Hear, perk, breathe, and just sit, be and become the experience of a BIG YES!
Racism, police shootings, mass shootings, conspiracies, voting rights suppression, political party sorting, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, immigration, 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. People are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war, and more pain and suffering. Where has all the compassion gone?
An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy ego that unleashes pain and suffering in many forms. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to unify, build coalitions, work together, and experience compassion as the antibiotic 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 two of a 14-week process with Andrew Cohen to facilitate Awakening Collective Intelligence Beyond Polarization. During week one, as a point of departure for beginning to transcend ego language and meet each other beyond small ego, Andrew discussed the four selves—healthy ego; unhealthy ego, something is wrong (-1); true self, nothing is wrong (0); and authentic self, pure positivity, BIG YES (+1). During week two Andrew discussed making the journey from relative truth to absolute truth, from -1 to 0 to +1.
Perking the whereabouts of the personal four selves has been fascinating. Reflections offer that the unhealthy ego includes the negative garbage, shows up as anger, depression, intolerance, criticism, selfishness, 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 includes the virtues and values, perhaps a track record of successes. And it feels like the unhealthy ego and healthy ego, conscious and unconscious, get in the way of absolute reality.
Transcending small ego to the true self is 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, or monkeys in action. And there is 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?”
The authentic self, the creative impulse to exist as universe, pure positivity, a BIG YES, is obscure. A question lingers about whether an experience of the authentic self is the same as 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 may also appear 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 may offer a hint of a BIG YES. As Andrew 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.”
On April 21, during a virtual meeting with eight strangers from the Netherlands, London, Washington, South Dakota, Arizona, and Denmark, the assignment is to participate in a conversation from a position of zero, from I do not know, I want to know, from emptiness. It was an experience that the author did not want to end. What is it that creates response to folks? Physical appearance? Clothing? Nonverbal communication? Sound of the voice? Words shared? Environment? Is the response positive or negative? Is there a reaction? What is it that causes words to emerge? The evolutionary impulse? What is the hidden emotion? Fear? Are they the right words? What will folks think? What creates tension to know? The evolutionary impulse?
While chatting about the journey from relative to absolute on April 25, Andrew offered that at -1 something is wrong; at 0 nothing is wrong, nothing ever happened, emptiness, it is childlike innocence; and at +1 life is being lived with all one has, a BIG YES, pure positivity, and the creative self is alive.
Suffering catalyzes the search for the authentic self. Requisites for the journey from relative (-1) to absolute (+1) are simply getting out of the way; and resisting ego’s perspective. It is nice that the ego forgets and that the true self and the authentic self remember. A couple of lingering questions: How do I know where I am on the journey? Are peak experiences, or zone experiences, the same as an experience of the authentic self? The goal is to stay awake: it is easy to wake up; and the hard part is staying awake.
Lots of learning; and need to move forward with the perking, sitting, and experiencing.