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Living Through Others

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posted on Jul, 15 2013 @ 09:30 AM
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I have realized that I do a lot of living through others. Through empathy and projection, I experience the sensations and emotions of others' experiences, and though I sometimes hear that tendancy refered to as a fault (as if all people should only search direct experience) I am not sure I agree.

When young, it was perhaps a coping mechanism- I was not loved as a child, but didn't realize that until later, as an adult, because I loved others, and my boundries of self were not real clear- who the love was coming from and going to was not clear to me. There was love, that I could feel.

Ever since, as I grew, this habit stretched to all relationships and areas of my life- the victories and successes of others are mine too- their pains and joys as well. This made a certain amount of detachment to outcome - I am not competative for that reason, I can't work up motivation to be the one that wins at all costs, it doesn't make that much difference!

I have no problem being a "silent partner" to others, in work, for example, or even in marriage, where I gave support and guidance to my husband behind closed doors, as he made his way up the ladder in his career- I experienced the whole climb and victory through him.

My kids, as they learn different skills, and have their own academic successes, I am living that through them too.

I like to teach and guide young people and animals, and each time I do it, I am experiencing being the student at the same time.

In so many things, I just realize that I cannot do everything I would like to do in life- it isn't possible. So choosing one role and experiencing other roles through others is practical.

But this lead to a lot of pondering on the subject. I watch around me and it seems we all do this to some extent. I guess it can seem bad if you are being pushed or pressured by someone to live their dreams for them- I do not do that to anyone, I try very hard to respect their individual will and wishes. But opportunities to empathize with those doing and being things they truly chose their self are all around.

I think people do this more than they realize. I guess my topic here is the contemplation of living life through others and whether that is a "good" or "bad" thing? Do you think it is a personality flaw, or weakness?
Or can you see what I mean when I say it might be a neat and useful skill?




posted on Jul, 15 2013 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


I don't think anyone can judge whether it is a good or bad thing unless they have walked in your shoes and had the experiences you have had. Some will say it is a character flaw and others will see it as a weakness. Personally, I see what you are describing as something positive; you are obviously a highly empathic person who takes pleasure in helping others and doesn't mind taking a passive approach when it comes to reaping success and recognition.

The important factor is whether your "living through others" is of mutual benefit to yourself and your loved ones. It sounds like you have benefited rather nicely yourself, what do you think your loved ones would say about it?



posted on Jul, 15 2013 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
I have realized that I do a lot of living through others. Through empathy and projection, I experience the sensations and emotions of others' experiences, and though I sometimes hear that tendancy refered to as a fault (as if all people should only search direct experience) I am not sure I agree.

You cannot be sure that you are experiencing the same sensation or emotion of another. You can only ever experience what you are feeling - know one knows for sure how another feels. I grew up with a scary father and I was always protecting my mother and brother. Much later on in life an incident happened where my father was angry and I said to my mother about how scary he was and she laughed - she had never been scared of him but I was. As a child I projected my fear onto my mother and brother and I used to stand up and fight for them - fighting what was seen then as injustice became a bit of a habit and made life unpleasant.
I know now that if I feel anything, it is happening within me.
edit on 15-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 
I agree with you in the sense that I believe that we all have that ability, but many have not refined it or even developed it.So it may seem that some are not using that same software as yourself, this can make people appear to be completely different. How I feel about that ability? shame to not use it because it enhances ones life experiences. Only when it becomes obsessive living through others, I feel it becomes a wasted life.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


I am what I would consider to be a empath as much as is humanly possible. This is a hard path to be on, speaking for myself. When the kundalini energy rose through me, it almost cost me everything, but I recognized what it was and somehow climbed on top of it. I did not expect to be feeling everyone's feelings. Like you said, hard to keep straight. Mine, yours, ours??? It is a whole...a Oneness with one another.

The Empathy is a cross to bear, because this is a world in pain, and it is overwhelming, and I mean the whole human condition. Things are out of balance, and we all recognize that. We can all envision something better, and we should all do so NOW.

Pay attention...the world is NOW and we are the ones creating this. Let us all come together in one HUMAN race, the media is not US. Sun Tzu's Art of War is in play here.

They are doing their very best to divide us! Do you not feel this in your soul? We are a HUMAN race, not a color. We are all from the Mother Earth and are all made of stardust animated with a little bit of cognizant energy.

Let us communicate, let us tell one another that this is not who WE are. Good people are not many in this world and we should recognize one another despite what color "Brown" we are.

It is killing my soul that I cannot do more to change this paradigm. We should be way past what color we are by now. Do NOT let the mainstream media guide you by the nose. Sorry if it sounded like a rant, but this media manipulation is easy to see if you are paying attention.

