Jack had a Mom with a strong personality. She was the “boss” in the house.
Jack developed a shy personality as a defense mechanism to deal with his mother.
On the other hand Jack’s sister; Melissa had decided early on, not to put up with her mother. There was a continuous struggle to be in good terms with her.
As Jack and Melissa grew up, they used those personality traits to relate with others and to perceive the world.
Jack’s shyness developed into insecurity. Melissa’s fighting attitude, developed into trouble for her and her close relations.
That is the everyday situation for most of us: Something that we have learned unconsciously, will remain in our behavior no matter what.
People around us work as giant mirrors. The consequence of behaving with some sort of neurosis, could be observed in our relation with others.
Melissa will behave with bossiness whenever possible. Nevertheless, Melissa may not like to deal with Claire because “she is too bossy.” Melissa may not be able to recognize her own bossiness because she will feel that she is “normal.”
Let us say that Jack ended up having a good job. Jack had to deal with many individuals under his supervision. Jack may still have that shyness when dealing particularly with women. Jack may not be able to pinpoint the “reason” for that unless, Jack looks back into his relationship with his mother.
The “reflection” that other individuals bring to our lives is meant to show us something about ourselves.
The above description is not psychology. It is self observation. The above is not a religious story to “believe in” and to feel “peaceful” about being “a good person.”
The above is spirituality.
That is why a religious person may not be spiritual. That is why, a spiritual person may not be religious. It is not a matter of belief. It is matter of observing and being aware of ourselves at every moment.
Life is offering us the means to observe and to live fully, but for many it is easier to practice a devotional activity or to pay the psychologist so they could figure out our own issues.
That is the proof on how little we know ourselves… or how much willingness we have in deeply looking “inside.”
It easier to pray to God to change someone else. To send that “other” person good wishes so “she can change,” but we do not realize on how what we perceive in others is a reflection of ourselves in different degrees.
The game of being “aware,” “conscious,” is an interesting game. We are not awake because our eyes are wide open and because we can move around.
We are aware when we are continuously conscious that “we” are not, because then paradoxically; we could observe. Just as when we observe our neighbor without difficulty, because they are not “us.”
Deepest changes in personality may occur during our sleep time.
Those changes are consequences of our attitude and vision expressed in actions, during the hours that we are awake.
Therefore, the quality of our sleep is very important to enjoy a vibrant day in consciousness.
Unconscious behavior occurs while we feel tired, fatigued or not “fully there.”
In our society, we have been trained to ingest caffeine as a sure way to become alert. Please see that this behavior only promotes dependency on a substance, which could have unforeseen effects if we continue to experience sleep deprivation.
Beyond the “brainy” explanation of the REM state and the importance of experiencing deep sleep, there is the practical experience of a good night sleep.
Mathias, the wise tree explained to his friend Ananda about the importance of sleeping.
Ananda: “I understand that during the hours that I sleep, I am not conscious. It is like experiencing a “mini-death,” I feel vulnerable at that time, is this feeling correct?
Mathias: “Correct, friend. When you leave your physical body at the time of sleeping, your energetic field is open to all sorts of energies coming from the outside.
Electro magnetic energy from different devices created by humans, will affect your own electrical field, unknowingly. Likewise, you will attract different entities vibrating at your level. It is like giving food to those entities. For instance, if you are constantly feeling sad, that vibe will attract energies with similar polarities and your feeling will be enhanced in your waking hours.
To know how to sleep is extremely important.”
Ananda: “ What do you suggest, friend?”
Mathias: “ Night time is to rest. Follow Nature in that. Slow down at night-time. If you drink liquids, they should be warm or hot, for they will be easily absorbed in your body. Help your mind with enjoyable sounds, or music and as you are getting ready to sleep, send your own energy throughout your whole body and then expand that energy into the room where you are sleeping, so you become one with the totality. Your bedroom should have only your own energy, full with it; so there is no space for anything else to enter. In that state of fullness, you can let yourself go.
