3. Knowing the Unknowable: Stop 1 – The Big Squeeze

Journal Questions

Journal Reflections represent an interior dialogue with your deepest essential reality. While your responses are for you alone, the relational practice of objectifying a response in written form can be helpful in achieving clarity and determining what may or may not have value to share with others.

  1. What objective realities stuck in my memory from the encounter with The Big Squeeze: images, pictures, objects, sounds, lines of text, etc.? (Quickly re-create a surface-level recall of the experience).

  2. The three elements that most captured my attention were?.

  3. When you hear the phrase ?ultimate reality? what other words come to mind?

  4. The message you took from the encounter with The Big Squeeze is?..

  5. How and where do you experience limits?

  6. How and where do you experience drives?

  7. How do you personally experience Ultimate Reality?

  8. When does Ultimate Reality feel comforting for you?.........discomforting?

  9. How is this message is different from other understandings you have been presented regarding the nature of Ultimate Reality?

  10. Where is the one place this module indicates you can find your connection to Ultimate Reality? How does this awareness make you feel? How does this ?change everything??

  11. How would you put your own name to the life force that puts you in the midst of your drives and limits?

  12. As a result of the encounter with The Big Squeeze life practices, postures, or next steps you are inclined to consider include?.

  13. Other questions raised for you by the encounter with The Big Squeeze, and that you wish to explore more deeply include?.

*Please star your response to one or more of the questions above to write it in the “Comments” section at the end of the module. This contribution is your personal “seed” in nurturing a depth conversation with others.

Group Questions

  1. What images or pictures caught your attention in this module? What sounds did you hear? What lines of text do you remember? What else connected with your awareness; what else do you remember? (Recreate a group verbal montage of the cinematic module without reflection on specific elements but simply bringing the material back to mind).

  2. When you hear the phrase ?ultimate reality? what other words come to your mind?

  3. What clues to the nature of Ultimate Reality came to you from the encounter with The Big Squeeze?

  4. In your life, when does Ultimate Reality feel comforting?

  5. In your life, when does Ultimate Reality feel discomforting?

  6. How does it feel for you when you hear the sentence: ?The universe was not created to answer your needs??

  7. What are some of the drives you experience in your life?

  8. What are some of the limits you experience in your life?

  9. How do you react to the experience of both limits and drives?

  10. How would you put your own name to the life force that puts you in the midst of your drives and limits?

  11. Where is the one place this module indicates you can find your connection to Ultimate Reality? How does this awareness make you feel? How does this ?change everything??

  12. How might your life be different moving forward as a result of the awareness encountered through The Big Squeeze? What new life practices or postures are you inclined to consider?

  13. What other questions are raised for you by this encounter with The Big Squeeze that you wish for the group to discuss?

5 thoughts on “3. Knowing the Unknowable: Stop 1 – The Big Squeeze”

  1. Authorlynnromaine@gmail.com says:

    By the end of this video, I was left with the words – ‘This is it’. There is nothing but each moment experienced or not.

  2. Lynette Miller James says:

    The video?s quote by Soren Kierkegaard is thought-provoking: ?The Proof of the Truth of Ultimate Reality is that it repels at the same time it attracts.? This caught my attention immediately because of what I?m encountering with Pema Chodron?s work.

    I experience the Buddhist principles that she teaches as ?truth? when it comes to understanding the causes of suffering and its remedies, but walking the talk is so difficult at times that my old self can be repelled by those same principles. Not repelled in the sense of being repulsed by (definitely not that!) but in the sense of backing away ? at least initially ? because the going forward is so challenging.

    As I think more about Kierkegaard?s observation, it draws me deeper. Thank you for being a catalyst for thought and action that otherwise wouldn?t have come my way.

  3. aleyenbeck@gmail.com says:

    Finding the ultimate in the mundane. We choose how we respond to our limits and drives, and that is what makes us who we are, determines our path and quality of life. A friend told me a story about his grandmother who lived her life in pretty dire poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, and no matter what happened to her she had a calm, steel resolve. She faced all of her life, good and bad, with a steady decisiveness, and she lived to be 99 years old.

