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    Hi everyone

    What comes first… I think both can be true and maybe why things like depression can become such a trap to fall into – feeling depressed about being depressed – feeling feeding being, being feeding feeling…

    I’ve heard it said that we swim in the ocean of mind and that perhaps our notion of consciousness is too narrow. The thought being that eyes, ears, skin, heart, lungs… all have a kind of consciousness, as would plants and animals, all adding input to the ALL.
    Just imagining all the cells and microbes that make up this body I think of as Peter, each cell with its own kind of consciousness… Would the cells feel themselves as part of the whole? As below so above, the drop of water contains the ocean.

    Pondering the notion of emptiness, I recalled taking an Art class for the intimidated. On the first day were given a blank white canvas and asked to draw a bowl of fruit. Everyone stared at the blank canvas like a dear in headlights, afraid to put the first mark on the canvas. The blank canvas held all possibilities while drawing on it would limit those possibilities. Each act a act of creation and destruction, an affirmation, and a negation… everyone hesitated, afraid of making the wrong choice.
    Of course, the joke was on us as the canvas nature never changes, even when covered its is always blank, never loosing any of its possibilities. Why do we assume the white canvas is itself empty? Why wouldn’t a red canvas also be blank? Why do we trust the reasoning that making a mark, naming something, changes the nature of what is marked what is named?

    I wonder if I really let my Self really ‘Know’, what might change. I hesitate like a dear in headlights…

    Interesting observation Roberta – when one points to oneself, we usually point to the heart area.
    Campbell suggested that one of the ways to look at the chakras (western mind) was psychologically, where the first level was Id, second the will to pleasure, third the will to power, fourth Individuation, fifth the will to power directed inward to ‘master’ one Self, sixth the will to pleasure turned inwards to a realization of love of others as our Self (subject and object still separate), and seven Unity, no subject no object (no nameing’s), all extinguished in the ‘light/fire”.

    Jung observed that the second half of life is the time to seek out an integrated Self, letting go of the base drives and find our way to the heart chakra and relationship with the capital s Self. Jung suggesting that any higher-level experiences reinforcing the heart chakra but not meant to ‘sit’ in, except for the few who would devote their lives to it. Jung felt that in general the western ‘Mind’ was not capable of the discipline required to let go of our attachment to our notion of mind, logic, reason…

    I sometimes wonder if the monk or hermit lifestyle would work for me, then I think of the rules and the isolation and suspect maybe not so much. I’m ok with that, the heart chakra as a space to be feels doable to me.

    You might enjoy Richard Wagamese’s meditation of being in ones body
    When I allow myself to feel my body, when I can inhabit it and allow myself to close off the world beyond my flesh. I become who I am – energy and spirit. I am not my mind. I am not my brain. I am stardust, comets, nebulae and galaxies. I am trees and wind and stone. I am space. I am emptiness and wholeness at the same time. That is when my body sings to me, a glorious ancient song redolent with mystery seeking to remain mystery. Connecting to it, living with it, becoming it even for a moment, I am healed and made more.


    Last night as I lay in bed I wondered if it wasn’t emotions and thoughts keeping me up but the relentless naming. Taking a note from Timar instead of naming I went to that “weight inside… and sort of like press on it” then let it flow… There is a lightness to having a thought or emotion and not feeling a need to name it. There is a time for that, just maybe not all the time. I wondered could the nothingness and emptiness hinted at be just that space that exists before the naming?

    That song brought me back. Thanks for that Roberta. Of course, back when I enjoyed the feeling of the song but didn’t really listen…  “mountains are mountains and waters are waters… after, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters

    (Repost to make it easier to read)

    A horse with no name
    “On the first part of the journey
    I was looking at all the life
    There were plants and birds and rocks and things
    There was sand and hills and rings
    The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
    And the sky with no clouds
    The heat was hot and the ground was dry
    But the air was full of sound

    I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
    It felt good to be out of the rain
    In the desert you can’t remember your name
    ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

    After two days in the desert sun
    My skin began to turn red
    And after three days in the desert fun
    I was looking at a river bed
    And the story it told of a river that flowed
    Made me sad to think it was dead

    You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
    It felt good to be out of the rain
    In the desert you can’t remember your name
    ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

    After nine days I let the horse run free
    ‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
    There were plants and birds and rocks and things
    There was sand and hills and rings
    The ocean is a desert with its life underground
    And a perfect disguise above
    Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
    But the humans will give no love

    You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
    It felt good to be out of the rain
    In the desert you can’t remember your name
    ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
    La la la la la la..


