Seeing Through Illusions – I Am Not Responsible

October 8, 2008

We have not looked at any illusions in awhile.  Today we will look at an illusion that keeps many of us from taking complete control of our lives.  When we think things are out of our control then we think we are not responsible.

 

Housekeeping

Yesterday’s post was about an idea that I read on another site during last weekend.  At the time I was not able to make proper attribution to the original site.  If I had read my email before I wrote that post, I would have found a note from the owner of that site.  The correct site is Nerdy Renegade News.  Please click the link and go to the post for October 3 to read the original post that I wrote about yesterday.  Sorry Lisa.

 

I am not responsible

How many times have we heard this idea?  This is an illusion and it is a deeply embedded false self behavior.  Let’s look first at why false self wants to cling to this illusion.

 

As we have repeated numerous times on this site – false self does not want to take a look at the possibility it might be wrong.  Because of this, false self attempts to take responsibility for as little as possible.

 

One of the best (and frequently humorous) ways to tell that someone is engaged in false self behavior is when they refuse to take responsibility.  This can be for something that is clearly their responsibility or something that is only marginally their responsibility.  The bottom line is that when they refuse to take responsibility they are in denial.  Being in denial is actually proof that there is a problem that needs to be looked at.

 

True self seeks to take responsibility

Believe it or not, true self actually seeks to take responsibility.  There are several reasons for this.  The first is that true self knows that we must be truthful with those around us.  When we are actually responsible for something then we must acknowledge that responsibility.

 

This acknowledgement can be either private or public.  We must always make the private acknowledgement.  This will keep us from being in denial.  If a public acknowledgement is appropriate then we need to do that as well.

 

This is an interesting point because a public acknowledgement is not always necessary.  When it is we must do so.  However, as we are learning to take responsibility we will sometimes take responsibility privately but have not become strong enough to take the responsibility publicly.  That is fine.  We recognize that this is where we are and gradually build our internal strength so that we are able to take public responsibility as we find the strength to do so.

 

A strange behavior

There is an interesting offshoot of this idea that is a variation on false self illusionary behavior.  This is when we take public responsibility for something because we are “expected” to do so.  We do not take private responsibility because we do not think we are responsible.

 

True self most likely would not take public responsibility for something for which we were not responsible.  It might happen, but we would clearly understand the situation.  This behavior is usually just an extension of false self wanting to be in denial.  We say we are responsible to “get along” while internally we are busy justifying our behavior to ourself.

 

Here is how we can tell the difference between true self and false self as it relates to this behavior.  True self accepts the situation and recognizes that taking public responsibility is best for all concerned.  False self wants to deny its responsibility to itself so it takes public responsibility but justifies to itself that it really is not responsible.

 

True self wants to learn

Another reason that true self wants to take responsibility when necessary is that we want to learn.  Remember all the times we have said that the reason that we exist is to learn and grow and share that learning and growth with each other?

 

If you think about it, when we refuse to take responsibility in a situation where we are clearly responsible we are not accepting that situation.  All situations are here for us to learn from them.  When we do not accept the situation for what it truly is we cannot learn from it.

 

This is why so many of us repeat the same painful situations.  We do something and we are responsible for the outcome of that behavior.  We choose to go into denial and not take responsibility for our behavior.  We do not learn what we should have learned because we did not think we were responsible for the outcome.

 

The next time the situation comes up we act the same way.  We get the same unhappy results.  Once again we think we are not responsible and continue our denial.  We also continue to block any chance we will learn from our actions.  The pattern repeats until we are in so much pain that we finally take a look at ourself.  Or we die.

 

 

Do we want to become old and bitter?

Have you ever wondered why so many people get so bitter as they get old?  Many of them are in tremendous denial about many things and have been so for a very long time.  It is very painful to look at these things.  Instead of taking responsibility for that pain they blame everyone and everything around them for their pain.

 

Ask yourself right now – do I want to become old and bitter or do I want to become wise and happy?  The choice is yours.

