Transcript from a meeting with James Eaton on 4 December, 2016
Q: I wish, but at the same can’t imagine, how to just live joyfully, how to live without these fears and this sadness.
James: This isn’t about trying to get rid of fear and sadness. There’s a common thought that says: “Ok. So if I can just realise what I am, then I can get rid of all the stuff I don’t want.” But there’s a contradiction there, because what you truly are has no agenda, doesn’t need to get rid of anything; that’s the mind talking. It’s so slippery this. And this is why it’s so difficult to talk about transformation without it getting taken in the wrong way.
‘Fearless’ is not being without fear, but being ok with fear.
Someone who maybe doesn’t see from that perspective, maybe they come here and their heart starts pumping faster, their legs start contracting, their breath becomes shallow. That is saying to them: “Get out of here now, this is terrifying.” And so they close down. If, however, you know yourself as this Openness, this Presence, then it’s: “Oh look, the heart’s pumping faster, oh look, the breath is contracting, oh look, legs are getting tight. That’s interesting. And as I look around at all these people here, the heart pumps even faster, how fascinating. Oh look, now there are thoughts about not being good enough, about being worthless, and there’s embarrassment, fear, more clenching in the body and wanting to get away. Wow. How curious. Look at all that’s going on here!”
Do you see the difference?
‘This’… this that you are, has no agenda, doesn’t need to change anything, doesn’t need to get rid of anything. And then the irony is, when there’s no push and pull going on, no resistance or clinging to the content of the experience, the experience does indeed start to transform. But then that’s dangerous to say because then we start thinking again, “Oh look, it does transform! I want some of that. Ok. So if I can just…” (laughter) and off we go trying to manipulate life again, trying to get there, which only keeps us stuck.
And sadness is huge. My experience is that it’s grief. As I started to feel into it I was wondering, “Why so much grief, what is this?” And then I saw, it’s literally grief for the loss of Wholeness. It’s as if, in rediscovering what we are, the grief for that loss can finally be opened to, finally be fully felt…
What you truly are IS Joy, capital J. You don’t need anything. You. You’re complete. Wow. You are the Joy in which fears can come, sadness can come, chaos can come, challenge can come, in which the whole spectrum of the human experience can play out. In knowing yourself as the essence of life, then somehow, on a deep deep level, it’s all ok, all is well.
So we’re not trying to get rid of anything. We’re growing up. Instead of avoidance, instead of this fuzziness, we’re starting to see clearly what’s really going on: “Oh yes, that’s the thought that says this about me, and here’s the uncomfortable feeling that’s connected, and the clenching in the body, and the reactive behaviour that tries to escape the discomfort.” Seeing clearly the mechanism of ‘me’ playing out. Being this boundless container that allows all of it. And if we get bogged down inside it, and then we notice that, great. We’ve noticed that. We can rejoice. Instead of then beating ourselves up for having got bogged down inside it, which is it, which is more of the getting bogged down inside it! It’s now whacking itself over the back with a spikey stick saying, “Why did you get lost inside it?!” (laughter)…
Be courageous. Let it all in… to your ever expanding heart.