Created December 30th, 2020
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! May 2021 be the year we all learn to fully appreciate the lives we had before, and now are able to have again – sometime during the year.
In prior posts, I’ve hypothesized that we come into this world as an experiencer, and from our very first moments, our being’s very essence is that original witness. Free, and in bliss, until disturbed. That is our true Self.
However, now, in the waking state of consciousness, we associate a lot of other content with that true self: all the stuff in our Ego memory which has conditioned our current inflexible reactions. All of that memory (according to Freud, and which rings true for me) involved learning from instances of disturbance.
All memory, physically, consists of neuron networks that the brain has built as result of all the experience undergone in this life. The Ego is that part of the neuronal structure that relates to craving perceived deficiencies, self-esteem, and the approval of others.
Disturbance, learning, building of Egoic neuron association pathways. Creation of a protein castle in the head which gradually assumes more and more political importance in relation to the original witnesser, and to all other memories.
Some of the Ego’s “automatic pilot” programs in our head were punched in by our “conscious mind pilot”. But the great preponderance of our Egoic automatic-pilot programming appears to be of the Pavlovian variety, whereby we were addicted as we grew up to certain types of shallow rewards, without this being anyone’s conscious intention.
These shallow rewards cluster around the concepts of gaining approval and the support of others. This is easy to understand when we look at it this way: we know that the earlier in our lives something affected us, the more power it has. Psychologists have concluded that the first five years sets the keel for the person. Per Freud, again, the Ego (this mass of neurons, this robot bio-AI) first appeared at the moment the baby’s needs were not immediately met. By extrapolation, the function of building the adult Ego was a process revolving around first getting the parents to do what baby wanted, and then by further extrapolation, gaining the favors of everyone we met after that, using what we had learned from the Ego’s negotiations with one’s parents.
I’ve hypothesized that the latter mass and its functionality have welded themselves onto our sense of self. We always react to the same types of situations in the same ways. The programs are going through their steps while we sleepily look on, along for the ride.
In peak experiences such as Maslow and Csikszentmihaly wrote about, we escape the welded state and are able to see everything, including the machinations of the internal bio-AI in us, which I identify as Freud’s Ego principle. This neurons and associations produced by the experience since birth, I also call the Robot, my name for the same thing.
How do you get into the Observer state – your “Me That Was Born”? All of these posts in the “On the Road to Flow” series are aimed at answering that question. Today’s post specifically relates to the removal of conditioning from oneself.
Step one is to observe one’s own inner and outer behaviors, which of course, has the added benefit of putting you right into the Observer state (at least momentarily; you will see that your ability to stay there for longer and longer periods does itself).
Observe your Self as if studying another person, so as to be able to truly register things which have become too familiar to notice. Particularly study when you sense yourself experiencing emotions. Trace the source of the emotion. Something very important to you either got trampled on or caressed with a velvet glove. What was that thing so important to you as to have these emotions well up automatically, a la Pavlov’s dog?
Why was that thing so important to you? What is your earliest memory that could be related to you wanting that thing so very much?
Do you still care that much about that thing in your conscious mind? Or is that kneejerk reaction something you have outgrown and can live without?
What is more important to you now, being a person whose Will can overcome anything else inside, a person who is Master over self, or a person like the great mass of society, who has been conditioned into being a rolebot, and doesn’t even know it?
When you begin this guiltless housecleaning of your psychological innards, make sure you are not frustrated, angry and scared when you find that you cannot turn your own mind on a dime. It has habituated those behaviors repetitively for so long the psychic momentum is enormous. Your deciding to change 100% instantly would not be realistic. You must accept that the Ego will fight as if a living mind parasite to maintain control of you. But it isn’t a parasite, it’s a symbiote, all it ever wanted to do was help, and it’s autonomic, mechanical in its functioning, it isn’t a separate mind and will, although it seems that way at times. Don’t divide yourself against yourself by getting mad at it. Sense of humor is one of the highest most practical senses we have; use it. Be patient. Take a long term view. If you never give up, you will get there. That is the right course of action.
All my best,
Click here for our New Years gift, a song from Stan Satlin.