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Painful Reminders
May 01, 2017

I caught a few minutes of Versailles on the BBC – a drama of the Louis XIV court when French politics was even wilder than today. It was a terrible punishment – his head was locked still and eyelids forced open and then a concentrated beam of sunlight burnt his eyes. I think we can all agree that today, such an example of excruciating physical pain is rather rare. And indeed for most of us, most of the time we can assume that we will never have to deal with such things.

No, it is emotional pain that we are vulnerable to - to a depression of exhaustion and hopelessness, to anxieties borne from dread and fear, to addictions fuelling self-disgust and degradation – and of course, all the way back from that, to disappointments, regrets, losses and angers.

This is perhaps were the Human Givens Organising Idea can make its entrance. This is about finding ways to be calm enough to take the right kind of action in support of our essential human needs. And being able to hear what these painful emotions are saying to us and so what might be the lessons we can learn.

by Sophia Yasmeen

    One night last year, there was a power cut in our area. Even the street lights were out. We were left feeling slightly vulnerable. The moon was old and as we didn't have a lighter and we couldn't light the candles. So we just sat in the dark for several hours. I remember that, in my room, everything was completely black. I tried to see my hands but couldn't see them, not even a shadow.

    Then suddenly, I saw everything with my inner eye. I realized that consciousness was light. Even though my eyes were not operating, I could still see blackness. As soon as I became aware of the blackness it started to glow like the moon. I found also that, just by learning to listen, whether I am in the dark or in the light, on my own or in a crowd - everything is embraced in this poised moment. I am not trying to listen just to the sound; I simply have this attitude of poised, relaxed attention. Then suddenly I noticed and felt a vibration. I call it 'the sound of silence''. It isn't sound, but more like a slow flowing river. This poised attention stops me from obsessive thinking. I can rest in it whenever I want. It is home.

Sophia is a beautiful writer and I am happily sharing her work in my Feelbetter Newsletter.

best wishes

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