How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy: Article on Jaroslav Flegr and his research into a parasite shared by humans and their cats. The research shows how T. gondii “can turn a rat’s strong innate aversion to cats into an attraction, luring it into the jaws of its No. 1 predator. Even more amazing is how it does this: the organism rewires circuits in parts of the brain that deal with such primal emotions as fear, anxiety, and sexual arousal.”
If a parasite can control the behavior of infected rats, as this one does, could our thoughts be influenced by the same or similar sources? Are all our thoughts our own, or are we just as susceptible to parasitic influences as we are to marketing?
To find a still place within that’s free from the drama of the working world is paramount in our attempt to contact intuition and higher thinking. Once we move out of the patterns of mechanical thinking, we must also leave behind the emotional motivators that cause them, and instead allow the questioning and intent of our spiritual search to come forth. Mechanical thinking will continue to assert itself if we try to solve spiritual problems from the level of mechanical emotions. A vector towards inner truth is the path out of outer reactive tail chasing. We can’t win the battle for control of our thinking if we try from the realm of the battle itself. A higher realm is needed, one of higher emotion than found in the jungle of life.
If we find ourselves afraid to do something because we don’t want to face the emotional reaction the act brings comes up in ourselves, this is a clue that we’re buying into the false world of mechanical reaction. We imagine how we will react when faced with another person or circumstance and cramp up, remembering how we may have mishandled it previously. We become afraid to do what we need to do, for the thoughts of other’s possible offences raises our defences, and avoiding the situation altogether is added to the mix as well. Fight or flight, the law of the jungle, becomes our only mode of thinking, and the residual emotions from it linger throughout the day, long after the events are over. By the time we get home, we’re full of the unconscious but active vibrations our mechanical upset has created, leaving us in a state of inner turmoil. No wonder week after week goes by, and our spiritual vector remains just below the level needed for dynamic action.
A recovering alcoholic learns quickly that he can no longer associate with his former so-called friends and their negative thought patterns, called “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” in AA. The same may be true for us. The circumstances of our karma and lives may not allow us the freedom of the ashram lifestyle with it’s quiet seclusion, but we can find a place within that gives solace and room to think. Just the humble acceptance of the above quandary will bring help into our soul, and show us the path to inner freedom. This calm mind that can allow our vector to assert itself is found when we drop the pattern of the false self and move into neutral territory long enough to let our defences down, and listen. Move within to a place where reaction is no more, and watchful listening prevails. There you may feel a longing for even more stillness, a faint remembrance of something better, whispering a direction home.
One way to spot the emergence of the false self, the sleep walker and its pattern, is by an ache in the heart, by that tender nerve that gets touched, a longing for escape or
relief. This nerve is tender and sensitive from our believing in the world of the false self. Think of a valid action or event you like, that’s natural and healthy, and the negative guilt reaction it may induce, such as a quiet walk in the park. There’s no material or emotional profit from it, it doesn’t put bread on the table, or pump up someone else’s idea of us, but it helps clear our mind and gives us time alone to think. If during our little walk we find our thoughts drifting to duties, to should’s and could’s, to having to make excuses why we aren’t being productive or perfect(why do we need quiet time, to meditate, what’s wrong with us?), we can shift our attention from the inner world of our negative imaginings, and instead focus on what’s going on in the moment. We then leave the false world of manufactured worry and come back to ourselves. We leave the false world, we wake up. The ache is because of our attachment to the world of our worry and imaginings: it’s the knot. Our heart does not ache because things aren’t the way they should be, it aches because we have become attached to our false idea of things, of how we are told we should be. People poke at our life, we get defensive and feel that ache. It’s a sure sign we’re buying into their take, into their false world, it’s hurting our heart because we’re connected to their projections, we believe it, therefore we have to react to it as if it’s real. If we could keep ourselves in our own heart, in ourselves in the moment, then we wouldn’t react to them. When we react, we believe them, for we’ve lost our reason and fallen asleep. This causes the pain, because we come out of ourselves and allowed the world of imagining and projecting, the land of sleep, to touch us through our believe in it; the knot of the heart.
If we buy into the anger, criticism, or praise of others by believing in it, and by believing that their take on events is realer than our actual perception, the innocent perception, if we buy into their criticism by reacting to it defensively, or their praise by getting puffed up, this means that we agree with it, and are fast becoming it. If this agreement causes an emotional reaction inside, this sets up dissonance and the inner conflict. We come to not trust our own take on what we see, and believe instead in the critical or flattering take from outside. We develop our own defensive reaction pattern to this outer offensive pattern. This reaction pattern to the criticism/praise creates a false self in us in order to match the false world that we’ve agreed to through our belief in it. This sets up a reactive little universe of drama in which we are trapped. We say “I” to this false self for so long we come to automatically believe it to be us.
When we get into situations that cause this to be acted out, such as work, social situations, and around certain types who are overly critical or fawning, we defend ourself against this criticism/flattery and start criticizing, flattering, patterning our “I” to be just as they are. We lose track of our innate innocence, most of our reason, and the connection within. We’ve been drawn outward into a false emotionally reactive universe of defensiveness: a fake self. This entire thing has to be dropped, it can’t be improved, it’s a desperate down hill ride through a dark swamp with a messy ending. A clean break, a return to our own direct perception of the world, the acceptance of own capacity to be aware, is the way out. This drama and its pattern forming can never be solved at its own level.
If we make a mistake, can’t do something the way other people insist we should, or find we are planning ways to garner praise, reacting emotionally by believing in the drama, the way out is to stay connected to our own innocent perception of what’s actually taking place, a pure non-judgmental awareness that is not formed from experience, but is aware of and contains our experience. Our reaction pattern, which is a reaction to other reaction patterns, and all entirely in the imaginations of those involved, can by definition only progress along set lines, there is no lasting relief. Some people are almost completely this false self, walking bodies, trouble. Is that all you wish to become?
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