    Hi Tilmar

    I like the virilization technique which doesn’t sound weird to me… all the best people have a little weird 🙂

    Helcat, One of the things I apricate about eastern thought like the Toa Te Ching is that its a reminder not to hold on to words to tightly. Like a good poem one should give the words some space to breath.  I also apricate the emphases on experience rather then believing.  The latter is when, I think, we tend to mistake the words we use for the things that the words can only point to. The word tree is not a tree.

    Interestingly thier is a old Christian practice – Apophatic theology – which also uses negation (emptiness?) as a path to affirmation.  Apophatic was a practice of unsaying anything one said especially when what is being talked about is Transcendent.  (There are those that argue that negation is nihilistic though that is a trap one could fall into if one mistakes the map for the territory)

    In the Toa Te Ching – The name that can be named is not the eternal Name – The Nameless is the Source of Heaven and Earth – the named is the Mother of the Ten thousand Things.  In the Geneses Garden story Adam is given the task of naming (the first scientist?) . I picture Adam excitedly telling G_d about his day naming this and that as if he discovered that which he named and G_d smiling to her self. Imagine if instead G_d becoming upset yelling at Adam that he broke creation by getting a name wrong.  Yet that is what we often do to one another.

    The word/name tree is not the eternal Tree, naming, measuring, judging creates the Ten thousand things while the Nameless is the Source (of experience?)  Watts associated this notion with the fact that we tend not to notice the background of the object even though we can’t discern the object without the background. To name the Horse a horse Adam needed to separate the suchness that is Horse from the background of which we are apart of. Once named we forget about the background and consider the horse as separate from other things named including ourselves.  Through the task of naming duality arises, I am this not that. I am the name I give myself  separate from the eternal Nameless (emptiness). 

    We can’t experience motion without relationship with other objects to measure against. (The circle without circumference and center is everywhere – we are each the “emptiness that makes the wheel work”??? – Motion creates Life). We can’t ‘see’ the object without its relationship, context, from the background. The error we make is assuming that this relationship to our experience means separateness. Believing we are separate, we suffer. Confronting the notion of duality though negation the background (emptiness – as we do not ‘see’ it just as we do not see light only what the light illuminates) becomes the Source it is rather then the naming of the object illuminated that we ‘pull’ out of It . The naming being a kind of game we get to play, the Ten Thousand things after all, work for us.  We are not brought into the ‘world‘, implying separate from it, but emerge out of IT.

    🙂 Whose wired now. 🙂

    On a practical level – perhaps?  I’ve spent a lot of time working on undoing the my attachment to identity, to naming. Undoing the message that you are your tribe, you are your job, you are your feelings, your thinking… you are a ‘identity’…. (Nothing like a perceived threat to a notion of identity to bring out the ego protector.)  I suspect with the current attachment to words, mistaking the map for the territory, that we have made the transition through the second half of life, where we are to let go of such things, more difficult. My thought is that maybe the language of negation (emptiness) is the ‘slap’ needed to break us out of that habit?


    I think you express yourself quite well  Brandy and I relate to what you’re saying. Over the weekend I metaphorically stepped in ‘dog poo’ and did not laugh and instead lost contact and trust in that ‘flow’ (Tao).  Meaning I went for a ‘ride’ and could not manage to get out of my head. Feeling empty but resisting letting myself be ‘empty’ – I felt alone (empty) while filled with expectations, doubt and fears..

