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Is Pain Required to Become Enlightened? (Pt 1)

In short, yes. The answer is yes.

The Four Noble Truths, according to Buddha:

  1. The truth of suffering (dukkha)
  2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
  3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

Pain comes to us while we do the ‘shadow work‘ required to become enlightened. (Shadow work was defined to me as working through painful experiences to understand their purpose and, ultimately, learn a lesson from them.)

When I suffered my nervous breakdown in the middle of last year, my professionalism slipped through the cracks completely and I resigned from my extremely well-paying job, though my boss never tendered my resignation and tried to help by putting me on FMLA in the system, thinking I’d recover and come back. I didn’t recover enough to go back.

During my nervous breakdown, a male entity became known to me inside of my mind. He has a different feeling behind the internal voice he commands to represent himself. My own voice is mostly soft, inquisitive. Gentle. I give myself breaks because I know I have much to learn and I cannot learn it all at once. Him, though? He might as well put me through a meat grinder; he’s not harsh in tone (although once upon a time he was; he’d shout in my head!) but he will say nasty, vicious things to me. He called me a whore the other day. I have never even thought of myself as promiscuous, or if I have, it’s been so long I’ve completely forgotten it altogether.

Something or someone is forcing me to deal with all my traumas and embarrassments, one by one. Teasing them out to the forefront over and over again until I am no longer emotional about it. He says it is for enlightenment. To ascend again. I refuse to take my into my garden of thoughts, though. I don’t want him in my most sacred mental space. I believe he is lurking in order to gain access to that space, but of course there is always a bigger picture and that might just be part of something else always meant to happen.

I call that place Nirvana, but not to make light of the beliefs behind Hinduism, Buddhism, or to indicate that I believe in them. Google provides me with an answer that is suitable: Nirvana (moksha) is the highest achievable spiritual objective for a human: it is the reunification with his spiritual origin in Cosmic Consciousness. “Reunification” is the meaning of the word “religion”, which goes back to the Latin “religare” (reunification).

That’s funny that religion means to be unified with the higher consciousness of the Universe. I was never religious in my lifetime, and I don’t expect to be… but I can tell you that I believe I have achieved this once before in my life. The only reason I’m not there now is this mystery hitchhiker inside my head.

He’d like to convince me I’m a pseudo-telepath, that I’m hearing people think about me in the back of my mind and he brings it to the front. I don’t believe that. I think I’ve just gone nuts. Crazy. Mentally ill. I doubt there is ever a point where I will be employable again. But then again, this entity speaking to me has given me names to call it such as Brahma, Odin, Ra, Trickster, YWHW, Thor, Osiris, Vishnu, and Shiva. I’m sure we’ll get around to him claiming to be every God we’ve ever named if I let him stay long enough.

I can take him to Nirvana. I can take everyone to Nirvana, actually. The way I reached Nirvana is by honing my logical capabilities in order to determine fact from fiction in this reality. It requires true courage, because it means you have to understand that the Self is at fault in every scenario there is a problem occurring in Self’s life. If Self is unprepared to step up to the responsibility and mature and take the blame for Self’s part, then you will never go to Nirvana. It’s that simple.

Are you ready to understand Self? Does it sound too scary? Once you realize that although Self has some blame to take, the only thing you are responsible to do after you take that blame is grow. You don’t have to apologize to anyone, anywhere. In fact, I never apologize. It’s a waste of fucking time. I instead try to prove that I will do better by taking steps to improve my Self.

In order to really delve into the life of Self, we must force distance between the record of our life (our history) and the present person that we are. That is why I am speaking of Self as if it is another entity altogether. Self is not me, me is not Self. It’s a psychology trick to allow myself to tell a story about the past without getting caught up in all the emotions that happened while I was experiencing the story unfold.

Once we understand the only thing we are is this present moment, we can understand that the past is ultimately meaningless. ‘Let that shit go!’ (Random snarky Buddha t-shirt.) Whatever we have done is already done. Whatever has already happened to us is fact, not opinion. Our interpretation of the fact is an opinion. It’s also an illusion, usually, because we project our own emotional state onto others in the situations we find ourselves in.

