Middle England

In 1966 I was born into what is commonly known as ‘Middle England’. For those who are not familiar with this term, it is not a geographical location; Middle England is used to describe a particular class of people in England. People in ‘Middle England’ are characterised by the fact that they are neither rich nor poor, they are what is known as ‘comfortably off’. In fact, not only are they ‘comfortably off’ but they are ‘comfortably everything’. Comfort is a defining factor in nearly every aspect of life in ‘Middle England’. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but I shall talk about what makes up life for the majority of the people in Middle England, for I am one of them.

We tend to be well educated, not boffins by any stretch of the imagination, but our parents instilled in us the importance of doing well at school. A good education, a good job and a good life are all intrinsically linked in Middle England. In fact we see ourselves as ‘good’ people. We have enough money for it to not be an issue. We can afford family holidays, school fees, clothes with ‘labels’ and a couple of cars.

Middle England is a very cosy place, very cosy indeed, and therein lies the problem – when something is so comfortable there is little incentive to question it, let alone leave. We settle into comfortable jobs, comfortable friendships, hobbies that bring us comfort and comfortable marriages. What adds to our idea that comfort is a goal of life is that we compare ourselves to the majority of the world’s population who are struggling with the day to day basics such as food and water and we feel very privileged and lucky to be living the way that we do…

But what if life isn’t about being comfortable – what if life is about evolution?

Ah, now that changes… everything!

I have spent many years feeling what is commonly considered as ‘comfortable’. However what I now know is that feeling ‘comfortable’ actually took a considerable amount of effort because my body did not feel naturally comfortable at all. In fact my body was pretty irritated and uncomfortable most of the time, but due to the array of medications that I chose to administer myself, I rarely got to feel the full force of my discomfort.

I drank coffee to pep me up, I exercised strenuously to take the edge off my gnawing irritation, I ate sugar to rev me a little, I smoked marijuana to stifle my anger – oh, and my anger was to stifle my sadness, I had boyfriends to cover up my low self esteem, I overate to dull my awareness, I watched a lot of really crap telly to simply zone out and I partied hard in order to completely and utterly obliterate my ability to feel anything other than high. There is nothing that I have listed here that is unusual, in fact all of this is considered very normal for people who consider that they have a comfortable way of life – how else do we maintain the facade of comfort?

Repetition goes hand in hand with comfort. What is it that we repeat? Well, we repeat everything: we say the same things to the same people in the same way, we behave exactly the same with the same people, we do the same things at the same time in the same way, we eat and drink the same things, we smoke the same things and ingest the same things, we move in the same way, we think the same thoughts that we have always done and very often all of these things are actually very similar to the way in which the generation before us chose to do things.

We may kid ourselves that we are branching out by trying something new, but often that ‘new something’ has the same flavour as pretty much everything else that we’ve always done.

For example, I replaced strenuous gym work with strenuous yoga, thinking that I was bettering myself, oblivious to the fact that I was replacing one medication for another. I replaced marijuana with meditation, again thinking that I was doing something better and missing the fact that they both served the same purpose and that was to prevent me from feeling what I was feeling.

The Truth was forever inside me but comfort lay like a blanket of fog over the top of truth, obscuring my ability to feel it clearly.

Getting out of comfort is not easy: there is an inertia built into comfort that means that extracting ourselves from comfort has the same momentum as running in quicksand.

But the truth of the matter is there is no place for comfort in truth and no truth in comfort.

Living a life of comfort is to live a life of reduction and that is nothing short of a tragedy.

It is a misconception to think that living a life of comfort is actually easy – it takes a huge amount of effort to give the appearance that nothing much is changing. If you look at a man walking in a wind tunnel, it may appear as if he is not moving at all but he is actually having to work very hard at staying where he is because he is working against the force of the wind. We are all getting pulled up to constantly evolve, that is the natural order of life, therefore to keep repeating the same choices year after year takes constant commitment to resist the pull to evolve.

Comfort is a form of mummification, one that we have chosen for lifetime after lifetime, which begs the question as to why we continuously choose comfort over truth. Deep down (whether conscious or not) we can all feel the same unbearable fact and that is, that this bastardised version of life is the culmination of every single choice that we have ever made. If we owned up to this fact then we would all be called to account, and that is something that most of us aren’t prepared to let happen, therefore we often choose comfort because it feels much easier to simply put the telly on and have a beer: avoidance is our default setting, and although it muddies our perception, it can’t actually prevent us from feeling the truth of all things.