Ananda: “Interesting, friend. What about waking up?”
Mathias: “ Waking up is as important as going to sleep. Embrace your own self, send energy to your own body and generate feelings that will make you smile, with appreciation and gratitude of being there … it is with that attitude, that your day should start.”
A reader requested an article on “newness.” That is a great topic to get involved with. At the same time, the “thought” for today was “nothingness,” which unexpectedly brought an unusual realization.
There is newness as long as we are nothing. 🙂
The word “nothingness” is usually not well understood in a culture when being “something” is taught and believed.
A 3 year old baby is “nothing.” There is no conceptual idea of himself in him. There is no comparison going on; thus all experiences are “new.”
Serious, genuine spirituality is there to take away all those things which makes us believe that we are “something.”
Being “nothing,” is taught by spiritual teachers with different words.
For example when a spiritual teacher talks about “merging with God,” there is no way that “I” with all its content (something-ness) can merge with God. But, if “I” is nothing, in that there is already that “merging with God.”
That is why a “child is more elevated than a “mahatma”,” because a child is closer to God’s nature.
As we grow up, we forget to be “nothing.” Then ego (something-ness) appears out of that growth. Then, that “nothingness” creates a personality full with “something-ness.”
“I” am a doctor. “I” have 3 cars a house with a Jacuzzi in a very selective neighborhood, a beautiful wife a dog and 4 kittens ;” or the ego of having “nothing,” as in: ”I” only possess a set of clothes and my bowl to beg for food. “I” don’t have anything.
See how that pristine “nothingness” disappears by creating “something” to be, an individual.
The same happens when in relationship with “others.” If “I” am a movie star, then everyone around me will make me believe that “I” am “special.” If “I” am in a work setting when no one cares for my input, then “I” believe that “I” am not worthy.
As long as there is some sort of psychological content, in “me;” there could never be the experience of “newness.”
Because everything “I” perceive will be tinted from that perspective of being “something.” Everything will start from the vision of the “same old thing.” 🙂
That is how we believe to be of a particular “social status.” According to that belief, we will put an environment around us. That environment is not real, it does not exist but only in our minds.
We have created a society under those premises of being “something.” Being “something” allows for division to take place, segmentation based on a particular characteristic:
Skin color, accent, religious beliefs, handicaps, education, sexual orientation, age, etc.
Please see that the “ideal” of a young, wise, loving, saint millionaire who looks like a movie star; does not exist; however, our ideal drives our behavior and “efforts” to “be” that.
That is the insanity of being “something.”
Newness is always in being nothing. When “I” am nothing; then “I” could be merged with that changing world as a baby does; there is always “newness” for a baby. There is no baby who is “bored to death” of the same old thing.
Boredom appears when “something” (a personality) arises with their own expectations and desires.
Being “nothing” is sometimes referred to as being empty; that is “empty” of content, which brings usefulness to “everything,” the world.
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”
Tao Te Ching CH 11
“The highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.”
“Knowing nothing, you will be aware of everything. Remember: because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch.”
“To manage your mind, know that there is nothing, and then relinquish all attachment to the nothingness.”
Hua Hu Ching verses.
Spirituality is not ritualistic. Newness is not in “doing” but in “being.”
Being Nothing. 🙂
As long as there is a created personality, there will be fear at different levels.
Fear of what?
Fear of death. Fear of losing a job, fear of losing a “loved one,” fear to be dismissed by the religious group, fear to be left alone, fear of people, fear of saying what is in your heart, fear of the system, fear of the tradition, fear of God, fear of the Devil, fear of life, fear of darkness, fear of ourselves…
All of those fears have the common denominator of our idea of “losing something.”
That something is part of the personality, the created ego which does not realize or does not want to see that everything changes and that nothing remains the same.
We believe that our thoughts, our ideas about something have to be the “same,” by doing that we are blinding ourselves from the “reality” of change.