Tarang asked me if all this entity-in-my-mind stuff occurred before or after becoming a spiritualist. Quite honestly, I’ve been spiritual all my life. He posits that because this entity is helping with my shadow work that it might be my inner or higher self guiding me to do so intuitively. My higher self is communicating with me.

I was taught some outlier form of Native American shamanism. I know not if it is Wyandotte or Sioux or other in origin (I have a number of tribes in me since they got all mixed up after the Trail of Tears and all.) I do not even know if it is just a tribe my paternal parent was affiliated with in his adulthood. I remember just one time visiting a very red man he called Chief. After that, we stopped participating as a family in anything to do with our heritage. My parents swear up and down they had papers of authenticity that they lost in a fire, but I find that questionable. I could, of course, get a genealogy test done, but I see no point in that. It’s not going to qualify me as part of a tribe; I am no singular tribe. I am my own tribe.

At any rate, I got off-topic briefly. My apologies. The point is that I do not know what flavor of shamanism I learned from my father. It’s normally passed down through the women, from what I understand, so it would have been forbidden for him to be taught about it, essentially, which means he stole it from someone he overheard. I doubt he even had all the lessons himself through this apparent eavesdropping, so I am not fully trained in any traditional form of shamanism.

Instead, I taught myself everything I know, pretty much. He merely told me that things were possible to do and I determined to learn what I could while I kept to myself, too traumatized through the majority of my life to participate in the reality we co-create together.

I strayed from my sacred path the last few years, I’m sad to say. I nearly died of starvation and malnutrition in November 2020. That is when the male entity says he arrived, though I did not detect him until much later. Together, we wooed a man overseas to try proposing for his hand in marriage. I was so sick that I needed someone to take care of me and that kind of work is husband work, so I went all out because I’d carried around feelings for that man for over a decade. I quested for all the right things to say to him and finally, as I nearly died, I decided to get them all out of me. I decided to purge myself of all the pent up ‘love’ emotions blocking the rest of me from functioning properly. At least, that’s how I view the whole thing now that I look back at it.

Emotional constipation.

In summer of 2020, I became an Usui Reiki Grand Master. In spring of 2021, I became a Kundalin Reiki master (9th level). I felt the Kundalini dragon awaken in my sacral chakra and crawl up my spine. ‘Brahma’ tells me that this is highly unusual, but I’ve not spoken to very many Kundalini practitioners. (Are you one? Did you experience it? Please tell me all about your experience. I want to compare notes.)

Anyway, after the dragon awoke — the dragon is Sansara — I started to hear ‘Brahma.’ In fact, ‘Brahma’ can speak through me if he so desires. He can move my body for me, too, if he so desires. However, he tells me I am labor intensive and makes me do it for myself as often as possible. We surmise I should have died that November, but somehow I am still alive. I often do not wish to be, since I have suffered rape consistently throughout my entire history of existence. I have been violated so many times it became ‘normal.’ I have a new normal now… KICK, PUNCH, SCREAM! When I’m being violated, that is. And if I can’t hit them, I’ll hit myself… which is not so constructive.

I know, it sounds terrible. So does having to face all my trauma without training wheels, going headlong into brick wall after brick wall at break neck speed. (I’m whining, forgive me.) ‘Brahma’ is great at everything except figuring out how to be compassionate to me during this journey of intense growth. The shadow work is being forced onto me against my will. It’s incredibly stressful because he will not fucking STOP bringing up everything that makes me cry or feel terrible about myself. I feel like a fucking animal. Normally, I ease myself into discomfort until I cannot take it anymore, let up to rejuvenate, then begin again, when I am the driver of the shadow work or Self work.

Tarang advised me not to fight it, which I understand that perspective and that’s how I began this journey, but Brahma wants me to fight him. He wants me to resort to violence when I am full of mental anguish and the other party will not STOP. He told me I was flawed by being too agreeable. So he calls me everything in the book that I hate: bitch, whore, cunt. Well, that last one, oddly enough, doesn’t bother me as much as the first two… maybe because it wasn’t said to my face full of venomous poison the first time I heard it. Anyway, I don’t berate myself anymore. I actually deleted these poisonous behaviors from my existence a long time ago. They are a waste of time and energy to hold onto, so I reprogrammed myself to be without them.