I am forever grateful to Serge Benhayon, the Benhayon Family and to the Universal Medicine Student Body for their commitment to both the truth and to love. I have been continuously inspired to make different choices, and those choices have led to an increase in awareness, a deeper understanding of life, and to begin the process of dispersing my own fog of comfort.

By Alexis Stewart, Dedicated Student of The Way of The Livingness, Partner to an amazing man, Mum to a beautiful boy, Yoga Teacher, Disability Care Worker, Sydney   

Further Reading:
How Hard is it to Change?
Comfort | Unimedpedia
Countries in Comfort

574 thoughts on “Middle England

  1. It’s interesting to consider what comfort means to us and how that looks in relation to everyone else as well. I certainly don’t think life needs to be about suffering, which some may think is the opposite of comfort, but instead what if ditching comfort is more about living to our full potential for the benefit of all…

  2. Brilliant. An excellent expose of what we’ve resigned to as a whole humanity. The exhaustive strain of quicksand masked as comfort while we miss out on the glory of life when it is lived in love.

  3. Rereading your blog Alexis I am reminded of the fact that ‘comfort lays like a blanket of fog that masks the truth’. I am aware of the times I lapse into comfort and my responsibility to acknowledge the truth and kick out comfort so that I, and humanity, can evolve.

  4. This is a great point Alexis ‘ We are all getting pulled up to constantly evolve, that is the natural order of life, therefore to keep repeating the same choices year after year takes constant commitment to resist the pull to evolve.’ Interesting how we choose comfort over evolution when it is obviously hurting us, the rise in illness and disease is proof enough that something needs to shift so we can embrace what is on offer equally for us all.

  5. Yes comfort we feel is our friend but in truth it is our old foe that we have carried around for aeons and can be hard to shake off. Because comfort has been a long held pattern in our lives, it feels like a huge weight to lift off. When we peel back the layers of comfort bit by bit and see why we use them, we begin to reconnect to our natural essence and the real magic of living life and learning starts to clear our way. Clearing comfort is like cleaning your home. It may take a little time and patience, but when it is complete the space feels amazing.

  6. We can gradually let go the species of ‘comfort’ that you are speaking about Alexis in your excellent blog, by becoming more of who we truly are – and doing whatever it takes to clear the old and surrender to our true essence. When not living in our truth and essence we are so unsettled, and so ‘uncomfortable’ that we seek comfort instead, as a way of feeling secure in the world. The only way to feel secure in the world is to live in the world fully but not be ‘of it’.

  7. I know the feeling of comfort well but to stay in it and not seek the truth requires a lot of effort and there is a huge amount of tension and a deep sadness in our bodies. Our bodies know differently but we arrogantly choose comfort over this.

  8. So many great facets explained and expressed here Alexis of the so called normal life that we as society use to stay in comfort or in a state of limbo, where we then don’t have to challenge any of our own or group behaviours, but to only think that is normal to live abnormally in disregard, disconnection and abuse to ourselves and others.

  9. Comfort can also be a part time commitment to evolution and being love, fitting it into our lives without rocking too many boats. Being all of us here in this area of our lives and not going there in that one. I have discovered how many areas of life I do not bring my essence to and it feels very uncomfortable that `i have chosen comfort in those areas, but at least now I know and here I am, with this greater awareness and can change it to bring my essence to make one life, a life where I bring my essence all of the time.

    1. Ariana what you share about being selective in where we bring evolution and love, is a very good point. Bringing those qualitites into my family relationships was incredibly difficult and it was met with what at times felt like forceful resistance. I can understand anyone who chooses comfort over evolution, as evolution really does shake things up BUT and it really is a massive ‘but’ the rewards for bringing evolution and love to any-thing are immeasurable whereas the effects of not bringing those things to areas of our lives always, always involves pain.

  10. It is amazing that an abusive way of living has been used to dull the uncomfortable comfort we are in. When I first heard the word comfort as applied to how we lived it did not make any sense to me at the time, that my continual mulling in my head was a way of comfort. I have now come to understand any behaviour that we indulge in to not feel our pain and hurts is comfort.

    1. True Lydia, and yet there can be great ‘comfort’ in all the ‘doing’. Comfort is a ‘go-to’ place to attempt to stop feel the tension and hurt of life as we live it.

