What if you actually began to experience bliss, peace, love, joy or happiness? Would it be “too much?” Are there ways in which we, unconsciously, block our own freedom?
What I find from my own looking and facilitating others is that we don’t have to intellectualize these questions. We don’t have to weave ourselves back into some story about how we are blocking these things. We can just take a look with the Inquiries.
Problems keep us focused on something. They keep us seeking for the future, and therefore entangled in suffering thoughts. They give us an identity. Whether it is physical pain, anxiety, an illness, finances, or something else, problems give us something on which to intensely focus or try to fix or change. It keeps us busy. And there is almost always some deficiency story tied to it: “I’m not good enough,” “I’m unsafe,” “I’m sick,” “I’m not happy yet,” etc. The underlying idea is that I really am a deficient self but someday when I fix my problems, I will be happy. That day can’t really come as long as the belief in that self is still operating. Its very basis is deficiency, the belief that something is inherently wrong.
With the Unfindable Inquiry, we just look to see if we can find that deficient self. All the words, pictures and bodily energies that make up that story and that intense focusing on the problem can finally release when the self cannot be found. This is often when we start to experience more bliss, peace, love, joy or happiness. It can also be when we start trying to find a new problem to take the place of the old one. We can even feel like we are “not deserving” of freedom, another deficiency story, another apparent block.
But once we see that the real freedom is not in fixing the problems as they arise, one by one, but by finding no self in the midst of it all, everything is allowed naturally. There is less and less movement to change anything or to fix ourselves, because the very notion of a self that could fix how we feel and think cannot be found. If you misinterpret what I’m saying here as “Oh God, I am blocking my bliss,” and then find yourself swimming in that deficiency story, just look for that self, “The one who is blocking the bliss.”
Looking happens. Thoughts, emotions and sensations shift. But no self can be pinpointed. And that’s when the bodily energies that are blocking the experience of bliss, peace, love, joy or happiness become unblocked, just by feeling and letting those energies arise without the belief in a self (instead of trying to manage and change how we think and feel). That’s when it all begins to flow more naturally. That’s when everything spiritual teachings are saying becomes our experience, instead of someone else’s experience that we read in a book, on a website, or hear about in a video.