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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't posted any ideas in a while because I wanted to straighten stuff out in my head before I shared my thoughts with others. This stuff has consistently clicked with me and made me feel pretty good, though it's been quite cloudy, so I waited a while so I'd be able to communicate clearly for you guys.

If you're familiar with Eckhart Tolle you'll know he's kind of a new age spiritual teacher; the guy who wrote The Power of Now. I love listening to him talk, I've only seen clips on YouTube, but you can tell that he really practices what he talks about. He's totally in a different mindset.

I saw a clip of him telling an interviewer about how he got into spirituality and human mentality and stuff, and he said it all started when he was 29 and he couldn't sleep because of all his anxieties, and he finally thought, "I can't live with myself."

He broke this thought down, and wondered, "If I can't live with myself, am I one, or am I two?" Basically his thinking was how can one have a negative opinion about one's self? How can an opinion be against the very place from where that opinion came? It doesn't really make sense. If YOU think that YOU are bad, that how can you even agree with that opinion? It's a paradox.

So he decided that he was two. There were two different words in the original thought, and they both represented something different. There was "I", which he explained as being who he was, and then there was the "self" which he could no longer live with.

I have a different way of looking at this.

First I'd like to say that when we are born we have no sense of self. We actually don't have a self at all for that matter. There is nothing that seperates us from any other living or non-living thing other than our physical form. For example, you wouldn't look at a baby and say, "Who is this?" That is for the same reason that balloons say, "It's a boy!" instead of, "He's a boy!"

When we are born, we aren't really a person yet. We haven't developed who we are. We are a human being, but not a person. We had no opinions or judgements, all we did experience and learn without any preconceived thoughts.

With that being said, we can also say that we LEARN to be a person. Since that information was not there when we entered the world, we MUST have learned it from our environment.

Here's where it gets interesting. We never really change. We act differently and we think differently, but what we are is always the same. We are still nothing more than human beings. Now when I say, nothing more, it sounds negative, but really, any living thing, any thing at all, in existance, is truly amazing. So what you are, can never be bad.

But we feel like we are different.... Why?

The mind, the same mind we've lived our entire lives with, doesn't have opinions. Even now. There's nothing hard wired into the brain that says one thing is good and one thing is bad. Well, other than our animal instincts, but those don't go as deep as what really corrupts the mind.

So, the mind doesn't have opinions, but WE do have opinions, how is that possible?

The mind is quite simple when you look at real process. It simply asks questions and stores information. And that's where our opinions are.

Part of the information the brain stores is WHO WE ARE. That sense of self we never had as an infant is learned. Which means, your opinions are completely dependant on your experiences. WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, comes from your experiences.

Who you think you are includes, what you think you need, what you think you want, what you think will make you happy, what you should judge negatively, etc.

So, my analyses of that same thought Eckhart Tolle had is this:

"I can't live with myself."

The "I" is not you. The "I" is who you think you really are. The "self" is how you see yourself in the third person.

You have information that tells your mind that the self it sees in the third person is no good. It believes that information because it is the opinion of "I".

So, the "self" in that statement is the ego. The "I" is the self (sorry, that's kind of confusing, but this is the first time I've said self where it actually means our soul, or our identity how we think of it).

That means that YOU never actually think anything bad about yourself. You just have INFORMATION in your head that tells you to judge yourself negatively.

If you didn't have any of this information, or beliefs, as they are more frequently referred to as, then you wouldn't have any opinions. You'd just experience and let your instincts lead you.

Living like an animal may not be practical in this society, but humility is perfectly fine.

If you understand what you are, and understand that the things you think you need are completely irrelivant to your happiness, you will have a much more relaxed, happy, and PRESENT lifestyle.

The ironic thing is, that the more you live like this, USUALLY the more positive things come your way, even though you don't really care anymore. But don't let that be a factor.

..........Now, a look at what I'm talking about from another angle.

A little bit ago I started telling myself, "Be what you are."