  11. Comfort used in this sense of the word is a state and way of living that we constantly re-introduce and pull into our lives to assuage the pain, guilt, hurt and contraction that we carry around life. It is a Linus blanket that we carry around and cover our pain with. All we need to do is uncover the hurts and let them out into the Light of the Sun to be seen and dealt with and then comfort will no longer be needed or sought for.

  12. Kapow – what a blog. “But what if life isn’t about being comfortable – what if life is about evolution?” Imagine if we had an index for evolution as opposed to an index for poverty? Would we find that the most ‘privileged’ of us were actually destitute? This goes a long way to explaining why people with seemingly great lives commit suicide or live dosed up on antidepressants, drugs or coffee.

  13. So many types of comfort we can resort to, anything we choose to do, to not feel what we are truly feeling could be called comfort.

    1. Jill it’s so true what you say about there being ‘So many types of comfort we can resort to, anything we choose to do, to not feel what we are truly feeling could be called comfort’, which when you look at it, describes most of the activities that we have chosen to fill our days with. If we were to go ‘cold turkey’ and pull out everything that we ate, drank, smoked, injected, ingested and engaged in that had a numbing quality to it, then we would be left in a state of sheer panic and utter destitute anguish! The trick is to gently work on the reasons why we are using things to numb ourselves and then what we find is that, over time, our need to use then gently evaporates.

  14. I also have lived a very comfortable life but always felt very uncomfortable knowing that something essential was missing. On the very first occasion I attended a presentation by Serge Benhayon at Universal Medicine I knew I had found the key that would show me my way to my true essence. Much of it has been very uncomfortable as I observed and let go of the protective layers of comfort that I realised were the cause of my discomfort.

  15. Alexis, I love how you have exposed the truth of comfort and identified that there is no true comfort from being in comfort, it takes a huge effort and force to prevent ourselves from living who we are in full and not want to be aware of what we are already feeling.

    1. So true, Linda, that comfort is in fact exhausting to maintain while being open and engaging in learning and expanding one’s awareness is life-enhancing even though it can be uncomfortable.

  16. Comfort keeps us imprisoned within a fortress of our own making, while evolution is a constant expansion through living our life with purpose.

  17. ‘Living a life of comfort is to live a life of reduction and that is nothing short of a tragedy.’ Well said and very true Alexis, we settle for so much less than we are capable of and create a comfy nest for ourselves that offers no evolution or true connection with ourselves or others.

  18. Great exposé, Alexis, of the paradox that what we are conditioned to aspire to as being ‘good for us’ is in fact harmful as it suppresses and dulls our true capacity. Because we innately know this but do not know how, or have the confidence to extricate ourselves, we indulge it activities and behaviours to not feel the pain and suffering of not living our potential, thereby allowing and perpetuating the pattern.

  19. “Living a life of comfort is to live a life of reduction and that is nothing short of a tragedy.” we choose the easy way out in order to avoid evolution and yet at the same time defending that which keeps us imprisoned in being less and far away from the truth of who we are.

    1. Francisco, we fight tooth and nail to defend our chosen ways of comfort, lest we be exposed for the choices that we are making to dumb life down to the most basic, and I would add barbaric, levels that we have settled for.

  20. So many pearls of wisdom in this blog, this one really stood out for me today “the Truth was forever inside me but comfort lay like a blanket of fog over the top of truth, obscuring my ability to feel it clearly.”. I have started to clear the fog of comfort and am relishing in the truth that I see. And the less tension in my body as I re-connect to truth.

  21. When I read the following paragraph again, this time I found myself laughing at how ridiculous we are: ‘I drank coffee to pep me up, I exercised strenuously to take the edge off my gnawing irritation, I ate sugar to rev me a little, I smoked marijuana to stifle my anger – oh, and my anger was to stifle my sadness, I had boyfriends to cover up my low self esteem, I overate to dull my awareness, I watched a lot of really crap telly to simply zone out and I partied hard in order to completely and utterly obliterate my ability to feel anything other than high.’ I myself did plenty of those things, but it is sheer craziness when you read it there in black and white. As you say Alexis this is considered ‘normal’. I was at the corner shop the other day and a bunch of blokes were talking about their beers in a deeply affectionate and ‘intimate’ way as if they were their most treasured thing. It was startling! And yet I know that I myself have done this with music and other things . . . which is in fact exactly the same.

  22. In these past years of attending presentations by Serge Benhayon, I have come to learn and to discover for myself through life itself, how there is a difference between the dullness of comfort and being well cared for. As our bodies need to be tenderly cared for and cherished, as does the being inside. But comfort can be when the body and the being are supplemented in to a dull state where nothing can be truly felt or expressed.

