Stress - Why Do I feel Drained? Advanced Concepts in the Meditative Life
Most of us are in the habit of reacting to things. And thus, any change that occurs we react to, and then are forced to adapt to.
Our reaction uses up energy and makes us feel drained. A person who does not react, but who takes things in stride, with equanimity and poise, will find it much easier to deal with the changes in the new job.
It is our reactions that make us tense, upset, tired, and drained. When we are young, and our energy level is higher and our recuperative powers greater, we can get away with over-reacting to things. But when we are older, we cannot. That is why some people withdraw from life--they cannot cope with things to which they know they will over-react.
While we are on the subject, most of us find ourselves tired, drained, upset, and tense when we come home from our present job. In this case, there is no change, although the job may have excessive demands. But if it is a decent, manageable job, why is it that we are tense and upset by work?
The answer is because we are over-reacting to things. And you will recall that a reaction is evidence of a fall.
If a person is at a higher plane—a calm nonresponsive observer—s/he is not subject to temptation. It is the present or past temptation to which we have responded that causes the devolutionary changes in us and renders us sensitive to the demands at that lower level.
So you see, there is natural stress and unnatural stress. The natural stress involves the natural conditions that we must deal with: changes in temperature, work to be done, and so on. In our present fallen condition, which we inherit, we are subject to natural stresses. These natural stresses do use up our adaptive energy, and when it is all used up, we die. We cannot help this condition (though I believe that even today, not everyone has to die). We inherit the life that leads to death. Unless we find salvation, it is all we have. But we are more likely to remain healthy and not die before our time if we don't over-react to life's vicissitudes.
Now let us discuss the unnatural stresses which most of us bring upon ourselves. These unnatural stresses are the result of reacting pridefully or resentfully, excitedly or angrily, fearfully and faithlessly to external conditions.
Early in our lives, these over-reactions are to be expected in that we are born as naive egos, and the only way we know how to grow is through compensation. We have to react to develop as egos.
We respond to little challenges—when we play and discover. That's how we develop our ego, our mind and our bodies too.
Kids are emotional and react with surprise, glee, excitement, and they relate emotionally to family and friends. Some kids like to ride on a roller coaster and enjoy screaming on the ride, and kids will go to a scary movie in order to shriek at monsters on the screen. Such things are natural.
It is also natural that we react angrily or excitedly to things, and respond to these sorts of ego challenges too.
But as we mature, we should outgrow our childish reactions. We should mature and become calmer and more reasonable. We should become more settled in our ways and less prone to resentfully compensate for some perceived loss.
But perhaps you can see that even the "natural" is unnatural. Humans were not meant to react and compensate, growing like animals.
Were it possible to refind our inner environment close to God, we might become responsive to the inner world of good and nonresponsive to the external. Ascending to higher levels of awareness, we might be able to upgrade the body to not be sensitive to even natural stresses.
But let’s talk about the unnatural stresses to which we react. We have already mentioned the fact that certain conditions provide natural stress, but if we over-react then it becomes unnatural. Going to work is a natural and healthy stress. But overreacting with anger, judgment, or upset to things at the workplace renders them to be unnatural. The spiritual fall (from the resentment, judgment and hostility) render the body sensitive and actually cause the body to devolve below the level of that stress.
In other words, our reaction renders us subject to the condition, and then it has the power to control us and take our energy.
Moreover, it is one thing to react emotionally, and another thing to add resentment to it. You can't help but be startled if someone sneaks up and says "boo" behind you, but you do have control over whether you resent being startled. It is one thing to run from a fight, but it is another to resent and hate the person you ran from. It is one thing to trip over a chair and cry when your knee hurts; but it is another to also get angry and resentful toward the chair.
In the Garden of Eden, it was Adam’s response to the temptation that degraded him and caused a devolution in his lifetime. Originally he had the highest place in creation. But he became subject to his wife, to temptation, to lies, to the spoken word, and to food.
To this very day, we are sensitive to lies and to words. Everywhere men are sensitive to women. And we all have obvious or very subtle food problems.
We are subject and sensitive. And our struggle with our subjectivity or sensitivity only increases its hold over us--as you have undoubtedly found out.
We are born subject, and in our life we go on to add our own personal sins that render us sensitive and subject to many things. Hence our attractions and aversions, our allergies, our upsets, our compulsions, and our loves and hates.