The reason I said this was to 1. Realise that what I truly am, is a human being. A living thing, not much different than any other living thing in existance. 2. To let myself go. To allow myself to do things that feel natural, and not think so much about how other people see what I'm doing.

I said before that we don't change, only the information in our head's change. That's important to know because it means our minds are always good. The minds themselves can't be corrupt, only the information they contain. There process never even changes, it always starts with refering to what information it has then making a decision based on that.

In which way our beliefs are corrupt is that we don't realise that we are the mind, we think we have something inside us that truly feels this way, and in reality it is just things we've learned over time.

What you can do, is try to get intouch with the physical side of your mind. Go back to the hardwired natural instincts.

The mind in it's natural state, is just as pure and good as any other living thing on the planet.

It's not that hard to get rid of your beliefs either, you just have to analyze your situation without refering to what you think you know, and instead just looking at what is actually going on.

The biggest thing is to know what you really are. If you misperceive yourself, you will inturn mispercieve the context for every situation and possible situation you can encounter.

If you let the mind be itself, you can just observe it and see how amazing it really is. Like watching any animal, you can see the purity of life.

What you should do, is take a second to get intouch with your physical mind, and let it go back to it's natural state, and see how things are different. See how much less you worry, and how much more relaxing and less frightening the moment is.

I'm trying to figure out something to tell myself that will communicate this idea clearly, but I don't have anything solid yet.

Just... be what you are.
 

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you're very enlightened. I think this way a lot when I'm alone, no bias, no expectations, just observing and enjoying myself. Its almost impossible for me to think this way in a group of people though. I keep thinking negatives, even while I try to shift my thoughts back to neutral.
 

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Wow.. I really appreciate you taking the time to type and post this, and it actually allies nicely with other philisophical, and spiritual pieces that I have read. If I may I will simply leave you with this and feel free to let me know what you think.
Ask yourself a couple questions:
1. If money were not an issue in my life, exactly what would I change about myself?
2. If a Doctor told me that I have weeks, months, or even days left to live. What would I do different? Or how would my perception of life change?
Ponder these questions with regard to yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, socially, business wise, exc.
You really get to know who you are and what things are truely important to you at the core of your being, and I have a belief, maybe even a theory if you will that if you can ever get to a point where you could say that you wouldn't change a damn thing. You are being very harmonious and true to who you are, and what your purpose in life is.
Awesome post. Thanks again for putting it out there.
 

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Aside from the pseudo-spiritual rhetoric, I agree with most of your post.

To put it succinctly: you're recommending (a) mindfulness, (b) depersonalization.

To clarify: (a) mindfulness is, in short, paying attention to your bodily sensations and your emotions and just experiencing them without resistance. This is supposed to show you that your anxiety isn't something you need to be afraid of. (b) depersonalization: you don't need to identify with your thoughts -- all the hateful chatter that you may have going on in your skull is not your voice. Dr. Richards calls them "ANTs" (for Automatic Negative Thoughts); other psychologists have found empirical evidence that the first step to silencing those hateful voices is to depersonalize them -- i.e., you don't have to believe the negative chatter.

The pseudo-spiritual, pseudo-metaphysical garbage (a la philosophasters and other hucksters like Eckhart Tolle) is what I take issue with. But I'm not going to grind that axe today -- I can agree to disagree. Anyway, good post Anon7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My lack of better words may have made what I was saying sound different than what I meant.

I'm not looking at this in a spiritual way at all, and that is how my views and Eckhart Tolle's are different. Though I think his views are off, I do think that he has pretty good handle on his mind.

Where Tolle says "You Are Not Your Mind", I'd say that we ARE our minds. I'd say that's all we are, and when we realize that, we can allow our minds to behave in a way that is natural for it (aka not judging, but instead experiencing and taking everything in as every experience is a new one).

And to the poster with the questions. I ask myself questions kind of like that.

