Panic Attacks

QA132 QUESTION: About three days ago I was very nervous and I was shaking all over. Can you tell me something about what was the reason why I shook?

ANSWER: From an overall point of view, looking at the whole picture of your pathway, what you have accomplished so far, what you still have to accomplish, where you stand, I might say this. You are nearing or at times already on a threshold where it is a question of leaving emotional infanthood behind and settling down to serious living and becoming an adult human being.

Now, there are times of insight when such a vision fills you with light and joy. And you are, in fact, experiencing to look forward to this, to welcome it and to realize its ease and its liberation.

But there are other times when the old ignorance prevails, when you fear such a decision, and when you cling to the old ways where you feel more secure in chains than in liberty. You fear the freedom; you fear the liberty that emotional maturity or adulthood entails. You believe an irresponsible childishness is safer, and then you literally tremble at the idea you must give up that old safe way and embrace the new unsafe way.

In this phase of transition, which, of course, is a very gradual one, you may experience certain moods. Such a mood as you describe where you actually physically tremble may be one such manifestation of this symptom I just mentioned.

QUESTION: I started shaking when I realized that I don’t believe in myself.

ANSWER: Well, exactly. That is why. There’s your whole chain reaction. How can you believe in yourself when you have always insisted to cling to emotional infanthood and feed on the protection by others rather than standing on your own feet? And there you generate the vicious circle.

If you do not believe in yourself, you must fear rejection; you must fear self-responsibility.

 

QA176 QUESTION: We have found that I get these anxiety spells because I repress my anger and my hostility, and I also repress my good feelings. But I still don’t quite see what is going on or what I am covering up in various ways. And I so much want to know what is really at the center of this so that I can tackle it.

ANSWER: Well, you actually did say it right now. This is basically it. You cannot be more basic than when you come to the real feelings – the good feelings and the bad feelings, the feelings of love and pleasure, and the feelings of anger, frustration, and rage and tears. All of these feelings were forbidden; they were all blocked and hindered. And you have withdrawn into a very inner passive shell.

Whenever you are angry or whenever you want pleasure, and this pleasure is frustrated, mostly by yourself, and whenever you use the pretenses of your game and you deny yourself further what you really want, anxiety comes up. The anxiety expresses a denial of all the real live feelings that you defeat and that you think you must be without in order to survive, in order to be a self.

I would like to add something on to this here that might help you – and perhaps also others. There is the feeling in you that if you give yourself to your feelings, you lose yourself, your individuality as a person, because you falsely equate your individuality with a false self-image that you display. So, therefore, an additional anxiety is coming up.

Each time your real feelings want to break through – and are already encouraged to do so by your Pathwork – the other side in you says, “No, no, no, for if I will do that, I will dissolve into nothingness,” which is, of course, an utter error.

So you see, you have the original anxiety of denying your pleasure feelings and your love feelings. You have the secondary anxiety of denying the anger and hate when this happens, and the guilt for it that makes you hold all this back.

You have the third layer that makes you anxious when the pretenses of the idealized self-image come up, and you are afraid to expose what is underneath. And you have still an additional layer of anxiety that when the real feelings want to break through you, says, “Well, I will lose myself into nothingness, and I cannot let this happen.” Then you have the anxiety from both sides.

If you let it happen, you are threatened to lose and dissolve as you think. And if you do not let it happen, you must continue in the frustration that makes you also anxious. It’s the anxiety of the double bind that is still the illusion of duality in which whatever you do seems wrong and no way out. And there’s the hopelessness that is attached to this kind of thing when you are involved with this struggle inside. Do you understand that?

QUESTION: Yes. And what do I do when I feel the duality in many of my reactions?

ANSWER: My suggestion would be that you become very calm inside and let this happen. Let it come out and then say, “This duality, this conflict I’m involved with now within myself, is both illusion. There is a truth of how to feel this that I cannot get at directly in my conscious brain. But this truth exists in me, and I would like to experience this truth.”

Then you give up the franticness that grasps for this truth and try to wait in trust while you’re still in this pain. But do not struggle so much against the pain of the duality, of this conflict. Wait till it happens by itself, for this is the only way the truth of being can communicate itself to you.

Human beings, you all – even you on this Path here who already know of the principles and have experienced these truths at times, how it feels when you’re in unity with yourself – are then, when you lose it again, so frantic and want to grasp at it and believe you can get at it by a direct effort of your will. Well, it does not happen that way.

It is true that your voluntary faculties must allow it, but you also must know that this can only work as your volitional self says, “Yes, there is another truth I open myself for.” But then you let it be and wait for it to happen. It may happen when you think of it least – that is most probably when it will happen – and not as a direct result of your wanting it in meditation.

Meditate, let go and trustfully wait till the truthful feeling and experience and perception will communicate itself to you from within you, from your innermost being. This is my advice. State and acknowledge and accept the struggle that is in you.

Do not fight it, but, on the other hand, know that this is not reality, that you do not need it, and that there is another reality within you – a reality of perception of how things, in this particular respect, could be. This reality exists in you, and you allow it to happen when you are calm enough and inwardly relaxed enough that it can happen.

 

QA240 QUESTION: For the past ten months I have been having chronically abnormal pap smears. I’d like to know why I choose to express whatever it is, in this part of my body. And what I can do when I experience a lot of pain in my uterus and I begin to panic and feel very desperate and frightened?

ANSWER: I have two suggestions here, my friend. One is that you search deeper inside and make known and conscious that voice that says anything but being open, vulnerable, receptive, loving, and saying Yes to men – anything but that. When you truly connect with that voice, not just theoretically but really connect again and again, then you can immediately change it and go through the act of courage and faith, and actively say Yes to loving receptivity with an outgoingness and a vigor in this respect, in this attitude.

The second suggestion is that when you are in the state of panic, realize it is exactly that panic that recreates the condition. I know it is not easy, but go through the panic rather than warding it off. Go through the fear of death that is ultimately in that panic and you realize that fear of death is nothing else but a result of your saying No to life or to an aspect of life.

As you experience the fear of death and see the No to life, the panic will dissolve. And you will have made a stepping stone out of the very panic you wish to ward off.

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