Writing and publishing this post will be an achievement for me. It’s helpful to consciously acknowledge when something would be an achievement, and when something has been achieved. An achievement is something we’re proud that we accomplished.
Appreciation is also something we can consciously acknowledge. By “consciously acknowledge” I mean it requires mental focus, and by focusing on the things we appreciate, we attract more of it into our lives. Appreciating is consciously acknowledging and savoring the beauty, worth, and value of something.
Achieving and appreciating are powerful self-improvement techniques. By using both of these mental skills, we can truly create a more positive experience for ourselves, and by extension, a more positive world.
Rites of passage may seem archaic these days, but they still occur (whether consciously or unconsciously), and it’s essential for psychological and spiritual growth.
Returning With Light
It’s not enough to just encounter the darkness. We must enter the dark, and after that, we must find the light within, and return with the light.
No Going Back
A true rite of passage means that there’s no going back to who we were. The butterfly cannot go back into its cocoon.
Yesterday felt surreal, and my heart has heavy clouds, but there’s also clarity. Bena’s consciousness left her body in a moment of grace, and I wept as I held her, but also felt relieved. I slept for a while this evening, then woke up and went outside to light some incense next to her tree.
It’s been an emotional year and a half, which I’ve shared with you. Things have dramatically changed, and I’m not the same person I used to be. I believe I’m a better man than before.
More than ever, I realize that I’m not here to change anyone else but myself. I’m here to discover who I truly am, and to be that. It all starts (and ends) with appreciating all of it.
Coulda/shoulda/woulda thoughts come to mind, and it’s usually best if I get out of bed. Anyway, there’s always work to do at the shop, and the shop cats are always up to something or other. It’s also a cold and stormy night.
I like to contemplate the Life Areas, and that’s essentially contemplating levels of consciousness. To truly know myself, I must move beyond fear and ignorance. I choose the middle way.
Everything I’ve written or talked about would be just so many words without life experience. There’s comfort in making social connections, but for me, the most important connection is with my True Self.
Self-improvement is a continual process, and it’s a process of purification and refinement. The insight I have this morning is that everything I think in regards to my environment is a projection of unconscious parts of my psyche, and these projections are like raw material for me to refine myself. Things that I find irritating about other people, or conditions that I don’t like, can be thought of as psychic energy that can be harnessed toward self-improvement.
Everything is the self, for all intents and purposes. I’m experiencing things as myself, after all. I can only imagine what it’s like to experience things from another point of view, but ultimately this is my point of view. Unconscious material is continually being refined into consciousness. There are levels and degrees of unconsciousness and consciousness; it’s a spectrum. You could say that the more negative our thoughts and emotions, the more unconscious we are, but at the same time, the more fuel we have to become conscious.
How do these concepts play out in day to day life? This is my understanding: everything we perceive activates what we call “thoughts”, and every thought has a value attached to it, which we call “emotions.” To the degree that we react to these thoughts and emotions, we are unconscious. To the degree that we are able to choose among these thoughts and emotions, we are conscious. Consciousness, then, is the ability to know the difference between who you are and your projections.
There’s a shift in my consciousness that’s happening, and I think the best thing for me to do is write about it (and enjoy it, of course). I’ve been getting glimpses of clear air, which serves to contrast with the fog I’d been used to; the fog of what-is. I’ve had to find my central, feeling place, otherwise I wasn’t going to make it through.
One way of describing it is that I had various sub-personalities which were in a “warring states” kind of situation. My ego was the steward of these fractious sup-personalities, but found the job tough going for a while. Now I’m experiencing a “return of the king” moment, and there’s peace throughout the land aka my psyche.
There’s work to be done, but there’s no longer a civil war within myself. There are still voices of dissension, and long held beliefs, but ultimately all of the inner states believe in aligning with my True Self. I suppose you could say that I’m establishing a personal constitution.
I’m getting “hits of clarity” that expand my awareness and consciousness. I know that however I arrive at truth, it’s what I want. I want to live a real life; I want to talk to God; I want to have a soul; I want to be in love; I want to be who I am.
For me, the opposite of sincerity isn’t so much insincerity, as much as it is hypocrisy. I have a visceral and almost violent reaction to hypocrisy. It makes my blood boil. Much of my inner conflict has been about how to be sincere. Right or wrong, my actions have been from wanting to be loyal and virtuous, but I now realize that it’s not up to me whether anyone else is sincere or not.
When confusion and craziness is in the air, the best thing to do is go for what’s simple and true. No pretenses, no ass-kissing, no bullshit. That doesn’t mean being a jerk, but you really have to look at yourself and decide who you are and what you’re about. Do your sincere best, and let the cream rise to the top.