Saturday, November 29, 2008

Content and Curiosity About Structure ~ Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy

Below this post, I suggested Self-inquiry, if you would like to reread that entry. This is suitable for even "beginners" and will successfully remove the ego "I"; the one who suffers the mind.

However unless the patterns and ego mechanisms that are operating within us are made conscious, they will resurface again and again. So while we are speaking about the false psychological self, I am primarily pointing to how it functions within us.

Others have spoken about content and structure in the awakening process. I do not know whether they are applying the same definitions in use of these terms. When I use the word "content," I am referring to the life story; the content of the present moment. An example might be:

"My children were playing in the living room and they became rowdy. My husband was trying to work and he came into the kitchen and got angry with me. I got angry with him in return and now I feel sad."

This is the content of the storyline. For awakening, I encourage people to become more curious about the structure than they are about the story content.

The example above is displaying the ego's reactivity. How that ego functions is the structure. The ego functions and interacts all day long and we are unconscious of how the mechanism of ego works.

A first step toward awakening is observing and therefore making the underlying structure conscious. What is the mechanism within which the ego triggers an emotion? How do we become so enmeshed with one another during our daily living?

How is it that the husband became angry? How did he transfer or project this anger onto his wife. Just because the husband got angry, how is it that the wife reacted in anger? How is it she became sad?

While I can explain what I have discovered through self-observation for you to realize the mechanisms, it requires your curiosity to observe it within yourself. Otherwise, what I am sharing is only a philosophical concept.

Children playing in the living room cannot make you angry. It is a simple fact in the moment. So living free of the ego, we accept what is. This does mean that we would not still go into the living room and ask them to play outside. It just means: acceptance is primary and action is secondary.

Instead, the husband was in ego reaction. Based on his past conditioning that formed his likes and dislikes, he could have simply been aware of the dislike and realized that the ego was functioning in resistance. Added to this are all the present thoughts in the head regarding the circumstance:

"They should be playing outside. I am working and don't deserve to have to deal with this. Where is my wife? Why isn't she taking care of them? This happens all the time. In fact, it just happened last week and we discussed the situation. How can she be do unaware of what I am trying to do? I don't deserve this!"

This type of thinking and the mind's willingness to spin the negativity finally surfaces with a reaction. Reaction is not action. Pure action is first acceptance and then free of negativity, the appropriate action. Whereas, reaction springs out of our own problematic thinking and the dislikes of the ego. The accumulated negativity in the head SPRINGS into reaction and we have a pain body on the loose that is ready for a fight.

In the above example, the wife in the kitchen could have been present; that is, in self-observation. You will find that self-observation can become natural all day long. When the pain body entered the kitchen, she would have then been open, almost transparent, to the projected anger. She could felt compassion that he had been taken over by the pain body and that it was only the ego in reaction. In this manner, she would not have taken that attack personally. If she was already watching her inner body, she might not have done the pain body dance. Thoughts cannot use you when you are watching them.

In the final example, what had to happen in order for her to become sad? Well, once again, observe it sometime within yourself. The mind begins telling a story:

"I should have been more aware. How can my husband blame me for the children? My husband hurt "my" feelings."

No one can hurt "your" feelings. Observe your own thoughts and discover the structure that is the manner in which the ego is constantly either pushing or pulling our emotional state. Sad thoughts = sadness.

Now, I have not suggested that you get involved and try to change anything. When you resist your thoughts and then try to change them, it is essentially more thinking.

The divided mind cannot be fixed at the level of the divided mind. The one who is trying to apply the change is the ego. What I am suggesting is for you to merely watch so that you stand free of the thinking. Becoming conscious is the resolution. The change will happen by itself as you become more and more conscious.

Clear, conscious seeing combined with Self-inquiry will lead to ego freedom.

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