Like if I find that I am wanting something, for some reason, I ask myself, "Do I really want this/that?"

The answer is, no, there's nothing in particular that the mind wants. It's just the emotion that we crave. It has nothing to do with physical feelings either, though instinctually we will try to avoid pain.

But really, pain is not that bad. Alpha males will play games where they will intentionally hurt themselves, but they'll have a good time doing it. However, if we value our bodies well being (irrationally of course, because we are all going to die) a lot, we will become emotional over pain because we associate that with deterioration of the physical form.

Anyway, I just want to make it clear that I am trying to look at things from a non-spiritual, and instead a natural and physical way.

And like I said, our beliefs about what we are etc. are the key to changing our perceptions of our situations.

Sorry, and to the guy saying he had problems in being in the right mindset when people were around, you just have to not get in your own way. Just let your instincts and your mind behave the way they want to, and don't try to force anything. Just be what you physically are, just a human being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you're very enlightened. I think this way a lot when I'm alone, no bias, no expectations, just observing and enjoying myself. Its almost impossible for me to think this way in a group of people though. I keep thinking negatives, even while I try to shift my thoughts back to neutral.
And also, it's not about your thoughts. Thoughts have nothing to do with it. Just feel the moment. Let your mind and body do what they want.
 

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Eckhart Tolle: If YOU think that YOU are bad, that how can you even agree with that opinion? It's a paradox.

I totally get that, like how it's impossible to think something of yourself, when you are yourself, how can you agree with something that's against yourself.....However, while I get it, I disagree-Even if it might be an oxymoron or whatver, thinking you are bad is not something totally far-fetched-In some cases, it might be a clouded/distorted view of yourself, but sometime, like in my case, it's about self-reflection/evaluation, about being honest with yourself

Here's where it gets interesting. We never really change. We act differently and we think differently, but what we are is always the same. We are still nothing more than human beings. Now when I say, nothing more, it sounds negative, but really, any living thing, any thing at all, in existance, is truly amazing. So what you are, can never be bad.
I get that, I agree with all that

So, the mind doesn't have opinions, but WE do have opinions, how is that possible?
Ok.

Which means, your opinions are completely dependant on your experiences. WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, comes from your experiences.
I totally agree with that

Who you think you are includes, what you think you need, what you think you want, what you think will make you happy, what you should judge negatively, etc.
Ok.

So, my analyses of that same thought Eckhart Tolle had is this:
The "I" is not you. The "I" is who you think you really are. The "self" is how you see yourself in the third person.
I was having some trouble comprehending this.....
"The "I" is who you think you really are."-so thats the part of you that you really are.....
"The "self" is how you see yourself in the third person."-Is the self "how you see yourself in the third person," or is the self the part that does the seeing?-I'm not sure if I totally get that

You have information that tells your mind that the self it sees in the third person is no good. It believes that information because it is the opinion of "I".
Ok.

So, the "self" in that statement is the ego. The "I" is the self (sorry, that's kind of confusing, but this is the first time I've said self where it actually means our soul, or our identity how we think of it).
Don't understand that.....

That means that YOU never actually think anything bad about yourself. You just have INFORMATION in your head that tells you to judge yourself negatively.
I get the thing about the information , and I agree with it, but I disagree with the "YOU never actually think anything bad about yourself" part-See, the information and us having a bad view on ourselves is not separated- one leads to the other-the information in our head is what gives us reason and justification for why we have the bad view-the information in our heads is why we judge ourselves negatively, positively, it's how we form opinions--the information is not some totally separate mute issue and that's how you're making it seem-

Anyway, bottom line, back to the issue, yes we do think bad things about ourselves-yeah, as you said, the info in our head is what tells us to judge ourselves negatively, but that doesn't mean "YOU never actually think anything bad about yourself." Like I said, the information in our head is what gives us reason and justification. i don't know if I'm being clear enough but whatver.....
as you're making it.-

