Perspective Shift

(First posted May 21st, 2012)

Angers rise in Westerners as passions escalate in the sordid menage à trois of governance, finance and commerce. The abandon with which leadership acts out its wantonness has consequences for us all. It appears that a tipping point has been reached. As a result many of the adversely affected are occupying various rendezvous sites attempting to interrupt the indecencies of this affair.

Those doing so are boldly following the lead of the Arab world as it began its renunciations of the long-standing amoral and immoral affairs of state in their countries. For they felt they were loosing the last vestiges of their dignity. They too longed for sovereignty. They too longed for genuine community. For decent and dignified leadership.

Whether through occupancy some of us intend to prompt an interuptus in the bordellos of governance, finance and commerce there is something of equally and greater import. Attending to things outside ourselves is of vital importance for many; yet, our real nemeses are the voices inside our heads. Those which serially condemn ourselves then arrogantly inform that we are superior to others.

These voices tell us that our beliefs, our ways of being and our actions are better than another’s. Then again our ego’s voice hastens to chastise, demean and diminish us. This cycle repeats interjecting various pronouncements in which it projects fierce judgments and harsh criticisms onto others, in justification of our biases and fears. These voices incite us to anger, rage and attack. Then, they belittle us.

The greater our differences from the other, the harsher our judgement, the more intense our fear. So too, the greater our arrogance and implacable bent. What we regard as nemesis out there will only be transformed by transforming the only true nemesis, the one within ourselves. It is time to re-constellate the love-hate affair within ourselves.

If we are of a mind to occupy, it is the rape of self by self that we need to interrupt. The one repeatedly perpetrating indecencies against ourselves, our internal nemesis. It is this affront that must be stopped. In clearing our internal debris we can genuinely occupy ourselves and the sovereign life awaiting each of us. It is through doing this we can have the creative expression we long for. We can be more relaxed in navigating the becalmed or turbulent waters of our lives.

A friend used to say: Freedom ensues from discipline. Of course I understood intellectually. I must confess however that only now years later, I apprehend and have a visceral awareness of the wisdom of his words. A tipping point has been reached. No aspect of our individual or collective lives can sustain ourselves in the context of the consequences our individual internal nemeses have rendered.

Human decency, accessing and acting with wisdom, self love, love of others, community, and living peaceably begins with self discipline and willpower. The discipline for each of us to develop and posses the abilities to consciously deploy our attentions on what serves ourselves, others and life, not at another’s expense, but rather, in confluence with the outcomes of others. There is space for each of us. There are sufficient resources to go round. This does not mean we are to befriend and engage all others. Rather, it is important to recognize there are those who differ from us. We are to discipline ourselves to let go of fears of difference. We can live differently from another and share this planet.

We have reached a stage in the evolution of consciousness where we need to consciously direct where we place our attentions, being aware of on what and on whom we give our attentions. We need to cease allowing our attentions the pleasure of behaving as though they had minds of their own, as though their habitual patterns of orienting around problems serves us. They do not. We need instead to consciously direct our attentions on creative alternatives, to that which serves life, that which is life affirming, to our individual promise, and the untapped creativity available to each of us. These are the places to direct our attentions.

So how might we transform the seemingly tireless internal critic? the nemesis bent on our downfall? To begin with, let’s remember that our mind, intellect and personality are but a fraction of who and what a human being is. There is much more to one than mind, body and spirit. There are other realms of ourselves that the world’s perennial wisdom has always informed. Aspects of ourselves known to mystics, poets and Earth-based peoples.

Our unfolding consciousness is making increasingly available our access to information, wisdom and awareness beyond our psychology and mind. The internal critic is but a tiny yet robust aspect of our personalities. It is this aspect, the critic, that psychologists endeavor to skill off. I suggest instead that our task is to transform it. To conscript its great prowess. To assign it life-affirming duties, and align it with our highest and best potential, our individual brilliance, creativity, our dignity, beauty and innocence.

In a following post, I offer “how-to tips” enabling us to progress in our efforts to befriend and transform our internal nemeses. I will give tips on shifting and deploying our attentions in ways that serve us and Life. In the interim, I leave you with these provocative questions: 
• What would you do if you did not fear punishments and delightful rewards?
• How would you live? 
• What would you attend to? what would you do if you stopped criticizing yourself?
• What would you do if your internal nemesis was transformed into one who supported your self confidence? if it simply reminded you moment to moment of your great prowess and promise?