    I’ve been doing morning yoga and the instructors likes to remind us to return to stillness before starting the next sequence of movements – Ah I thought everything emerging from and returning to stillness (emptiness – Settle the mind, quite the heart, stillness.) I’m, hoping the physical practice becomes a stronger internal mental muscle memory – as above so below, as below so above kind of practice. That when I inevitably ‘step in it’  again, before jumping into the next sequence of movements and thoughts, return to stillness (such a simple thing yet when you ‘in it’ is so difficult to do… even when doing yoga . Guess that’s why they call it a practice. Would be nice to have as a muscle memory, so my reaction to stress would be a response.)

    Tao Te Ching references the idea of emptiness, which you point to Helcat.

    “Thirty spokes converge on a hup but it’s the emptiness that makes the wheel work.
    Pots are fashioned from clay but it’s the hollow that makes a pot work.
    Windows and doors are carved for a house but it’s the spaces that make a house work.
    Existence makes a thing useful, but nonexistence makes it work.”  – Tao Te Ching

    Emptiness a change of perspective on what allows something to be useful and work? The jug useful and working as it is emptied and refilled, empty and refilled… If its never emptied the contents are going to go stale?

    “I think there are a lot of us out here who just want to rest in truth and goodness…but where does one find truth and goodness? That’s where our searching leads us.” Well said.

    My thought is that compassion may be the key to knowing when were on a helpful path to truth and goodness. Should that be Love? Humm… Seems I find my experience with compassion more trustworthy then love.  Anyone else feel that way?… maybe because compassion is less likely to be attached to desire and the other stuff and things that are usually without emptiness – not useful or working?   Is a act of compassion a act of ‘self’ emptying?



    I think your right Brandy

    Came across the following the other day: In order to concentrate, it is necessary to have attained a certain degree of freedom and detachment. In order to meditate, one must place oneself within the light from above. And in order to experience contemplation, it is necessary to become one with this light. Meditation is therefore the honest and courageous effort of the ‘lower self’ to think together with the ‘higher Self’ in divine light. Contemplation follows in the union of the thinker with reality where one does not arrive at a ‘conclusion’ but a experience of union – Reality. – Hermeticism Unknown friend

    Helcat –  Such stories makes one wonder. From a point of view of non-duality the reality of each breath is a dying and rebirth. I wonder about the point, (still point?) of transition where one is neither dead or alive? Or, non-duality thier is no dead or alive just the point of which we have no language (name for) for? What is the name for that which is both ‘up and down’, ‘in and out’,  past and future’….  – Reality, Tao, G_d, Brahman ????

    To be candid the notion that emptiness that isn’t empty sometimes feels like play with language to me. Then perhaps the intention is a mental slap to  break our habit of thinking and being? As Brandy and Tee pointed to the intention seems to be a experience of ‘knowing’ -unity –  rather then knowing.

    A thought occurred to me last night as I was thinking about the conversation on hope and hopelessness. That it was the notion of hope and not the notion of “waiting without love, for love would be for of the wrong thing” that drew our attention . I suspect each of us has experience of love of the wrong thing, being disappointed in love. Still to wait with out love leading to a experience of unity – Love – is difficult to grasp.  Perhaps its similar to emptiness that isn’t empty.. as Eliot says its all in the stillness of waiting, the still point. Emptiness, stillness, waiting…. the pause between the notes.

    Coming back to earth 🙂 I return to Richard Wagamese
    In this stillness, I am the trees alive with singing. I am the sky everywhere at once. I am the snow and the wind bearing stories across geographies and generations. I am the light everywhere descending. I am my heart evoking drum song. I am my spirit rising. In the smell of theses sacred medicines burning. I am my prayers and my meditation, and I am time captured fully in this now. I am a traveler on a sacred journey through this one shinning day

    Me: What is the point of prayer and mediation?
    Grandmother: To Bring you closer to the Great Mystery.
    Me: So I can understand it?
    Grandmother: No, so you can participate in it.
    – Richard Wagamese – Embers




    Apologies for the freeform of thoughts, wanted to see where it when

    Hi Helcat. I don’t think finding meaning in outcomes is a negative unless if we forget that outcomes must be impermeant. The task then would be able to come to terms with the reality of impermanence.