The runner who wakes up everyday early in the morning at 4:30 AM to run, no matter what; is viewed as an “example to follow.” “Look, he is amazing. He wakes up everyday at 4:30 to run, that is why he looks so slim and fit. I should be like him or “you” should be like him.”
We may not realize that anything which is done without “higher” consciousness tends to become a ritual, something more important than life itself, something which a person cannot live without; that is that “good ritual,” becomes a source of dependency; a new “drug” to keep someone high .
The fact that someone wakes up everyday at 4:30 to run should not be any source of amazement. Is that person enjoying that run? Is that person conscious of what he is doing during the time that he is out there running? What are his ulterior motives to do that?
For some is to “get it over before life gets in between.” For some “ to beat John in the next race, “I” need to train harder and longer.” For others, “to keep their weight down so they can enjoy eating.” Yet for some, the enjoyment of telling people what they do early in the morning, so they feel better about themselves.
All of the above only creates fear in the person. The reality of aging will come by and with that a “forced” change which means suffering. That “achievement” means nothing without enjoyment and gratefulness. At that point we become a “has been.” 🙂
If we are not realizing our own obsessive compulsive behaviors, we cannot enjoy life. All we are doing is feeding that illusory personality, giving that “ghost” life.
As we “work” (realize/understand) with all of our fears, then the possibility to discover emptiness appears; and with that emptiness of personality comes the wholesomeness of life.
The word “self” is meaningless for those who have not experienced it.
For the “normal” individual, the self is the body and the distinction represented by this body in relationship with everything else.
A name such as “Paul,” is a distinction when that name represents the label of a body. There is an inner description which creates our psychological view of ourselves based on previous experiences, and the description made by others which is determined by the type of relationship we could be in. For example, the “idea” that Paul’s parents have about Paul, is different from the preconception that someone else at work may have about Paul. Then there is the belief that Paul has about himself.
The result is that all of these interactions create a fragmentation in the personality (when we are not aware of them) different faces and attitudes to “act” upon.
We need to keep in mind that our past experiences create a set of complexes which will be modified according to the role that we need to play with others. This may translate into psychological suffering.
For example, the hierarchical view of ourselves in reference with others will change.
At work, Paul may be a supervisor. At home, Paul may be a husband who cannot use the same supervisory skills with his wife. At church, Paul is just a simple follower not a supervisor.
When we do not have the vision to accommodate according to the place and circumstance, we become “misfits,” problems for others. Nevertheless, to comply and follow with the “hierarchy” of things, brings fragmentation in our self.
It is a “catch 22” type of situation.
That is why it becomes very important to break away from these mind schemas, to be free from them. That requires someone who is not “normal.” 😉
Is it possible to become a “tabula rasa,” that is “blank being” from those diverse “personalities”?
Just like a 3-year-old baby?
When we sit for meditation, a particular mind-set will be there at the beginning. To be aware of this means to let go of that mind-set. To count your breathing up to 10 and then go back to 1 again is a good practice to get acquainted with concentration of the mind and inner awareness. Our breathing is automatic. It does not depend in a particular effort coming from the self; thus, it is helpful to experience that which is beyond the “normal” range of self.
The thought of “counting until 10” needs to go away as well as we progress. Then, we will find ourselves in a state free from thoughts but totally aware.
This is the experience.
It takes time to realize the different subtle thoughts which may appear. Their intensity will vary as well as their duration.
The length of this experience will increase as we let go of the “normal” self.
Some may call that “silence.” It is the “space” between thoughts. However, some may not experience any space between thoughts.
But, there is the experience of thinking and the absence of that. Some call that absence of thinking “emptiness.” The words differ but they are only fingers pointing to the experience.
In that experience there will not be a need to create a “mental image” about us with thoughts about “us,” for the experience of being free from thoughts is peaceful, relaxing, enjoyable even blissful and our awareness will become sharper. That experience takes away the “need” to think.
In this experience is how we start the process of peeling off the “old normal self” and its complexes, dreams, desires and such.
We will see those things appearing in the screen of our minds.