 

If you want to become wise and happy one of the best ways to achieve that is to start taking responsibility right now for everything in your life.  At first it is a very scary thought, but in time we learn that it actually brings us closer to our happiness.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Simplify Our Life – Non-Supportive Family

September 23, 2008

I am sure some of you have been scratching your head and wondering what the last two posts have had to do with simplifying your life.  When I started writing about family I thought that I would be able to explain it in one or two posts.  Surprise!  It is going to take a total of five.

 

Simplify your blood family

In the last two posts we talked about our blood families.  We first talked about the idea of functional and nonfunctional families.  Then we learned about the need to examine our family.  If you have not read those posts please do so.  Reading them is pretty much a prerequisite for understanding this post.

 

Today we will look at a strategy for dealing with the results of our examination of our family.  This strategy is used when we need to get out of a non-supportive relationship.

 

We are accepted

As in all of our relationships we generally have different relationships with the different members of our blood family.  Some will totally accept us for who we are.  These are good relationships that we should attempt to maintain and nurture.  We need to accept these family members unconditionally in the same way they accept us.

 

When acceptance is conditional

Other family members will want to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  These relationships can be summarized with the phrase “if you were really my daughter and loved me you would call me more often.”   Substitute “daughter” for whatever relationship is appropriate for you.  Substitute “call me more often” for any behavior that fits the relationship.

 

These relationships based on conditional acceptance are always painful for us.  The base cause of the pain is that we are not being accepted for who we are.  We usually do not see that.  What we see is that someone is attempting to force us to do things that we do not want to do.

 

We don’t want to call our mother more often.  We don’t want to play baseball but we do so because it will make dad happy.  We don’t want to buy flowers for our sister’s birthday to prove to her that we love her.  We want to express our acceptance in our own way, but they force us to do it their way.  Then, if we do express our acceptance and caring in our own way, they conclude that we do not love them and blame us for hurting them.

 

You can see where this kind of relationship goes.  Over time we are more and more constricted in our behavior towards this relative.  We become more and more unhappy but do not want to hurt them.  This is how nonfunctional families perpetuate themselves.

 

The separation strategy

The first strategy that we will look at is the separation strategy.  This is the more drastic and more final solution.  The way this strategy works is that we commit to attempting to explain to the relative who is placing conditions on their acceptance of us that they are limiting us.

 

If at all possible we should avoid talking about how we are being hurt by them.  There are two reasons for this.  The first goes back to the idea that only the false self can be hurt.  When we talk about being hurt then we are exhibiting false self behavior.

 

The second reason that we do not talk about being hurt is that our relative will frequently respond by telling us how much we are hurting them.  “You think I hurt you? Let me tell you how much you hurt me!”  This conversation rarely is progressive or has a happy ending.

 

In the separation strategy we talk to our relative about how a relationship is limited when we accept someone only if they pass certain conditions.  We talk about how when we are more open with our acceptance we can more truly understand and like each other.

 

We also make a long term commitment to taking whatever time is required to make sure we have tried every possible way to explain ourselves to this relative.  What we are really doing is telling them that we cannot continue our relationship with them if they continue to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  Usually we do not actually say this to our restricting relative.  This is viewed as an ultimatum and detracts from the discussion.

 

We know that the relationship is too painful for us to continue unchanged.  We take whatever time we can devote and have as many discussions as we can before we choose to separate ourselves from the overly restricting relative.

 

As we separate ourselves we acknowledge to ourselves that we have done everything we can to explain our desire to build a healthy relationship with our relative.  We accept that at this time this relative is more interested in their false self behavior than in building a healthy relationship with us.  We accept them for where they are right now and vow to revisit the relationship whenever we think there might be an opening for us to continue our discussions about acceptance.

 

This can be very devastating to us when we determine that we must go forward with our lives.  We have to recognize that we did everything that we could to help our non-supportive relative to understand why we had to break off the relationship.  We have to understand that if they were coming from their true self then they would have no problem with the break up.  The fact that we had to temporarily break the relationship means that we could no longer allow their false self behavior to control what our true self needs to do.

 

All this can be very difficult to sort through while we are in the middle of it.  These are very emotionally charged situations.  This is precisely why we need to be training false self to listen to true self.  True self understands the importance of each of our relationships and is always able to determine which we need to maintain and which we need to suspend.  By listening to true self we can simplify our family relationships.

