Knots

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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:14 am

rachmiel wrote:I'm wondering to what extent these knots can ever truly be untied and "healed?"

Absolutely.
I.e. is it worth the time and energy to work at unraveling them?

Major blocker are certainly worth removing.

I'm wondering if the "solution" to the suffering that these knots call forth (when triggered) is not to figure them out, psycho-analyze them, work to undo them

Figuring out is nothing but seeing directly. To unbind a knot is just to know it. They are caused by conscious, hidden in unconscious, and effecting conscious. Like the shape of "V". Shedding light at the "storage" releases all misconceptions causing the know.
rather, to heal the medium in which they arise, the mind itself, moment-to-moment thought, consciousness ... through meditation and mindfulness.

All the links making knots are held by the consciousness. On releasing all misconceptions, knots are released without the need of investigating them. That is the purpose of meditation and mindfulness.
Does "healing one's consciousness" via meditation/mindfulness take care of the knots? Perhaps not in the sense of un-knotting them ...

Yes, it un-knots them.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:31 pm

oushi wrote:
rachmiel wrote:I'm wondering to what extent these knots can ever truly be untied and "healed?"

Absolutely.
I.e. is it worth the time and energy to work at unraveling them?

Major blocker are certainly worth removing.

I'm wondering if the "solution" to the suffering that these knots call forth (when triggered) is not to figure them out, psycho-analyze them, work to undo them

Figuring out is nothing but seeing directly. To unbind a knot is just to know it. They are caused by conscious, hidden in unconscious, and effecting conscious. Like the shape of "V". Shedding light at the "storage" releases all misconceptions causing the know.
rather, to heal the medium in which they arise, the mind itself, moment-to-moment thought, consciousness ... through meditation and mindfulness.

All the links making knots are held by the consciousness. On releasing all misconceptions, knots are released without the need of investigating them. That is the purpose of meditation and mindfulness.
Does "healing one's consciousness" via meditation/mindfulness take care of the knots? Perhaps not in the sense of un-knotting them ...

Yes, it un-knots them.

I would like to think your answers are correct. They make sense to me, but I've learned that "making intuitive sense" doesn't, alas, necessarily equate to being true.

In the physical world, if you have a blockage up near the top of your V, no matter what you do at the bottom to ensure that the flow is unimpeded and pure, the blockage will still be there.

The questions are:

1. Does it *matter* if that blockage is there if the flow is unimpeded/pure?

2. Is it even useful to draw an analogy between a physical blockage and a psychological blockage?

3. Is it true, as I think you're suggesting, that the blockage will un-block on its own if the flow at the bottom of the V remains unimpeded/pure long enough?

Yeah, yeah ... I know: Too much in the head I am. What can I say, it's a blessing ... and a curse. ;-)
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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:30 pm

rachmiel wrote:1. Does it *matter* if that blockage is there if the flow is unimpeded/pure?

If the flow is pure there are no blocker, or those are not blockers anymore.
rachmiel wrote:2. Is it even useful to draw an analogy between a physical blockage and a psychological blockage?

It think it may be, but you'll have to ask experts in physical stuff.
rachmiel wrote:3. Is it true, as I think you're suggesting, that the blockage will un-block on its own if the flow at the bottom of the V remains unimpeded/pure long enough?

It will unblock if the flow at the top of the V (entrance point) will be unimpeded long enough, because this will lead to unblocking knots at the bottom of V. So, in the same instance the flow is pure at the bottom, knots are gone. Take it as a V shaped pipe, which gathered a sediment a the bottom. If pure water starts running through the pipe, it is a matter of time when the sediment is gone.
rachmiel wrote:Yeah, yeah ... I know: Too much in the head I am. What can I say, it's a blessing ... and a curse.

