Birthing the Self from the Emptiness Within

Giving birth is one of the most ordinary and un-ordinary things.

It's ordinary because it is so common. It is un-ordinary for people who, for some reason, can't conceive, or can't keep the embryo alive.

What is a lot less ordinary, is giving birth to a Self.

Looking at the list of famous people, most of them never birthing a self, one can see that giving birth to a Self is one of the least ordinary things to happen on Planet Earth.

And just like a child, you never actually experience your own Self being born... but you do notice that there is a distinct line of demarcation: the before the birth of a Self and the after.

As a personal evolution coach -->Click to read footnote 1 I am witnessing it for the first time.

Let me confess something to you: As a coach I can do a lot, except do the work you need to do.

But as a coach, I often fall into the mistaken assumption, that I know what will happen. I don't.

You talk to me, for example, for a few hours a week, for a few hours every other week, and the rest of the time, we may exchange emails, but you are back in your environment. And I have no idea what influences you have, no idea how much of what we talked about took root in your consciousness, so I am out of the loop.

So I am surprised when you have a breakthrough, and I am surprised when you have a total collapse... And I have witnessed both recently, not on the same person.

Total collapse is quite frequent, by the way.

Breakthrough isn't... but one began recently for one of my clients: the inner formation of the Self.

Will it complete? Will it actually take the client to Selfhood?

Not certain... too many factors, too many influences, you can only hope. But there is a glimmer of hope, a definite heartbeat, a definite "life" inside that cavernous place people are so afraid to look. The place that alternately feels empty or like the abyss... the place they fill up with experiences, and lots of words, because it scares the bejesus out of them.

The place it took the Buddha seven years to stare down. And then he filled it with words... teaching is words. And then his disciples made a religion of it. Ugh. Ugly.

When you have a Self, you know who you are. And you can be true to who you are.

Self is not what you want... Self is who you are. And wants, and desires, and wishes, and pulls and pushes, urges, are clearly not coming from the Self. The Self wants nothing. And because it wants nothing, it can guide you to live out your life as a full life-experience, alive, awake, and having a choice.

What you call "choice" isn't.

There is a famous exercise in the Landmark Forum about choice... chocolate or vanilla: choose!

Most of us, exactly 99.5% of us don't see choice, exactly the way you don't see value.

Remember, you cannot see value if there is anything wrong with what you are looking at. The value is right behind you: the other direction.

The same is with choice, but with choice you can see that your wants, and urges, and desires, and your "wanting to, needing to, having to, and shoulds" interfere with seeing choice... so you always decide (kill of the alternative) or refuse to decide... which is what you do when you procrastinate.

There is no YOU to choose, there are only these forces that are random, that have taken over your life.

Your core is empty, so every wind, every scare will bend you and you'll wave and wave... no rhyme, no reason... or more precisely, you are never the reason... it is always outside of you.

You are not a cause, you are the effect.

You are late because...
You are fat because...
You are sick because...
You are happy because...

And if we take away those outside causes... there is nothing there... a puddle of cells... no consciousness.

And then rarely, so rarely that this client's Self is only the second (the first was a woman some 15 years ago, but we didn't stay in touch, so there was no witnessing) time I am encountering the magic or nothing to something phenomenon.

What is different? How did I notice that something is happening?

When you start to evolve a Self, there is a solider, firmer feel to you. Your sentences, the words you choose, the flimsiness of your expression tightens up and it is unmistakable... if you know how to listen.

Of course, without a Self people listen with the mind... so the changes are lost on you: you didn't notice flimsy and you won't notice solid.

You'll notice when the giving birth is completed, and you can push and pull and manipulate and coerce and cajole the once empty person... but this time nothing happens. Your efforts are wasted.

daruma dollA person with a Self is like the Daruma Doll...

Life for a Daruma Doll is a whole different experience. Things will happen, as they always do, but you are untouched.

I remember when I was attempting to activate the capacity of being impervious.

The path to a more complete understanding of what is needed for a capacity to come alive has taken the scenic route.

But now we know more... and therefore help more people to make that personal evolution from empty shell to personhood.

Do I have any promises? Of course not.

Ultimately YOU do the work, I provide the guidance.

FOOTNOTES

  1. I am experimenting with expressing what it is I do... let's see if this new expression sticks, shall we?

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

14 thoughts on “Birthing the Self from the Emptiness Within”

  1. How important is owning your own story to having a self? Is the Self a wordless phenomenon? A kind of knowing or being that is deeper than language? Is it based on principles? Is there a “true self” waiting there to be expressed? Or is a self only a snapshot in time of the totality of one’s being…mental, physical, emotional, social, genetic, etc?

    Will you define or list the criteria that you are using to define Self?

  2. Over the course of the last 6 weeks or so, I have become more of a person who can get things done. How did I get there? By doing doing things .And having conversations, and by following up, and by taking care of business. Working. There’s a practical confidence that’s based on experience. And willingness.

