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My new hate free life! (New to buddhism)

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  • #366604
    Stephen
    Participant

    Hi all, i want to share with you my story so far in the hopes of help, advice and making new friends. I posted something similar on a depression forum about a month ago but unfortunately it isn’t the most active of boards.

    I’ve suffered from pretty bad depression for most of my life, i countered this by binge drinking and surrounding myself with equally negative people, i ended up masquerading as some big right wing guy and have held these views for the best part of 10 years. I recently fell fowl of the law and had quite a legal scare, this really made me analyze and look at my life. What i had become, what i can change and what i can’t change about myself, the effects my own actions are having on not only myself but my family and their lives. It’s pretty safe to say that i was a poisonous person who really had no redeemable qualities. I had this mighty anger that was unjust, i blamed society for every problem i had when i was my own worse enemy. I was totally lost.

    The problem i now faced was i had built my whole life around the negativity i am leaving behind, it was my identity. So its start a fresh, new person. I came across Alan watts and a talk on the ego and realized my ego WAS that poisonous identity i had convinced myself and others that i am. So slowly over the weeks i deleted people off my facebook who held the “same” beliefs, tonight will be deleting more. As of today i want my whole life to be about positivity and giving where i can do better in a world i have wronged. I would love to talk to people on here to help me on this journey and have a chat. I am totally new to this. I thankfully have a very supportive family behind me and some friends who will understand so i know things will be alright. I Started an antidepressant last month and am waiting for the benefits to kick in. So that’s it for now. 🙂

     

    The above was posted

    #366702
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephen:

    You shared that for much of your life, you experienced “this mighty anger that was unjust”, and a “pretty bad depression”. You blamed society for every problem you had, engaged in binge drinking, and had a recent legal scare which led you to realize that your actions have negative effects not only on yourself, but on your family.

    You referred to the person you were as “a poisonous person who really had no redeemable qualities”, and realized after reading Alan Watts’ literature, that this poisonous identity was your ego, one that you can let go of as you become “a fresh, new person”.

    You deleted people on your Facebook, intend to delete more, got on antidepressants last month and waiting for the benefits to kick in. You want this fresh, new person to be “about positivity and giving” to the world your ego has wronged, and you would like to talk to people here, to help you on this journey.

    Here is just a bit of Alan Watts’ writings about the ego: “The ego is simply your symbol of yourself.. ego symbolizes the role you play”, “Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be”.

    My input: what I refer to as my healing process started with reading lots of the literature on Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism, which Alan Watts and others popularized for Western audiences. Based on that literature I chose a psychotherapist who incorporated the principles of Buddhism, etc. into the therapy process. Here is what I have learned:

    The ego is not only an idea, it is a physical reality. Who you were all these years exists in the form of multiple and habitual biochemical processes, including neurotransmitters which connect neurons to other neurons, and hormones released into your blood. You can’t just get rid of those habitual processes or magically change them. It takes a long, long process that requires an incredible amount of patience and persistent, intentional and attentional work, every day, day after day, months and years.

    Watts himself, with all his knowledge and education, years of speaking and writing on the matter, according to Wikipedia, was an alcoholic (“In October 1973, Watts returned from a European lecture tour to his cabin in Druid Heights, California. Friends of Watts had been concerned about him for some time over his alcoholism. On 16 November 1973, at age 58, he died in his sleep”).

    Watts had habitual biochemical processes in his brain that his many years practice of Buddhism etc., did not change. Your recent take of antidepressants is about interfering with your own, specific neural biochemical processes. The anger you mentioned, it cannot go away by wishing it away, it is a biochemical habit, and it will be difficult to break.

    You can become a fresh, new person, but it takes lots of time and work, and if you have realistic expectations regarding what it takes, you are more likely to stay on the path and make this change happen sooner than otherwise.

    If you would like to, I will be glad to communicate with you for as long as you want. I hope other members answer you as well.

    anita

     

    #366707
    Stephen
    Participant

    I think that Alan Watts quote really speaks to me, i had masqueraded as that sort of person for so long i imagined myself to be that person. You are absolutely right, this will not change overnight and i have tried to set a sort of goal to do atleast one productive positive thing a day, not only for myself but for others. An altruistic act if we will. Whilst i recognize that this was just a mask i put on, i also recognize it is one i was heavily indoctrinated into and i cannot change overnight. I am doing alot of self reflection on why i find myself in this position today and why it has been for so long and i unfortunately cannot share much more on the matter as i don’t understand myself.

    I attended a school that had a high number of islamic pupils where these gangs could be quite violent and racist, this definetly pushed me towards a (at the time) growing right wing movement. I am starting to see that the actions of this demographic at my former school were whats important, not their ethnicity or belief which had no real logical bearing on the actions. I am reading alot about confirmation bias’s and other such psychological tricks we play on ourselves too convice ourselves that we are infact the ego we imagine.

