In this article I'll teach you something that has the potential to turn you into a happy, joyful person. No kidding.
Also, it can serve as the bridge between human and human being...
From that you can guess: the distinctions in this article are advanced.
At present, if you are a "normal" human, you are judging yourself and others. You are miserable, wretched, prone to get happy, get sad, get depressed at the drop of a hat.
I assert that you are judgmental, because distinctions are missing, and there is nothing wrong with you. Or them...
You are judgmental. You can't help it. You may try to control yourself, suppress it, but it isn't going anywhere. It is there. It's vicious. You judge yourself as much as you judge others. This is how you learned to be by modeling your parents, your teachers, your bosses, your church, your politicians.
I have been posting my articles on Medium, an online platform, for the past two years. This morning I was tallying up what articles were well read, well thought of... and was pondering if I should write articles that people like, or if I should continue writing articles that people need. Articles that only I can write... writing those is more fun for me.
I can look at the question through many different "filters"... integrity, i.e. being true to myself. Being true to my principle: "Never doing anything for money that I wouldn't want to do for free." or the newest distinction for me: project mode vs process mode.
Wanting more article likes is project mode. Writing articles is being with what I am writing, and the articles will produce the results they will: this is the process mode.
Learning new things is both exciting, and humbling. More humbling, in a way, than exciting. I never really want to learn anything new, not about myself, not about life, not about people, not about anything. I already know enough, says a part of me... and I break out in hives (figuratively) at the option of learning something new.
And then, when I do learn something new, I have to process it, and rebuild my self-view, maybe even my world view. It could be fun, but it really not pleasant.
If you consider that this is what I ask from other people, for a living, I could be viewed pretty "inauthentic"... looked in one way. I don't think I am, I feel the pain it cost people to learn something new, and have compassion: see where they are at and am willing to help them through.
Yesterday's article on the two hemispheres of the brain
Yesterday's article was the result of a huge learning, and I didn't hear any echo until this morning. Even this morning it wasn't any talking about what I wrote: instead I got an example of how it is true, that when you move from the high mind-share, high about-me score, you have creativity and joy available to you.
What I didn't see, and one of my students taught me, is that the project mode, when you are hellbent on getting the result, and put up with the process that you'd rather not have to go through, you are in the mind: the only place the future exists, you are in about-me mode, and you are in left-brain mode, even if you are doing "art". Of some supposedly joyful thing, like a game, or sex, or a conversation.
When you shift into process mode, you are in the present moment, and that is definitely not mind. Mind doesn't even know about the present moment.
This traditionally project mode student of mine did this shift, and for the first time he experienced joy and creativity (his one art is songwriting, he has others) and called his state: "I am better than ever." The joy was tangible in his voice.
And that joy, that "being hooked up" to the divine source of joy, creativity, transcendence is available all the time, not like the project mode that has a time and a place and a duration... what most people seem to crave.
The strait jacket of identity... and the string that move the puppet
This same student brought up an issue that has caused another unwanted learning for me (what I am referring to in the title of this article).
He was pondering and examining why he has the urge to teach his mother what he knows to teach... even though it always leaves him with a sense of emptiness and futility.
I recognized myself in that... I have been getting better at avoiding this, but only with a lot of self-discipline, using my short supply of will... to stop myself.
Maybe that is why, on days when I see people who I could teach, who don't want to learn, never asked for it, don't want it, don't appreciate it, I get very tired, drained, and have suddenly no joy.
What's going on in the invisible?
Most everyone had an incident in their lives where what they said or did was not appreciated, not heard, not valued, and now they are trying to fix it.
The problem is: you cannot fix anything that is not wrong.
If a screw falls out: you can put it back. If a vase breaks, you can glue it together, but if your diagnosis of what was "wrong", amiss, is mistaken, all your efforts at fixing it won't fix it: because it wasn't broken to begin with.
We spend most of our lives trying to fix what never happened, what wasn't real to begin with.
My decision was, about my failure to be heard, is that I was worthless, a throwaway, not valuable.
My student's decision was, in his incident, that he can't... Can't possibly do what life wants him to do... no matter what he does.
And his Playground partner's, in relationships, said: "I can't win... not even if I yell"
And each person, who's ever experienced a "failure to be enough" in an incident, invented a fix... and that's become part of the identity they are today.
I am hellbent on providing unique value, proving that I am smart
My student became well spoken
His Playground partner (I don't want to use names for privacy) became alternately bombastic and meek and self-sacrificing in the face of people opposing him or wanting something from him.
All inauthentic ways of being... perpetuating the original failure to be...
...in my case to be seen by my mother as a person,
in my student's case: being able to do what he was asked to do (mediate between his parents at a young age) and
in the case of his Playground partner: be able to be heard as capable and valid.
I have written a lot about being a puppet on a string: this is one example you are a puppet on a string... perpetually being pulled in to recreate an early misery... feeling less than... without having much power over it.
It is an invisible dynamic, and until it is revealed, fully seen for what it is, it will continue doing its dance, uninterrupted, at the expense of your joy, power, and self-expression.
