"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." ----- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet.

"Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in a muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you?" Greg Baer

"The Secret in healing Narcissism is not to heal it at all, but to listen to it. Narcissism is a signal that the soul is not being loved sufficiently. The greater the Narcissism, the less love being given." ~ Thomas Moore, 'Care of the Soul'.

Q. Is it really possible to heal NPD?

A. Anything is possible. You do not have to be a negative statistic on a probablity curve of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Heal NPD :: HOPE :: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be view
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Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be view ( 14:04:04 WedMay 4 2005 )

The featured principle in our discussion on bringing the principles of Attitudinal Healing into our healing for the period of May 3-18 is: Because love is eternal, death need not be viewed as fearful. We begin to let go of our fear of death when we truly believe that what is real never changes and that Love is always present.

By Gerald G. “Jerry” Jampolsky, “Teach Only Love”

Our old way of thinking causes us to view life fearfully and to see death as the end of our reality. We think of ourselves and those we love as bodies, and we know that bodies are fragile and vulnerable. From this perspective, it is logical to go through life in fear and to dread death. But there is another reality acknowledged by the eleventh principle of Attitudinal Healing.

A reality based on the physical senses can acknowledge only the story that the body tells. And of course this is a story with an unhappy ending. But there is another tale – a tale of Love that is eternal, a story of another reality that is changeless and timeless. This is the story our lives tell once we believe that we are more than a body and that our true identity lies outside of what changes, gets sick, suffers and dies.

Once we accept Love as our true identity and recognize that Love and life are one, we let go not only of our fear of death but also our fear of the future. The body is simply not our reality, and this truth sets us free to live with boundless hope, peace and unity. We are one with our Higher Power, and our lives begin to demonstrate the ancient truth that “perfect love casts out fear.”

Other forms of death

We often experience death in way that are not related to the body. Divorce can feel lie the death of a marriage, and one of both partners may suffer tremendous grief and pain. Losing a job can be experienced as the loss of one’s identity and meaning. Even the natural function of aging is often borne as a kind of curse that deprives us of our youth and vitality. These are all challenges carrying emotional charges that can leave us feeling drained and depressed. It is our willingness to face these emotions and the beliefs behind them which is crucial in remembering that we are more than the stories our bodies tell.

Being Half-dead

Although we may be physically well, many of us go through the day feeling half-dead because of all the judgments we make. To the ego, our primary function in life is judging and interpreting the behavior of other bodies to see who is guilty and who is innocent. But we cannot do this without feeling disconnected and empty, which leads to the greatest malady of all – spiritual deprivation. In the shadow of this half-life – our daily activities seem meaningless. We become afraid of life, of love, and intimacy, of joy and happiness; we frequently find that we can commit to nothing, not even ourselves. In this deadened state we are numb to the beauty and mystery of life.



As I look back over my own life, I see now that for too many years I walked around half-dead. I was depressed and agitated at the same time. In spite of my successful professional life, I felt something was missing in my heart. I now know that what I was expecting was an emptiness of Spirit. I was so plugged into getting and judging that my spiritual gas tank was constantly on empty.

Without being consciously aware of it, much of my time was spent in fear and in making judgments about others and about myself. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to experience the Spirit within when one is locked into such an unhappy and lonely approach to life.

I have witnessed many people die whose spirit grew stronger even as their bodies deteriorated from disease. I have seen those who embraced life to their last breath because they understood that the death of the body was not the end of their being. In many ways they were more “alive” than those of us who walk through life with empty souls and with minds focused on guilt and separation.

Our spirits long to soar like eagles, to be filled with inspiration, to feel the love that flows between us and our Creator. But until we are willing to relinquish all forms of judgment and attack, we will remain half-dead and unaware of the splendor that awaits us.

Manifestations of Fear

I once had a patient whose morning ritual was to open his newspaper to the obituary section. When I asked him about this, he explained that he just wanted to check to see if any of his friends had died. On further exploration, I discovered that in a strange way reading the obituaries reassured him that he was still alive! After all, his name was not listed!