If you understand what you are, and understand that the things you think you need are completely irrelevant to your happiness, you will have a much more relaxed, happy, and PRESENT lifestyle.
Ok, I agree with that, material things might help in a way, but they don't make you happy, in the end what makes you happy is sh*t that's intangible...However, at the same time, the things you need, such as money, if you don't have them, than they can make parts of your life hard and stressful, in terms of debt, etc

The ironic thing is, that the more you live like this, USUALLY the more positive things come your way, even though you don't really care anymore. But don't let that be a factor.
I get that, I agree

I said before that we don't change, only the information in our head's change. That's important to know because it means our minds are always good. The minds themselves can't be corrupt, only the information they contain.
Ok.

There process never even changes, it always starts with referring to what information it has then making a decision based on that.
Ok, so I agree with that, that's where I was going when I was talking about information giving us reason to view ourselves negatively.

In which way our beliefs are corrupt is that we don't realise that we are the mind, we think we have something inside us that truly feels this way, and in reality it is just things we've learned over time.
Ok, so with this at first I was like, no we are not the mind, according to what you've been saying about the mind being pure, storing info, "I", self, etc, you seem to have been separating the mind and "I".......Then I reread it and it really struck me especially after reading the rest of this, this part about how we are the mind, is my favorite part of your post, it's such a light bulb moment for me, I so relate it to my SA

What you can do, is try to get intouch with the physical side of your mind. Go back to the hardwired natural instincts.

It's not that hard to get rid of your beliefs either, you just have to analyze your situation without refering to what you think you know, and instead just looking at what is actually going on.

The biggest thing is to know what you really are. If you misperceive yourself, you will inturn mispercieve the context for every situation and possible situation you can encounter.
All that is soooo striking a chord with me, relating to the we are the mind thing, it's striking a light bulb thing with me.....

What you should do, is take a second to get intouch with your physical mind, and let it go back to it's natural state, and see how things are different. See how much less you worry, and how much more relaxing and less frightening the moment is.
How do I do that?

Just... be what you are.
Good advice but easier said than done
 

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And also, it's not about your thoughts. Thoughts have nothing to do with it. Just feel the moment. Let your mind and body do what they want.
First of all, sorry in advance that I can't articulate myself as well as you....

Secondly, That's a small post you made but I soooooooooo get it, and I sooooooo relate it to my SA. Even before I read your "we are the mind" thing, this I soooo immediately got where you were coming from....

Thoughts really don't have anything with it. Let your mind and body do what they want.

The thing with SA is that we don't let our mind and body do what they want, with SA, we think, we don't act

People that don't have SA don't have thoughts, they just do.....I'm gonna try to explain myself the best I can cuz I don't think people realize how unfailingly true it is that non SA people do not have thoughts

The average person just does, just acts, they don't think and then act...The average person just is themselves, they do and say and behave what comes naturally to them cuz they're just being who they are

But an SA person, all they do is have thoughts.......They don't live in the moment, they have thoughts instead of doing what comes naturally-they have a delay

I'll give an example, yesterday, I had a big question to ask in my lecture class.......But instead of just living in the moment and doing what should come naturally by asking my freakin question, I had thoughts-I tried to think about how to answer my own question, I tried to work out why I was confused

But the other people who had questions, they had ZERO THOUGHTS. This is what happened, for a split second, a question popped into their heads, and then, a split second later, they opened their mouths and asked their question. End of story. They had a question and lived in the moment by just asking the question.

But when the question popped into my head, I did not live in the moment by just asking the question, instead I just stayed in my own head with my own thoughts

I don't know if I explained myself very well, but this thing is soooo true it's like a f#cking law
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, the problem is that I don't have a good enough grasp on the English language to describe exactly what I mean, even to myself.

To the "easier said than done" comment, yeah I know... It's crazy how hard it is to not try... There's another oxymoron for you :)

I feel bad for posting this as it is, because it is a lot of reading and not all of it is articulated as well as I wish it was.