    Brandy, you bring up a challenging thought, what does a person do when the space of self-emptying one is to rest in becomes an uncomfortable feeling or fear of emptiness?

    Recalled a story that Pema Chodron tells in her book ‘When Things Fall Apart.’ She was instructing a student on meditation – suggesting a “gentle touch of awareness on the everchanging out-breath, ungraspable and yet continuously arising. When you breathe in, it’s like a pause or a gap. There is nothing particular to do except wait for the next out-breath.”  The student replied – “But that’s impossible! There’s a whole part where there’s nothing to be aware of!” (fear of this emptiness and time of waiting?)  Pema goes on to explain – “This was the first time I realized that built into the instruction was the opportunity to completely let go… meditation as the willingness to die over and over again… as each breath went out and dissolved, there was the chance to die to all that had gone before and to relax instead of panic.”

    Latter she goes on to talk about hopelessness and death noting: “Turning your mind toward the Dharma does not bring security or confirmation. Turning your mind toward the Dharma does not bring any ground to stand on. In fact, when your mind turns toward the Dharma, you fearlessly acknowledge impermanence and change and begin to get the knack of hopelessness (emptiness?)… If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path.”

    Allan Watts suggested, which I think applies to hope. “The instant we become motivated by fear, we become unfree. So long as the mind believes in the possibility of escape from what it is at this moment, there can be no freedom. When you are freed from being out to improve yourself, your own nature will begin to take over.”  As Dr Old’s suggest one’s own nature being the capital S Self and a practice of hopelessness that involves the realization and embracing ungroundedness. To sit (be) in that still place from which all things arise and return and ‘Be not afraid’?

    Movement is time, stillness is eternity.
    Movement is what creates life
    Stillness is what creates love,
    To be still, Yet still moving
    That is everything!” – Do Hyun Choe

    “The central point of the world is the point where stillness and movement are together… Movement is time, stillness is eternity. Realizing the relationship of the temporal moment to the eternal—not moment, but forever—is the sense of life… Realizing how this moment in your life is actually a moment of eternity.” Watts

    Reminding me of something from – Richard Wagamese

    I Used to believe my body contained my soul. That was fine for a while. But when I started thinking about oneness with Creator (all things), I came to believe that it’s the other way around. My soul (one Soul) contains my body. It is everything that I am. I am never separate from Creator except within my mind. That’s the ultimate truth, and I need to be reminded, to learn again, to learn anew in order to get it. When I do. I know the  truth of why my people say: that we are all spirit, were are all energy, joined to everything that is everywhere, all things coming true together.”  – Richard Wagamese

    Then “Nothingness (this moment?) is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole universe. All the sun and the stars and the mountains, and rivers, and the good and bad, and the animals, and insects, and the whole bit. All are contained in void. So out of this void comes everything and You Are IT” – Watts

    We end where we began. In the circle without circumference and whose center is everywhere – each of us is the center, a center? Nothing and no one is separate and everyone belongs. The present moment is the circle, eternal. Nothing arises, nothing ends, there is nothing to attain as you are and have always been IT. (there is no you, only the circle) Having such a realization there is nothing to fear so no need to hope or worry, nothing to stop a person from engaging in the world? The experience of such a Self, as Dr Olds pointed out, connects the person to the 8 C’s of authentic Being – compassion, confidence, calmness, creativity, clarity, curiosity, courage, and connectedness. From such a center, again nothing to fear?

    Well that was fun…. Something to ponder 😊

    The monk on hearing the Buddha speak was instantly enlightened, in a state of bliss the monk walks home and steps in dog poo did the moment pass or does he laugh?


    I think its safe to say that hope is a skill requiring discernment – mindfulness. I wonder if I suffered from chronic physical pain what my relationship to hope might be.  The word courage pops into mind, as it takes a kind of courage to hope skillfully. I admire your courage Tee.

    Viktor Frankl notion of hope is tied to the notion of meaning rather then to specific outcomes.    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Frankl –  I imaging that space as a stillness waiting, the pause between the notes that creates music, as hope, teh space of hope to choose, hopefully courageously, wisely? That their exists a space of choosing and that space is hope or can be?