 

How is this simplifying our life?

Think about how much time and emotional energy we expend on our blood family relationships.  How much of that is in the mutually accepting and supportive category?  How much is in the dealing with conditional acceptance category?

 

Most of us spend a lot of time and emotional energy dealing with the conditional acceptance placed on us by our blood family.  Should we not turn this around and be spending more time and energy on the mutually accepting and supportive relationships?

 

By recognizing the non-supportive relationships we are simplifying our lives.  True self is determining to relate more frequently with those in our family who support us.  These supportive relationships rejuvenate us.  The non-supportive relationships only drain us.

 

We simplify our lives by first understanding the nature of our blood family relationships.  Next we learn to choose for the supportive relationships because they are beneficial to us and help us to simplify our lives.  No unnecessary time or energy is wasted on them.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at another strategy.  That one is called the “accept but cauterize” strategy.

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Simplify Our Life – Examine Your Family

September 22, 2008

Today we will look at how we can simplify our lives by examining our family.  Many of us do not realize that we can choose who we want as our family.  Today we will start to learn how to do so.  But first…

 

Welcome back

I trust everyone had a great weekend.  Here in the northeastern US we had some great weather.  We also quietly celebrated the end of summer in the northern hemisphere.  Also, we are in the midst of a bountiful harvest season in this area.  I intend to enjoy it now – winter will be here soon enough.

 

Functional family recap

Today’s posting is a direct extension of Friday’s post about functional and nonfunctional families.  We will give a brief synopsis of that post, but you will understand this post much more clearly if you read that one first.

 

In brief, a nonfunctional family is usually dominated by one or two members who exhibit extreme false self behavior.  Frequently this behavior is controlling, aggressive, or related to substance abuse. This behavior causes the other members to develop interlocking false self behaviors that help the family cope with this behavior.

 

The nonfunctional family breaks up with great pain because when one person leaves the interlocking false self behaviors fall apart.  The one who leaves is invariably blamed for the pain caused by the false self behaviors falling apart and then being reassembled to continue the coping strategy.

 

In contrast, a functional family is very supportive of each individual.  Each individual attempts to be objective and supportive of the others.  The functional family is happy because all of the members are learning and growing and sharing that learning and growth.

 

The functional family breaks up very easily because the members have not needed to create interlocking false self behaviors.  When a member of a functional family needs to leave to pursue their learning and growth the other members are happy and supportive.

 

Finally, there are very few truly functional families on this planet.  Nor are there that many truly nonfunctional families.  Most families have characteristics of both functional and nonfunctional families.

 

Examine your family

Many of us do not realize that we can simplify our lives by choosing who we want to be in our family.  Most of us think that our family is our blood family – you know, the people we were born to or who were born to us.  That is only one family.

 

It is much more important that we recognize that this group of people that we call our family must be supportive of our learning and growth.  In the same manner we must be supportive of their learning and growth.

 

We have looked at the concepts of a functional family.  It can be quite difficult and very emotional to examine our blood family and assess the functionality of that group of people.  Objectivity during this examination can be quite difficult to achieve but we must strive for it.

 

This assessment of our family to determine its functionality is usually very painful.  It is a difficult task, and it frequently takes many years to accomplish.  However, we cannot improve our relationship with our blood family until we have begun to understand how it functions.  Otherwise all we are doing is strengthening the interlocking false self behaviors.

 

The reason why this task takes so long is these interlocking false self behaviors.  We have lived within them for so long that we hardly notice them.  Our behavior is so determined by them that we cannot imagine behaving in a different way. 

 

However, if we feel pain in our blood family relationships we need to look at those relationships for false self behaviors.  Pain always means there is an element of false self behavior.  For us to find our true happiness we must find our false self behaviors as they relate to our family.

 

What do I do now?

Isn’t that always the question?  Especially with family this can be a very difficult question to answer.  We each have to come to our own answers in our own way.

There is no “one size fits all” answer here.  We will look at a few options for possible strategies, but we each must find our own way through this portion of our path.  But we are not alone.  If we just look around there are many people who have traveled this part of the path and they want to help us.  Just allow it and the help will be there.

