True and False “Urges”: The Essence of Human Life

December 26, 2016

This is the essence of human life:

Urges rise up from within us, and these urges are of three types:

–NEEDS: impulses of the outer being (the body) to survive, reproduce, and perpetuate the body (breathing, eating, sex, sleep, etc.)

–DESIRES: expressions of the inner being (the True Self) to bring forth one’s true, deepest nature or character (which is always “positive”)

–GREEDS: destructive inflations by the ego (the false self) of either legitimate NEEDS or genuine DESIRES

——–

NEEDS and DESIRES are natural, normal, and necessary urges that guide correct and proper function in human life.

GREEDS are natural urges inflated by the false self–like cancers. In time, this egoic inflation itself becomes GREED’s urge.

This is the realm of cravings, addictions, attachments, obsessions, and Narcissism…and the dysfunctional human behavior that results from them.

——–

The True Self has these two aspects:

–HEAD, or Reasoning-sense: thoughts, ideas, images, concepts, etc.

–HEART, or Feeling-sense: feelings, impressions, hunches, etc.

HEAD is connected to the deeper SPIRIT, and HEART is connected to the deeper SOUL.

The True Self is like an axle with two wheels, HEAD and HEART, which properly function in balance together. The human Male-Female relationship dynamic reflects these inner “wheels”.

——–

The ego/false self is composed of these two corruptions of the True Self:

–false or incorrect BELIEFS about life, reality, self, and others

–unexpressed negative EMOTIONAL PAIN “left over” from past harmful experiences

BELIEFS are corruptions of the HEAD. EMOTIONAL PAIN is corruption of the HEART.

The ego/false self is like a collection of ropes–each one made with strands of BELIEFS that are cemented together by EMOTIONAL PAIN.  (These “ropes” are all attached to FEAR.)

BELIEFS hold error in place and error holds EMOTIONAL PAIN in place.

The presence of the ego/false self blocks inner guidance from the True Self…and produces ERROR and NEGATIVITY in outer relationships.

——–

The goal and purpose of human life is to realize (become!) one’s True Self. This is done by reducing one’s own error and negativity.

To reduce ERROR, incorrect BELIEFS must be removed.

To reduce NEGATIVITY, unexpressed EMOTIONAL PAIN must be released.

This process reduces the size and power of the ego/false self, which is the source of inner GREEDS–and, therefore, also reduces the outer dysfunctions of ERROR and NEGATIVITY, which perpetuate the ego/false self in others.

Everything in human life is part of the process of reaching the goal.

(Written on August 21, 2012 and freshly edited on December 26, 2016)

 

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Gnosis and the Entanglement of Soul in the Flesh

December 24, 2016

Entanglement. That’s a good way to describe the human soul’s brief yet seemingly long stay on this warm, wet rock we call “Earth.”

Entanglement by choice, I would say, though I have no proof of this to offer. Just my own experience.

Without a body, the soul is light and free, attached to nothing–at least not in the way that we in the flesh become “attached” during our stay in this physical world. How do I know this? Because I experience it when I dream: living without a (physical) body.

The soul may well be a “body,” but not physical in its substance. The flesh we occupy here on Earth may be an imitation of that wispy form that leaves when we die, or when we dream at night, and which sometimes haunts dark corners and empty houses in the wee hours.

The soul is the cookie cutter and the body is the cookie.

It’s hard to put chains on something that isn’t physical, like the soul. That’s why Thoreau said that even though he was jailed for not paying his poll tax, he was nevertheless free. He identified with his soul more than his body.

This means, by the way, that Thoreau had the “gnosis” for which many have suffered and died at the hands of religious authorities. Luckily for him, he lived in the USA, product of the Enlightenment, under laws that came from that enlightened viewpoint.

Enlightenment and gnosis are the same thing: realization that one is not one’s body, and that life is therefore much grander and at the same time less stressful and serious than one previously thought. It is the realization of the soul.

