On the Sofa with Paul

Saturday, 21st of August, 2010

A: Good Morning Paul! How are you today?

P: Good Morning, Geli! I am doing very well, thank you. And how are you doing?

A: It is two o clock in the afternoon here and I am glad that you are finally awake so I can meet you, especially here on the sofa. Other than that I am pretty well today since it is my day off and I can do whatever I please to do.

P: Yes, it is morning here for me, (8 AM), and it rained much of the night. This seemed very nice, although it woke me one time in the middle of the night. Fortunately, I got back to sleep, and managed to get here to meet you. I am pleased to be able to have this exchange with you today.

A: I am very much looking forward how I will experience this because we have the special connection to each other.
I wanted to share something that came to my mind this morning, may I?

P:  Yes, of course.

A: For the first time in many, many years I remembered that today is my grandmother´s birthday. Her name was Elisabeth, like my daughter´s name. She passed away four weeks after my daughter was born. When she died I couldn´t really be sad, because I disliked her strongly for her actions. My brother tends to tell me that I act like her, and this is for sure not meant as a compliment.
Now, today, I thought of her and of the empty space she left. And suddenly all anger at her was blown away and I felt warmth and being connected.
The warmth stays with me and it is not important anymore what she did, it kind of dropped off. Can you say this?

P: Yes, it seems that the actions and behaviors were fleeting things, but the sense of being and the life you sense from her is true. This points to a true experience of love. Since we are both listening to John Welwood, it reminds me of his definition of love, which is the experience of warmth and openness. Since you now remembered this birthday, it is as if the unimportant thoughts and memories were swept away, and the most important connection now shines through. As I read your account, a sense of warmth is felt in me as well, near the area of the heart.

A: What is the “account”?

P: I simply mean your telling of how your experience was.

A: May this be a hint that the energy fields, created by words, do carry the quality of the moment, they came into form?

P: Yes, our words, our thoughts certainly enter our experience and in my case, get in the way often of the simple feeling that is there “underneath.” I catch myself repeatingly interfering with the simple, natural quality of life by thinking and projecting too much, especially on other people. Unfortunately, you have been included in this when I use memories to relate to you. Memories are always old and conditioned, and I notice I also make the mistake of projecting notions of “always” and “never” when I think about others, and even myself. Of course, these mind/egoic patterns cannot just be pushed away, but rather they must be faced and felt. When these patterns subside, then the true sense of life, warmth and openness is there, free of my mind’s workings.

A: Ja. I know what you are talking about. There are times when I react to what you have done or said totally out of my ego´s conditioning.
At this times it seems that I maintain a relationship to my neurotic way to live, rather than a relationship to you, Paul.
Even though I know that I am repeating patterns it is hard at times to step out, especially if I experience a strong sensation in my body. It seems that the pain keeps me on the old tracks.
And then there are times when I am very open and present with you. All fears and doubts are dissolving into being. I relax into being with you. I am in a kind of Now-flowing with you, as Meister Eckhart has put it.

P: I realize as I read what you wrote, that I could say the same thing. Watching you write is, in a way, like observing myself through you. It is,  as you say, a very open and present feeling. For me, my own neurotic patterns are unfortunately amplified by my elevated blood pressure condition, and with your help, I will learn how to be with it, and ultimately find the freedom to be without it. You have shown so much patience to me, allowing me to behave in VERY unenlightened, and hurtful ways. Your true warm being is a true light in my life. I think relationships can be a place of great beauty and connectedness, but we have to be ever aware of the need to grow and learn about ourselves, even the painful/ugly side of ourselves. But true love, which is true warmth and openness is worth the consequences it brings along the way. To be with you, without history in the Now, the Present Moment, is to allow awakening to be and flow through us. In other words, it always feels to me that to be with you is the real reason I am allowed to live.

A: I have heard you telling this to me before. I would like to know if you can tell me who is the one to allow you to live? Maybe it is a communication gap because of the different languages?

P: It is a sense, a feeling from the inside. When thought is not running things, there is a quiet sense that this warmth that flows to you from my inside, that the “real” reason for being alive is this. Another way to express it is that I realize that love is what matters most to me when the egoic engine is finally at rest. It comes through as a warmth that does not compare itself to anything else. Our language differences and cultures do, of course, always have to be considered any and every time we communicate. But even from within the English language tradition, my expression is at best a pointer. For me, love, when not blocked by the ego, is “everything.”

A:  Thank you. I understand now. I can relate to what you wrote very well. You Paul, are pointing to and stimulating my connection to Life at the same time. May I quote John Welwood, “According to an ancient truth, known as the law of three every relationship consists of a trinity: two poles and an overarching purpose or reconciling principle that binds them together.”  He expresses what I have felt. For the first time in my life I am aware of the overarching purpose, being reconnected to Life. And you strongly point to this again and again. I just luv it.

P: Yes, that is it. There is this overarching purpose, this “drive” that seems to be coming from the very inside of the life energy’s source that fills us with this sense. It is as if Life wants to “use us” for some wonderful purpose. However, Eckhart has pointed out that we are Life, as opposed to thinking we have a life. This beautiful play of the life energy as it manifests in the love impulse is what we are fundamentally. To someone who is not in a love partnership, I would not say that they cannot find this vibrant impulse of life energy. It would simply need to flow through some other means. I do not consider myself any sort of expert here. I can only say that a connection with two people “works” when each one brings their own strongly felt sense of openness already in themselves to the other. Then, one is not dependent on the other to fill the emptiness that seems to be the human condition when it is run by the egoic “machine.”

A:  Unlike Eckhart Tolle who awakened in one night and as much as I know without a partner at his side, I experience myself as relatively helpless, if I have to look at patterns or conditioning of my ego on my own. With a little help and triggering from you and others, I am much more able to let old repressed patterns and pain unfold.
It is as if the process is easier, more effortless when I am in the presence of another one. When it comes to feeling Life itself I can easily experience the flow myself, as well as the “soft spot” behind or underneath each form.

P: This is a very good point. We know Eckhart is a seemingly special case, considering how this awakening process  apparently came to him in one night, albeit a probably painful one, at least at first. Often I can sense this openness with you so quickly that the egoic patterns can just disappear when we are with each other. Of course, there are times when my ego is just too strong and dominating, and I have to put myself, you and even others through more pain, or at least discomfort by my behaviors and words. I am never very pleased with myself that this old way of reacting to others and the world is still active in me, at least at this time. But the most amazing thing that I have watched during the time of our relationship has been being able to sense strong connections with each other even when I am by myself. What I mean is that sometimes I can tell that there is a distinctive energy in me that corresponds to something happening in you, and vice versa. Maybe some research has been done in this area, but I prefer to simply not know why it happens and allow it to just take place in me and be joyful with the sense it creates inside. The significance of “inside connection” is important to me considering that we are back for a temporary span of time on the two sides of the ocean again. When each of us still brings our sense of love, warmth and openness to each other, even over a computer connection like Skype, I am grateful that it can still happen in some way.

A:  Yes and Yes and Yes.
What a very peaceful way to communicate, Paul!
May we agree that we are taking a break here?  I would be very happy if we continue our exchange and meet again on the sofa!

P: Yes, I think this is a wonderful way to communicate, and I am thankful that you and Michaela have come up with this format. It is a great experience. I am ready to end this conversation here and would welcome the opportunity to explore more with you in this way (as well as other ways too, of course)!

A: Thank you very much! See you soon! Namaste.

P: Namaste to you, Geli!

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1 Response to On the Sofa with Paul

  1. Johanna says:

    What a lovely, sensitive exchange! I feel sad at my lack of fluency in talking about my inner life!

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