Behavior such as this might seem strange or even crazy, but this gentleman had a tremendous fear of death, and to him the behavior was logical and helped alleviate some of his fear – at least for that day.

Most of us acknowledge that making a will is a wise and loving thing to do, a gift to those we leave behind. Why then do so many of us put it off? The answer is simple. Making a will requires us to directly confront the fact that we are going to die, and so we think of hundreds of reasons why we can’t do it now.

Fear of Death

Our ego works overtime creating all kinds of fear for us to worry about. It is my impression that one of our biggest fears, whether we are conscious of it or not, is the fear of death. And I am also convinced that buried beneath this fear is our fear of God.

We all have our individual ways of avoiding the issue of death and dying. Some of us become workaholics and fill our days and nights with an endless array of activities that keep our fears at bay – at least for a while. Although we may have the appearance of one who is successful and accomplished, we may also be numb to our emotions and feelings.

Often we try to control our fear of death by controlling the events and people in our lives, as if the ability to manage every situation will magically allow us to control our destiny as well.

Yours Truly

It’s a little embarrassing for me to share the thoughts I used to have about death and dying, but I want you to understand that for the first fifty years of my life, I was terrified of death. So was my father. I remember that as we were leaving his sister’s funeral, he found a hose outside the funeral parlor and stopped to wash his hands. I was shocked by his behavior and asked him what he was doing. He replied, “It’s an old-world superstition that when you go to a funeral you should wash your hands so you won’t be the next one to die.” He was so fearful that he couldn’t wait to get home to protect himself!

When I thought of myself as an atheist, I became even more fearful of dying. After my marriage of twenty years ended in 1973, I turned to alcohol to numb my guilt and pain. My mind was so fractured that even as I was drinking myself to death, I remained terrified of dying.

We’ve all heard about the companies that will “freeze” your body at death so that if a new drug – or even the magical foundation of youth – is discovered, you can be “thawed out”, fixed up, and resume your life. At the time I first read about such a procedure, my fear of death was extreme that I remember being comforted by the though. Although I didn’t do anything about it, it seemed like such a good idea!

Letting Go of our Fear of Death

I will forever be grateful to the seven-year-old boy, who, during morning rounds at the University of California Medical Center, asked the oncologist, ‘What is it like to die?” The oncologist quickly changed the subject, and I recognized that perhaps he was too fearful to handles such a deep and meaningful question, a question that is on the minds of almost everyone at one time or another. It was certainly a question that I was wrestling with. I later discovered that many children at this hospital were having honest and fearless conversations about death with people like the cleaning woman who was mopping their floor and was not encumbered by academic degrees or beliefs about what children should or should not talk about.

The Center for Attitudinal Healing was founded in part because of this little boy’s question, but by that time my life and belief system had changed dramatically. I often say that the Center was established for people like me who were willing to learn from children facing life-threatening illnesses that there is another way of looking at death and at life.

At the Center is Sausalito, our Level One workshops always include a powerful experiential exercise in death. We divide the workshop into groups of ten and ask each group to decide who will be the dying patient and who will be the mother, daughter, son, friend, and so on. We ask each group to use their imaginations in a way that will make the experience quite real. The fact that we go through boxes of tissues during this process shows that most who come are successful in getting in touch with their feelings and expressing them.

Each member of the group begins to see where their particular fears about death are centered. In one session, a fifty-year-old man volunteered to be the son and later told us that his mother, with whom he had an unhealed relationship, was dying in another city. He shared the angry feelings he still had from the past, but by the end of the workshop, he had expressed the belief that his relationship with his mother would never be the same. The experience had allowed him to recognize the importance of forgiveness and to work on releasing his anger.

During another workshop, a woman who had recently been diagnosed with cancer volunteered to be the dying patient. She stated that her group experience had allowed her to get in touch with feelings which she had been unaware of. She had been able to process them, and now hear fear of dying seemed to have vanished.

It is always important to fully acknowledge and honor our humanness and our human feelings, for as you can see, this allows us to begin to recognize a greater reality. This is why it is equally important that we not enshrine our human feelings and become attached to them as if they represent all that we are.