See it as a high pressure of the water in the pipe. ;)

You can "dive in" and remove some old sediment, but it will still keep gathering there. Or you can cleanse the water coming in. The first one represents a psychological approach, the second one a spiritual one.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:17 pm

Aha, I was interpreting your V a bit differently than you intended. You are afaiu talking about flushing out the detritus that gathers at the bottom of the V with a good long pure forceful flow at the top of the V. Right?

Let us, of course remember, that these are all metaphors ... there is ultimately no V, no knot, no flow, no flushing, etc. Yes?
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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:43 pm

rachmiel wrote: You are afaiu talking about flushing out the detritus that gathers at the bottom of the V with a good long pure forceful flow at the top of the V. Right?

Not really, there is no need to force anything. It's about the purity of the "incoming". Normally those incoming experiences are contaminated by ignorance, which end up creating knots which are only adding up to the confusion. The sediment will dissolve with time, but from the moment you start purifying the incoming, all that was gathered stops influencing you.
Normally a result of the knot makes a loop and come back again as an incoming experience. That's the whole problem. Knots are normally harmless. It's the moment in which they become a part of the present experience which creates problem, right? Why are they used? Why, and how, do people reach for those knots? Because that's how the system works. We experience something consciously, and all the information and conclusions are gathered in the unconscious. Now when we experience something similar again in the future, we reach for those stored memories to complement our response. It would be great if we could make a choice here, be we cannot most of the time. This response is triggered unconsciously, and manifests as care, unease, stress, anger etc... We pick this experience up consciousness starting to produce thoughts on it. This way, we never know when will something arise in our mind. Being mindful enables us to recognize this arising. This is nothing but a simplification of Twelve Nidanas, but made to fit our issue.

Now, if you mindfully repeat the process again, not relaying on the past knowledge, you will remove the knot, or just change it to a new one.
The mother of all knots is ignorance, which enables the whole process, making it spin.

there is ultimately no V, no knot, no flow, no flushing, etc. Yes?

Depends on what you mean by ultimately. I can say that ultimately we don't know, and that's the proper answer to the problem of ignorance, as all knots are made up from the conviction that we truly know something.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:07 pm

oushi wrote:The sediment will dissolve with time,

The "sediment" of a deeply traumatic experience can take a lifetime to dissolve ... or it might never fully dissolve. Which means that it is present -- if unconsciously -- all that time.

but from the moment you start purifying the incoming, all that was gathered stops influencing you.

This sounds like living in pure nonjudgmental awareness, letting "what is" simply be. And, yes, in this state you are not thrown hither and thither by knots. But these knots still exist, still arise. They just flow unimpeded "in one ear and out the other." I'm talking about unravelling the knots, which is, I think, quite different.

Being mindful enables us to recognize this arising.

Yes, and not grasp/avert it. But it still exists, the knot (conditioned psychoemotional reflex). Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.
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Re: Knots

Postby MalaBeads » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:21 pm

rachmiel wrote:Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.


This is a interesting discussion. And I think you are correct in the way you just posed this question. My response would be: it depends. It depends on how the contents are worked with. Many "issues" seem to take lifetimes to resolve which implies that not all "issues" are brain-based but indeed are carried from lifetime to lifetime in the mind.

I actually don't know the answer but its a good question to ask. Of course, the answer presupposes that a) there is a continuity of something between lifetimes, indeed that multiple lives occur and that b) the brain is not the same as mind.

Good inquiry. Buddhists of course do believe in both.
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Re: Knots

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:25 pm

Just my two cents, but part of the issue here is that you are equating these things with something "inside" a single human physical brain, within one lifetime.

From the perspective of most western psychology, I believe this kind of healing is possible, i.e. to completely rid yourself of the knots.

From a Buddhist perspective though, you are made mostly of those knots, and "mind" is a larger thing, with far more continuity and fluidity than either your physical brain, or your current existence, in this sense, your chances of fully eradicating those knots in one life is probably quite small. I think a better course of action is to view it as creating less causes for new knots, creating new causes that lead to fewer knots, and letting the knots unravel.
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Re: Knots

Postby anjali » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:27 pm

rachmiel wrote:Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.