    Thank you for sharing that interesting piece on Watts and thank you for your welcoming reply. To be met with such a warm welcome after hearing my story, it only reinforces my path away from my former life.

    #366719
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephan:

    You are welcome, and thank you for your appreciation.

    When you wrote, in your original post, that your mighty anger is unjust (“this mighty anger that was unjust”), I knew that the origin of your mighty anger- likely in childhood-  was just.

    In your second post, you wrote: “I am doing a lot of self reflection on why I find myself in this position.. I don’t understand myself. I attended a school that had a high number of Islamic pupils where these gangs could be quite violent”- your suggestion is that this experience created your mighty anger and your right-wing affiliation for ten years (?)

    What I have learned is that great anger that expresses itself in the political realm, often in extreme right-wing politics,  is often born in childhood. Children, particularly young children, feel very guilty about feeling anger at a parent, so they push it down, below awareness. Later on, that repressed anger rises up and attaches itself to politics.

    Do you remember any anger as a child, at a parent or at people who you believed harmed your parent/s?

    anita

     

    #366725
    Stephen
    Participant

    Nothing beyond the normal teenager in regards to anger at parents, as an only child i pretty much wanted for nothing though i have never been a materialistic person. The anger was more at the “system” be it school,college then society as a whole. I perceived islam and multiculturalism as a threat to my family i suppose, the right is no different to any political view in the sense that they nit pick certain facts and figures and distort where applicable. I have done it myself as part of this “confirmation bias”. It was certainly a way to channel and vent my anger and maybes a touch of a rebellion element.

    #366732
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephan:

    I am not focused enough to thoroughly answer your recent post, and will be back to you in about 14 hours from now, if not sooner. If you would like to elaborate on the “normal teenager in regard to anger at (your) parents, please do so, it will help me understand you better.

    anita

    #366740
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephan:

    You don’t have to answer any of my questions, of course, here and the one in my previous post:

    “as an only child I pretty much wanted for nothing though I have never been a materialistic person”- but you have been an emotional person all along, we humans are all emotional animals. Did you want for nothing emotionally, as a child?

    “The anger was more at the ‘system’ be it school, college, then society as a whole”- there is plenty of unfairness and injustice everywhere, unfortunately, so I understand a child/ teenager feeling anger at bullies in school and on the streets, at teachers who favor some students and ignore others, and I understand feeling fear of and anger at aggressive people wherever they are, the closer they are, the scarier it is.

    “I perceived Islam and multiculturalism as a threat to my family”- did your family express to you this fear, and what was the fear based on?

    anita

    #366803
    Stephen
    Participant

    Not really, this certainly wasn’t pushed on me by family, and i have always been emotionally independant.

    #366826
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephan:

    “I have always been emotionally independent”- no social animal is emotionally independent. A human is a social animal, so we are emotionally dependent on others to various extents, depending on the circumstances. And every young child is very dependent on his parents in each and every way.

    The title of your thread is “My new hate free life!”. Congratulations for embarking on a new life, and a hate free life! A new life was always my goal. I have learned that a new life for me was not and is not possible unless I look into the old life and learn what happened there.

    It may not be what you want to do, look into the old life more thoroughly. If this is the case, it is fine with me, of course.

    anita

     

     

    #366895
    Stephen
    Participant

    I am doing what i can to wrong the negativity i have put into the world. Today i walked down the street and smiled at everyone. Sure i got some funny looks, but it felt like the right thing to do. It was bizzare, possibly related to the meditation an hour prior?

    #366896
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Stephan:

    I hope other members answer you, but it’s been very slow here lately, and I didn’t want your recent post to go unanswered.

    “A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others”- Dalai Lama

    “Peace begins with a smile”- Mother Teresa.

    anita

    #366898
    Stephen
    Participant

    Thank you for your time Anita, I will update this when appropriate as a way of a documenting my journey.

    #366904
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Stephan. I am glad that you will be documenting your journey here.  I will read your future documentations, and will reply only if you ask for replies, or feedback.

    anita

    #366929
    Peggy
    Participant

    Stephen,

    I know this is late in the day but I wanted to send you a massive CONGRATULATIONS.  Making the switch from negative thinking to positive thinking is one huge leap which can only benefit you.  We all have an ego.  Embrace it.  Let it work for you.  Befriend it.  You are who you are.  Love that person.

    Depression is the opposite of expression.  Keep expressing yourself both through the written word and the spoken word in a way that allows you to stay safe.  (Depression is unexpressed anger/grief).  Responsibility is the opposite of blame.  Continue to take responsibility for yourself.  Brilliant.

    Keep smiling and one day someone like me will smile back.  As the saying goes, if someone hasn’t got a smile, give them yours.

    Lots of love and light

    Peggy

    #366947
    Stephen
    Participant

    “If someone hasn’t got a smile, give them yours”

     

    That is very powerful stuff!

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