Tag Archives: inner self

A Pattern of Becoming

Over the Shoulder Man-web
Reactive Man

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?

Buzz Ball or Essence?

“I want to become so lost in experience that I forget myself.  I’ve always got things to think about, lots to do, it saves me from being in the moment. Something in me doesn’t want to face the moment, because it thinks it’s missing out, it’s going to miss something.  Like needing to watch movies, or social networking, browsing endlessly on the web, channel surfing even though I can’t find anything I care about. I like to think that if I would just go home at night and sit in the dark, be quiet, stay away from the endless

Observant Osprey
Observant Osprey

electronic chatter, that I’d be calmer, happier. But when it’s that time, I find myself doing the same old same old,  because I feel that I’m going to miss something.  That if I watch the movie, browse the web, I’ll have done something.  It’s the same way with thinking.  I don’t like to just walk along, or just sit and be empty of reaction.  Something in me wants to be thinking, thinking, thinking all the time because it’s so afraid it’s going to miss something by being quiet.  It’s really strange, I think my mind is like a sort of buzz ball of static, trying to assert itself and stay alive, rather than letting what’s essential, my inner self, come forth and grow. “

If the above statement rings a bell for you, you’ve begun the big battle, the war of the selves. The inner fight between the outer and inner man. This is a huge step on the path, for it shows we’ve come to realize that the battle is within, not with circumstance or others, but with ourselves.

This buzz ball, the mind of static and habit, is opposed to our essence. It is all a matter of identification: what do I see I am? If you’re identified with the buzz ball, then you have to think, plan, do, be nervous, think you’re missing out all the time.  If you’re identified with Essence, then experience doesn’t have to be so regulated or enticed.  It’s just your awareness of existence, and what creates it, that matters. You simply enjoy watching whatever it is that’s there.

Then, words such as those in the Serenity Prayer take on meaning, for we begin to see we may not be the doer after all, but an observer who has very little to do with what’s going on in the play of our lives.

Lord, grant me
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference.


Brain Fog 2

Another thing hidden by the brain fog is the dual aspect of our machine and its life. Our lives are largely the process of a machine generating energy, like a treadmill. The dual motion of two pistons, action and reaction, experience and experiencer, hooked to a central drive shaft, is transferring our energy away. We can see this by observing how we spend much more energy in our lives than is necessary to simply get by. We lead mechanical lives of dissipation, which are not of our own making, but from the states of mind we have bought into.  We are hooked up to the treadmill in the rat race, and in our personal emotional lives as well. Our emotional reactions to our spouses, our parents, our careers, whatever belief system we bought into, drives the machine, takes away our energy, and we never question it.  We can never solve this problem from its own level. The harder we push, the harder too are we pushed back. We think that we know what we’re doing, that we want what we want. It’s all being forced upon us, until we begin to question it.

Fog
Fog

This questioning takes a certain amount of courage, and trauma perhaps, but in the end run it saves a lot of energy.  We have to be able to face the fact that we do not want to question ourselves, our very beliefs, our sacred cows at whose altars we pray.  Our defenses automatically jump up whenever anyone else calls us on it, keeping our ego and the system of belief safe.

Experience is Binding

“Experience is binding” – Bob Cergol

You watch a movie, then notice the next day while you’re working, the movie has your inner movie working along trying to hash it out. The experience of watching the movie is taken by the mind as being real and therefore has to be worked out as if it happened.  This is just like working four or five hard shifts, and then taking two days off for the mind to quiet down and process the mess.  The experience is binding. If you are the type with a very strong personality and mind that are outward oriented, you never get a break from it, you try to still control it all, so that you can win.  This means that the experience is binding to you and you can’t drop it.

The last statement shows why isolations, times spent alone, are so important.  If you spend enough time out of pressing experiences, the inner movie starts to die down and you get a little breathing room.  This could scare you half to death if you’re the type that’s identified with the inner movie, it would feel as if you’re losing your rich inner life.  You don’t want quiet or stillness because that threatens that sense of self, or the self as it is and relates to the ego identified with the inner movie.  If you sit long enough in the quiet, this sense of self gets threatened, you want to rush back into experience in order to regain that feeling of self, of life from drama.

Today’s social networking provides a sense of self to many, keeping Facebook and Twitter in business.  It provides an effective escape from fear of loss of self, and sadly, from facing the Truth about what we really are.  Isolations are important because they show us this inner movie, and the broad extent of its power over us. Quiet time spent alone reveals our inner self through the process of allowing the play and drama of modern life and its character-self to wind down.

quiet time alone
quiet time alone