    A TED talk I just watched also seems related, (https://blog.mindvalleyacademy.com/people-skills-and-social-life/harvard-happiness-study?utm_source=cm-blog&utm_medium=email-share&utm_campaign=mvablog-share) after a lifetime study of a group of men over 75 years of time, the thing they found that most determined health, happiness, and quality of life was the quality of intimate and personal relationships. In thinking about the “ultimate reality” as a relationship, this wisdom seems particularly apt. Relationships are where limits and drives play out on a daily basis, and where we have the most opportunities to practice how we want to be, and choose how we want to react to ups and downs.

  4. Dee Burt says:

    The Big Squeeze redirected my thoughts to value the state of non-judgement. This adventure we each share is a kaleidoscope of experience that have the potential to strengthen us or break us down. Let’s hold hands through the journey!

  5. psage9@aol.com says:

    SQUEEZING OUT THE PRACTICE
    My attendance at the Ultimate Reality event continues and I make my own meaning of it. In the last episode I wrote about our being in free fall. I associated that terminology with an awareness of our institutions in decline, our inability to agree to respectfully debate our differences in a civil tone. Families and nations are being broken apart and its peoples scattered to the wind. The eco-system of the planet is being torn apart as we enter the sixth great extinction event with no end in sight of climate changes, the likes of which mankind probably has not seen before.
    In times like these where do you look for comfort, how do you stay grounded not buffeted about by this rumor or that, the next horrifying event, your own or manipulated emotional reactions? Repetition and practice can be grounding in times of free fall. The similarity, the continuity of some practiced pursuit is comforting and turns us inward rather than out into the winds of chaos. The metaphor used in the film was of a railroad track ? always the same width ? never widening or narrowing even though the scenery is always changing. Even when the motions of the practice is repetitive, our thoughts are different, circumstances vary. When you think about it we are always practicing something in our lives, in our doings and conversations. With our thoughts we are laying down grooves in the brain that become ruts and eventually deeply held beliefs about the world, and who we or others are. What we are allowing the mind to focus on, is what we are feeding and what will continue to grow. Change the story, change the future. We need to stop and observe what we are telling ourselves, what weeds we may be allowing to grow.
    Human beings seem to vacillate between attraction and repulsion. We want more of what makes us feel good and reject that which is painful. There are a myriad of ways we do this ? denial, aggression, addiction, not showing up, silent withdrawal. The Universe is not designed for our needs the next film reminds us. And we are constantly being shuttled between awesome and awful in our feelings. How then do we find peace, acceptance or inner balance in the midst of all this disillusionment. Nothing here on earth will last ? not our relationships, our money, status, health ? all is in constant motion and change ? none of it can be relied on. A Joseph Campbell quote reminds us we are not looking for meaning in life, we are looking for experience of life. If we are constantly looking outside ourselves for answers ? we are increasingly getting our answers from the marketplace. You soon discover that you cannot believe the media, the stories on TV, the authority figures, the gossip you hear from friends ? all is clouded by agendas. Our ideals and reality don?t match and we are tempted to wonder if we fit in or are sane until one day you realize most are seduced by the baubles of life and are lost in a fake version of reality.
    At some point all the denials and wanting to believe otherwise do not work and you must admit that it may be as you see it. What if we are living in these dangerous times and there is nothing that can be done about it? Nothing except acceptance. You can let go of the outside world and love all the things that inspire a state of awe. We can choose to live fully in the moment with authenticity.
    We are hopelessly limited by our bodies, our circumstances, our perspectives, our cultural mythos, the endless choices offering escaping from the facts of our lives here and now. Yet, there are moments when we catch a glimpse of a timeless reality. We may catch these glimpses through art or music or nature. Of late the Sandhill Cranes have been returning ? hearing their calls, seeing their formations I am transported by the thought that they have been doing this same practice for eons ? the world is always changing ? they are always returning. While our species seems hopelessly lost in virtual reality ? the real reality is taking place within and without us every moment. All of life is as a river moving endlessly toward no destination in particular but moving none the less and carrying all of us ? animals, plant life and what we call inert life with it on its journey nowhere and everywhere. And here we are ? we can stand in awe of it or we can turn away into our fantasies.

    Pam Raider
    03/03/16

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