There is something I struggled with for decades, I have, it seems, overcome it, and have never seemed to look at it again… ponder it, and then teach it.
A different look at distinction reveals a different way lack of distinctions make life more difficult.
Imagine a surgeon in the operating room talking like this: Nurse, give me that little thingie… you know the one with the curved blades that aren’t blades at all, but look like blades… you know?
If things don’t have exactly defined names, the surgeon will kill the patient.
Half of being a surgeon is to know what tool to use and what it is called.
The same is true in every area of life, especially when it also concerns other people.
If you don’t know what they pay attention to, how that looks, your communication will be bringing you trouble, slavery, grief… even if your intentions were grand, noble, or nothing in particular.
When I look back in my life, almost 100% of the “beatings” I have ever taken were due to not knowing how my communication will land. I was always surprised. Stunned even. I felt misunderstood, and alone.
So this is really important, and if you have no clarity, no distinction, then you will suffer. Or better said: you continue to suffer. Tai touches on this, scratches the surface, in the step about Wittgenstein’s lion. He says that if you say insulting words to a person who doesn’t speak the language, but smile, they will think you are complimenting them. It sheds light, somewhat, to the how aspect of communication, and how people are hooked on the how.
For decades the main complaint against me from clients and students was that I wasn’t nice. I wondered all these years what they meant.
Then something must have happened, because suddenly the complaining stopped. I didn’t feel I changed how I deliver bad news… And yet something changed.
My sneaking suspicion is that something in the “who” changed a few months ago and that may have changed the how… I am not clear yet. I am going to examine this further, but in this article I only intend to teach the distinction of the three aspects, the what, the how, and the who.
When you talk, when you do anything, there are three aspects to you:
1. the what… the what you do/say
2. the how… the how of what you do/say
3. the who… the beingness with which you do what you do/say
Everyone is pretending. But pretense is skin deep, and everyone with eyes to see can see it. Pretense is primarily in the “how” arena, but occasionally you can see people pretending in the “who” aspect as well.
Everyone can see the “what” as well. It is largely visible.
But even though I think everyone can feel the who, it is not on the conscious level. It is the seed level, it is in the invisible.
You, it seems, “know” nothing, care nothing about the who aspect. It seems that you are trying to live life with just the what and the how, and this ignorance bites you in the behind.
People go to a doctor. They care more about the doctor’s bedside manner than whether he knows what he is doing or not.
And most doctors, especially the nice ones, put all their energies into being nice, not into being good.
People’s how is talking to your delusional self that wants to be considered important… and for most people being treated right is more important than even their life. Nice gurus attract hoards of delusional self (big ego) people.
But the who, the seed level, is what gives you the results, the quality of life, the inner peace. 1
You can do things, look in a certain way, mannerisms, etc. and be considered a totally different who.
I am still learning, and I am still struggling with the complete comprehension of the interplay of the three aspects and what others perceive… It’s new to me… needs more simmering down. But don’t worry, it is so hard to “get” that by the time you get to full understanding, by the time you get to full implementation, I’ll be clear. Crystal clear… At this point I am maybe two steps ahead of you.
I learned about the seed level and its importance late in life. I had a Kabbalah Centre staff member work with me on the phone, trying to drive home the distinction “seed level”.
I was already trained in declaring the “who I am” the Landmark Education way, but I felt Kabbalah’s distinction went deeper.
He said that my results, my company’s results will come from that seed level. That purpose statements, and declarations are above the soil level, and will not change the seed level.
It was horrible… I could not get it right. It’s taken me years. I started my inquiry, and just like with the “color exercise”, the reticular activator, the unconscious “honing” mechanism engaged and eventually started to show me that aspect of successful people, of success. The who of things.
Now I see it everywhere…
Admittedly only a certain percentage of humanity will even understand what I am talking about, but truth be told, these are the people I want to talk to. And, of course, only a small fragment of those will implement it.
I will talk, for example, about smiling, or laughing.
You can laugh and have a laugh you obviously practiced in front of the mirror, a laugh you developed for the camera, to tell people how happy and lighthearted you are. It is a pose, it is a façade, even though 99% of people won’t see that it’s fake.
But who you are underneath the smiling is anxious,
So the be-do-have thing when it comes to this arena, has an additional step: the pretense or the façade. The coverup. You’ll put the fake, engineered persona to the “Be” position.
And because everything you ever wanted will come to you through people, and people are stupid, and people are blind, and people only care about themselves, you will be, maybe, successful in the world, but not inside.
The more you pretend the further the two selves will be from each other, and the more inner misery you’ll experience.
I had a long conversation about this topic in my Sunday Rant… one of the things I saw is that the inner tension, the disharmony and split between the two selves is due to this pretense…
And you don’t even know what is causing it.
In this regard, the level of inauthenticity, that measure in your starting point measurements, is the degree to which you are unhappy.
Happiness is not what people think… all smiles, all fun and games.
Happiness is quiet, peaceful, and is like a hug.
Happiness is the two selves sitting together in peace. Nothing is missing, no energy is expended, No reason to be happy. Just happiness to be alive.
When you like yourself, you like your life.
When you love yourself, you love your life. You are happy to be alive.
I have a student whose main “who” is “scared”.
Arrogance, haughtiness is the mask he wears. It works a lot like puffing oneself up to look bigger in animals. Birds, cats…
It rubs people the wrong way.
People who have a high “think about yourself” score get offended by it.
To them what you are saying is that they are not important, they are nothing, only you and what you want matters. And they will do whatever they can to destroy you, to cut you down to size.
This will come back to you, because of your spotty understanding the world, as disapproval.
The need to meet other people’s expectation becomes stronger, and you give up your right to choose yourself, to do what is appropriate or important to you… just to meet other people’s expectation… that you, obviously, misunderstood.
If you don’t know the who, you’ll keep on repeating the same how, that offends people and doesn’t get you want you want.
You are like the surgeon whose patients die on the operating table.
So what do you do?
Spend time, direct your attention, to the who.
It’s not easy. It cannot be done in the mind. Plato’s care won’t be the place where you can gain insight.
In my money workshops it comes out clearly… clearly to me.
The workshop, seemingly, is about money. But only seemingly. Because the who you are is the common denominator in all your life, across the board, at work, in the bedroom, in the kitchen, the workshop could be about any area of your life. I set money as the area because I hoped more people would be interested.
I was wrong. Only 4-5 people showed up… showing me where people are… if it takes being unmasked and be seen who they are… then they don’t want any of it.
Ugh, who was I kidding?
- There was a moment in the new Netflix documentary on Osho (Bhagwan Rajneesh) and his Rajneesh cult where I got who he was. I suddenly understood why none of his wise sounding words ever made a difference.