The reward system that robbed you of your Self… and made you a pig that doesn’t want to fly
As a Jew, I have, firmly rooted, a conviction that I am a chosen one. Not The Chosen One, but A chosen one.
This may be the secret to my attitude that I hear guidance in so many things.
And because I expect guidance, it shows up.
This may be the secret…
It is Monday morning, and of course, the Monday Morning Memo has arrived.
This morning I chose to listen to the memo, instead of reading it.
The memo was dramatized, much like a radio advertising… Radio advertising I haven’t heard in many years.
I was cringing. I hated it. But it made me think:
What people are saying isn’t so much in the words, but it the attitude that is fueling them.
The “radio” version of the memo was full off, dripping of superiority, condemnation, make-wrong, and hate.
I felt small, and under a pile of crap… Not a good feeling.
So I prefer to read. When I read I hear my own attitude, feel the writer’s attitude, and yet I am able to hear my own meaning. It doesn’t violate my autonomy.
As a child I heard hate and contempt-filled utterances about myself, calling me a whore, and stupid. I still tighten up as I write the words. I “hear” the emotions, the intention, the hate in them… I cannot just read them with my voice… the original voice which I heard, then, is still attached to the words.
For contrast, I also hear the praise, the sweet-talking. The obvious lies, the manipulation, the “trying to make me do something” voice…
Surprisingly (or not?) I hated the sweet voice more than the condemnation.
I’d rather be beaten to a pulp than be made do something I don’t want to do.
This was probably the reason I managed to break the chain put on my by the smallest unit of society, the family.
They call my type of person “subversive”. I know it sounds horrible, but what it means is good. For you… not for the system of oppression, the system that is hellbent on robbing you of your SElf.
seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.
synonyms: disruptive, troublemaking, inflammatory, insurrectionary; More
seditious, revolutionary, rebellious, rebel, renegade, dissident
noun: subversive; plural noun: subversives
a subversive person.
synonyms: troublemaker, dissident, agitator, revolutionary, renegade, rebel
“a dangerous subversive”
I am proud to be subversive.
By the way: I am not trying to be that… I am not doing it for the sake of making trouble… I am doing it because the Human Spirit in me wants to liberate the Human Spirit in you, from its jail.
Let me get back to condemnation and manipulation, overt violence, and hidden violence.
My parents did unspeakable deeds to me, and then tried to make those right by “rewards”, clothes, classes, a trip to another country… I won’t go into details here, but these are the most memorable violence to me. Maybe because I am an empath, I felt the feelings behind these rewards: they were like the “mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”, the apology, without taking responsibility for the deed.
I still cringe when someone apologizes: I feel that they are buying the right with it to do it again… like my parents. 1
So, with my parents, I was able to be somewhat autonomous…
Not so with some other people… who seemingly promised me what I really needed: love, taking care of me, supporting me.
Turns out, it was ALWAYS manipulation. It took me a lot of years to see how promises hook you… how promises hooked me.
I would buy stuff… go to other countries to live, leaving everything behind. Leaving my livelihood, not once, but twice. For the promise of something better.
For the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
It’s taken me retreating into my own silence from where I can observe the “attraction”, the hook, the line, the sinker, and not jump.
I am not safe… No one is safe.
But what is Ego? In my experiments, I have come to see that the Selfish Gene and Ego are one and the same.
It’s a tricky issue, and I will keep on observing and attempt to penetrate… because it is hard to see why the Selfish Gene would make me do such foolish, self-destructive things…
But then again, let’s look at some other examples where the Selfish Gene holds us hostage to fat, sugar, and salt!
And unless you look out, you are back on the train that goes straight to hell! Hell on earth… inside and out.
One of my students, while listening to the step about Teaching Pigs To Fly, had the insight that he has been a pig…
Pig is someone who is unwilling or unable to learn.