    No dialog on hope is complete without addressing Pandora’s Box paradox, a box that contained all the evils of the World, A box that also contained hope. Begging the question is hope to evil?  Only in the story hope was not released with the other evils. Does  this mean Life is suffering as thier is no hope, suffering without hope, that we suffer when hope is locked away? Their is a thought that hope was kept in the box in order to separate it from the evils and so transform it. Hope attached to the evils’ being hope for the wrong things while by itself, in its ‘true’ formless form, is the space of choosing, reframing, meaning…

    For myself I hold such thoughts – things – lightly.


    Hi Tee

    I took TS Eliot’s words as a method of creating the space for beginner’s mind. To let go of what you think you know and how you feel things ought to be and instead – self-empty.

    The first time I came across the passage I wondered what he could mean to hope for the wrong thing. Isn’t hope a good thing?

    In hindsight on my experience hope I think I can say that more often than not hope for the wrong thing as it only amplified what it was that I wished to avoid.

    Then Eliot makes the statement that hope is in the waiting or is waiting which I take as trusting, not knowing, the beginners mind) – a different kind of hope that isn’t hope for a outcome.

    The poet Vaclav Havel noted “Hope is a dimension of the soul, an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizon. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.” Hope that acknowledges Life as it is, is, good – transcends duality.

    I was latter surprised to learn that there is a Buddhist practice of ‘Hopelessness’. (release of fear)

    Pema Chodron spoke of Letting go of Hope. She noted the relationship of hope to fear. The opposite of hope is not hopelessness but fear. Where this is hope there is also fear, that in a world of hope and fear we are always looking for a way out of something that has started to feel uncomfortable.

    Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present.

    Anytime we hope for a certain outcome, and work hard to make it happen we also introduce fear. The fear of failing, fear of loss…. Hopelessness on the other hand is free of fear and thus can be liberating. We no longer associate Hopelessness with despair and instead as a process of waiting – emptying –  Tao – the stillness (silence) from which all things arise and return  – Aum

    Thomas Merton also talked of the journey into hopelessness. “Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.” – In the space created in such hopelessness the self observes the Self, the relationship with all – one might say the 8 C’s emerge:  compassion, confidence, calmness, creativity, clarity, curiosity, courage,  and connectedness.



    I resonate with that. One breath I’m connected and ‘know’ and the next not so much.

    In those moments when I struggle I remind myself of TS Eliot’s words

    “I ask my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

    (Sometimes the Lords Prayer which can be a ‘centering prayer’ when G_d isn’t projected outward, as it establishing ones place were we are both ‘smaller then small AND bigger then big’  in every moment)

    I note that Stillness and waiting is a important notion in re-connecting to that ‘knowing’ of Self in the path of meditation and or ‘contemplation and action’ –  A kind of a ‘Wu Wei’ – the creating of space for the happening to happen…

    Always found those story’s of instant enlightenment fun and wondered how often or if those who experienced that needed to experience that moment over and over again – perhaps till the realization that the present moment isn’t a slice of time or space. 🙂


    Thanks Tee for the introduction to Dr. Tori Olds. Makes me feel more hopeful for the future when I discover persons like Dr. Tori Olds.

    I’ve been exploring ‘contemplation’  which also evolves the notion of the compassionate observer as a path to the capital S Self experience.

    I have also hoped that G_d cares… loves me… lately when that thought arises, the notion that ‘I am’ It… as everyone is It (the drop of water also contains the ocean – As above so below, as below so above – our person are “maps” to the above as the above reveals the person) Anyway when that hope arises I wonder if I’m asking if ‘I’ care and love ‘me’ in the moment when the thought arises.

    When Jung was asked the question if he believed in G_d (G_d-Christ –  Brahman-Atman – capital S -Self) he replied that he did not believe because he knew. He was highly criticized for that answer and he didn’t explain himself as far as I know. But I think  that having had the experience of the capital S Self it isn’t something you believe or hope for its something you ‘know’ (To know not intellectually but from the source of the Self which is also what  Dr. Tori Olds hinds at when she talks of the Mind that is free.) Joseph Campbell also hints at the ‘knowing’ verses believing in his dialogs.  I’d go so far as to suggest that all the wisdom traditions, when not viewed as a set of rules, reveal the same truths.