  23. A great expose of what comfort really is and how it is very far from the good thing that we tend to assume it is. In fact, comfort holds us back from doing what we are here to do which is to evolve. We are all here to evolve back to a known and lived past. It’s a riddle I know but living the future now is the way to evolve back to the past that we descended from.

  24. Many of us would still think comfort is something you do to yourself if you’re feeling not that great or it’s something you need in a seat or a piece of clothing. The comfort that we are speaking of here is more in a life setting. You know when you are unhappy or feel life isn’t going anywhere but then you feel better or you do something like go on a holiday and it all feels different until you return or until something happens and you feel like you are back in the same hole. Comfort here is defined in a lifestyle, meaning that all the little choices you make to do certain things moves you to a point where you almost walk in the same circle, Monday is a drag, Wednesday we made it and thank god for Friday style of thing. By the way we live we can actually hold ourselves in a state of repeat, the date may tick over and we may look older, the world on the surface may change but we get the feeling of going around in circles. This is what we can call comfort, dealing with a day just as a day and not seeing where we have been or where we are going. Living life only because we have woken up and that’s just what we do. The world and history has always shown us there is more to life then just what’s shown in front of us, comfort is the thing that hide the more. We can walk ourselves around to keep ourselves deliberately blind, it’s a cruel thing we do to ourselves.

  25. I can feel how I have been trying to avoid mistakes and being ‘wrong’ by investing in being ‘right’ and how that causes anxiousness and is detrimental to my nervous system. And how devastating that is when I don’t get rewarded for being right!

    1. Fumiyo I too have been very invested in not being ‘wrong’ and to an even greater extent I have also been invested in being ‘good’. It’s pretty incredible for me to now realise that both wrong and right and good and bad are simply arbitrary terms whose very loose translation seems to change from person to person and even more crazily can be determined by the mood of the person at the time!

      1. I love what you have said here Alexis. The ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ thought paradigm is an integral part of the ‘Good’ illusion. It is almost shocking when one realises how invested we have been in this way of life, using the structure as a false marker of truth.

      2. Lyndy the even crazier thing about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘right’ is that they don’t actually have any structure, they are as solid as a house made out of ice cream! Truth on the other hand does not budge an inch, it simply stands as it has always done, acting like the immoveable beacon that it is.

      3. Absolutely Alexis. These ideas/beliefs are constructs of our creation – ‘ice cream’ as you say, and made of ‘insubstantial fabric’ as Shakespeare says. Truth is and always will be.

  26. I love how you point out that replacing strenuous gym with strenuous yoga and marijuana with meditation was what you believed to be better when actually it was just the same and a way to avoid feeling what you were really feeling.

  27. This is really blowing the comfort out of the water. Comfort is trying to stand still in the constant pull of evolution. It is a very default setting for most of us, but it takes so much energy. Letting go of the hold of comfort is freeing the love we have inside, that wants nothing more than to rejoin with the oneness we come from.

    1. ‘ Letting go of the hold of comfort is freeing the love we have inside, that wants nothing more than to rejoin with the oneness we come from’, Benkt this is pure poetry to my heart.

  28. Yes there are so many forms of comfort, even hard work can be comfort; the world is hell bent on being comfortable at any expense.That is our supposed goal in life, to be comfortable and the more comfort the better, the earlier we are able to retire the better. And how wrong or missing the point of life can we be as you say Alexis, there is no truth in comfort and no comfort in truth, so it is time to cut the comfort and get on with it.

  29. I too would come from what you would describe as a similar background. What I have noticed is that there is a strong push for comfort and security and for a period the drive to achieve this seems fulfilling but often there comes a point where there is a tension or a feeling of unsettlement and that there has to be more than this. I feel like we all know there is more to life than what we as a humanity have currently made it.

  30. Comfort certainly is a form of mummification; thank you Alexis for exposing the harm we inflict on ourselves, and others, when we fall into comfort. I loved reading about Middle England and the lifestyle it fostered, also your moves to move away from that comfort and security.

  31. This is great Alexis. The way you have expressed this so clearly communicates the absolute involution of comfort, for if we consider that we do the same things in the same way over and over again in comfort we could comfortably think we are at the very least staying put, when in actual fact we are effectively going backwards because the universe around us is constantly expanding and evolving.