Take a look at the book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences, by Peter Levine. It's a classic.
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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:50 pm

rachmiel wrote:The "sediment" of a deeply traumatic experience can take a lifetime to dissolve ... or it might never fully dissolve. Which means that it is present -- if unconsciously -- all that time.

No question about it. I was talking about the result of purification. If you remove the ignorance, then it will dissolve with time.
rachmiel wrote:This sounds like living in pure nonjudgmental awareness, letting "what is" simply be. And, yes, in this state you are not thrown hither and thither by knots. But these knots still exist, still arise. They just flow unimpeded "in one ear and out the other." I'm talking about unravelling the knots, which is, I think, quite different.

In pure nonjudgmental awareness, those knows dissolve at arising. And because of relearning process, they are weakened until gone.
Unraveling knots can happen simply through being mindful of you emotions. Actually, most of thoughts that arise is triggered by a emotion caused by a knot. If you can notice it, you can "shift back the tape" and look for the cause of a thought or feeling. You can also try to analyse your present mind state, or directly take care of those knots you are aware of. By going to the roots, it may appear that the knot is inconsistent, based on misunderstanding of the past event which you can now correct. This way you can catch only those big fishes, or spend few lifetimes to catch them all.
Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.

Once more, yes it can wipe it entirely. It is done through knowing the empty nature of those knots (and not only). For the whole life you were afraid of a snakes at night. Through shedding some light at the spot it appeared that it was only a shadow. In the same way, you can wipe out the knots. Knots are based on presumption that we know something to be true. In the moment you see that your conclusions were wrong, knots are removed. Good example is a knot made of view. We hold onto it, thinking it's true. But when we are proven wrong, we let go of that view. Now, codependent existence of everything in the universe, proves that we are always missing truth, because to fully know one thing we would have to know everything. Because it is impossible, we agreed upon simplifications. In our world truth is just an agreement. Socrates was not a stupid guy by saying "I know that I know nothing". If you know nothing, the "true base" of every knot is questioned, and dissolves having no true justification.
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Re: Knots

Postby LastLegend » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:44 pm

rachmiel wrote:Yes, and not grasp/avert it. But it still exists, the knot (conditioned psychoemotional reflex). Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.


The answer is yes. Changing the way you think or see things will have direct effects on your brain-this is known as CBT. The brain is quite passive; it responds to how we think and behave. If we don't create knots by stop grasping to the our thoughts and emotions, there will be no knots or blockage there. So then the brain no longer responds to those knots or blockage. Then the cycle is broken.
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Re: Knots

Postby undefineable » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:11 am

oushi wrote:
rachmiel wrote:The "sediment" of a deeply traumatic experience can take a lifetime to dissolve ... or it might never fully dissolve. Which means that it is present -- if unconsciously -- all that time.

No question about it. I was talking about the result of purification. If you remove the ignorance, then it will dissolve with time.
rachmiel wrote:This sounds like living in pure nonjudgmental awareness, letting "what is" simply be. And, yes, in this state you are not thrown hither and thither by knots. But these knots still exist, still arise. They just flow unimpeded "in one ear and out the other." I'm talking about unravelling the knots, which is, I think, quite different.

In pure nonjudgmental awareness, those knows dissolve at arising. And because of relearning process, they are weakened until gone.
Unraveling knots can happen simply through being mindful of you emotions. Actually, most of thoughts that arise is triggered by a emotion caused by a knot. If you can notice it, you can "shift back the tape" and look for the cause of a thought or feeling. You can also try to analyse your present mind state, or directly take care of those knots you are aware of. By going to the roots, it may appear that the knot is inconsistent, based on misunderstanding of the past event which you can now correct. This way you can catch only those big fishes, or spend few lifetimes to catch them all.
Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.

