In fact, most people invented themselves many times… creating themselves as a layer cake.
I am not a baker. My mother didn’t have a working oven until I was about 10… maybe that’s why I never warmed to cookies and cakes.
But I am a brick mason… and bricks are laid much like the layers of a cake. If the previous layer was crooked, the wall will be crooked, and maybe it will even fall down.
The created self is crooked. Each layer tells a story that doesn’t quite fit with the other layers.
The invented self is more like a persona: a Frankenstein like product…
…resulting in erratic, inconsistent behavior, and unexplainable bouts of sadness, guilt, and confusion.
This is due to the way those layers of identity were invented. Additive, instead of subtractive ‘manufacturing’.
Luckily it is never too late to have a happy childhood.
It is never too late to create a new self. A self that is stable, clear, coherent and congruent. That has inner integrity.
So how do you do it?
With the subtractive method, aka inversion, aka the strait and narrow. We have called it previously the Michelangelo method, also the Anna Karenina Method…
Alas, although those poetic names sounded very good, no one, literally no one considered it a DOING job… everyone was waiting for miracles and magic.
The nature of reality is that miracles and magic are caused. Caused with restriction.
No one ever thinks of restriction… not even one of the eight billion…
…while the 1000 gained their power through restriction, subtraction. Restriction that they are performing day in and day out, joyfully.
You want their results, but you don’t want the restriction?
If that is you, don’t waste your precious time reading this article: it will bother you… so don’t.
Removing your frame/filter
I declared that I was stupid. Not to make myself stupid, like in the additive method, but to remove both stupid and trying to fix stupid. The frame.
I did that to remove my previous frame through which I looked at everyone, including myself: smart/stupid. I tried to be smart, despised everything and everyone stupid. I was miserable AND widely hated.
After declared my intention to remove the smart/stupid frame,
- I paid more attention to what I was doing, what I was saying, thus weeded out a lot of stupid things I would do or say previously.
- And stopped judging people and things by the label: stupid, and
- started to pay attention to other elements, like beauty, harmony, kindness, courage, dignity… that previously I’d never noticed.
Did the declaration remove the frame?
No. I still had to and still have to remove it every time I look through it. Nothing is automatic. If you thought declarations create miracles, you are probably wretched, because they don’t. You do. With work. With restriction.
Restriction in the moment sounds like ‘no. I am not going there. I am not doing that.’
That no is sober. No passion, no argument. No. It is a sober statement I obey. And occasionally I don’t.
The second restrictive move came a few years after. I am sharing it because the language of it is so different.
I said: ‘There is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent!‘
Did I mean I was magnificent? No. I was going to be guided by not doing anything less than magnificent.
So what is magnificent?
It is all the extraordinary ways of being.
But instead of doing what Ben Franklin did, trying to practice being the item of extraordinary to become that… additive, I denied myself doing anything not extraordinary… I restricted, subtracted everything I saw as not extraordinary.
Being late, being barely on time, justifying, explaining, blaming, avoiding responsibility, just doing what I was paid to do, telling the truth, taking care of things and people… these are all ordinary ways of doing life. I won’t go there.
And so are the ‘normal’… scraping by, being lazy, little white lies, gluttony, skimming, not paying attention, etc. millions of ways of ordinary ways of doing things, millions of ordinary ways of being in life that don’t meet the requirement of extraordinary.
Between you and me, I placed the bar miles above Ben Franklin’s… I am somewhat successful at what I have set out for myself…
My congruence is 70%, while Franklin’s was 30%.
Your congruence is, after having buildt your crooked layer cake self is maximum 10%.
Which means 90% or more incongruent…
If you often find yourself doing things, thinking things, saying things, behaving like you had multiple personalities, this is the reason.
You do behave as if you had multiple personalities. All invented. Talking to you, working with you is like living in the loony bin. I know the loony bin. I have been there.
One moment you beat yourself up. The next you beat someone else up. You are funny and then you are down in the dumps. Ugh.
Unfortunately an ordinary human cannot do that. Instead they do the layer cake method… no rhyme, no reason. Reactive. Additive.
Even science is like that… our science. Adding stuff… 10% truth value!
It denies everything that it can’t fit into the layer cake… because it doesn’t fit…
If you are interested in the ‘take away’ method of becoming the best you can become, your first job will be to remove your main issue, your main frame. Mine was ‘smart/stupid’.
Yours may be ‘right/dead’. Or ‘safe/unsafe’, ‘talented/worthless’, or ‘entitled/deprived’, ‘free/dutiful’. Millions of possible combinations… You know what yours is.
We did that in a recent workshop.
And set out to weed it out. Like I did.
Then consider it your one and only job, your One Thing to weed it out as much as you can. The side effect is that you’ll start to see wider, you’ll start to see virtues, and values where there seemed to be none.
That is how you know you are succeeding.
If what you continue to see is still all about you, and all inside that frame, you’ll know that you are not succeeding.
For example, if you are in the 67 coaching program, your reports will be talking about only what belongs to the frame, and not much of what is being said in the audio.
That is one of the brilliant uses of that program: monitoring yourself and your frames.
PS: To summarize, the method asks you to remove something, instead of add something.
So for the right/wrong, safe/unsafe person, removing this filter would mean that their attention is removed from themselves… moved AWAY from themselves. Other than the away, nothing is defined. The whole wide world is open… she can look at people. The world. Ideas… anywhere other than themselves. Not at what they remember. Not at what they think. Not at what they feel. NO. Outside…
It is a challenge, but it is worth learning to win at it.
That is the method… and because it is based on a sound principle, it can take you to health, wealth, love and fulfillment… a life well lived… coherent, a life lived with integrity.
PPS: Subtractive moves are powered with HATE. Hate is your jet engine. All human culture is powered by the propeller: desire.
So you need to be willing to swim upstream while all the guppies swim downstream. You need to be willing not follow the herd. Not follow the Tree of Knowledge. To be different.