  32. “Repetition goes hand in hand with comfort” is a great insight into the inertia of living in Middle England or any other middle, for that matter. Serge Benhayon presented on circulation energy during the Universal Medicine retreats this year and I can feel that we just keep regurgitating the same old, same old and keep treading water when we choose this type of existence.

    1. Gabriele I am very aware of the repetition that exists in the way that we speak to each other. So often what we say comes from an automated place that lacks any freshness or ingredients from the present moment. We drag out responses from yesteryear and when something is said from yesterday it makes it even harder for another to respond with aliveness. On the other hand when we speak from our bodies in the present moment it makes it harder for another to pull out an automated response and so they are encouraged to also speak from their bodies in the present moment.

      1. Well said Alexis and Gabriele – circulation energy is a great comfort to a great number. It is a form of superstitious protection to fend things off, but in fact it is a huge prison-house that only speaking from the body, as you say Alexis, can defeat.

  33. “Repetition goes hand in hand with comfort” there is definitely the safety of familiarity and that which does not challenge us to be more but keeps us playing small away from the powerhouses that we are.

    1. This stood out to me today too Francisco. It is like building a wall around something and thinking it will be there forever, but it breaks down and crumbles if we don’t keep maintaining and keeping it solid and strong. We continually are running round each day keeping the wall as solid as possible conveniently not seeing that without the wall in the first place we would not be needing all the energy it takes to keep it up! Perhaps this is one of the keys to living a much fuller and grander life. We don’t need to do more per se, just simply allow what is not true to fall away

  34. When anything is ‘comfortable there is little incentive to question it’ – wow Alexis you have just explained the status quo to perfection.

    1. Not only is there little incentive to question something when it’s comfortable but we actively look at getting ourselves into positions of comfort. What this translates to meaning is that we are all, looking en masse to get ourselves into holding patterns of stagnation, when all along the absolute jewels in life are hidden within the discomfort. If we all moved towards the situations that make us uncomfortable then we would free ourselves of the shackles of illusion in no time and realise that comfort is nothing but a lead albatross.

  35. Maintaining a facade of comfort takes a great deal of effort to avoid feeling and being consciously aware of the true dis-comfort we otherwise feel.

  36. Repetition does go hand in hand with comfort, but it has an air of function to it rather than a way of being. Repetition is about doing, whereas a rhythm in life is about being who you are in whatever your activity is.

  37. “But what if life isn’t about being comfortable – what if life is about evolution?” Living a life of comfort is something we have all lived in certain times or parts of our lives, but it is the opportunities to stop and feel what’s really going on by our actions and or movements, that we can stop and consider, what living life is really about. Its also great to note that life doesn’t run in a straight line, rather it flows up and down and this is where we learn and uncover what holds us back and what confirms and propels us forward. That is evolution and life lived in constant flow with the rhythm of who we are.

      1. Yes what I have been noting of late Alexis is exactly that. Are we moving with life and the rhythm and flow of our own connection to our bodies or are we pushing against the flow and moving in a way that holds us back and creates unease and tension. Life can either be a push or a surrender to the divine connection that holds us all.

  38. The depth to which I could appreciate Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and the Student body for their willingness to break free of the comfort and show the world what life feels like without it – I won’t live long enough to exhaust this appreciation thats for sure. These days repetitive conversations grate on me like rubbing a cat the wrong way (up the back not down) and I do feel a tension that there is more within me to come out and more to life than what I am currently aware of. I rather feel this tension than the tension of holding in all those emotions and hurts and expectations from and for life to be a certain way to stay comfortably static.

  39. Brilliantly said and exposed Alexis – “avoidance is our default setting”… Phew, now if we REALLY looked at this?? We would see that we are indeed masterful – with a higher degree of mastery than any elite sportsman or artisan we could imagine – at avoiding the truth of what we have been living, in all the myriad ways in which our lives are devoid of the love of the soul.
    We are so masterful in fact, that we let ourselves think that the props we use to numb the deep ache for the absoluteness of the soul’s love in our lives… that they actually ‘do the trick’, and keep us happy even… All the while knowing that there is something deeper to be lived.

  40. The thing is, in our ‘masterful avoidance’ we are not only avoiding dealing with what holds us back and the intricacies we have crafted in order to do so – the far greater thing that we are avoiding is the fact of our magnificent love, that we are this – we are Love.
    Dare we go there and accept this, and learn to bring the power of this love into every aspect of our lives? Now that is the question for us all…

  41. Often our lives of comfort are not rocked or questioned until something happens and this then provides us an opportunity to go deeper and question things.

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