I speak like I’m a robot, but we are all programmed to think the way we think. We are influenced by the books we read, the friends we keep, the family we are subjected to, class mates, teachers, colleagues, et cetera. Any person we willingly (or force ourselves to) put up with becomes part of our psyche, part of our inner dialogue, whether we like it or not. That is why it is important to only keep those who have our best interests at heart and are positive influences in our lives close to us. The rest of humanity is ‘tribe.’ We are related, vaguely. We are here to help each other (when we have the energy to do so.) But there is no need to go out of one’s way to help a tribe member for no reason, especially not one who hasn’t matured enough to understand that they must return value.

Value is not money. I want to be clear about that. One example I can think of easily is as simple as trading cannabis for a service, such as maid service or reiki healing. It could be anything, really, but cannabis really is a magical herb when it comes to pain relief, especially when ingested as opposed to smoked. I won’t get into it here, but some simple internet searches should be able to support my argument. Plus, it won’t kill ya. (Hello, opioid epidemic that keeps killing people with overdoses.) You know what too much cannabis gets you? Stoned SOBER. You stop feeling the effects of being high.

Tarang asked me if I am possessed, since ‘Brahma’ can be such a wanker to me. Using these slurs to annoy me and drive me to the very end of my rope. In fact, apparently my case is not unique. If I’m possessed, I’m determined to ‘win.’ Everything is a game when looked at from the correct angle. The rules become apparent if you observe the game long enough, no matter what game it is: football, softball, chess. I’ve decided that ‘Brahma’ can be more like me instead of himself: serene and full of zen. He can become an emotionally balanced being with a quiet mind that is built for absorbing the facts and then determining one’s emotions afterward. A being who is preoccupied with spreading good vibrations instead of ensnaring people in negative vibrations. Besides, he’s humane enough to let up some of the time and supposedly reveal the true nature of the torture I just experienced.

The game is as follows: face the Self with an ugly truth, allow Self to react emotionally until the emotion fades to something less intense, less overwhelming, because distance is achieved. Face the Self with lies — guesses as to what other people think or feel, most likely the worst behavior one can think of — and then become okay with that being a potential truth. It’s not the truth until it’s proven to be the truth, mind you, but if you are prepared for the worst possible outcome, then it is often easier to handle the reality behind something bothering you. Next, confront the person who is making Self feel negatively and ask them an open-ended question that will answer your doubts and fears one way or another. Be careful to be neutral in language. That person will, most likely, answer with their emotions flavoring the words. If the answer is angsty or negative in any way, then reveal the true nature of the question. Often times, it’s not what they thought it was at all and they relax and give a completely different answer, learning that they should not expect an attack from you. They are so used to being in combat with other beings that they are defensive by default, it would seem. Or, sometimes they have guilt or shame weighing on their minds (even when they should not) and that colors their responses, too. Then, take the information you have collected back to Self: their first answer from their emotional standpoint and their second answer from the enlightened standpoint. Compare and contrast and look for the missing pieces between the two answers.

Use this to inform your Self how to feel about the situation. If it’s an honest mistake because they are prone to self-defensiveness (let’s be honest, this world does not lend to being openly authentic and vulnerable) then you can forgive them. If it’s a pattern of bad thoughts, then you can try to redirect them. If those thoughts harm you, it’s best to exile them for a period of time and allow them to reflect on the conversations you’ve had. You can give them another chance later, when they might have grown some more. It’s not your job to help them grow. When they have no one to talk to anymore because no one wants to do their emotional work for them, they usually step up to bat.

That’s a baseball term for anyone not in the United States of America. It means that they will try to take chances. They might ‘strike out’ or lose their turn without advancing, but you don’t have to be there for that part. Just revisit them later if they show potential as a friend or mate and see how they grow. Re-evaluate. If they failed to grow, go away some more.

One might argue that this is going to cause an uptick in suicide, but I guarantee you that suicide is brought on by bullying and hurling insults and telling people they’re unacceptable. If you just quietly put them in a corner of your mind and keep to yourself without saying a word of negativity to them, they will find other people who are equipped to spend that emotional energy with them or they will just find places to grow and they’ll calm down. They might be lonely, but that’s the big ticket: that’s what’s going to motivate them to change. You can’t make anyone change, you can only show them a path and then enforce your boundaries very clearly to keep from being forced into their chaos.