Attitudinal Healing represents the truth of our shared identity – an identity that is not contained in the body, an identity that is changeless and eternal, an identity that does not fear death, because it receives its purpose and its meaning from Love.

We see What we believe

Having spent the last twenty-five years working with and learning from children and adults who were facing the possibility of dying, I now believe with all my heart and soul that there is no death, because our true identity is not limited to a body. To me, bodies are only transient houses of our souls, which are eternal and never die. Every morning, Diane and I say this prayer from a Course in Miracles because it reminds us of our real identity:

I am not a body
I am free
For I am still
As God created me

I want the peace of God
The peace of God is everything I want
The aim of all my living here
The end that I seek
My purpose, my function and my life
While I abide where I am not at home.

To believe in death, we must accept our bodies as our only reality. When we remind ourselves daily that our identity is not a body and that our only goal is the Peace of God, we open our hearts to the truth of who we are and the Light of God pours into every fiber of our being.

If you want to let go of your attachment to your body, you might try looking beyond your senses by imagining that thee is a love filter over your eyes and ears so you see and hear only Love. When we become faultfinders, we immediately feel separate and identity with our body, which is the source of our fear. As love-finders we identify with our spiritual self and experience our connection with that which is eternal.

I am the Light

Something unique happens when we awake in the morning and remind ourselves that we are the Light of the World. When we truly believe that our purpose here is to shine that Light and to see only that Light in others, we begin to experience joy, peace and happiness. But if we are to experience Oneness with each other and with that which created us, it is essential that we continue to look beyond the body and the costumes which people wear. As we practice this happy lesson, our fear of death begins to dissipate until it is just a distant memory of another time.

Being Present

If there is one thing I have learned from the many teachers at the Center, it is the importance of extending unconditional love in the present, whether that means being comfortable in silence or simply helping in whatever way I can. I have also learned that my own inner peace and lack of fear are crucial in extending love and acceptance.

Having so many people allow me to step into the intimacy of their hearts has been a scared and holy gift that I treasure. I awaken each morning feeling fortunate to be allowed to the work that I do. To be able to give and receive love is a blessing that is beyond words.


From the Universal Oneness website

Foundational ideas of this principle:

1. We have a body, emotions and a mind, but we are not our body, our emotions, or our mind. We are what animates and empowers these facets of our being. We are the Atman or Divine Self, Love.

2. To connect with the Atman or Divine Self is to embrace life.

3. By living fully from the Divine Self, death is no longer a source of fear.

4. While that which is made of matter, the body, emotions and mind pass from existence, the Love essence, the Divine Self is eternal.

5. Love is eternal, changeless, timeless and without fear.

6. It is the Divine Self, the Love essence that is born anew time after time until it remembers its full Divinity.

Queries for this principle:

Am I aware that I am more than my body, emotions and mind?

How do I daily focus on my Divine Self?

How would I describe my quality of life right now?

How would my life improve if I developed a stronger relationship with the Atman or Divine Self?

Am I spending some time each day reflecting on the awareness of my inner divine essence, through meditation or contemplation?





---
Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 14:52:52 WedMay 4 2005 )

Oh man, speaking of avoidance, there have been a seemingly endless list of reasons why this principle has not come up prior to now. For a long time I told myself, "Self, this has no relationship to anything remotely related to healing NPD." I choose to listen to myself until there were no other principles to feature, so here we are. As I was putting this together I could not help see many of the reasons why this has been the source of so much avoidance within my ego.

There are a couple of quotes from Stephen Levine that I have come across in recent days that speak to this same topic area: "Everyone is just trying to get born before we die," and "its not difficult to die, but its difficult to stay dead."

The later would appear to be absurd to the rational mind. But what we perceive as a rational thought is really a fear coming from our ego. Death of this nature is not the death of our physical bodies, but the death of our soul. I have long believed that NPD is a form of cancer of the soul. It actually takes a lot of hard work for the ego to keep the defences in place which kill our soul. Thus, the trauma of killing the soul can sometimes not be difficult, but keeping the soul dead, not living life, is actually quite difficult.