 

How functional are we?

The first question to ask is “how functional is my family?”  Can you separate yourself enough that you can find your own way?  Are you so smothered that the mere idea of your leaving causes tremendous reactions in other family members?  Can you pursue the things you want to do and at least be left alone?  Does everything you want to do need to be approved by the rest of the family?

The answers to those questions will get you started on your examination of your family.  I have seen people react in a full spectrum of responses once they start to truly examine their family.

 

Some have found it either too painful or too threatening to continue the examination.  They stop traveling their path “for the sake of the family”.  They choose for a familiar but unhappy life.

 

I have seen others who have recognized that they would never be able to pursue their path as long as they maintained contact with their family.  They heard a strong voice that told them that they needed to cut all contact with their family in order to find true happiness.  They knew that for them their happiness was more important than anything else – and that their family would never help them to find it because it was too threatening to them.

 

Most of us find ourselves somewhere in between these two extremes.  We can maintain some contact with our family but we have developed a means to pursue our happiness.

 

In a way, most of us put our blood family behind a wall and deal with them there.  We then choose a new family that is mutually supportive of each other’s learning and growth.  Tomorrow we will look at how to choose that new family.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Email

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© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Simplify Our Life – Functional Families

September 19, 2008

Yesterday we looked at simplifying our lives by choosing our friends carefully.  Family is a bit different matter and much more emotional.  However, many of us choose family over our true happiness.  Today we will look at some ideas to help us understand this choice.

 

But first…

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom here we take a moment each Friday to thank those around us.  This week I would like to thank those who have given me encouraging feedback about what I am writing.  I thank you for taking the time to read this site and to offer your feedback.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

The nonfunctional family

To start our understanding of why false self is so attached to its family we must first look at the structure of the family.  When we look at most families we do not find a strong influence of true self.  There are many signs of this.  We see issues like a controlling and authoritative parent, a required strong commitment to a religious or political ideology, physical or psychological abuse, and substance abuse.

 

All of these behaviors come from false self.  This is by no means a definitive list, but it covers the most common issues that face families.

 

The way the family adjusts to these issues determines whether not it is a functional family.  In a nonfunctional family it is usually only a few members who have any one of the behaviors listed above.  The others learn to cope with the extreme false self behavior.  Rather than bring it to the attention of the one exhibiting the behavior they keep quiet and try to get along.

 

Let’s take the case of a domineering, controlling, and authoritative parent.  In this example only one of the parents exhibits this behavior.  The spouse most likely began to cope with this type of behavior before there were any children in the family.  The children learned to cope with the behavior as they grew up.

 

Is everybody happy?

Is anyone in this family really happy?  I would suggest that they are not.  The authoritative parent is not.  They are clearly coming from false self and as we have repeated, that is never a happy place.  The spouse and the children are not happy because they must repress their true self so that they do not anger the controlling parent.  Every time they strongly express any true self behavior the false self of the controlling parent views this as a threat and punishes the behavior.  Eventually everyone learns to live in fear of the controlling parent.

 

The final test of a nonfunctional family is what happens when someone needs to leave the family.  Over time the spouse and children of the nonfunctional family have learned to balance each other to keep a sense of stability in the family.  This is not true stability because it is coming from the balancing of their false self behaviors against the false self behavior of the controlling parent.

 

This apparent stability is more like a house of cards that is in a delicate stasis.  Because all the false self behaviors are linked to each other, if one person decides they need to get away from the situation to understand themselves – the whole house of cards comes down.  As it comes down everyone in the family blames the one who chose for their true self as the cause of all the pain.

 

This is not a pretty picture, but how many of us encountered a similar situation as we chose to pursue our spiritual path?  That is why I have felt the need to write about this.  Choosing for the false self based family is one of the most common reasons people never choose to listen to their true self.  At least it is that way in my experience.

 

The functional family

The functional family may not recognize that they are making choices for their true self.  They probably don’t see this.  What they understand is that they are truly happy.