That soul is you, and me, and the religious authorities, and the dog that gave my cats fleas, and my cats, and the fleas, and the grass in which they live now. It is each one, and every one, depending on how you look at it.

That soul, here on Earth, is wrapped up–entangled–in energy that we can detect as waves and particles, atoms and molecules, cells and fluid. And bone.

By choice? Some say so. I think so, but I have no proof. That’s okay, because in things of the soul proof is moot. You know, or you don’t know. Knowing is gnosis. Not knowing is agnosis, no matter what the agnostic person chooses to think or say about the matter.

Agnosis can appear to be atheism, or secularism, or religious fundamentalism. Agnosis is “not knowing,” which is the state of most of us here in this tangled world of flesh. Agnosis is being tangled and not knowing it. Gnosis is knowing one’s entanglement, and (maybe) becoming untangled.

This is why monks came about. Untanglement.

Monkishness, though, is an attempt to escape from the world, if it’s pursued beyond its initial intention of separating oneself from the entanglement of others (who are also without gnosis) in order to gain gnosis. If pursued in itself, monkishness becomes a cocoon, like playing video games or snorting meth or reading fiction–a way to try to forget one’s own entanglement here.

Trying to forget one’s entanglement is the opposite of gnosis. Gnosis is awareness, not forgetting.

The point, then, is not to be untangled, but to know one’s entanglement, to see it clearly. This is not pleasant. But it means becoming aware of both of our natures: the body and the soul. The eidolon and the daemon, as some early Christians called them, respectively.

What one chooses to do with that gnosis is up to that person, which means that it’s up to the soul, the “Higher Self,” the Real You. One sign of gnosis is obedience to that inner Self, whose directions are not always pleasant.

After all, gnosis or agnosis, we’re all still entangled here in the flesh.

(Written on August 16, 2011 and freshly edited on December 24, 2016)


On the Importance of Consideration

December 17, 2016

There is a dividing line between two quite different ways of thinking and living, and everyone seems to rest on one side or the other.

Two Sides of a Fence

Children exemplify both sides more equally than adults, who have lived experiences that have shaped their thoughts behavior in one direction or the other. Adults seem to be more on one side or the other than children are.

The dividing line is: those who consider the viewpoints of others and those who do not consider the viewpoints of others.

It’s not my intention here to divide people, but to point out an existing division and examine it. By observing humans (most importantly myself), I’ve determined that some are basically considerate of others and some are basically not. It’s not a black-and-white thing, but rather a continuum of blacker or whiter grayness.

Consideration of others can also be called empathy. Inconsideration of others can also be called narcissism.

Some people seem to force consideration in ourselves at crucial moments, or to be compelled by some inner voice to “do the right thing” when we have the opportunity to show consideration…or not. Some of us deliberate, mulling over moral duties or imagining what God or Grandma would think of our choice in that moment. After such decision-making, many of us then act in consideration rather than blatant or obvious inconsideration.

Indeed, this deliberation, compulsion, and even forcing are themselves “consideration” for others–at least to the degree that they aren’t merely calculated or fearful acts of self-preservation. The outward, visible consequence (such as saying, “Thank you”) comes after the “consideration” itself.

A Window to Inner Values

Most inconsideration appears in mundane daily interactions like driving, shopping, or talking to our kids. (One’s parenting, and its results in the character of one’s grown children, can tell others a lot about one’s side of the narcissistic/empathetic “consideration line” that I’m describing here. Where do you suppose kids learn to be considerate–or not–and whose behavior gave them a daily example?)

I drive a lot, so I have lots of opportunities to show either consideration or inconsideration, and I also see a lot of both attitudes in others when they drive in my vicinity. I often feel that I have a glimpse into another person’s psyche when these encounters happen, either between myself and another, or as an observer when other people interact in traffic.

I see driving as a microcosm of human behavior because I believe that the values one shows through driving reflect the values they have at all times. This belief has merit so far in my own experience–although anyone can have a bad day and speed or cut someone off in traffic.