Once more, yes it can wipe it entirely. It is done through knowing the empty nature of those knots (and not only). For the whole life you were afraid of a snakes at night. Through shedding some light at the spot it appeared that it was only a shadow. In the same way, you can wipe out the knots. Knots are based on presumption that we know something to be true. In the moment you see that your conclusions were wrong, knots are removed. Good example is a knot made of view. We hold onto it, thinking it's true. But when we are proven wrong, we let go of that view. Now, codependent existence of everything in the universe, proves that we are always missing truth, because to fully know one thing we would have to know everything. Because it is impossible, we agreed upon simplifications. In our world truth is just an agreement. Socrates was not a stupid guy by saying "I know that I know nothing". If you know nothing, the "true base" of every knot is questioned, and dissolves having no true justification.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:51 pm

oushi wrote:
rachmiel wrote:The "sediment" of a deeply traumatic experience can take a lifetime to dissolve ... or it might never fully dissolve. Which means that it is present -- if unconsciously -- all that time.

No question about it. I was talking about the result of purification. If you remove the ignorance, then it will dissolve with time.
rachmiel wrote:This sounds like living in pure nonjudgmental awareness, letting "what is" simply be. And, yes, in this state you are not thrown hither and thither by knots. But these knots still exist, still arise. They just flow unimpeded "in one ear and out the other." I'm talking about unravelling the knots, which is, I think, quite different.

In pure nonjudgmental awareness, those knows dissolve at arising. And because of relearning process, they are weakened until gone.
Unraveling knots can happen simply through being mindful of you emotions. Actually, most of thoughts that arise is triggered by a emotion caused by a knot. If you can notice it, you can "shift back the tape" and look for the cause of a thought or feeling. You can also try to analyse your present mind state, or directly take care of those knots you are aware of. By going to the roots, it may appear that the knot is inconsistent, based on misunderstanding of the past event which you can now correct. This way you can catch only those big fishes, or spend few lifetimes to catch them all.
Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.

Once more, yes it can wipe it entirely. It is done through knowing the empty nature of those knots (and not only). For the whole life you were afraid of a snakes at night. Through shedding some light at the spot it appeared that it was only a shadow. In the same way, you can wipe out the knots. Knots are based on presumption that we know something to be true. In the moment you see that your conclusions were wrong, knots are removed. Good example is a knot made of view. We hold onto it, thinking it's true. But when we are proven wrong, we let go of that view. Now, codependent existence of everything in the universe, proves that we are always missing truth, because to fully know one thing we would have to know everything. Because it is impossible, we agreed upon simplifications. In our world truth is just an agreement. Socrates was not a stupid guy by saying "I know that I know nothing". If you know nothing, the "true base" of every knot is questioned, and dissolves having no true justification.

It might be that your understanding of knots and how awareness can eventually un-knot them is sound. But, in the reality of self/psychology -- which is, after all, where we (I, ego) live -- un-knotting is a very difficult and complex process, one that does not normally get completed (or even close) during a lifetime. Which is, of course, no reason *not* to pursue it, if it is indeed sound.

I just wish there could be a quick fix for when the demons arise ... :stirthepot:
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:59 pm

anjali wrote:
rachmiel wrote:Again, I'm inquiring into whether meditation/mindfulness can wipe it from the brain entirely, for good.


Take a look at the book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences, by Peter Levine. It's a classic.

Downloaded and began reading it yesterday. It had never occurred to me that perceived danger has three, not just two responses: fight, flight, and surrender (immobility, freezing, giving up and waiting to be consumed by the danger). It is the author's contention that "the ability to go into and come out of this natural response [surrender] is the key to avoiding the debilitating effects of trauma."

Thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:03 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Just my two cents, but part of the issue here is that you are equating these things with something "inside" a single human physical brain, within one lifetime.

From the perspective of most western psychology, I believe this kind of healing is possible, i.e. to completely rid yourself of the knots.

From a Buddhist perspective though, you are made mostly of those knots, and "mind" is a larger thing, with far more continuity and fluidity than either your physical brain, or your current existence, in this sense, your chances of fully eradicating those knots in one life is probably quite small. I think a better course of action is to view it as creating less causes for new knots, creating new causes that lead to fewer knots, and letting the knots unravel.