 

Here are some of their behaviors that are different from the nonfunctional family.  They encourage each person in the family to learn what is important to them.  They actively support what each person wants to do as much as is possible.  The functional family wants each person to travel their own path of discovery.  In a functional family you hear “I don’t understand why you want to do that, but I will help you in whatever way I can.”  This is said with utter sincerity.

 

In a functional family the children are not told to be doctors, lawyers, or whatever the parents think they should be.  Children are not forced to participate in sports in which they have no interest.  No one cares.  As long as the child is happy, not destructive of themselves or others, and is passionate about learning – nothing else is really important.

 

A functional family does not force any religious or political ideologies on its members.  The family is strong enough to have any and all beliefs questioned.  The family understands that all ideas need to be examined on a regular basis.  If our understanding evolves, then our ideas should evolve.  A lively discussion of opposing ideas without personal rancor is a sure sign of an open minded family.

 

Finally, the functional family only wants happiness for each of the members.  The functional family does not push its members into unwanted personal relationships.  It does not determine the race, social stature, financial stature, or sexual orientation of its member’s personal relationships.  They know that happiness is more important than any of these.  If the person is not happy in the relationship then we help them understand their choice and help them back towards their true happiness.  We do not condemn them for choosing the wrong relationship with the wrong person.

 

Breaking up a functional family

Unlike the nonfunctional family that breaks up with much pain, the functional family breaks up and reassembles itself very easily.  A functional family is less likely to have interlocking false self dependencies.  The members of a functional family are much more likely to be acting from true self.  Remember, true self knows that it is complete in itself and does not need anyone else.  What do we care if a family member chooses to leave to pursue their goals?  All we want is for them to be happy in that pursuit.

 

The continuum

How many families are fully functional?  Not many.  How many families are totally nonfunctional?  Not many but more than those that are fully functional.  It is more like a continuum where most families exhibit some characteristics of a functional family as well as some from the nonfunctional family.

 

It all depends on which characteristics come into play for us as we relate to our family.  Other family members will have different experiences than ours.  Each family member experiences a different family.  We need to learn about how the family that we experience is affecting our choice for true self.  Not our sister’s choice, not our mother’s choice – our choice.

 

More on Monday

Today we have written the background for Monday’s post.  On Monday we will look at how to use these concepts of functional and nonfunctional families to simplify our relationships with our families.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Email

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Copyright

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Don’t Dwell on What You Don’t Have

September 17, 2008

Today I will explain a very valuable technique that I use to clarify my thinking.  When I need to attain something it is easy to say “if I only had…” as a means of resolving the issue.  Today we will look at a positive way to use the perspective of our true self to attain an objective.

 

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

Taking inventory

Have you ever noticed that when you want to achieve or attain something you get discouraged?  There are many reasons that cause this discouragement.  Today we will look at one, and hopefully start to learn to overcome it.

 

Watch your thinking process the next time you decide to do something difficult.  See if this happens to you.

 

Let’s say we deicide to buy a car.  For some of us this may be a simple process.  For others this can be a daunting task.  False self may immediately start taking inventory.  However, watch the inventory that false self discovers.

 

It will come up with things like you don’t have enough money for the down payment, you don’t have enough money for the monthly payment, and you don’t have enough money for the insurance.  The problem is that you haven’t even decided on which car you want.  False self has already given you a bunch of “problems” that you have to overcome.  You don’t want this inventory.

 

False self gives us more unwanted inventory as we proceed down the path of getting a car.  How long will we have to wait for the car?  Do they have it in our favorite color?

 

Those are borderline negatives.  However, one of the ones false self is sure of is that we have to buy a used car.  False self cannot stand the loss through depreciation that happens to a new car.

 

True self looks for ways to accomplish

When we take a look at the false self inventory described in the previous section we find that the items are mostly ways to keep from accomplishing our goal of buying a car.  For some reason that I do not understand, false self is always looking for the ways that we “can’t” get something done.

 

We can’t buy a car because we don’t have the money.  We can’t buy a car because they do not have it in our favorite color.  We can’t buy a new car because we will lose “a lot of money” through depreciation.

True self is not interested in the ways that something “can’t” be done.  We know that there are infinitely more ways that something “can’t” be done then there are ways to do something.  True self concentrates only on the ways to do something.  There is no need to waste our time convincing ourselves with reasons that do not lead towards our goal.

