Life or Fantasy: 5

Every single emotion and feeling is part of the human experience. Please read and re-read that again and again until it sinks in.

How do true leaders harness their emotional strength and transmute them into power? Click here.

Until you’re willing to deal with your own pain it will always be there. Running like a minimized program on your computer screen… it may temporarily appear to be gone, but it’s still affecting your reaction, speed, and efficiency.

And the smallest trigger (like the click of a mouse) will bring back full-force and full-screen. Do you follow?

Because we’re unwilling to first see things clearly, and then feel the feelings that exist, we use a variety of methods in attempted escape from our own pain and suffering.

As I’m writing this, the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman comes into my twitter feed… the cause is still inconclusive, but drugs were definitely involved.

The world is in shock. How could such a gifted and privileged man exit in this way? How could he even consider heroin? He was so talented and so successful!

What most can’t (or actually refuse) to see is the human condition of which we are all a part. Regardless of whether rich or poor, famous are obscure we all have the same pains and the same suffering.

All of us attempt to escape the pain of our own self-inflicted prisons. No exceptions. Some use drugs, some sex, some use television, meditation, business, saving the world, even personal development and spirituality. But in most cases each method is a futile attempt to escape life in some way shape or fashion; versus facing it head on.

Does that mean we should not work to improve ourselves? No that’s not what I’m saying at all. The whole of the Universe is about greater experience, expansion and expression. We’re building this “Loving Life concept” a step at a time, so please stick with me… I think it will be helpful for you when you truly get it.

So let’s recap what we’ve learned in being a true Lover of Life versus fantasy so far.

  1. See your situation, circumstance and life exactly as it is. Like Jesus said, “In life are many tribulations.” And Buddha: “Life is suffering.” (See Life or Fantasy 1). They both made an honest assessment first. No you’re not saying this is all there is, but it’s where you must begin. See clearly.
  2. Feel the feelings that arise within you. Those who say “I never have a bad day” are emotionally dead and living in denial (not to mention scary). The Creative Source gave us a full range of emotions; and if you don’t experience the full range you might well be a droid.

Love life, see clearly and feel what you feel. More to come,


james arthur ray



14 Responses

  1. Magnificent depths you plumb, dear James, you make me feel so less alone in savoring the whole shebang, not just the desirable and positive. Expanding our ability to be with whatever comes up is so transforming … gets you off the hamster wheel onto the endless parth where you can finally travel freely without trying to get somewhere. Namaste!

  2. A recent habit I have added is to look for a value or virtue for a week. Like suddenly seeing the car you just bought everywhere, the ‘virtue’ is present and I exercise it at the same time. There is always a background of disappointment, sadness, anger, nice and other sensations that before your series I was loath to acknowledge. It seems the unconscious is more than capable of dedicating time and focus on the pain, suffering and failures. I’m familiar with letting it be as an observer. That is not ignoring it however which is what I have actually been attempting to do. Consequently, I have not been letting it go but hanging on to the misery, enduring the sadness and struggling with any pleasure that appears. Thank you James, I am a slow learner.

    1. We’re all slow learners Michael in some way or fashion… but life is a brilliant teacher, very patient and persistent refusing to not allow us to get the lesson eventually we do. It’s all education and entertainment my friend. Enjoy the ride ~ JAR

  3. “Love life, see clearly and feel what you feel.” I agree with this but after we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, if it is a negative feeling than this should be our guide towards love, love is not a suppression of other feelings but it can be a replacement for fear.

    1. Frank, perhaps the problem is labeling a certain feeling as “negative.” If God (or what I prefer to call Universal Intelligence) created all things, then everything has a purpose in the right time and context. It’s ALL LOVE. Fear in the wrong context is just misguided love moving in the opposite direction. Something to ponder ~ JAR

  4. I love you brother. Thanks for what you are, and how you serve. Is it ok if I offer you a gift? …………….The point of what you went through was not to learn from pain, but to have the pain-body revealed. Analyzing it creates an endless (though sometimes productive) feedback loop. What will propel you now is to courageously reopen those wounds, without analyzing them, and lift them up to that which you believe yourself to be. Transmute your ability to suffer. Pain is not the mother of growth, it is the problem. Circumstances cocreated by your inner self reveal it so that it itself might be released. To wit, “and the days of your mourning shall be ended.'”