Good points, JD. You're right, I'm thinking single mind, one lifetime. That's all I *know* ... if I could even say I know that.

It is helpful to remember that what I (this mind) thinks of as "self" is, in fact, largely a collection of knots. I had a therapist who used to say: Self is where you stubbed your toe.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:14 pm

Description of knots (though not called knots) from Waking the Tiger:

"They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved and discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits."

This definition works quite well for me. Though the mechanism -- what causes the freezing/trapping, how it can resolve and discharge -- is still very mysterious.
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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:15 pm

rachmiel wrote:It might be that your understanding of knots and how awareness can eventually un-knot them is sound. But, in the reality of self/psychology -- which is, after all, where we (I, ego) live -- un-knotting is a very difficult and complex process, one that does not normally get completed (or even close) during a lifetime. Which is, of course, no reason *not* to pursue it, if it is indeed sound.

It is as complex as you make it, and it is as long as you make it.
Knots differ from each other. Some may be easy, some difficult to undo. I am not talking about approaching them individually, because that will be only a temporal solution.
I just wish there could be a quick fix for when the demons arise ... :stirthepot:

Like I said before, there is.
Though the mechanism -- what causes the freezing/trapping, how it can resolve and discharge -- is still very mysterious.

Conscious - > unconscious -> conscious (V). Very effective, two level system. Not so mysterious really.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:45 pm

oushi wrote:It is as complex as you make it, and it is as long as you make it.

This seems overly facile to me, Oushi.

First, there are degrees of knotting. A slap from mommy, a gang rape. Not all knots are equal in complexity, intensity, knottiness.

Secondly, who or what is this "you" that can make the process of de-knotting complex or long? If "I" am merely a grasping/averting of skandhas, there is no actual agent to make anything happen.
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Re: Knots

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:05 pm

rachmiel wrote:This seems overly facile to me, Oushi.

How can something be simple, if you disallow it to be simple? Delusion is not our natural state, thus some kind of effort is needed to introduce delusion, on which we have to persist to sustain it.
First, there are degrees of knotting. A slap from mommy, a gang rape. Not all knots are equal in complexity, intensity, knottiness.

And the solution unknots them all, without differentiating.
Secondly, who or what is this "you" that can make the process of de-knotting complex or long? If "I" am merely a grasping/averting of skandhas, there is no actual agent to make anything happen.

The solution is also applicable to the knot of "I". Knot that is indispensable in the process of creating new knots. You can go straight to this "I" knot and remove it if you can. If you would be certain that there is no agent making thing happen, then you wouldn't have problems with knots in the first place, right?
We already know what needs to be done, now comes the question "how to do it?". The answer appears in previous posts, but to make it more trustworthy I will say that the solution requires total honesty applied according to the practitioners capacity. Analyse the mind flow and draw definitive conclusions only if you are 100% sure, otherwise admit that you don't know. There is a set of norms that we deeply believe to be true. Leaning on it, we decide what is true, and what is false, what is right, and what is wrong etc.
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Re: Knots

Postby rachmiel » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:20 pm

oushi wrote:
rachmiel wrote:This seems overly facile to me, Oushi.

How can something be simple, if you disallow it to be simple?

Facile, not simple.

It's simple to build a 100-foot hill from a pile of pebbles: Just add one pebble at a time.

But ... implying that this is an easy process is what I'd call facile. It is, in fact, exceedingly arduous. And that's what I'm hearing in your responses: a casualness that belies the arduousness and complexity of the reality. It comes off to me like a theoretician outlining a simple N-step procedure to get over traumatic memories of The Holocaust, perhaps without having been through anything like a holocaust himself. Mind doesn't roll that way!

This is, of course, my interpretation of your words. And all interpretations are wrong (though some are imo less and others more wrong). :-)
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