That is the time when observation could be experienced, and the origin of that observation is the “true” self unencumbered by thoughts, emotions and past hang ups.
This description is not a “recipe,” it is merely a limited experience. There may be different ways to peel the “layers of the onion,” the self. 🙂
When we let go of the “normal” self, we find the “real” self. That finding is one path to many other experiences of freedom of the self…from the self. 🙂
Thank you for your good question!
Welcome to the “die alive” club! Meant for those who are die hard fans of God and self-transformation! 🙂
You recognize that you have an addiction. Stop trying to stop it.
Just give your TV away for ‘free’ to a “good home.” Stop paying the internet service at home. That is all.
You cannot stop your addictions now, but you can get rid of the “triggers,” if you believe that those things are giving you sorrow in your life. That is, if you have understanding.
At that point, you will be “free” to observe your own addictions. What do you feel? What is that which is pushing you to do this? Unless there is an understanding which comes through observing the benefits of TV and internet in relationship with your spiritual life; all that you will do is suppress your obsessive “need” to watch TV and to be on the internet. That is to be “busy.”
Hint: The issue is not the TV nor the internet. The issue may reside in your addictive personality to “do something” all the time.
The feeling of boredom may arise. Welcome it. Deal with it. Be his friend. Then, it will go away by itself.
You have a good start in the BK life, you have a wonderful opportunity to “know yourself.” 🙂
When I want to explain about ego and give my view or my opinion on it, then anyone else can do the same. Everyone has a valid opinion.
For some, ego is “bad” for some others, ego is “good,” and for those who are in “balance,” ego is good in some occasions and bad in others. 🙂
However, when we use gyan/ knowledge and its premises to discover ego, then we are not giving just another opinion.
Gyan mentions that we are souls. A soul has sanskaras which appear according to time. No one has the same set of sanskaras. Among sanskaras, some are closer to the original qualities of the soul (love, peace, happiness, bliss, knowledge) and some are not.
When the soul has a body and “acts,” those sanskaras appear. Those sanskaras make our “personality.” That personality is what is known as ego. Gyan tells me that “I am not those sanskaras,” I am a soul with its original qualities.
Therefore, sanskaras will play in the “predestined Drama.” It is not depending on “me” when they play, but I believe it is “me” orchestrating “my” activity. That is ego.
Once I realize that these sanskaras are playing automatically and “I” do not like that, then “I want to change them.” That is ego as well.
Who is changing who? Isn’t that “me” trying to change “me”? Which “me” will appear from that “change”? Here is when we use “nice words” such as: “I have to be sweet.”
Then we look up the word “sweet” in the dictionary and “I” make a “performance” of my thought on sweetness. That is not “natural.” It is 100% artificial. A second rated “actor.”
Ego is a personality, a personification which “I” believe exists, which I believe is “me.”
However, that “me” is non existent. Why?
Because knowledge tells me that I am the soul and those sanskaras are just playing at its own time.
The soul does not have a “personality.” There is no “Me” felt as separation, although our language brings this separation as well, because it is ego based. The soul just expresses “being “ through the original qualities, when it is not covered with the “rust” of a personality.
We could say now: “Narayan is such a good guy. Very smart, kind and sweet.” Which is to talk about someone’s perception of another personality. We will not hear something like that in the Golden age.
That personality is the one causing sorrow to us, because it separates “Me” from “You,” as 2 different entities. Ego strives to be something which is not. The other vices will come to “help out” as well, for that separation brings the idea of “survival.” Ego must survive. “I” must enjoy. “I” need to run the show. That is another illusion. Ego.
Therefore, it is not a question of labeling ego as “good, bad, necessary or unnecessary.” It is a matter of identifying it by being a “detached observer” without the “I.” A detached observer, sees the role playing but does not feel affected by it, for there is no “I.” When we see without wanting to change a thing, change happens automatically, because we can see…Then, the “I must be sweet” is completely out of our mind, for we know without “looking up the dictionary for a good word to be.”
The thing is to learn to see. To look inside. To observe the self.