    I also made decision to withdraw from situations when I did not think my Self was being respected. And I found a way to remain engaged in a series of conversations about these events and situaitions. Including a willingness to admit my own faults.

    To me, these are the awakenings of a Self: Being engaged, being of service, pushing myself to my edges, and keeping conversations going. I’ve been positional, but I have pulled back from simply being right and looking for the evidence.

    I don’t know what the Self is, but this is very much a dance. It’s directed movement, with an attempt to remain fluid and responsive. I feel like a weed that started out as grass and has hardened into a bit of a stalk. You can’t just step on me, and I can stand on my own. I have a new relationship with the sun.

  3. To be able to do, or to be, or to serve, without the need to seek favor or approval. That takes a Self.
    Yes, I can catch a flavor of that in The Fountainhead.

  4. That exercise, in Landmark, is to teach people the distinction “choosing”. Whether you choose chocolate, vanilla, or neither, is immaterial… the importance is that YOU choose. Saying the words “I choose” doesn’t make it a choice.

    Choice is selecting freely after consideration. Most likely, Wendy, you haven NEVER chosen. What chose are your feelings, your wants, your needs, your resistant nature, the memes, the shoulds, etc. You and 99.99% of humanity can’t tell choice from decision, reaction, etc.

    There needs to be an “I” that chooses, and that is the sticky point: people don’t have an “I”.

    When you ask yourself: what do I want? you’ll see the lack of “I” comes out immediately.

  5. Congratulations on getting things done. If six weeks of making some effort, maybe even a lot of effort were enough to create a Self, then a lot more people would have a Self. Like Charlie Munger, or Bill Gates. Or Sam Walton. Or Steve Jobs, or Oprah Winfrey… neither of them have/had a self.

    What was in common among those famous people? What directed their actions was the desire for power. Power over others. NOT power over themselves, or the circumstances, or not an inner voice that suggested what action to take.

    People who moved over to the “power” quadrant opted out of having a Self: a Self would have hindered their power-hunger.

  6. I am watching “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” for the second time. In the movie, Jiro is described as a shokunin.

    Wikipedia says: “Shokunin is a Japanese word for ‘artisan’ or ‘craftsman’, which also implies a pride in one’s own work. In the words of shokunin Tashio Odate:

    “Shokunin means not only having technical skill, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness… a social obligation to work his best for the general welfare of the people, [an] obligation both material and spiritual.”

    Here is man living in the service of…

  7. Here’s a partial answer…I really have to look deeply into this.

    Have I asked myself that question? No. But I did discover that I had or have a fixed mindset about a few things (while reading “Mindset” by Carol Dweck). I can’t remember exactly, but it was probably about math and stuff like that…or about talent! (Yes, probably about talent.)

    Okay, so I am listening the the audiobook of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” for a second time. I just finished it last week, and I want to keep myself immersed in this new mindset…just to see what doors I might unlock. And yes, it’s the same ethos as in “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”: Constant growth, dedication, humility, work, work, work, creating value, not doing it for the rewards…a purity of intent, and of course, answering the questions, What can I bring into the world? What can I do for the world?

    I very likely have a fixed view about finding my “truth path” in life…that there is such a thing, rather than, say, the notion that How you do what you do is more important than what you do.

    [Let me throw something else in here: My mother and sister will be stopping by for a few days starting tomorrow. I’ve been cleaning up the house and yard. I’m not doing it from a sense of obligation.* I’m not doing it for their approval; I am doing it for their delight, so they can feel honored and cared for. What a different game. I’m loving it! The notion that I can do something to positively impact another person seems to be opening up for me. I’ve lived so much of my life up until now as some weak thing that had to be taken care of. This is 1000 times better.]

    *Okay, yes..there is a sense of obligation, but I don’t think that’s the ruling energy. There’s no resentment. It’s just the thing to do.

  8. Here are some internalized views I have about life (+ notions that rule me):

    1. A man must be successful to be attractive to a woman.
    2. You should finish your work before you play.
    3. Being of service is a good thing.
    4. You have to love what you do to be good at it.
    5. Save money for a rainy day.
    6. Treat women with respect.
    7. Take your vitamins!
    8. My self/ego will be lost in service to others.
    9. My ego will die if I have to learn the songs of others.
    10. Don’t waste food.
    11. Be a good boy.
    12. Avoid looking foolish.
    13. Patience is a virtue.
    14. Say Please and Thank You.
    15. Gratitude is good.
    16. Floss!
    17. Pay your bills on time. (Protect your credit score.)
    18. Play fair. Fight fair.
    19. I could never please a Jewish woman.
    20. Being bald is not so great.

  9. John, a yes or no answer would have been enough. But the fact that you didn’t ask yourself clues me in that you like to talk, but not ask questions of yourself. And you consider that people should listen to you just because you talk. hm…

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