Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby andrea on Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:32 am

Thank you Ben and Marian
I have read and reread The Four Agreements many times. In fact the four agreements are posted on a sticky note in front of my computer now as a constant reminder. I found that over time I would slowly forget the four agreements and after a while life would get more complicated and messy. Then I would get an inner nudge to remember them and work on them again. But there would always be one of them that I just couldn’t remember, maybe a different one each time. And I would have to resort to looking them up. And sure enough the one that I couldn’t remember was the one that was causing me the most grief. Some filter was blocking it out and I couldn’t even remember the agreement never mind act upon it. Thus the sticky note reminder now.

I found the Don’t Make Assumptions one to be the most challenging to keep. That filter of Assumption is so sneaky. I found also that when I did manage to reduce the amount of assuming I was doing my mind just quieted down. I was amazed at how much of monkey mind is just assumptions upon assumptions fighting for attention. And with that quietness there is room to hear and see much more clearly. It’s a good skin to shed over and over and over again.

Andrea
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Marian on Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:10 am

Hi Andrea and Ben,

I think the 'taking things personally' is the biggy for me. I remember when I first realised that certain people treated everyone in the same manner - not just me - it was very empowering. Yet having said that, I still forget to remember. I will have to keep up the practice of reminding myself.............Hopefully this discussion will help the process.


Thanks to you both.

Marian
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Doug Marman on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:31 pm

Jonathan,

Thanks for peeling away the layers of terminology.

I found myself connecting immediately to what David Bohm was talking about: the experience of realization.

It is interesting how clarifying and explaining can sometimes be one of the most difficult things, and yet the moment we catch another person's viewpoint, suddenly we are connected directly to their experience.

I'm not sure concepts or ideas have much to do this when we are talking about realization. We just recognize, don't you think?

In that moment, all concepts and ideas fall away. All terminology and language disappears.

Isn't that exactly the experience of realization?

Thanks for peeling away those layers - and a perfect example for this topic we've been discussing.

Doug.
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Doug Marman on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:45 pm

Andrea,

I agree completely with Marian and Ben: Your story of the riding lawnmower was just perfect.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this discussion.

Assumptions seem like skins over our eyes coloring everything we see.

But that moment when our assumptions fall away and we connect to each other - that's the moment of pure awareness.

Thanks.

Doug.
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Ben on Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi Marian and all. Taking things personally is a big one for me too. It was at one stage a major block, i was so easily hurt, sometimes by the most casual of comments by someone. One big gaping wound that continually festered because of my great expertise in turning just about anything into emotional poison and letting it stick to me.

Eventually i decided i didn't want to live in this type of hell any longer, though I can still fall back into it quite easily from time to time but i notice that when i do it is for hardly any time at all, sometimes it may only be for 30 seconds compared to the days or weeks and some of the big ones were for years.

What helped me significantly to more forgiving to the people who I believed to be the main causes of my misery. And forgiving them was important for the process of getting beyond this block. I was reading a book by Dr Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist who sometimes used hypnosis to find out the causes of problems for some of his patients. During some of these hypnotic sessions a master voice would come in out of the blue and answer the doctors questions. One time the master voice described the process of how our lives come about here, all the planning from the higher regions, he said we know before we come here what circumstances we will be placed in and with whomever, a master plan in other words.

I have read similar things in other spiritual books I read but this was the book and the time where i took more notice. Maybe the added comfirmation from the doctors experience helped for me to take more notice.

I thought well if this is the case then the people that have treated me badly had an agreement with me before we were born to play this thing out, so that could mean in a higher region than the physical we are actually comrades helping each other out so we can eventually move into a more spiritual state. When I contemplated this and let it stay with me I was able to easily forgive these people and not make a big deal out of it any longer, even creating a better relationship with some of them and where I could be more normal with them and not a walking, talking, wounded victim. As I write this the words of a song I like comes to mind, 'life is just a simple game'.

Andrea the same has happened to me too, I've read the book 2 or 3 times only to forget one of the agreements not long after. I think I'll stick it to my work desk also.

I suppose not taking things personally is still on the subject of shedding skins and is also a big one like assumptions. I think they are intertwined.

Ben.
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Marian on Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:59 am

"the people that have treated me badly had an agreement with me before we were born to play this thing out"

Hey Ben and all,
Wouldn't it be wonderful - if we could share the above realisation with the person we are experiencing the most difficulty with? What would happen to the game then?

Just me day dreaming :D

Love n all that
Marian
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Jonathan Reams on Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:44 am

Hi Doug,

I agree - concepts and mental ideas can be filters that get in our way, yet they can also be windows into experience and realization. However the realization itself is of a different nature indeed, and has a wholeness to it that the mind cannot grasp totally.

The knowing of soul is like this, whole, and thus the whole of it comes to one once it is grasped.

I just finished a draft of an article that tries to address this distinction in a way. It can be a challenge to write about it in a way that invites the reader through the window the mental images can create and into the realization of the view from soul. But a fun one!

Jonathan
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Marian on Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:33 am

That sounds fun and interesting Jonathan. Hope you get around to sharing it here. :D
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby Jonathan Reams on Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:22 am

Hi Marian,

Thanks for your interest. However it might be a bit much to post, as it is 48 pages! It is also in peer review right now, so it will likely be revised somewhat and if all goes well it will be published in early December. You can access it once it is up at http://integral-review.org
Jonathan
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Re: Shedding Skin - by Doug Marman

Postby andrea on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:57 pm

Hi Ben and all
Like you I think the four agreements are intertwined. Can I choose to honor three of the agreements and choose to ignore one? I think “Always do my best” is the clincher. Once you know the four agreements you are fooling yourself to think you can drop one by choice and still be on that path back to the higher self.

That is where the mind comes into play with its games and we somehow forget one agreement. The mind drops a filter in front of that agreement and we carry blindly on thinking we are on that path but wondering why we are running into no end of troubles. We have fooled ourselves again. Once I read those four agreements, once there was a glimpse of a path of help on the journey back to God it was impossible to deliberately ignore that path. A bit of soul’s pure light had shone thru and once experienced it is impossible to forget. But I think the path back is clouded by filters/skins and we are responsible for doing the work to shed them. Those filters that cloud the path give us the opportunity to do the work required to clean up old karma.

By shedding skins we are also exposing a new layer that may have been buried for lifetimes, It may even feel just like the skin we just shed but something is subtly different .Maybe it is almost exactly the same experience but now we are looking at it with out that one filter we just let go of and can work on the same issue but at a deeper level. Intertwined layers awaiting their turn at our attention.

Michael Newton writes about life between lives in “Journey of Souls”and “Destiny of Souls”. The time when a soul plans their next lifetime with the lessons it chooses for its spiritual unfoldment.

I believe Agreements with other souls are made to help resolve karma and that is what we are experiencing now in this lifetime. I think we get glimpses of the light and sound of god for encouragement and then the cloak of filters and layers of karma come back for us to do our planned work on. I think that when 2 people are involved in a karmic lesson it is good to remember that we each have our own lesson to learn based on our own unique lifetimes of experiences .The other’s lesson may be quite different from ours and they have their own filters and skins to deal with in their own time. It sure opens one up to being more compassionate for their situation and yes does help one out of the victim consciousness. And I think it is that same feeling of compassion being felt for ourselves that is a real step to recognizing and honoring ourselves for “ doing our best”. Aside from recognizing and not wanting to be beating up on others for what ever their experiences might involve, it is nice to not always be beating up on ourselves either.

Andrea
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