To explain the Tolle statement more thoroughly, here:

The word "self" in his thought, ACTUALLY is his ego.

BUT!!!!! The "I" in the statement is not his true self either!

The "I" is who he sees himself as on the inside. This is the "who" that we learn to be through our experiences - mostly learning from other people. AKA: If we see someone getting mad because of something, and we have already established that what we are is the same as what they are, we learn that we SHOULD be angry for the same reasons they are angry.

For example: If a parent tells you to do something, and complains about you making them do more work, you learn that work is bad for you. This is a belief that becomes part of the self. (Or the "I" from Tolle's statement.)

Yeah, I know I'm overlapping words and meanings and not exactly consistent, but I'm doing my best :(

So, what is the true self?

The true self is the mind. There are three parts to you.

There is who you think you are from the third person = the ego.

There is who you think you truly are = the self.

Then there is what you are, and what you always have been. The mind of a human being = the true self.

The self is just a misperception of the true self.

The self is actually the mind, but it is misperceived by basically everyone, and therefor it's makes more sense to call the mind the true self.

If the self is just a misperception of the true self, then there is no self.

That's why I said it was interesting, because there isn't two, there's actually three.

So NEITHER of the entities in the Tolle statement are the true self.

The mind BELIEVED that the "I" couldn't live with the "self". OR That the self couldn't live with the ego. In no way did the true self have anything to do with that opinion, because the true self is just the natural mind, that comes with no opinions.

So when I say that YOU don't think that you are bad, I mean that your mind has no take on the subject. It doesn't care. And it is the ego in question anyway, not the self.

The mind looks at the ego, then it refers to the information on the self, and it comes to the conclusion that the ego is not good enough for the self.

Once again, the mind itself doesn't give a damn.

And it's not just that it doesn't have any interest in caring, but it is INCAPABLE of caring.

I remember a few rare occasions as a child when I wouldn't get my way, and I'd get all upset, and I'd have to try to stay upset, and an adult would attempt to make me laugh. Eventually I'd laugh, because the mind doesn't want to be upset, the mind would relax. The only reason I was upset was because I believed the self was being treated poorly.

On that note, I just remembered what I thought earlier today that helped:

What I'm really trying to do is learn how to not care.
The brain naturally doesn't care.

Those two lines above, when put together, are pretty positive signs for me :)

The reason we don't let ourselves just be is because we are afraid that we won't get what we (the self) want (not actually what the mind wants, because it doesn't want)!

Maybe the answer is figuring out a way to align what we want with what we naturally are/do. Like what those two lines did. They said I wanted something, then reminded me that if I let my mind do what it wants, I will achieve that goal.

So while your goal is to acquire something that you don't have control over (people's approval) or to be something that isn't natural, it's very hard to not care, but if your goal is to be what you really are, it is VERY EASY. It's reminding yourself that you want to be what you are that is the tricky part.

Once again, I'm so sorry, this stuff is too confusing to me for me to put it any simpler :(

I hope that was more helpful than confusing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First of all, sorry in advance that I can't articulate myself as well as you....

Secondly, That's a small post you made but I soooooooooo get it, and I sooooooo relate it to my SA. Even before I read your "we are the mind" thing, this I soooo immediately got where you were coming from....

Thoughts really don't have anything with it. Let your mind and body do what they want.

The thing with SA is that we don't let our mind and body do what they want, with SA, we think, we don't act

People that don't have SA don't have thoughts, they just do.....I'm gonna try to explain myself the best I can cuz I don't think people realize how unfailingly true it is that non SA people do not have thoughts

The average person just does, just acts, they don't think and then act...The average person just is themselves, they do and say and behave what comes naturally to them cuz they're just being who they are

But an SA person, all they do is have thoughts.......They don't live in the moment, they have thoughts instead of doing what comes naturally-they have a delay

I'll give an example, yesterday, I had a big question to ask in my lecture class.......But instead of just living in the moment and doing what should come naturally by asking my freakin question, I had thoughts-I tried to think about how to answer my own question, I tried to work out why I was confused

But the other people who had questions, they had ZERO THOUGHTS. This is what happened, for a split second, a question popped into their heads, and then, a split second later, they opened their mouths and asked their question. End of story. They had a question and lived in the moment by just asking the question.