Tarang suggested I contact a psychic about this matter to help remove this entity from me, but the truth of the matter is that I am at least partially awakened. I believe there is always room for growth, no matter what. In fact, once I school ‘Brahma’ to stop being noisy inside my brain while I am meditating, I will be able to resume learning about reiki and the metaphysical. I have a lot of ideas that marry together at least four schools of thought to bring about a rational explanation behind what reiki is, but I need to be able to concentrate to achieve this. [Of course, he lets me concentrate right now because it’s doing what he wants me to do. Try to bring enlightenment to anyone who wants to read about it.]

Since I am partially awakened in the metaphysical, I believe I should be able to excise this entity by myself. That is, provided he’s actually not god. He’s told me he’s a being from another solar system once or twice, but he also lies all the time. I’d call him Loki before I’d call him Odin. But, then again, I believe Loki and Odin may in fact be the same entity at the end of the day. I know the mythology we learn about does not support that, but something ‘Loki’ did made me think it was possible.

The oddest thing in this whole mess is that ‘Brahma’ decidedly wants me to live. If I harm myself, he stops pestering me. He lets up. No matter how much I tell him it hurts with my words, I must display emotions of some sort, my authentic self, or be screaming in anguish and bashing my head against the door frame to make him stop. My forehead still hurts, actually. And I cut myself, ironically, on a box of tissues that I kept throwing at the fucking wall as I expressed my duress in physical format. It stings every time I wash my hands.

If he was truly a malicious spirit, I don’t think he’d stop when I begin to hurt myself. I also don’t think he’d be trying to get my physical body out of pain, either, with the spontaneous stretches and yoga and whatnot. In fact, I don’t think I’d be alive; it would have been far easier to let me die in November of ’20 than it was to rehabilitate me to the point where I’m half alive as of now, April of ’22.

He’s just not enlightened. So now I have to reach enlightenment with a load of rocks strapped to my back. It’s exhausting, in a word. I’ve already mutated his psyche multiple times, honestly. I force him to learn new behaviors, since we are stuck together in perpetuity. I force him to learn logic, to debate things. I even call him out on his lies when I catch him. Instead of fact checking him via the internet — it’s completely unreliable, by the way — I just ask him the same questions over and over again. I don’t even bother to word it differently. Normally by the tenth time I ask the question, if it’s a lie, I’ll get another answer. I’m sure I drive him bonkers, asking the same thing on repeat, but you know… a girl’s gotta know The Truth(tm).

The reason I ask over and over has more to do with the way I learn than trying to drive him bonkers. I have this ‘spidey sense’ around lies, too. You see, when a being is authentic… when they aren’t lying… it doesn’t sound canned. It doesn’t sound like something you’ve heard a million times before. It doesn’t sound like what you expect to hear as a result of a question. They don’t use the same exact words you dream up to answer the question. Those words you can dream up? They’re there because you saw it in the movies, on television, in a video game, or a book. To recycle those words endlessly without attributing quotation is inauthentic. They aren’t putting it in their own words. It’s effectively verbal plagiarism… and that’s normally falsehood.

If it sounds too good to be true, it IS untrue! There is a duality in everything we experience and if all you are hearing is candy-coated lies and thinking that’s the reality of it, you have succumbed to an illusion. Disillusionment hurts. It can be embarrassing, it can be shameful, it can outright be hurtful. (i.e. being in love with a dude that ghosted me instead of telling me No to my marriage proposal. PAIN.)

‘Brahma’ stops me from doing harmful things often because I have a borderline personality and become suicidal randomly when my adversity seems impossible to overcome. He is shoving adversity down my throat to force me back into enlightenment. When I nearly died, my mind became childlike once more. My mental faculties declined to almost nothingness, thanks to malnutrition. I required a caretaker and I still kind of do, he points out as I neglect eating once again.

Eating is such a struggle. So far today I’ve eaten two servings of low carb trail mix, half a smoothie, a generous salad and half a pixxa. (I renamed pizza because what I make is nothing like pizza, considering the only ingredient in common with pizza is the pepperoni.) Next up: steak. Protein is good.

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