Wish I could make it all better with a word. Unfortunately it is not as simple as all that. Much love to all the level headed out there and peace and blessings to the not so much folks


EDIT: Sorry to go off topic (Sort of)


edit on 16-7-2013 by Coopdog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 05:34 PM
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When I look at others I can view them as a collection of truths like a book or rather two, one for truths and one for untruths. The clearer the picture I have of the others' truths the more comfortable I feel with mine since they are either reinforced or they do not cause any conflict.

When there is conflict I tend to shrink or become less present in reality, compared to someone who can appear more present to me. At first I used to only be less present when around such people I thought would have conflicting truths and the image the other may have of me then it turned to being ever present so that it was almost undetectable and only vague memories of how my experience of reality used to be. For awhile it felt like I replaced my own personality with the imagined based on what I believed was or should be some common truth, like unwritten rules in society one has to find out for themselves if they chose to.

I don't like living through others at all as if my existence was dependent on that. But I do believe we all project one another and the closer the projections are to eachother or the more similar they are the more it can appear to be real and livelier. Which is the plus side when you are lucky enough to be around kindred spirits, which I think is a rare thing like finding an undiscovered tribe in the jungles who have been there for centuries.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 11:59 PM
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Sorry I didn't respond earlier- I got very busy with work for a few days! (I also live my own life too
)

Though I consider myself empathic, with this subject, I refer more to theory of mind- which is a mental conceptualization of others' internal events. How you imagine another thinks, feels and perceives.
It is not necessarily always accurate- though the chance of it being so increase with proximity and communication.
A person you have a close relationship with will share more of their insights and sensations with you, helping to paint a more accurate picture of their perception, than say, a collegue you talk with rarely.

I should have been more clear on that. "Living through others" is actually a term commonly used in french and I forgot it is not in english. I realize, upon reflection, that the american values discourage this, as it counters individualism and encourages interdependance.

But it is the same process at work when we seek to know or be close to those in power- like a boss, a president, a movie star, a famed scientist... we can form a theory of mind and imagine what it is like to be them. This kind of living through others is encouraged in our society, though not openly acknowledged. (the root of the claim americans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome).

The difference I've found is that in the culture I currently live in, it is the opposite- people are encouraged to identify with, sympathize and empathize with those who are less powerful than oneself. (us americans tend to think that will "bring us down with them")

We probably end up doing it with all kinds of people though, powerless and not. Or at least I do.
edit on 19-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 04:33 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
Though I consider myself empathic, with this subject, I refer more to theory of mind- which is a mental conceptualization of others' internal events. How you imagine another thinks, feels and perceives.

Why imagine what another is feeling or thinking? Why not just assume that there is absolutely nothing at all going on behind the eyes of another? If you imagine what another is thinking or feeling it is just imagination because really you do not know for sure what is going on in them. The thoughts and ideas that you have about what is going on in them has an effect on you - but it is you that imagined what they are thinking or feeling. The assumption made is acted upon yet it is just an assumption made by you.
The internal world is made of guessing - it is made of assumptions of what is going on around you in other peoples heads. All of this happens in your head.
If you could empty your head of all the assumptions you would be free to just be.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I do not understand why imagination is something you need/want to be "freed" from. But you are welcome to do that.
When I imagine myself in the shoes of someone else experiencing something really neat, that is a fun experience.

In some cases, it can fulfill desires I have- things I would have liked to do, but had to make choices and they were not my priority at the time... but later, through this process I can do it.

Why do you want to believe there is nothing going on inside another? When they are waterskiing, why would you want to believe they are not feeling the sensations of that?

You can surely ignore and deny all those sensations and the hormonal elation and excitement, etc. But in what way is that better in your opinion?



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I do not understand why imagination is something you need/want to be "freed" from. But you are welcome to do that.
When I imagine myself in the shoes of someone else experiencing something really neat, that is a fun experience.

Is it always the 'fun stuff' that you sense from others? When you believe you are feeling what others are feeling it is you feeling the feeling that is being felt. If you see someone suffering does it make you feel good to feel suffering?


In some cases, it can fulfill desires I have- things I would have liked to do, but had to make choices and they were not my priority at the time... but later, through this process I can do it.

Feeling the feelings that appear in you is all that is ever required but it seems you deny the feelings believing that are not happening in you - it seems you believe they are happening outside of you.


Why do you want to believe there is nothing going on inside another? When they are waterskiing, why would you want to believe they are not feeling the sensations of that?

You can surely ignore and deny all those sensations and the hormonal elation and excitement, etc. But in what way is that better in your opinion?