The same can be true of one’s shopping habits, parenting practices, and in many other ways: talking to telemarketers on the phone; returning an item at the store; working in sales or customer service; selling one’s used car; and sharing or not sharing what one has with others in need.

Although a lot of ways that we can show either our narcissism or our empathy might seem trivial, one’s “small” actions show clearly one’s overall attitude. If a person is inconsiderate to the checkout lady, why would he or she act differently toward other people, in other situations?

A duck will quack, either loud or soft. But it will not bock like a chicken–especially in a crisis.

On the inconsiderate side of the fence, people seem most interested in causing their own will to negate or override the will of others, rather than sharing with others or seeking consensual mutual agreement. It seems that, in their fear–and all fears are ultimately fears of death, pain, or not existing–they are blind to the equally valid needs of others.

There’s a word for this blind and fearful inconsiderate negation of the will of other people by an adult human being: Narcissism, with a capital “N”.

“Do Unto Others”…How?

In a Christian society, there would be no destitute, homeless people (except by their own preference) and no extremely wealthy people, either (except perhaps by mutual social agreement). Consideration does not allow others to suffer when one has the ability to alleviate it.

In our own supposedly Christian society, even those of us who don’t accept the teachings of the Church in all its versions generally regard Jesus as a teacher and wise man. It’s from Jesus (and, yes, others) that we learn to be considerate:

“In all things, to unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

If people in our society are following this “Golden” Rule, then it seems from their behavior that many folks would have others be inconsiderate to them. Perhaps they expect others to treat them that way, and so they treat others inconsiderately in kind, in advance, out of habit or programming.

This idea–that inconsiderateness is a pre-emptive defense mechanism–suggests that it is a product of the “ego” that I identify as the immediate source of mental and emotional suffering in self and others. Out of fear, the ego seeks only to preserve itself, in the belief that not doing so (such as being considerate of others) is suicide.

This, again, is Narcissism.

Ego and Spirit

So, then, inconsideration (or narcissism) is a fear-based egoic thought pattern–as opposed to consideration (or empathy), which in my personal scheme of things is a trust-based spiritual thought pattern. We are always under the influence of one or the other, being led in our thoughts and actions by one or the other.

Consideration is certainly a spiritual quality or “value”–that is, it comes from the Spirit, from the deepest inner being, the truest Self which is one’s most genuine expression, without the contamination of the wrong ideas of the ego.

That same Spirit exists in others as their deepest inner being, and those who perceive Spirit in themselves also recognize Spirit in others.

This recognition of Self-in-others is the essence of consideration (empathy). It is the essence of spirituality and the Golden Rule. It is also the essence of a healthy and functional society, particularly a society whose members claim to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Written on January 29, 2011, and freshly edited on December 17, 2016.


On Function and Dysfunction in Human Beings

December 14, 2016

A human being has an inner guidance system.  These are a person’s SPIRIT and SOUL.

SPIRIT guides through inspired MIND.  SOUL guides through intuitive HEART.

Inspired MIND provides intelligent THOUGHT.  Intuitive HEART provides instinctive FEELING.

Intelligent THOUGHT leads to TRUTH.  Instinctive FEELING be leads to LOVE.

TRUTH brings ORDER.  LOVE brings HARMONY.

This is proper FUNCTION in a human being.

FUNCTION is HAPPINESS.

——–

LIES and HARM come from without.

LIES cause (false) BELIEFS in MIND.  HARM causes (emotional) PAIN in HEART.

BELIEFS replace THOUGHT and TRUTH.  PAIN replaces FEELING and LOVE.

BELIEFS block INSPIRATION from SPIRIT.  PAIN blocks INTUITION from SOUL.

FALSE BELIEFS in MIND cause ERROR.  EMOTIONAL PAIN in HEART causes NEGATIVITY.

ERROR spreads LIES to MIND in others.  NEGATIVITY spreads HARM to HEART in others.

This is DYSFUNCTION in human beings.

DYSFUNCTION is SUFFERING.

