Hear, perk, breathe and just sit, be with the experience!
Racism, police shootings, mass shootings, conspiracies, voting rights suppression, political party sorting, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, deliberate fanning of the flames of white supremacy, LGBTQ rights, gun control bickering, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19, these have been recent American headlines. It feels like people are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war.
An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy ego that unfurls hate. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to unify, build coalitions, work together, and unleash compassion as antibiotics to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. The purpose of this BLOG is to share reflections about week one of a 14-week process with Andrew Cohen to facilitate Awakening Collective Intelligence Beyond Polarization. During week one Andrew Cohen discussed the four selves—healthy ego; unhealthy ego; true self; and authentic self—as a point of departure for beginning to transcend ego language and meet each other beyond small ego.
Perking the whereabouts of the personal four selves has been fascinating. Reflections offer that my unhealthy ego, the negative attitude garbage, shows up as anger, depression, intolerance, criticism, judgment, and impatience. Underneath is doubt, not knowing, insecurity, and fear, fear of failure, fear of not getting things right, and fear of rejection. The healthy ego, the positive, good stuff to nurture, the cauldron that shows up as character and personality, includes confidence, leadership, guiding principles, 100% responsibility, values, inspiration to improve, and a track record of successes.
Transcending small ego to the true self starts to become a bit obscure; and a question has surfaced: Is the true self the same as the sentinel? With meditation, the sentinel has become witness to the unhealthy ego and the healthy ego, the inner roommates in action. And there is a great deal more work to be done! This true self shows up in silence and it loves the silence; and wants to remain in silence, alone. It is quiet here, peaceful, and at times, warlike, stirring a “really?” Memory offers that the first days of beginning to recognize the sentinel came while sitting—meditating—and beginning to silently listen to and watch the inner roommate while it sat on the edge of an air-filled mattress, at rest on the bedroom floor. At the time there was an intermittent taste of not wanting to suffer and to help others not suffer. Perhaps this was compassion beginning to rumble, stir, wake up, and be set free.
The authentic self, the creative impulse to exist as universe, pure positivity, is obscure. The only taste has been with the occasional experience of peak performance on the golf course when without effort, all is flowing, relaxation is at an optimum, and the trust of the subconscious is immaculate. The authentic, creative self also appears when writing: the idea is present, and the words just seem to flow to capture and manifest a soul that needs expression. While playing the piano, a fleeting sense of the authentic self occasionally offers a hint of a BIG YES. As Andrew Cohen coaches, a good place to start the journey from ego-clinging to interactive conversation is, “I do not know; I know I do not know; and I want to know.”
Yes! An interactive dialogical process to foster collective awakening, peace-of-mind, and purpose and connections built on a foundation of compassion can facilitate countering the flames of division in America. Step one is becoming aware of and understanding the four selves: unhealthy ego, healthy ego, the true self, and the authentic self. Am looking forward to the next steps and the journey of “I do not know; I know I do not know; and I want to know.”
 Andrew Cohen, www.manifest-nirvana.com; Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening (2011, NY, NY: Select Books); and www.andrewcohen.org.