 

Let’s apply that idea to the false self inventory we created about buying a car.  Before we have even chosen a car false self thinks it does not have enough money.  It uses three ways to convince itself – money for the monthly payment, the down payment, and the insurance.

 

True self lumps all the money issues together and looks at them as one issue with three separate parts.  True self waits until after we have chosen and negotiated for the car to look at the money because the specifics are not available until that point.

 

False self is worried about the availability and the color of the car.  True self does not care that much about these “problems”.  True self knows that if there is one car that is the best solution, then waiting for that car to be available is appropriate.  True self may be able to live with a less than optimal color.  However, if the only color choices are absolutely hideous, then true self realizes that this just was not the appropriate car and continues the search process.

 

Finally, true self is not that concerned about losing money by the depreciation that happens when we drive a new car off the lot.  True self may prefer to pay the extra in advance so we can control the mechanical condition of the car. 

 

True self knows that the expensive things like engine, brake, and transmission repairs can be controlled through careful driving.  True self may prefer to control the way the car is operated than to take a chance on the unknown history of a used car.  True self may look at the big picture and decide that we will save on repairs later if we buy a new car now and then maintain it properly.

 

Use this skill

Remember to look at what you do have, not what you don’t have.  I cannot stress to you how important it is to learn this skill and use it in your daily life.  This could be one of the easiest ways to learn to have true self influence many aspects of your life.  As a project manager in the corporate world I used this concept to simplify my tasks.

 

I could accomplish a lot more than my fellow managers because I spent very little time on ideas that did not lead to our goals.  When I ran meetings I would not let the conversation turn to how we “can’t do it” or what we “didn’t have.”  I would turn the discussion towards what we did have and what we could do.

 

Try this technique for a few months.  I think you will see that it can make a difference in your attitude.  For an in depth discussion about how false self views possessions and how true self uses possessions please read the blog entries for August 18 and August 19 of 2008.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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Bouncing Back

September 16, 2008

Besides being a cineaste I am also follow auto racing.  This weekend I heard an interview with a driver who talked about not having to bounce back from a disappointment because he never left in the first place.  I thought this was an interesting variation on the idea of staying in the moment.

 

A mature young man

The racing driver I am discussing is quite a young man.  He has achieved a leadership position in his form of motorsports.  He is barely half way through his second season in the top level of his sport.  Over the last eighteen months this young man has impressed me with his maturity.

 

Over the last two seasons I have seen this young man take responsibility for his mistakes as well as for some made by his mechanics.  He has had some tremendous disappointments when certain rules were apparently unfairly called against him.  I do not ever remember him making a public statement that did not show a quiet and calm determination to move forward despite any setbacks that have occurred.

 

I have suspected that this young man has learned to be in the moment.  Everything that I have seen him do from the way he drives his car to the way he handles setbacks points to this conclusion.

 

One more disappointment

Recently this young man apparently won a very exciting race.  The finish of that race was one of the greatest and most exciting that I had seen in many years.  After the race, the race officials took away his victory because of an obscure interpretation of a vague rule.

 

During the interviews at the most recent race this weekend a reporter asked this very mature young man about his presumed disappointment.  She wondered how he managed to bounce back after the disappointment concerning this lost victory.

 

If you never left

This young man responded to this question by stating that he didn’t have to bounce back.  He said “I just stayed where I was and did not have to bounce back.”

 

That sure sounded to me like he was describing that he was knowingly staying in the moment.  He may not call it that, but for my money that is what he was doing.

 

Think about it for a moment.  He is saying that he is taking what would be a large disappointment to almost anyone else and not letting it affect him.  I did not sense any bluster or false martyrdom in his statement.  To me, he was truly saying that he did what he could do in the situation and he was not attached to the outcome.

 

This is a strange thing for a race car driver to think.  Race car drivers are very attached to the results of their efforts.  The statement “second place just means first loser” comes to mind.

 

I think this very mature young man cares very much about winning.  That is the reason he risks his life.  He wants to win every time he takes that risk.  However, it seems to me that when the race is finished and he has completed his job, he recognizes that he no longer has control over what happens.  He stays in the moment and does not get attached to the results of what has already happened.