——–

TRUTH and LOVE are REALITY.  SUFFERING is a corruption of REALITY.

SUFFERING brings CRISIS.  CRISIS brings SURRENDER to REALITY.

SURRENDER brings HONESTY.  HONESTY leads to TRUTH.

TRUTH destroys LIES and BELIEFS in MIND.  MIND receives INSPIRATION from SPIRIT.

Inspired MIND focuses on PAINFUL HEART.  HEART OPENS and releases EMOTIONAL PAIN.

HEART receives INTUITION from SOUL.  LOVE from SOUL heals HARM in HEART.

SPIRIT unites with SOUL in the person.  ORDER and HARMONY destroy DYSFUNCTION.

As DYSFUNCTION ends, SUFFERING ends.

Proper FUNCTION returns.

HAPPINESS returns.

REALITY returns.

——–

TRUTH and LOVE are the most powerful defense against LIES and HARM.

HONESTY is the most powerful antidote.


Hello Again (A Love Note)

November 28, 2016

(This is a note to me from my True Self, but it applies to all.)

My dearest,

No one on this Earth loves you like your mother loved you. Even she didn’t love you like Spirit loves you. Why shouldn’t you love yourself the same?

Spirit is the guiding Force, Love, and Intelligence behind the Universe. The Universe can seem to be cruel and unforgiving because of where you are. In the end, though, if you look to Spirit to provide everything you need, It will reach you. It will reach out to you through the Universe, and through your own inner self.

You are draped in love and cradled in forgiveness. You are here! And you live. You make mistakes, you learn, and you conquer the wrongness within yourself. That is right, and it is good.

You are doing what is best for you to do, and that is best for the All.

Who wouldn’t love you for such a thing?

And yet, even if you didn’t do these things–and you don’t do them perfectly yet anyway–you would still be Loved.

What do you want for your children? To be held down and miserable, because of something they did in the past, still suffering even after they saw their error and went through the agony of correcting themselves–alone?

Would you want your children to live in guilt and unforgiveness because some other person doesn’t see the good inside them?

No!

You would want your children to move forward and step into new light and a new, better way of living. You would want them to have endured suffering, pain, and hardship so that they could earn an even greater and happier existence because of it.

You would want to see your children thrive.

You are the child of your mother. You are the child of the Universe. You are the child of Spirit Itself. You are beloved. You have no need to go on in misery, doubt, and self-blame.

No one who loves you wants this for you.

Why can’t you see this? (The ego talking.)

Don’t listen to the ego. Listen to the truth: you are worthy of love and you are worthy to be loved.

You carry love within you and it is your right to share it with the world around you. If there is a part of your world that does not accept your love, withdraw it, remove yourself from that negative influence, and focus your love where it can grow and produce more love.

Where is that?

It’s all around you. It’s everywhere. Even people who don’t know you well have given you their support and encouraging words. If they can see your goodness, how much more will someone who truly knows you see your goodness?

Do not limit yourself to satisfy some long-lost directive given by someone with lesser understanding, long ago. You know what is best, and you know what to do. Step out, in faith, and let go. Remember, you have wings! You will fly.

How do I stay positive?

Focus on the positive in your life and eliminate the negative. Change whatever you have to in order to live well. Free yourself from the chains that you allow to bind you! You have that power. You know it.

And remember: you are loved, no matter what.

So, my beloved, Hello! Welcome to the Universe again. You are welcome here, and there is much help to guide you along the way. You have no need to fear. You need only take the first step from where you are.

Do not let that which matters most drown in the puddle of that which matters not. There are mountains to be moved. Move them!

Hello, and welcome back.

Love,

Me

(January 9, 2009)

 


You Have Permission: A Message of Love

November 10, 2016

Today, right now, as you read or hear these words, you have permission to be as you are.

You have permission to be hurt, and to resent whoever hurt you. You have permission to heal when you’re ready to let it go.

You have permission to feel worse than you want to feel, or think you “should” feel. You have permission to smile, laugh, dance, and be excited when you feel good.

