self cannot have pain. Its essence is joy. Its essence is love and playing and being curious. The true self cannot be affected by the illusion.

For the “I” in the illusion pain is real and hard.

The good thing is that everything is connected. All I need to do is to change the way I focus and switch my identity to the true I.

Instead of focusing on the pain and automatically trying to escape it, to fight it, to prevent it, to change it, Instead of these, I find my curiosity and make the olive green lines. I find my playfulness and play with everything that shows itself. I look for the beauty in everything and find it easily. I look for my joy and it is right there. I am joyful. I look for my love and indeed what else do I have? This is how I start to identify with the true self.

And as I do this, I find that I have forgotten the pain. I don’t even feel it. Or if I do, it is not significant. I am in peace. The vibrations of the pain, the waves that streamed through the legs calm down. My hands that clutched one foot fall down, relaxed. The body rests. The energy of creation flows flawlessly everywhere it has to go. The body heals. The specific thinking processes that hold on to the body and its suffering become weaker. I am not so dependent on the body and the world around it. I witness them and I am free. In my mind I am already walking down to town, where the galleries are. I am going to see an exhibition. Right foot, left foot and I dance.

 


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The healing process

Entries 1-58 show how I use the method of Intuition Through Art to heal myself from Peripheral Neuropathy.

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