I have been observing myself as a spiritual practice. Trying to "remember myself" as Gurjieff would say it, call upon the "witness" or "observer". Be awake. Either way, I have noticed something remarkable about myself: see if you can relate.
When I am in front of my computer* (where I spend most of my day) and I encounter something that requires the slightest push on my end, I see myself automatically going to the computer game of my choice, freecell.
I began observing this phenomenon about 6 months ago (it was there, unobserved, for many years). But 4 days ago I decided to employ "restriction," which is one of Kabbalah's main tenets, and see what will happen.
For about 36 hours I closed the freecell program as soon as I opened it. Then every time I was "awake" which means I was by myself and I was still observing myself. On the other hand, every time I was on the phone, or watching a video on my computer, or listening to an audio file, my attention wasn't on myself, and I played... until I "woke up."
Still curious, more interested in the experiment than conquering the force that moves my hand, I saw something today that is worth sharing.
Since I have started this blog, I have been watching how I somehow leak the energy that is necessary for creative thinking and expression... by talking on the phone, by playing freecell.
Every occasion when I need the little push and I opt to play instead, two things happen: 1. I have diminished the internal discomfort 2. I have successfully diverted my attention from what is important to me.
The first one is good, right? Who would want to be uncomfortable, after all.
The second one reveals who or what is underneath this behavior: who would win if I didn't do what is important to me, if I lived a life of quiet desperation, if I just vegetated, comfortably, but without any accomplishment of my own? Well, Satan, of course. Satan's other name is Opponent or Adversary. Some cultures call it Ego. I even did once a week-long program where we called it "IT."
IT has only one thing in mind, and IT is awake 24/7. IT wants you to play small, be comfortable, be selfish, worry about yourself, what you get, what you feel, what you.... it's all about you. Even when it pretends that it's about others... after all it is still about "what's in it for you" in giving.
I have heard that before, others are teaching it... but these aspect of reducing the tension in the moment and thus reducing the capacity for push and diverting your attention long enough that you forget what you wanted to do... except for a gnawing feeling in your gut, that you just missed something important.
* When I am not in front of my computer, I find myself opening the refrigerator in a similar circumstance.