    Om shanti brother 🙂

    1. Benjamin, thanks for your comment. You’re a few steps ahead of me in some ways; and I have a different view in other ways (there’s only so much I can share in a quick blog). You might go back and read some of my previous posts where I stated, “Transmutation NOT denial is the tool of mastery.” You can’t transmute something until you know very clearly and honestly what it is. This is THE KEY to all true Alchemy.

      Pain is part of the human condition, but suffering is a choice. There’s a big difference. That being said, let me ask you… why is it that ALL great traditions tell of their prophets (no exception) experiencing great suffering? What are the mythologies telling us? Something to ponder. Thanks for being here. ~ JAR

  5. Thanks for another great post James, Drugs along with alcohol are usually the methods of choice by many to escape their pain. The problem with this is every time the pain surfaces and the person uses their drug of choice to mask and numb down the pain the subconscious mind recognizes this repetition and then takes over, thus forming a habit . So every time the person experiences the pain in one form or another the subconscious then reminds them its time to use their drug of choice to feel numb again. Often this results in having to increase the amount of drug consumed to effectively mask the pain. Doing this enables the person to function but the pain will always resurface as long as the initial sensitizing event is not confronted and dealt within one way or another.

    1. John you’re absolutely correct about the unconscious and habit. I submit though that there are many other less obvious choices that we often make to escape pain. We’re ALL addicts. Yes please read that again. I’m addicted to working out, meditation, writing, making a difference in the world; and while these addictions may be more “healthy” in many ways than drugs… they are a drug nonetheless and not kept in check are tools to escape my own pain. Recognition is the first law of learning and transformation. When we first recognize our addictions we can break free of the Deleterious effects of them. ANY virtue taken to an extreme is vice. Something to ponder ~ JAR

      1. James, was it you that said that taking drugs moves you to a level of being that you have not earned through doing the work? I heard somewhere that escape like Hoffman’s is like touching the face of God, but not putting in the time to do it.

        1. Yes Renette, we discussed this many times. In my experience living with heroin addicts 24/7 the last two years (ironically they are in prison for drugs and there’s more drugs there than I’ve ever seen! The system knows about these problems and most could care less in my observation) anyway, the heroin high appears to be very much a God experience of peace and total bliss (I’ve not experienced it personally but observed daily). But the problem is that as you state, it’s not earned and therefor becomes a thirst that cannot be quenched; and a dependence that can take your life away. All addiction (even TV, sex, meditation etc.) is an attempt in some way to escape what is versus deal with it and learn to embrace and appreciate it. This is my entire point here. Life is hard, but it’s simultaneously amazing. But we have to experience it fully without resistance to get to that point. ~ JAR

  6. James: Excellent read. In the past I would have told you I was a tough person)…but really, I was suppressing emotions that came from less than positive experiences. Suppressing emotion (a.k.a. as energy–which always has to move) showed itself another way…illness. Embracing the totality of life means that we must embrace ALL that comes with it…every single emotion. When the illness showed up…the first thing I said to my Reiki Master was please help me figure out what emotion/experience this illness is resulting from (because there was a few). “Just slap me in the face with it and don’t hold back. I’m ready.” I believe were my exact words. Moving through the emotion, accepting, appreciating…and of course expansion is the result. Keep these great posts coming! Much love. Maria

    1. Maria, well said. I too was a master of positively refraiming any and all situations in my life. I realize in retrospect that when you do this too soon (there’s a time and a place–more on this to come) it is really suppression and denial and extremely unhealthy. EVERYTHING in the Universe must flow (money, emotions, creation and destruction–all of it) and anything that does not pinches off Life. Thanks for sharing and for your honesty ~ JAR

  7. James,
    Feel the feelings may not sound good, which means feel the pain. Taking in the pain is probably good advice for growth. Thank you.

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