Clearly I have issues around my own fear of death. Many of which come from my sister's death and all that followed. Much of my life has been identified with that fear to the degree that I have not been able to fully live life. I know there is a part of me who wonders if she ever really existed or if she is a cruel figment of someone's imagination. When I suggested this to my Mother a while back she assured me that my sister had been very real ,and I am certain she could not begin to understand the origin of that question. In many ways I didn't understand it then, or even fully now. There is a part of me that resents her for dying, taking the easy way out of pain. There is another part of me that hates me for feeling that way. Its helpful to think of death in a different light, as love being eternal. I'm not in the place where I want to be on this, many questions still exist.

There was a question in another thread about what is meant by Stephen Levine in the idea of turning toward the mystery. I think in many ways this question relates directly to this principle and so I'm going to include the introduction of his book as an explanation of the mystery he is referring to.



Some call the vast unknown the mystery. Some who sense a perfect order it call it the Tao (oddly capitalizing it, making a proper noun out of an edless verb, much as we do with "God" or "Budda" or "I"). Those living in harmony with the earth may refer to it as nature's unfolding or the way of things.

Turning toward the mystery, we explore the unknown. First the investifation of the mystery of ourselves: psychological, to a point, after which it is spiritual. Then an entering into the universal: spiritual, to a point, after which it is undefinable.

Turning inward leads to the uncovering and healing of our small self, our personal myth, the mental construct in which we mistakenly believe our true self is housed.

And as we look deeper for something yet more real, in sudden wordless understandings, levels of awareness are revealed that direct the pilgrim home.






---
Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 17:01:13 WedMay 4 2005 )

I tell myself I don't think much about death. I'm young, carefree and all that stuff. At the same time I really relate to the idea of being half-dead emotionally. I guess in the world this is what we call depression, right? I've never had to deal directly with death. My parents are still alive and kicking and pretty much all my relatives are, so its been something that's just kind of out there. In some ways I see myself as trying to get born, but I never really thought much about it in terms of before I die. So I guess I may have a fear here that I never gave a lot of thought to but has been lurking in the background. Something to think about other than finals, which is kind of nice.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 01:20:28 ThuMay 5 2005 )

In our twenty-plus year marriage I could never get my husband to talk about death. Not even after we became parents and I suggested for our kids sake we needed to have a will. To the best of my knowledge he still does not have a will. At the time I chalked this up as rather childish and somewhat arrogant behavior. I thought he was saying he was so powerful that death was something he didn't have to think about. Now I just think its sad that he lives with such fear that I think is preventing him from living before he dies. For his sake I hope one day he experiences life before its too late.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 18:23:15 ThuMay 5 2005 )

Wouldn't it be accurate to say NPDers regard themselves as above death? That a person with NPD regards death as something that affects other people, never themself. Kind of like they don't really address the problems of this life they are not prepared to handle what might happen when this life is over. If so I'm not surprised an NPDer would have a disdainful attitude toward something as human as a will.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 19:50:19 ThuMay 5 2005 )

Part of me thinks I'll live to be 130. Or be the one guy who lives forever. Sure. Not sure if other NPDs feel that. I will have to say that my gasping liver may have something else to say if it is bathed in a bottle of wine each day. NPD (well, and many other disordered ways of thinking) makes me think....annnh, nothing will happen. I'll be fine. I'll beat the odds.

But...everyone has died. I don't know if NPDs really think they're gonna live forever. I'm kinda hoping for the cure to death to be discovered before I die.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 20:57:47 ThuMay 5 2005 )

My NPD-person is completely indifferent to death. Says "I won't know or care when I'm dead."

He also thinks religion exists solely to deal with the fear of death.

I'm certain this is sincere and unaffected. He has no more concern about dying than my cat does. I think it's because he doesn't really live - a conscious, self-aware, living being. He takes no particular joy in it, sees no special benefit in it - no more than my cat.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 21:15:13 ThuMay 5 2005 )

I think I run the whole gamut as fear/feelings about death go. Months will pass and I don't care, then I'll spend a little time in a dark panic over it, then I forget again. It does seem like a pretty important overall selling point for religion: how to cope with death.

