My Inner State is Chaotic

Thank you for looking at my email. I came across a video on youtube of an audio version of a nice woman reading a diary or journal that you wrote about your experience, and have listened to it a few more times. What you were talking about makes a lot of sense to me, but where I'm at is that everything in my life seems to be in a freefall and has been for some time now. Not only are exterior circumstances extremely challenging, my inner state is chaotic and I feel like I'm continuously being squeezed and freefalling into a hole right in the center of myself. Meanwhile, life continues.

My question is what to do with this, if my visible choices seem to be to just try to open up further into the hole, or try to maintain my family life which seems to require some resistance to the pull? I'm pretty much terrified all the time, but somehow maintaining something that looks halfway normal according to others. I always heard and have read that family life is compatible, but I seem to be faced with a choice.

I know this is the first time we're communicating, but I thank you for taking a few moments to consider responding to my inquiry. I came across the youtube video while viewing some of John Wheeler's videos, which have been helpful.

A: I'm very moved by your email. Clearly you are having some challenging experiences, but I want you to know that you are not alone in what you are going through. I think this is a pretty common experience, not that it makes it any easier. It's just nice to know you can talk to people who understand.

I've heard that YouTube video you refer to but I don't remember it, so I'm not sure what I was saying, but I have covered a lot of ground in ten years so it may or may not even be valid! I know for sure that I used to write a lot about how great it all is, and not much about the struggles. But now I am beginning to address the struggles more directly because of things life threw at me, which I'm sure you understand.

One really difficult thing about being a seeker or student of self-knowledge is that it really goes against the grain of society. Virtually no one understands what you're doing. I find it frustrating not to be able to talk to any kind of health professional about it at all. When I am feeling really solid in the knowing of myself as Self and not this body/mind, any psych doctor would call it dissociation and diagnose me as having a severe problem. And sometimes, when I am feeling "close but no cigar," it can be terrifying, like the goal I have set for myself has turned out to be....insanity! I'm sure you have felt this too.

I think this might be the hole you are talking about? There are definitely times when it feels like there is nothing there, like we are fooling ourselves with all this spiritual "I am the One Consciousness" stuff, especially if the knowledge is not really solid yet. And then comes the doubt, of course, where we question why we aren't doing life like everyone else does it! Why are they all so happy, right? And it is times that these doubts come that it feels like one is falling with nothing to hold on to. But you do have something to hold on to, and by grace we have these wonderful teachers and the ability to hear their words online any time we want. And those words remind us that we are not alone, we are not crazy, and this is REAL.

I'm sure you've seen my links on my website to
James Swartz – he's a great resource. And someone else that I endorse is Swami Sarvapriyananda – several people recommended him to me recently and his YouTubes are incredible. Both of these people go further than John Wheeler goes – they address the experience of the human being, and give you tools to address the dual experience we have of being both the Self and a person. I would recommend checking out both James and the Swami. It might even be fun for you to catch up with James in person at one of his upcoming events. He's great to be around. And you would be with other people who "get it."

In terms of your life responsibilities – it's best to just keep on keepin' on with them. It's your dharma. James Swartz does a really good job of explaining dharma and karma, and the importance of doing your duty. Everything is in your life because it can't be any other way. You do not have to choose between your family/normal life and continuing your self-inquiry. It's challenging to do both at once, but I believe that you will discover it is possible. Listen to a whole series of James Swartz on the Bhagavad Gita. It's all about this! You are not the only one with this challenge.

I'm concerned about your use of the term "freefall" and I hope you are not in serious trouble mentally. Like I said before, it's hard to find anyone in the medical arena to help. I recently found something really helpful after trying anti-depressants for a few days and not being able to tolerate the side effects. It is amino acid therapy, and can be read about in Julia Ross' book "The Mood Cure." It has helped me immensely! And it's cheap and you can self-diagnose. You can even get all the information online without even reading the book.

I found that I had to address my mood or I was not capable of doing my self-inquiry. So I would encourage you to check it out if this sounds like it applies to you at all. I really understand the "chaotic inner state" thing, but I do want to assure you that there is total peace and freedom at the end of the seeking. Don't give up on that. It's real.

Please let me know if I can be of further help. I'd love to have you keep up a correspondence with me. It sounds like you are on the brink of some big breakthroughs. I'm here for you.