It occurs to me that I could measure to what degree you have self-value...
My student: 10%
His partner: 10%
This is not the same measure as overvaluing one's worth as in delusion (also measured in the Starting Point Measurements.) It is what you bring into every conversation... what you hope is higher, but it is you who does whatever you need to do to keep it at the level you decided when you were young and someone invalidated you.
I lived most of my life with a low self-worth, a low self-value of 3% and have managed to overcome that impediment, somewhat, recently. I'd like to up it... but have no idea what I would need to do... so it's time to have a heart to hearth with Source about that.
It is Tuesday and I get my weekly horoscope by Rob Brezsny in my inbox on Tuesdays.
Today, it seems, for the first time, his non-horoscope type content was so in sync with what is going on in my courses and for my students, that I had a feeling that I may be on the right track, doing the right thing, and the Universe agrees with me. Here are a few quotes from what he says in the email, and my comments:
THE MORE ACCIDENTAL, THE MORE TRUE
"The more accidental, the more true," wrote Boris Pasternak. Scholar Mikhail Epstein expanded this observation: "The more accidental the phenomenon, the more divine its nature, for the divine is what has not been envisioned, what cannot be deduced from general rules, nor irreducible to them."
If we pursue this line of thought to its logical conclusion, we may decide that the most useful sources of illumination are not always holy books, revered dogma, and great truths that everyone has heard. They might also be serendipitous anomalies that erupt into the daily routine and break the trance of ordinary awareness.
"The tiny spark," Epstein writes, "is the precise measure of the holiness of the world."
(Source: Mikhail Epstein, "Judaic Spiritual Traditions in the Poetry of Pasternak and Mandel'shtam." Translated from Russian by Ruth Rischin.)
The nature of evil
To the degree that we stop projecting evil onto others and face it and deal with it in ourselves, we are far more likely to act with moral equanimity (mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.) toward everyone else.
Our effort to wrangle (argue) compassionately with the shadow within us is an effective ground-level way to purify and strengthen our efforts to help and redeem the outer world
Where to look for evil?
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
I could say "I am depleted" as I have always said: I am running on empty. I could also say: I feel emotionally and intellectually empty. But like you, I can benefit from adding to my vocabulary of state-expressing words, and feeling-indicating words.
When I don't feel energized, when I am not full of creativity and when I don't have three new articles almost ready to write, when I don't feel like I have new programs to launch, then eventually I start to wonder, maybe even worry.
Yesterday I spent about four hours listening to Jordan Peterson. The material I listened to was a truth value of 30%... not bad.
In some ways Jordan Peterson, the teacher, and I, the teacher, deal with the same things: people don't see why they should learn.
Many reasons, I see, but one of them is fundamental, and also invisible, meaning it is an invisible part of reality, the part that is below the sea level of the iceberg. It's not hidden, as one of my students says... although Werner calls the process that makes it visible "unconcealing" suggesting that it is concealed, which is another word for hidden.
Genetics is hardware. Epigenetics is software. Loosely speaking.
Capacities, in the DNA, can be expressed, switched on or switched off.
When you change, you do more than just surface changes: in effect you change how the DNA, capacities, etc. get switched on or switched off... you are creating epigenetic changes. And not just physical, the aspect "science" is talking about, but the whole person. Not just fat/skinny health conscious, life-unconscious aspect... but really the whole intelligent person who you are or... ahem... not.
The first phase of growth is to plug the leaks of energy, life force, glycogen, time, working memory... eliminate the mistakes, sloppiness, etc.
There are, in my experience, three thinking brains, at least potentially, in every human...
The first thinking brain, the mind, that is in cahoots, in collusion, working against you with the selfish gene. That is what creates a life of reactivity, full of fear, full of anxiety, full of sharp turns and devastating jerks. I've lived there... and I hated it.
The second thinking brain, the one that evaluates, reasons, figures stuff out, is slow and plodding, and hard work. Creates real solutions, keeps you out of trouble... but not fun.
And then there is the third thinking brain... the work of thinking is done in the background, on the back burner, while the foreground is silent, resting, or busy learning something new..
That is where I live now.
I am getting a few questions about that, and I decided to tell you as much as I can see... the mechanism is largely hidden from my view... It is in the background...
I'll use myself, and clients' and students' stuff as illustrations...
This morning something pulled me back to bed after I got up.
I considered it guidance, and I got back to bed.
What came next was amazing: trips down memory lane, all centering around mental illness, mental stability, your TLB, and what was in common among the many people I remember so clearly, people I spent time with in mental institutions.
As an empath, other people's feelings, emotions tend to tug at me. today 99% of what I feel is not mine... But before I became conscious, before I started to climb the consciousness tree, 30% of the feelings I felt were mine. I also had a lot more noise in my head... all talking at the same time.
The only reason I know, with 20/20 hindsight, that I was hospitalized not for what I felt, is that none of the medication worked... I wasn't the person who was crazy, I just felt the craziness of others.
My theory of mental illness has always been that it is an escape... a hiding place.