 

This example may be a bit obscure for some of our readers.  Yet, I think it is important.  We all need to be observing when we notice that other people are in the moment.  By recognizing when others are in the moment we learn new ways that may help us to be in the moment.

 

Do you have a story of when you were in the moment?  How about a time when you recognized that someone else was in the moment?  Please share the stories with us.  We can never get enough stories of when people are in the moment.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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To Thine Own Self be True

September 15, 2008

I was watching a movie this weekend and this famous quotation from Hamlet was used.  It started me thinking about how this might mean that we should listen to our true self and not our false self.  But first –

 

Welcome Back

I trust that everyone had a great weekend.  Over the weekend another major hurricane struck the gulf coast of the US.  Our thoughts are with those who are affected by this storm.  If we can be of any help please let us know how we can do so.

 

Another movie

As many of you know I am a cineaste – a movie enthusiast.  One of my great joys is to find a movie that I have not seen before that also contains a great message.  This weekend I found the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.

 

This movie was made in 1955 and among other things examines the conformist nature of society in that era.  The widowed female lead (Cary) begins an affair with a younger man (Ron).  Cary is from the country club set and Ron runs a tree nursery.  All of her friends belong to the country club.  She eventually finds that his friends come from all walks of life.

 

Cary knows that there is something unusual about her lover, but has not yet understood what that is.  The couple gets invited to a party hosted by Ron’s best friends.  These friends, a married couple, have known Ron for many years.  It is the woman of this couple who finally explains what is different about Ron.

 

To thine own self be true

As the two women are preparing for the other party guests they start to talk about the men.  The hostess explains to Cary that Ron lives by the phrase “to thine own self be true.”  The hostess went on to say that Ron finds his security from inside of him, not through his job or money.

 

This discussion triggered a deeper understanding in me.  I realized that Shakespeare must have been talking about finding true self.  Shakespeare was saying that we must be true to true self, not false self.

 

I admit that I have heard this phrase countless times and never made the connection.  When you talk about being true to yourself and finding your security within – what else can you be talking about?

 

On this site, how many times have we written about finding our happiness within?  How many times have we said that false self thinks it can find happiness through attachments to external objects, ideas, or people?  How many times have we talked about true self finding happiness by being in the moment?

 

When I find this type of connection I realize how many people have said similar things.  History, the arts, and spiritual teachings are each full of similar examples.  I guess we discover these insights as we are ready for them.

 

The important stuff

Let’s go back to our movie for a minute.  The hostess went on to tell Cary that Ron only paid attention to the important stuff.  “Ron absolutely refuses to allow the unimportant things to become important.”

 

What a wonderful description of true self.  True self knows that all the things that false self wants to get caught in are truly unimportant.  You know – things like attachments to objects, fears, and the general pettiness that is false self.

 

We have not spent much time on the idea of simplifying our lives.  That is an oversight on my part.  I plan to write on this idea soon, but here are a few ideas about simplifying our lives.

 

To put it briefly, false self makes a lot more out of things than is necessary.  It makes mountains out of mole hills.  Because it has such a dislike for itself it has to aggrandize things to prove that it is important.  It justifies its stature by comparing itself to things that are big, important, influential, and generally of great magnitude.  It thinks that it will bask in the glory of these things and prove it is worthy of respect.

 

True self does not need complicated or grandiose things.  True self does what is necessary and does not care what any one thinks.  True self knows that by making something complicated we only take time and energy from another important task that needs to be accomplished.  True self will do whatever necessary to perform a required task, but has no desire to make the effort greater than necessary.

 

See the movie

I have provided a link to an online synopsis of the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.  It is an interesting study of a relationship wherein the individuals are at different levels of understanding the concepts of true self and false self.  They encounter many experiences that we all bump into as we travel our spiritual paths.  Please post your thoughts about this movie after you have seen it.  I am very interested in your insights.

 

The movie is available through Netflix.  You can also find it on cable TV.  Set your TiVo to record it.  I have no affiliation with TiVo or Netflix.  I just find them to be very useful.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com