Friday, March 19, 2010

Dancing With Discomfort: Energy - The Ever Expanding Me

The idea that we live in an ever-expanding universe and that we are nothing but energy is really appealing to me on so many levels. It wasn’t till recently that I connected the dots for myself in a way that has really made it easy for me to understand the “dance with discomfort” and give up the idea of getting there.

First of all, if I accept this statement on face value then as a part of the universe, I am ever-expanding as well. If I am ever expanding, it is completely ridiculous for me to think that the experience of discomfort or suffering can be avoided. I’ll say it again… If I am ever expanding, it is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS for me to think that the experience of discomfort or suffering can be avoided.

It is inevitable, it is to be expected, and it is necessary for my expansion.

If there was anything in that elusive manual that I missed, it was this. For me understanding this is huge and it sets up a whole new paradigm to understand the human experience. In this paradigm there is no room for feeling any kind of shame and guilt in the face of experiencing discomfort or suffering.

The expectation of finding the “solution” or getting “there” is no longer a valid expectation.

Going back to the Windows metaphor. Since 1985 there have been over 27 releases of the Windows operating system which is consistent with the above notion of an ever-expanding universe. In each version, Windows created an upgrade to withstand the expansiveness of the programs and functionality that became possible as a result of the operating system that was currently being used. In each version users suffered and experienced various level of discomfort and the developers at Microsoft systematically rectified each challenge with their weekly “Critical Updates” and eventually THE NEXT operating system.

We are no different, we have to keep expanding, and what gets delivered to us in our experience in life is another opportunity to give ourselves an update. The dance with discomfort is nothing more than that. Experience the discomfort and manage the intensity and the duration of that discomfort by continuing to examine the conditioning that is responsible for the perspective. I think the way the way I was thinking about finding the solution was the equivalent of saying “that thank god WINDOWS XP is here, now I wont have any issues any longer.” When I look at it like this the notion is simply absurd.

Secondly, the idea that we are energy also provides me with a very interesting and useful perspective on what is going on in our brains. Our thoughts and beliefs are nothing more than energy through a complex and interconnected brain circuitry. It is just energy moving from neuron to neuron and somehow being translated as our experience. Without getting in way over my head in trying to explain this, what’s most important about the idea to me is that when I find myself in the middle of an intense emotional response to something, I can usually talk myself off the ledge fairly quickly when I remember that while it may feel intense and real, there is nothing actually going on other than energy that is following a conditioned response to a certain stimulus. Again its simply that the brain circuitry has been wired in a particular way without my conscious permission.

But what does that mean? Not the energy part but the “when I find myself” or “I can talk myself off the ledge.” Who is the "I"and who is the myself?  Who is talking who off the ledge? This is the world of learning to be the Observer.

From the heart



  1. Beautiful analogy, Shasheen! Discomfort and pain are present in all growth and evolution...there just is no way around it. And comparing it to the 'growing pains' of the technological industry is a just perfect!

    Thank you for the reminder that we can 'talk ourselves off the ledge'...The roll of witness/observer is so very powerful :)

  2. It is good to find someone on the path who is not chanting the hocus pocus of how if you are not happy & in a state of bliss 24/7, it is because you choose not to be. oh, I get so mad- all my life- at that kind of nonsense. The journey is challenging enough without the false teachers throwing zingers at the truth seekers. Your blogs make sense to me & I find them very helpful. I am glad you put them out there.

  3. It is interesting to note that if one goes into a phase of life or blocks of time in life where there is little expansion happening, there is suffering because of the lack of expansion. So not only is there discomfort from the expanding, there is more discomfort if one is NOT expanding and this must be because we are designed to expand. Perhaps, the greatest suffering sometimes occurs when one is resisting expansion or growth.

  4. Totally agree about the suffering from not expanding!