Wednesday, June 02, 2010


To act out patterns usually feels good. We give our patterns what they want and so we feel like we are getting what we want: such as when we act in anger and get the other person to pay attention and listen to us.

Enmeshment is very simple: the actions of another cause certain feelings in us which we find unpleasant. We then react, either by overt provocation and confrontation, or by "withholding," withdrawing emotionally (sulking) and so controlling the other through creating distance. The aim is to generate feelings in the other that match our own.

This happens when honest and open communication breaks down, for whatever reason (usually our own fear of vulnerability and exposure).

Simply put, if we feel angry about what another does to us, instead of either taking the anger away and processing it alone, or communicating the anger to the other openly and softly, we try to provoke anger in the other so that they feel the same way we do. We have then "communicated" our feelings to the other, in the least honest (yet also most "direct") fashion. This is also known as "off-loading."

Letting our patterns control us means we get the "feel-good" of indignation or self-pity; but instead of being driven by patterns (which is like the donkey trying to escape the whip), we can give in to them without acting them out. That giving in causes us, as awareness, to sink deeper into the patterns, into what's beneath them. Beneath anger is usually fear of some kind; beneath self-pity a deep sorrow, and so on.

This doesn't feel good, because we are going into the very experience that our patterns were designed to take and keep us out of. But once we allow that experience, our patterns begin to dissolve: because they are no longer needed.


Toby James said...

hey. toby here. i hung in sweda for a bit last year before my life took over. im taking all my experience, knowledge, patterns and hopefullness for the future into the unknown and documenting it.

i am in LA currently and will be sure to make my way up the coast. Hopefully into vancouver, BC eventually.

Stuff is on the move.

Jasun said...

Hi Toby

your thread is still here if you ever need it

Ryan said...

Like the old saying, "No pain, no gain".

Before my more recent-ish introspective endeavors, I was a highly active athlete, expert at the external activities. One sport I used to excel at was running. In training I used to hit "the wall" quite often. If you don't know, this is when the mind and body tell you to give up and that you cant take anymore. If you persist, within reason, you can overcome "the wall". Realizing that the wall was merely a resistance to that which is not "normal". Just last weekend I did a sixty mile ride from SF over Mt. Tam and back. About 1/3 of the ride is "wall", being uphill. Nowadays, I just laugh at myself because I know it is all in my head.

The point is that this feeling of achievement is by resisting the patterns. I like to use this as a way to push myself to do things outside my comfort zone, so long as there is something "beneficial".

I have been championing this idea that we are incarnated into the Ouroboros life cycle of our own design. Complete with amnesia of previous existence (or current universal existence), impregnated with the characteristics and patterns of the "zodiac". Our goal is to transcend through these without necessarily succumbing to the feelings and patterns which we are not.

Jasun said...

Resisting them only makes them stronger. It's giving into the patterns, while inhibiting the desire to act on them, that allows them to dissolve.