When you react to temptation you become subject to it. And when we are already subject, by inheritance, to something (such as words, for example), our own reactions only add to our sensitivity and subjectivity.
When we discover that we are subject, we then resent whatever it is that has enslaved or upset us. But resentment is just another reaction that adds to our plight.
It is by this same mechanism that we become enslaved to the flesh. Our spiritual fall in the face of temptation causes us to become sensitive to and subject to whatever is in the scene of the fall. Not only do we become subject to the external, but we also become subject to our reaction.
And so, it comes to pass that we become completely enslaved. Our efforts to struggle with any of the above only give it more power over us and weaken us.
We are left with enslavement and dependency and excuses, and looking for symptom removal for our symptoms.
Now, when we react to external temptation, we take in not only the scene but the message, overt or hidden. That's why we become so suggestible, and mostly for the worse.
We also become sensitive to informational packages emanating from living matter in the scene. This is particularly true in the case of other people. Our fall in their presence renders us sensitive to the mysterious hold that they, as environment, have on us.
The environment has a mysterious hold on the organism. Mysterious emanations from the environment sustain the organism, control it, maintain its identity, and comfort it. This called animal magnetism. When we fall into the flesh, our flesh becomes not only sensitive to others (who were the occasion of our fall), but also subject to their animal magnetism.
Here are a couple examples. If you resent someone, you will find yourself sensitive to their mere presence, not only their smell or appearance, but even physical energies and psychical emanations from them.
Likewise, when you have been tempted to like someone, you will find that they have a hold on you.
Most of us become subject to whatever group we are in. Soon we go along with the group and it becomes our leader.
Our inability to say no to others, especially when they pressure us, has to do with having fallen in the presence of people. It is people, after all, that mostly cause us to fall.
Perhaps now you can see why men are so sensitive to women. It has to do with an original fall, as well as their own personal fall--beginning with the willfulness, seductions and cruelties of their own mother.
Boys who were teased in a locker room (and fell through resentment) may find themselves sensitive to the presence of boys or find themselves drawn to locker rooms.
The drawing power of sin has to do with its becoming our environment. Animals are drawn to their natural environment. We are drawn to the physical environments in which we were tempted and fell. Whenever we fall spiritually, we also fall physically. And what we fell to—spiritually and physically—becomes our environment.
Can you see that there is both inherited sensitivity and acquired sensitivity. Men are born sensitive to women, and women are born sensitive to failing men. But in our lifetimes we go on to add and complicate the inherited sensitivity through our own personal falls.
Our problems grow as we become resentful and begin to fall in various environments. Before long we are sensitive to work, home, people, school, and just about everything in our environment.
This sensitivity can be pleasurably distracting. And as we become adapted, it becomes comforting. It becomes our environment to which we are drawn and which has power over us. But it can also be painful, when our reactions (as in the case of allergies) are unpleasant, draining, or even life threatening. It is also painful when we realize that we are enslaved.
In order to recover, you must find the Eternal Unchangeable Source within. This is the proper atmosphere and environment for your soul. When through a pure yearning for truth and a willingness to change, you find that you can meditate for objectivity, then your soul will be drawn near to the inner Light.
From this calm, neutral vantage point, you will be able to observe reactions instead of being caught up in them. In fact, the soul will begin to respond more and more to the invisible truth within, and less and less to external appeals and demands.
As the soul learns to be faithful to inner direction, it is able to be patient. And when the soul has a proper Authority, the body will learn to be respectful towards and obedient to the soul.
The inner Heavenly order will impress itself upon every cell and every atom of your being. Just as previously, external chaos and error impressed themselves upon the body.
The soul is perfected in patience and faithfulness. And the body is perfected as the Light shines upon errors and ailments that came to afflict the body. As time goes by, repressed illness that had been in hiding will be brought forth in the Light for healing. Also old ailments that you thought were healed, but had not been healed properly (and were merely repressed or transferred) will re-emerge. This is so that proper healing can take place.
As the body becomes disciplined and nonreactive, there will be more natural energy for healing and recovery. And there will not be new emotional upsets and bouts of worrying that used to interfere with getting better.
The most recent reactions and errors, and resulting sensitivity and subjectivity, will be dealt with first; then the next further back and so on. Eventually the original sin and error will be seen, so as to be dealt with by the Light.