But when the question popped into my head, I did not live in the moment by just asking the question, instead I just stayed in my own head with my own thoughts

I don't know if I explained myself very well, but this thing is soooo true it's like a f#cking law
Didn't read the rest of this post till now...

Your point is right, but your examples are wrong. Though SAers are on the mentally unhealthier side of the spectrum, the average person is far from a non-thinker. That's people like Eckhart Tolle are in business, because the average person can be EQUALLY as stressed as an SAer for other reasons.

Depression doesn't only exist in people with SA. I mean, a LOT of people have SA to a degree. They might only have it around certain types of people, but they are intimidated and frightened as well....

Remember that Seinfeld joke, the #1 fear of the average person is public speaking? Those are thinkers, not doers.

Even domestic animals have unnatural mental behavior just because of their expossure to people.

Most people do not have near the amount of emotionally fueled thoughts that SAers do, and are not nearly as stressed out as SAers, but they still have those thoughts, and some of them do have just much.

But yeah, I wouldn't look to other people for the answer, because society is F*ed up.
 

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Didn't read the rest of this post till now...

Your point is right, but your examples are wrong. Though SA'ers are on the mentally unhealthier side of the spectrum, the average person is far from a non-thinker.
When I said that non SA people don't have thoughts I didn't mean I viewed them as non thinkers and SA'ers as thinkers-I just meant that the whole think before we speak thing-us SA'ers take the whole "think before we speak" thing to another level-instead of doing what comes naturally in the moment, we leave the moment and get into our heads and start thinking about what people would think if we said or did something, where a non-SA person would never leave the moment because they don't have the irrational anxieties us SA'ers have

And I'm fully aware that non-SA'ers are capable of having anxieties and issues-But I didn't refer to those people just because the only ones I'm really familiar with are the group I'm in, the SA'ers, and then the other group, which includes like 95% of the people in my classes who are always speaking their minds, always saying whatver **** pops into their head in class, etc, etc, etc, just totally outspoken, etc etc

So if it ever seems like I'm making broad generalizations, like saying "never", or "people", or "they" or whatver, it's just because I'm trying to simplify sh*t
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When I said that non SA people don't have thoughts I didn't mean I viewed them as non thinkers and SA'ers as thinkers-I just meant that the whole think before we speak thing-us SA'ers take the whole "think before we speak" thing to another level-instead of doing what comes naturally in the moment, we leave the moment and get into our heads and start thinking about what people would think if we said or did something, where a non-SA person would never leave the moment because they don't have the irrational anxieties us SA'ers have

And I'm fully aware that non-SA'ers are capable of having anxieties and issues-But I didn't refer to those people just because the only ones I'm really familiar with are the group I'm in, the SA'ers, and then the other group, which includes like 95% of the people in my classes who are always speaking their minds, always saying whatver **** pops into their head in class, etc, etc, etc, just totally outspoken, etc etc

So if it ever seems like I'm making broad generalizations, like saying "never", or "people", or "they" or whatver, it's just because I'm trying to simplify sh*t
I just meant that the problem is with people in general.. it's just SAers would benefit the most from fixing it. And yeah, people without SA will do a lot more acting instead of thinking, I know.
 

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And also, it's not about your thoughts. Thoughts have nothing to do with it. Just feel the moment. Let your mind and body do what they want.
Yes, but what is keeping me from feeling the moment? My thoughts. As you said, to feel the moment I just need to let my thoughts and beliefs go. Almost every time I'm in a social situation I can't do it, my beliefs are just too strong. Feels like my mind WANTS to think negatively.
 
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