  
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 00:33:23 FriMay 6 2005 )

I think the idea of freezing bodies in hopes of finding a cure for whatever is currently fatal is along the same lines as finding a cure for death. I suppose there is a certain degree of narcissism, if not NPD, behind that whole concept. I've never seen a study on the kinds of persons that appeals to but I think there is a real fear of not having to face all human realities that feeds that kind of thinking. I honestly don't have a desire to live beyond a point where I am able to really live life. I don't want to spend eternity as a vegetable, be it fresh or frozen. My awareness of death has increased over the last several months. Being diagnosed with diabetes contributed to that, as the internet is almost as loaded with diabetes horror stories as it is NPD fairy tales.

I think being half-dead is common for NPDers. Largely because we've never really learned how to live.



---
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Re: Featured principle for May 4-19: Because love is eternal, death need not be ( 17:42:51 FriMay 6 2005 )

I'm going to open up here in a way I'm not entirely comfortable with. I'm doing this because its important to my healing to face some of these fears, not to brag or in someway exploit the pain that my behavior might have caused others. If you are overly sensitive to some of the darker sides of NPD you might want to cover your eyes and quickly march to the next thread.

My fear of death, or is it an obsession with the unknown, a kind of wishing that I had never been born and not knowing how to live, has taken some bizarre routes to the surface. Most notably when I was in 6th grade and was feeling very abandoned by my entire family, especially my sister who was by then completely lost in her own world of BPD. She had gone one to live in a foster family, and later would be hospitatilzed for an extended period, followed by going to live with my dad in Kansas. At the time we were best friends. She had always been there for me no matter what. It was she and I against the world through some pretty frightening sh-t. Now my Dad was gone and so was my sister. I was alone in the world and people thought I seemed to be doing okay.

One day I stole a .22 shell from my brother's room and took it to school with me. My intention was to use it to scare other kids into thinking that I was going to somehow kill myself. I'm not exactly sure how I was going to do this because I didn't have a gun. There was another kid in this class that I was fascinated by and was trying very hard to get him to somehow save me from myself because he seemed so happy and everyone liked him. He was the kind of person who had compassion for someone and was noticeably distressed by the fact that I had this bullet. At the morning recess I was running around saying I was going to kill myself and people were trying to convince me not to.

Needless to say I had no remote intention or means to do any harm. Somehow the word got to my teacher, and eventually to my Mother. I got in trouble for stealing the shell, and a long, angry lecture from my brother about how that size of a bullet could kill a dog the size of our Black Lab we had at the time. That's it, nothing more was ever said or done about this whole situation. Poof! It was as if it never happened and I continued merrily along as a member of the Safety Patrol.

Later that same year, while my sister was living with my Dad, I pulled another stunt with this same kid. I told him I was going to kill him and took a knife to school. Several people knew I had the knife but nothing was ever done. That afternoon I followed the kid home until he confronted me. I went so far as to show him the knife by removing it from my coat and putting it in another pocket. Later I dumped the knife on school grounds. A couple of angry phone calls from parents resulted and my Mother was furious. I was suspended from the safety patrol for about six weeks, and then resumed for the rest of the year. I was one of the leaders of my class - as scary as that seems in hindsight. Nothing more was ever said. Poof, it was as if nothing was wrong and I went about my merry way and the world went back to ignoring the problem.

Much later, the year after I graduated from high school. I sent a couple of threatening letters via the mail to someone that I was jealous of. At the time I was so lost in my anger that I thought death was a good way of expressing myself. The police became aware of this situation, asked me to stop and decided they weren't going to do anything about it. Poof! it never happened, and I went on my merry way and the rest of the world continued to look the other way.

I think this is all about not being alive. Of having so many fears relating to death, of thinking my sister got the easy way out by dying. I still don't understand death and have a lot of fear, but its been a long time, fortunately, since my fears have played themselves out in this regard.

I have avoided the reasons why all of this have happened and instead focused on the acting out. Like some other aspects of my life its time to put aside the symptom of the disease and look at what is really giving life to the diesase itself.



---
Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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