I recently heard of a Tibetan Rinpoche who said “it’s not the thought. It’s the glue.” Body and mind shouted, YES!
I’ve spent a whole lot of time in the last seven years looking for THE thought that would bring freedom, finding thought after thought that opened the doors of truth. Painful beliefs have a way (only always) of not being true.
But, dang it, some of those doors are pretty determined to slam shut again. It’s as if there is a very viscous and sticky substance that allows them to open just enough to get a peek of possibility, but then pulls them closed. So I’ve been getting curious about that glue, poking a stick in it and then pulling it out and seeing what happens, as I sit in my own inquiry.
Here’s my partial conclusion. There are many types of glue-like substances. But a big one is fear. Fear of change, even though the change is good. Fear of being abandoned, of not being included, of (the big one), fear of death itself. Sometimes this fear waits in the wings, and sometimes it comes closer. But it becomes a powerful adhesive when it binds with a long-held belief.
A few years ago my son was in a house fire that almost took his life. He managed to wake up and get out of the house, which exploded within a minute later. He was in a medically-induced coma for more than five weeks. Bone-chilling fear. The kind of glue-like fear that could easily have kept me stuck in inaction.
Inquiry (and a whole lot of support from sources seen and unseen) got me through. I was able to experience waves of fear. Poking around, I noticed the Big Kahuna of Beliefs. He could die. Or the Little Kahuna: he would be permanently damaged and unable to live a happy life.
As I poked, I noticed how deeply painful these beliefs were. I could barely manage to feel the terror of them. As I continued questioning my mind, I could only see that I didn’t know that they were true. I could see that they were actually a fanciful creation of my own terror.
I juxtaposed the effect of both beliefs in my mind. With them: fear. Without: hope. The first belief glued my body to the bed. The second motivated clear thinking.
Poking around in the glue gave me the ability to stretch it to the point of freedom. Kind and intentional action.
That experience changed Ben forever. He’s now safe and alive, living a life that sustains him, gratefully.
It changed me, too, in many ways. But what stands out in my memory right now is how powerful a couple of questions can be to stretch or even dissolve the Super Glue of the worst fears of all.