Why are we strongly affected when we lose something we own?

BeiYin: “Why are we strongly affected when we lose something we own, being that much identified with it? It’s because what had filled them up leaves now an empty space and so a lack of existence. This even happens with dreams and fantasies!

I think it’s very hard for us not to fill up our existence via identifying with something on the outside. And thus we suffer so much when ‘whatever’ we identified with is somehow taken away from us. Our best animal friend, a good friend, a lover, a parent, a child, our home, our job, our concepts, our illusions, etc. So when something we identified with is no longer there for us (how it was before), then it does leave a big empty space for us. The normal tendency during times like these is to grieve the loss and to feel alone, but also these kinds of events can be creative times for us, because we can use them to turn back to ourselves in a profound way, looking to the inside to discover something more essential that isn’t dependent upon outside things.

We know that life is constantly changing, we see people being born and dying each day, yet despite this obvious fact, we still try to hold onto what we like on the outside like it/they will last forever. And then when something falls through our fingers, we have our strong reactions desperately trying to get things back the way they were or to find a substitute. Each time I have went through a period like this, I have seen different aspects about my own clinging and fear of the emptiness that is felt without having that thing to hold onto which was previously giving me identification. Looking back I see that after a loss (real or perceived), then I went through a period of grieving and afterwards let go of what I was identified with, as holding it I could see was only causing me to suffer. After each experience like this, I have felt a stronger connection to the inside of myself, I think because I let go of a part of the outside that I was clinging to, thus freeing some of my energy. Reviewing these times, I noticed I had come out of the emptiness by latching onto yet another thing I was holding, apparently not quite ready to sit with the emptiness. I see that one will become ready to sit with the emptiness when one has emptied oneself of all those old values.

I’ve noticed that through each period like this in my life, I have come out the other side being more aware of myself and also of my tendency to want to drown out the emptiness by filling it with something else. In my last episode I saw in a more general way just how much I was identifying with all kinds of things on the outside, and was dependent upon having or getting those things to give me my good feelings and what an error it was. I saw the truth of the ephemeral nature of all outside forms, even including how I saw myself! What has really helped me this time to not fill up the empty space is realizing the only thing that I can truly rely upon and won’t ever leave me is inside of myself and to access this I have to be empty.

BeiYin: And then it might occur that having lost one’s illusions, that the loser hates the one who has caused this loss, having brought down the dreamer to reality!

I don’t see that I have ever ‘lost’ an illusion. What has happened to me is that the illusion I was holding became apparent to me, when I had unpleasant internal reactions that were triggered when the face of life changed around me. Looking at my own reaction, I eventually came to the conclusion that I was causing my own misery by holding the illusion, and so then made the decision to drop it. So an illusion isn’t lost, one drops it with one’s decision. I have never felt like a ‘loser’ after having dropped an illusion, quite the contrary… Is there then a winner? If one has seen through one’s illusion, then how could one possibly give fault or blame to somebody on the outside for being the cause of it, and then taking the next ludicrous step to hate them? This would be like somebody blaming God for the destruction that came, and then hating God…

I disagree that someone else can bring a dreamer down into reality. I see that dreamers have to take themselves out of their own dream. Yes, reality can interrupt the dreamer’s dream, and then the dreamer will have to come back to earth to deal with ‘the actual happening’. But I do see is that what most dreamer’s do after a ‘reality interruption’, is that they find another more subtle way to enter back into the world of dreams. Eventually the dreamer will get tired of all the suffering caused from the disparity between one’s dream and reality and over time will realize that the dreaming itself is what causes the suffering. When one sees one’s reality clearly, then they will be very content to just express oneself in the moment to what is actually happening NOW.

Betsy

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