    Hi Brandy

    Memory is a trickster so its not something I can be certain of. At the time that experience and others engendered questions more then answers not that I was fully mindful of that. At the age when Life happens I think such questions are filed away and it is only in hindsight that I sense that the questions were… being worked on.  Having often fallen into the trap of indifference while trying to convince myself it was healthy detachment, I wonder about that period of my life.

    Hi Tee

    Thanks for the Youtube recommendation. Intriguing thought that  ‘what’ observes the parts is the true self


    Richard Wagamese – says it better

    “From our very first breath, we are in relationship. With that indrawn draft of air, we become joined to everything that ever was, is and ever will be. When we exhale, we forge that relationship by virtue of the act of living. Our breath commingles with all breath, and we are a part of everything. That’s the simple fact of things. We are born into a state of relationship. Relationships never end; they just change. In believing that lies the freedom to carry compassion, empathy, love, kindness and respect into and through whatever changes. We are made more by that practice.”

    The sound of one hand clapping – Aum


    Hi Brandy, I’ve often wonder if perhaps if what I experienced was a healthy detachment or a dissociation to protect myself. Could both be true at the same time?

    I was reading about the Enneagram. Its suggests that you can’t change the type that you are. The task is to be mindful of your type so one might better spot its traps and gifts. A odd point they made was that though you can’t change your type it wasn’t the natural type you were born with. At some point something confronts our world view which causes us to compensate our natural type to our survival type. (Suggesting that Type can change however it seems when our blank slate of our natural being is written on its a WORM type programing – Wright Once, Read Many.) Since posting that memory I can’t help but think that moment was more impactful then I have considered. Seems detachment is the superpower of my Type  but it is also its kryptonite, more comfortable as a observer  then someone that engages in life and a hard lesson that indifference likes to disguise itself as detachment.

    Enjoyed your post Tee.  Perhaps it comes down to noticing when we have emotions and when our emotions have us. I might also argue that like our emotions the ‘ego’ has a important role to play in becoming. (also need to notice when our ego has us.) Seems we are more then the sum of our parts.

    Read somewhere that the SELF is a circle without circumference which center is everywhere – each person, small s self (each thing?), is the center of the circle without circumference, the SELF – (G_d, Brahman-Atman…) When we look for the self we do not find it because were It only imagining ourselves separate from It.  (Allan Watts like to joke the the Self liked to forget that it was IT so that it could delight It Self when It remembered… or something like that)

    To love our neighbor as ourselves isn’t then a reflection of how we love ourselves, or not only that, but that our neighbor is also It and so also our Self.  Begs the question what is Mind? LOL


    A refreshing post

    Reminded me of a high school moment. A Summer night I was with group of friends and girl friend who sometime during the night was making out with another close friend of mine. What I remember is my other friends being concerned as they assumed I knew and I remember thinking oh they need me to be upset. That night as I lay in bed that night I had this odd sensation wondering where emotions came from. It wasn’t that I wasn’t hurt, disappointed… mostly confused, emotions were present but not.

    In that moment its possible I was in a kind of shock were I dissociated myself from the experience, only in bed that night I remember it more as a moment of clarity – we  experience emotions for many reasons, but we are not our emotions.

    Begging the questions what are these things we call emotions and where and what was this thing I experienced as ‘self’ that experienced them.



    I don’t think its a stretch. What your describing sounds a lot like repression which for sure trigger anxiety attacks. Not surprising a some part of you knows whey a larger part of you does not want to know – blocking flow – experienced heart palpitations and all the stuff assoicated with that.

    My untrained guess is that the unconscious issue that you would prefer not to make conscious is something to do with the notion of death.  If so facing your fear and concept of death,  making that conscious should help reduce the number and or  intensity of future anxiety attacks.

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