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Very interesting, but stupid
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on_sight_man


Oct 27, 2003, 5:18 PM
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Very interesting, but stupid
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Today I was out on a climb I had been on a number of times before. The wind started HOWLING. I was belaying a new partner, couldn't see him, and started getting anxious. I realize that I was mostly anxious about not knowing how bad the wind was going to become and how badly it would effect my partner. There's a level at which I'm actually comfortable with some risks simply because I know what they are. Fear of falling is much less than anxiety produced by weather. It's not fear really, but it does make me climb badly.

Not sure how to handle that one because there is objective danger that I didn't really factor in. Like worrying about acts of God.


vivalargo


Nov 16, 2003, 5:14 PM
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Re: Very interesting, but stupid [In reply to]
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Hello:

The givaway in the first part is when you write: "I realize that I was mostly anxious about not knowing how bad the wind was going to become."

The "was going to become" is the key to most self-generated anxiety, and was something I never quite got till I recently found myself doing this and reread a chapter from "Trances people Live," by Wolinsky. This worrying about how things are going to be in the future causes a self-to-self trance by way of what Wolinsky calls "pseudo orientation in time." Basically, when this happens, we're no longer present in the actual world, but in a virtual, future world where we start "awefulizing" horrible consequences. Of course we can have no impact on this future world because it doesn't exist, and we can drive ourselves into full blown panic attacks postulating future disasters. However, when we focus in the moment we actually live in, we can start applying ourselves to what is required, and resources -- or "essential qualities" in Aalmas' terminology --will spontaneously arise.
Put differently, when we concentrate on what we do know, which is the real life situation we are actually in, we can act with authority.

When I find myself in this trance -- which is a universal tendency for all humans -- I focus back to the here and now and ask myself what needs to be done right now. Also, to use your wind example, I might ask myself the last time I got stuck in a wind in which I could do nothing, and to which I had not eventually escaped. Lastly, In what situation did you ever find yourself totally helpless, and how did that globalize to include the wind ?

When I concentrate on the present and only the present, and am open to what is before me and what I have to give, I'm often surprised by how obvious it is to respond in an effective way. My tendency to to skate through the "easy" bits all the while fretting over future difficulties. Ironically, I'm finding that my best chance at furture ease is through applying myself right now to what is under my nose, so when the next bump in the road comes along, I'll be there to greet it and can act consciously, not impulsively out of anxiety.

Phantom fear can freeze us solid, and it was a crucial piece of personal work for me to understand that embracing the present moment is the only way to snap the trance of pseudo orientation in time. No matter how grim or great the future is, we'll never make it quite there. All we ever have is now. The rest is all a mental projection, and when the willies kick in, we're in an intrapersonal trance of our own making.

JL


on_sight_man


Nov 17, 2003, 8:27 AM
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Re: Very interesting, but stupid [In reply to]
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In reply to:
When I find myself in this trance -- which is a universal tendency for all humans -- I focus back to the here and now and ask myself what needs to be done right now. Also, to use your wind example, I might ask myself the last time I got stuck in a wind in which I could do nothing, and to which I had not eventually escaped. Lastly, In what situation did you ever find yourself totally helpless, and how did that globalize to include the wind ?
JL

That's something that I've done before and it seems to work sometimes. I sometimes forget that I am a very active player in ANY future scenario that "might" come up.

It reminds me of the year 2000 bug. (stick with me here) For awhile there were people who were saying that huge computer systems were going to come crashing down, that the trains and electricity and whatnot were going to stop. What they forgot to include in their equation was that there were people who were addressing issues at every step of the way and affecting the outcome. And that even if computer systems were to fail, there would be people trying to bring them back up who were capable.

It's the same with climbing. I forget that I will play a part in any future scenario and that I am actually capable of averting the worst of these through the actions that I do NOW and the ones I WILL do if certain situations come up.


maculated


Nov 17, 2003, 2:22 PM
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Re: Very interesting, but stupid [In reply to]
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John, that was an amazing post. Thanks.


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