Many lifetimes ago, I determined that the most important thing for me was to be cohesive psychologically. This was, to me, something that required intentional effort to counteract the natural “corruption” that comes from daily interaction with everything from television to peer to parents.
However, at that time, I couldn’t “look at myself directly and say what I saw”. So, this determination became a neglected desire which faded from the passionate part of my inner being, into the shadows of my subconscious mind.
Yet, the theme was there, because passions are like hell-fire: they burn without ceasing, even if you don’t feed them. They just burn as smoldering ash rather than raging infernos or internal combustion, if they’re neglected.
As I the planetary bodies moved, I became less cohesive, but also, “wider”… I absorbed more information, made more memories, encountered more people, accomplished more, and gained a wealth of books and other things which were potential waiting to be tapped, if I so chose.
Yet, I couldn’t choose… that is, I was driven by a habit of self-distraction, rather than concentration.
This lead to me becoming frustrated, and pushing away much of the things in live which we normally find enjoyable… even to the point that things which had no negative impact at all, were also seen as a pain rather than an interest, hobby, pleasure, or past-time.
The thing is, though, that the most important company is the company within… I still believe that cohesion is important to strive for, even if it takes daily effort to maintain, and even if a perfect cohesion is impossible.
To just leave things as they are is not being true to self, but rather, true to television… true to every conversation you have.. true to even word you overhear… true to ever insult a stranger or peer throws at you… true to ever bad memory and every delusional dream… in other words, you lose yourself, day after day, but not concentrating on refining yourself in some form.
That’s why people get less mentally competent with age (at least, it is one major factor): it is not that we get older, but it is that we get more disorganized. It is not that we get dumber, but it is that we practice less. It is not that we forget out dreams when we reach the end of our lives, but rather, that we repress them ever morning and every night, and every minute that we seek yet another distraction to give our attention to.
Well, maybe all of this only applied to me… but in any case, the reason why I’m spending time focused on myself is to compensate for all the time when I was instead focused on responding to what the immediate and short-term needs of the system I was within was….
School, home, work… they were all demanding systems to me… so I never really thought of myself as a person, but rather, as a reflection of what other components of the system (embodied as people, beliefs, morals) wanted.
I don’t think I can express the idea clearly enough to impact anyone else, but I really do believe that concentration is skill which anyone can learn (even if you’re drunk or otherwise impaired, but in the latter case, the effects will obviously be reduced).
The idea, I expressed in some form in my LJ blog a whilst back, but I wasn’t satisfied with that article… I’m just ranting now, so this will be even worse from an objective perspective (sorry about that), but I am doing this for purely selfish reasons: I wanted to remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing, since I’ve gained the bad habit of “escaping” from my own self-work.
What Only I Can Do
The thing is, some things can be done by or with the power of others, but some things can only be done by one individual themselves, and alone.
Why alone? Because others are distractions.
Alone, or with an open, supportive environment, but the latter is impractical for most people to achieve… in my case, the best I can do is find an semi-isolated space and a substantial (15 minutes to 4 hours) block of time, and work with it.
There’s internal resistance to this, but, this “internal” resistance is like a virus within, rather than an intrinsic part of the mind. With effort, the “immune system” of the mind can get rid of both the virus, and the toxins… actually, at first, it is the toxins that you remove, in the form of a legacy of bad habits, low energy, negative self-images, and so on.
The virus then becomes clear to see: our “modern” society is filled with a lot of hate, but there is also a lot of love. Most people have a mix of both behind every action, thought, and saying.
What I’m aiming to do is create a pro-virus, ultimately, one that can spread positive change… which might sound “new age” or “mystical”, but I don’t mean it to sound that way….
We do that all the time, when we do simple things like encourage people, give directions, or write instructions out that help people in solving a technical problem.
We do that when we write poetry, when we write fiction, when we write reviews.
We have to try really hard not to make the world at least a little bit better, when you think about it… even things such as “I failed at x” are so popular an entertaining that they’re several blogs devoted just to that.
Entertainment, education, and business… three areas which I think we are all somewhat involved in… however, as I aim to improve my situation, I don’t mind sharing some of the ups and downs. Also, I hope to see an improvement over time… and increased cohesion, productivity, and benefit to others in my writings… which will obviously be good for me, because, although I’ve come a long way from feeling like a cog in systems, I can’t say I’m “world class”, or an expert in any field, or even comfortable or happy with my current position.
R & D
So, that’s why I’m reading so much about business, and reading self-help books, and why sometimes I make “introspective” posts… I’m not so much trying to look inside my own self as I am trying to make the model that I use, more explicit… because I think that it can help others as well as myself, and I think that I won’t lose anything by sharing it (the time I invest, as I noted above, pays off by the practice I gain in writing).
So, here are some guidelines which I use:
- Skills can be learnt. This includes anything related to creativity, i.e. they are no “creative people”, only people with developed creative skills (how much and what may in early life be determined by environment, but that can be changed later), business ability, and technical abilities.
- It is possible to become more aware of your own psychological makeup, and benefit from this by intentionally harmonizing the various parts of self.
- Most people are doing things which will not be appropriate for you, but work to achieve their own short-term goals. Thus, to mimic others directly, I made taboo.
- Consistency matters.