He, accurately, takes it back to the reward system his parents manipulated him with: sweets and praise. Both guided him to the “strait and narrow” of becoming a pig: having no Self, no intrinsic Self, no autonomy, no capacity for taking responsibility or being responsible, and no competence, no fulfillment, no real results…
Going for the pies in the sky that earn him praise and goodies… hopefully. 2
It takes an amazing insight for anyone to see this about themselves… Because once you can see it, you can start working on it… especially if there is someone around you, like me, who is intent on awakening your intrinsic Self, instead of manipulating you further, like most teachers, gurus, do.
We live in a world where being a pig who cannot be taught makes millionaires, billionaires, so it is in their self-interest to keep you that way.
And, if you are a student of mine, you are asked to choose, every day, between going for the smell of fulfillment… or for fulfillment itself. Very difficult choice… Being in the world, of the world… I forgot which one you want, but being directed by your intrinsic Self will take you to fulfillment, being directed by the manipulation of the world will take you to predictable, and unavoidable misery, chasing mirages.
I am blessed. Having a handful of students who are willing to do the work, who are courageous enough to dig deep.
The ones who are unwilling… well, they are not really my students. Lol.
And a question that if it isn’t on your mind, it should be: is it possible to make a living and be directed by the Intrinsic Self? hell yeah… Even I make a living… albeit a modest living.
But your Intrinsic Self will allow you, no, urge you to get good at things that can make you a decent living.
Lavish living? I don’t think so.
Oh, insight, maybe this is why so many people read my blog but don’t become a student: the mirage of a lavish living, unearned, of course, is still hanging in their mind’s eye.
Freedom would be letting go of it, or GASP, earning it… deserving it… learning something.
Nah… it’s better to dream.
PS: One of my students thinks that autonomy is something entirely different from what I mean…
So I am quoting his question here… and I give you a promise that I’ll talk about it more in another article.
Please help me understand it correctly what it means to live from intrinsic self vs from horizontal self, and how it relates to slavery vs autonomy.
Here’s my understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong):
To live from intrinsic self means I am capable of living independently, in a self-contained manner, in which I can take care of myself and do not depend on other people. In a way, this type of living gives me autonomy.
To live from horizontal self means I choose not to do everything myself, my life is inter-connected with other people’s, in which we all help each other, perhaps this is where specialization helps us live a more integrated life. We depend on one another to live a full life, however we might have the chance of enjoying doing things we like because we don’t have to do everything ourselves, especially those things we do not like to do or are not good at doing. Is this more on the side of slavery? If so, is it because we seem to be slaving for other people?
Whether you can see it or not: his answer belies the confusing terms floating around in the space… all designed to keep you in the fog.
Autonomy gives you an authentic place to stand when you create dependenc, cooperation, relating and all the good stuff we need to be effective, experience relatedness, respect, competency… all the things that are IMPOSSIBLE to experience when we relate from the fake self, from the shekels of the self-imposed, or outwardly imposed shoulds, need to’s, have to’s.
Slaves do not cooperate. They don’t relate. They own, coerce, manipulate, enslave… while being a slave themselves.
A marriage without autonomy is possession, forcing your will on the other.
More in another article… In the meantime read this excellent article by my first teacher, Werner Erhard, the pdf.
- One aspect of this manipulation I have mentioned before, but I am not sure it was even clear to me:
One thing about the reward system that hooks you is that it’s unpredictable. Salary, for example, is predictable, so it doesn’t hook you the same way. But a sometimes reward will want you to get more of that… the rainbow, the pot of gold, controls your behavior more than any threats…
When I was a participant in the 12-step program: Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families, the one thing every participant had in common: the times and the behaviors of the dysfunctional parent was random and capricious. You could not be prepared. One day they beat you, the other they caress you… That is from where the horror came.
But if you look, every parent, every person is dysfunctional.
You, me, everyone… moody, changing, capricious. So we keep on enslaving others, and keep our own enslavement alive… by treating ourselves the same way we treat others: unevenly, by how we feel at the moment. Vicious, evil, and horrible.
- The Buddha said, supposedly, “Embrace nothing:
If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.
If you meet your father, kill your father.
Only live your life as it is,
Not bound to anything.”