You have permission to make mistakes, and to look at mistakes you’ve made in whatever way you want. You have permission to kick yourself for your stupidity if you want, or to take the wise way instead and learn from your ignorance.

You have permission to love me, hate me, talk about me behind my back, admire me, think I’m crazy, wish I were different, and wonder why I’m this way. You have permission to realize that your mental image of me isn’t who I really am anyway.

You have permission to believe what you want, to try to convince me to believe it, to believe something bad will happen to me if I don’t, and to learn the lessons that your beliefs will eventually bring you. You have permission to believe I’m talking about your religion, even though I’m not.

You have permission to think what you want, say what seems best to you, and do what you think is right or wrong or good or bad or none of the above. You have permission to be free–to live as you please. You have permission to see that we are not competitors in life, whether we believe we are or not.

You have permission to look down on others. You have permission to see starving children and do nothing. You have permission to pass by people who ask you for help, even when you’re able (but not willing) to help. You have permission to gather all you can for yourself, so it can control you while you live and teach you its real value when you die.

You have permission to believe you have all the answers already.

You have permission to be confused, to cause problems for yourself and others, to see the error of your ways (or at least some of them), and to do your best to fix what you’ve broken when your view was fuzzy.

You have permission to be a good Samaritan, a maniac, a solid citizen, a criminal, a child, a victim, and a perpetrator. You have permission to try on whatever hat you want until you find the one that fits. You have permission to change hats as you desire.

You have permission to grow rich, to go broke, to create, and to destroy. You have permission to experiment with your mind and your flesh. You have permission to do what you think is right, or what you believe to be wrong.

You have permission to play hooky from work.

We are here, you and I. We live and we die. You have permission to live. You have permission to die. You have permission to live first, or to die first–whichever you choose.

You are powerful in ways you don’t understand. I do not condemn you for being who you are, for not being perfect, for doing things you regret, for lashing out at yourself or others in the fog we all live in. I applaud you for your strength and courage in the face of adversity, and for your willingness to get up when life knocks you down.

Even so, you have permission to stay down as long as you think you have to. You have permission to be imperfect. You have permission to repeat hard lessons as many times as it takes, until you learn them.

You have permission to wake up, to see light in fog, and to stop doing whatever you feel bad about doing. You have permission to rebel and take the power that is your own. You have permission to live as you choose, no matter what “they” say you “should” do.

It is only when you feel free that you really become free. In reality, you already are. You have permission to realize your freedom. All good things follow. You have permission to live in goodness.

You have permission to rise up and walk, or to lie on your cot and let others carry you around.

You have permission to be what you believe you are. You have permission to throw guilt away.

You have permission to enjoy who you are, whoever you are, for as long as you are. You have permission to change at any moment, for any reason.

You have permission to realize who you really are–a son of man, a daughter of woman, a child of humanity, begotten of God in the truest sense of the word.

You have permission to be awake! Or to stay asleep.

Who am I to grant permission? No–the question is: Who is anyone to take it away?

10/31/09


The Narcissists’ Playbook

October 29, 2016

One of the first steps out of Narcissistic abuse is the realization that one is, in fact, dealing with a Narcissist.  I’m going to generalize a lot here (quite legitimately, I believe), but first, here’s my definition of a Narcissist:

a person who deceives others in order to take, deplete, and consume their life energy (“soul”) because the Narcissist lacks it

I wrote an article explaining and expanding upon this definition here.

The Uniformity of Survivors’ Experience

Narcissists all seem to operate according to the same “playbook”–as if they were all receiving basically the same instruction or guidance from the same source.  This is why survivors of Narcissistic abuse can legitimately refer en masse to “Narc(issist)s” or “a/the Narc(issist)” without further qualification and still be understood by other survivors.

It is in comparing one’s own experiences with the experiences of others who have endured similar (Narcissistic) dysfunction and abuse, up close and personal, that one finally becomes aware of the problem of Narcissism and all that it entails. With awareness comes choice, and with choice comes change.