I don't really know what is going on inside another - I can only experience what is felt here. I may well feel elation and excitement viewing water-skiing but it is being felt here.
I am not denying any feeling or sensation - all is experience right here and right now in what I am.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Is it always the 'fun stuff' that you sense from others? When you believe you are feeling what others are feeling it is you feeling the feeling that is being felt. If you see someone suffering does it make you feel good to feel suffering?


The subject here is the theory of mind - Which is willingly chosen. This is not the uncontrollable influence of others emotions (which is literally "sympathy" but is commonly incorrectly called "empathy").
Sometimes I choose to do this to experience others unpleasurable emotions, for specific reasons. If I have been asked to help them with something, for example- then forming an idea of their perception and experience can aid me in choosing an appropriate aid.
It does not make me feel good to feel their suffering- but I do get pleasure in the process of relieving that suffering! This is where fulfilment happens for people in activities of caring or healing.
But I do nto choose to do this if I have no reason to. Like if the person has not asked for help.



Feeling the feelings that appear in you is all that is ever required but it seems you deny the feelings believing that are not happening in you - it seems you believe they are happening outside of you.


The feelings that arise in me through this process were stimulated by my thoughts. Yet, the events which enable me to form those thoughts are exterior events. I watch someone else do an activity (recieve an award, do an exciting feat, travel through an exotic land...)
I can choose to either identify with that person, imagine myself in their shoes, and therefore stimulate specific emotions to arise in me,
or I can choose not to identify with them, to avoid imagining myself in their shoes, and those emotions are not produced in my body.
I don't know what you mean by "required". I feel nothing is required.



I don't really know what is going on inside another - I can only experience what is felt here. I may well feel elation and excitement viewing water-skiing but it is being felt here.
I am not denying any feeling or sensation - all is experience right here and right now in what I am.


You don't need to know what is going on inside another to create these emotions.
The accuracy doesn't matter in terms of my own experience.
That only becomes important if this is used in an intent to aid the other somehow.

I do not feel elation and excitement when I watch another waterskiing unless I choose to.

I am trying to understand your interpretation of "free to just be"- sounds like you consider that "freedom from choosing"- as if you prefer not choosing your experiences?

See, I like the "freedom of choice"- not being always a receptor subjected to constantly changing emotional experience. I get enough of that in close proximity to people (the literal "sympathy" which is often mistakenly called "empathy"). I like to free myself of that sometimes, and have the freedom to choose!

In this psychological gymnastic, theory of mind, the ability to choose internal experiences is why it is interesting.
It even serves, at times, to counter sympathetic experiences that I find uncomfortable- example:

- I am near someone who is miserable (and not wanting to change it),

-My body is having a mirror reaction, my glands produce the same hormones, and I begin to feel miserable.

-I can think of my son, who is on a voyage in an exotic and beautiful place right now, and imagine I am seeing through his eyes (his recent descriptions and post cards aid in the visualizations)

-Now my body is producing different hormones, and I begin to feel elated and inspired.

edit on 20-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)
edit on 20-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
I am trying to understand your interpretation of "free to just be"- sounds like you consider that "freedom from choosing"- as if you prefer not choosing your experiences?

Life here is one seamless happening. I do not go into the future to prepare it so it is safe when I get there. I am free to not have to make it all safe. I am completely safe. I do not have to make it all better for me or for anyone else. Being free is not having to concern yourself with before and next and it is about not having a guard who is choosing what feeling is acceptable. All is welcome because all are passing visitors.


See, I like the "freedom of choice"- not being always a receptor subjected to constantly changing emotional experience. I get enough of that in close proximity to people (the literal "sympathy" which is often mistakenly called "empathy"). I like to free myself of that sometimes, and have the freedom to choose!

You don't really get a choice - you just get to see what is appearing. If you identify with the appearance you will get lost in delusion. You are not what is appearing - you are just watching silently in the background and when you find yourself as the perceiving emptiness you will know peace is your true nature. And all arises in that and subsides in that.
edit on 20-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:01 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Life here is one seamless happening. I do not go into the future to prepare it so it is safe when I get there. I am free to not have to make it all safe. I am completely safe. I do not have to make it all better for me or for anyone else. Being free is not having to concern yourself with before and next and it is about not having a guard who is choosing what feeling is acceptable. All is welcome because all are passing visitors.


Okay, whatever. I don't get what this has to do with preparing for future though. Nor what being "safe" has to do with it. Having fun in the moment, joy, all the positive experiences of our bodies chemicals, like dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, phenylethylamine, adrenaline, endorphins , serotonin.... they are not "needed", but they can be enjoyable. Why not stimulate them just for pleasure?

In the cases of helping others, no, it is not necessary- that is why I do not try to help someone who does not want it. But if they have chosen to change their experience, I see no reason not to share that experience in change with them.