These survivors’ experiences are characteristically similar…sometimes eerily, uncannily, almost exactly similar.  There is a certain calling card or modus operandi in the behavior of a Narcissist.  These practically uniform behaviors seem to point in a single direction, to a single source, as if there were a “Narcissists’ Club” with certain rules and standards of behavior (however low they may be).

(Maybe there’s even a Secret Narcissist Handshake, accompanied by a wink and a smirk.  Notice that Narcissists tend to leave each other alone.)

The Unique Individual Narcissist

There is some variation, of course.  Narcissists are not all literally exactly like each other.  The possibly universal set of traits that comprise “Narcissism” are tempered in the individual by the personality:  the unique set of characteristics that are one’s own and nobody else’s.  This is the case even for Narcissists.

So not all Narcissists are identical to each other, though they all may be strikingly in accord with each other.  Even an army–the very model of uniformity!–has dozens of different jobs, each with its own set of behaviors, functions, and even equipment.

Still, one who is not a soldier, but who knows what a soldier looks like, can easily identify one by his or her appearance and behavior.  So also can one who knows what a Narcissist “looks like” can easily identify one by his or her appearance and behavior, despite his or her similarity to everybody else.

To others, alas, the Narcissist does look just like everybody else, and to point him or her out to others might make one look crazy to some people.  “He’s got a shirt and pants and shoes just like everybody else.  So what if he sulks a bit?  He’s just having a bad day/week/month/year/etc., that’s all.  Lighten up!”

But are Narcissists really “just like everybody else”?

Disorder, Distortion, and Dysfunction

I may risk seeming unnecessarily divisive here, but I submit:

I’m being necessarily divisive here because Narcissists are NOT “just like everybody else”.  They may LOOK just like everybody else, but on the inside…well, they use a different “playbook” than everybody else!

There obviously isn’t some physical book, issued to every Narcissist, that could be found and read and exposed and re-printed for all to see.  The “playbook” is a sort of mental blueprint or psychological programming.  It can be “read” by observing the Narcissist’s behaviors–especially up close and personal, such as in a romantic or familial relationship with a Narcissist.

Observing a Narcissist’s public display of “acceptable” behaviors generally will NOT reveal the inner workings of the Narcissist, who can and does (as a lifestyle) deceive therapists, co-workers, teachers, authorities, social acquaintances, business associates, and friends of the family.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the Narcissist’s intelligence (perhaps unfortunately).

The problem is in the Narcissist’s disordered thinking, distorted feeling, and dysfunctional behavior.  (Perhaps these are three chapters in The Narcissists’ Playbook.)

Public vs. Private Behaviors

There are certain rules and standards that are understood and agreed upon in human societies.  Some behaviors are acceptable and others are not.  Many that are not acceptable are considered crimes.  Most people do their best to go pretty much by the same rules and standards that “everybody else” goes by.

The Narcissist knows very well what those social rules and standards are.  In fact, his or her survival as a Narcissist (read: his or her double identity) depends on knowing them very well.

But, as already mentioned, the Narcissist has his or her own (read: secret) rules and standards, as demonstrated by the behaviors endured–again, almost universally–by survivors of Narcissistic abuse.  Moreover, the Narcissist is able to “behave” him- or herself in certain (read: public) scenarios, while being quite secretive about his or her more abusive and socially unacceptable, or even criminal, behaviors.

This is one reason why Narcissists aren’t considered “crazy” by mainstream society (apart from simple public ignorance of the problem).  The popular logic goes somewhat like this:

If the Narcissist doesn’t do it all the time, then he or she can control it and therefore is NOT “crazy” because crazy people can’t control their behavior!

But they can surely hide their many dysfunctions and abuses when it really matters, can’t they?  There are words that describe this sort of behavior in grown-ups, such as slimy, manipulative, shady, sketchy, two-faced, treacherous, devious, deceptive, lying, and insidious…but, of course, not crazy.

Crazy people can’t all follow the same playbook, can they?


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