You don't really get a choice - you just get to see what is appearing. If you identify with the appearance you will get lost in delusion. You are not what is appearing - you are just watching silently in the background and when you find yourself as the perceiving emptiness you will know peace is your true nature. And all arises in that and subsides in that


Here we are, once again, with you asserting your "superior" knowledge and claims that I am a lost and confused soul in need of your guidance. LOL! Do you ever just get over that emptiness? I mean, just stop obsessing over it and say, well, since I have this opportunity to experience "being" in this illusion (and already aware it IS an illusion) then why not just start enjoying and having fun with that opportunity? -Not to run from pain or suffering, just simply because joy IS. ?

Whatever...
you are free to do as you like, and percieve as you like, even others, in the way you like.
Sometimes I get the feeling, with you, that it is a masculine feminine type of difference between us.
So often us women are so "free" to be, that in fact we are just always being others- we start to yearn for the limits and boundries of "self" that might stabilize a state of being long enough to savor it.

Men so often are searching to escape those boundries, and be swept by the winds and waves without any limits, being free to experience no separation between self and other.
They never do understand our fascination for corsets and stories like "Fifty Shades of Grey".

As I am reveling in my discovery of how to find stability in an "I", you seem to be reveling in the way out you found. We're not all going in the same directions.
That is one of the reasons theory of mind can be useful.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 04:09 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
As I am reveling in my discovery of how to find stability in an "I", you seem to be reveling in the way out you found. We're not all going in the same directions.
That is one of the reasons theory of mind can be useful.


Have you found that stability you long for?
All my posts point toward the stability as I know where it is and live from there.

edit on 21-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by Bluesma
As I am reveling in my discovery of how to find stability in an "I", you seem to be reveling in the way out you found. We're not all going in the same directions.
That is one of the reasons theory of mind can be useful.


Have you found that stability you long for?
All my posts point toward the stability as I know where it is and live from there.




Oh yeah!
Once found I didn't feel the need to be stuck there.

I currently have more interest in the in-between state of experience...

In between the timeless awareness
and the linear ego

in between the constant crashing waves
And the silent capsule

In between chaos
and form,

Nothingness
and everything,

There is this really cool experience of an "I" and "not I" interacting with each other, and this is fun.

It is interesting when you learn that a film reel has several little snapshots, giving the illusion of movement and change, and the first time you study a piece of film it is a fascinating revelation.

Then you just.... get over that wonder, and start running the film, watching that illusion, and even maybe making your own films creatively!
edit on 21-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 04:56 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by Bluesma
As I am reveling in my discovery of how to find stability in an "I", you seem to be reveling in the way out you found. We're not all going in the same directions.
That is one of the reasons theory of mind can be useful.


Have you found that stability you long for?
All my posts point toward the stability as I know where it is and live from there.


Oh yeah!
Once found I didn't feel the need to be stuck there.

Once the stability is found there is no getting away from it. The sound and fury continue but it is always viewed from a peaceful place.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Once the stability is found there is no getting away from it. The sound and fury continue but it is always viewed from a peaceful place.


Peacefulness is overrated, in my opinion.


Again, I prefer the music in between the silence and the fury.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Once the stability is found there is no getting away from it. The sound and fury continue but it is always viewed from a peaceful place.


Peacefulness is overrated, in my opinion.


Peace watching the sound and fury is sweet music. It is the universal song.
The one verse - universe.

You say peace is overrated but you spoke earlier about the 'stable I'.
A 'stable I' to me is peace (or okness) - what does 'stable' mean to you?
edit on 21-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

The subject here is the theory of mind - Which is willingly chosen.

If there is someone there choosing then there cannot be peace or okness with what is.. The chooser is trying to choose good stuff and avoid bad stuff. Why does it do this?
The chooser is the seeker - it seeks the end of suffering.
When the seeker/chooser goes then all will be seen to be arising and subsiding in emptiness.

edit on 21-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Once the stability is found there is no getting away from it. The sound and fury continue but it is always viewed from a peaceful place.


Peacefulness is overrated, in my opinion.


Again, I prefer the music in between the silence and the fury.


One says they prefer the "in between states", so they spend their time being knocked back and forth like a ping pong ball, just to experience the 'free floating' sensation in between each crash of the paddle. On one side is desire, on the other is fear. The burning desire for more, the anguishing fear of losing that "more". They see these as separate events, without seeing the fluid interaction that links them. In the movement of the 'free floating' in between states is desire and fear. The "music" is the "silence and the fury". You reach for one and get flung towards the other.

One person jumps back and forth to experience brief interludes of "peace" or satisfaction. Another person remains still and experiences it continuously.





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