Integrating the Structured Self: Part 2

(Disclaimer: The contents of this article are based on personal opinion and philosophy. Accept what you can and discard the rest)

The first part expounded on the vital need to undertake on the internal journey and the tools of navigating your inner psyche. Part 2 is about the pitfalls, some common psyche structures and how circumnavigate so that we can move from victimhood to true empowerment.

There are 2 alchemical concepts in Latin: “Solve” and “Coagula” which mean to “dissolve” and “coagulate/combine”. The two are essential prerequisites for inner transformative work.

Old patterns, mental structures and conditioned beliefs have to be stripped down, observed for what it truly is and dissolved before placing a new structure in its place. It is a process of unlearning mental models to embrace reality and bring forth lasting changes.

The dissolving process is about becoming cognizant of the current modes and complex layers in which the current psyche structure operates.

In the process of dissolution, I am listing a few psyche archetypes and mental models which are to be dissolved and how they can be transmuted into the higher ideal. (There will be an internal tendency to negate and not identify with the models stated below and that is completely natural and will be discussed under the self-preservation model)

1. Victimhood: This is a state of consciousness, which is characterized by believing oneself to be a victim of outside circumstances. This model believes in digging up past hurt, anger and unresolved trauma and projecting it into one’s identity and the external.

Blame and responsibility for pain is always held as external and hence creates a self-justification loop for current behaviors. Constant complaining, whining, frustration and feeling stuck are offshoots of this mental model.

I completely agree that there will be trying, difficult times that may crush our will to be alive. Yet, one has to eventually rise above the internal state in which that mental model was created to effectively handle it. Personal responsibility is the perfect antidote for this state. Changing the focus from the external to the internal responsibility that we are the architects of our lives and we are all co-creating our experience of reality. The government, taxes nor the economic slump are the actual cause of suffering but placing all bets on the external, ephemeral world is.

Victimhood is natural state that we all must transcend. This comes from acceptance and healing pain and trauma that has happened in the past but not being defined by those events. Rather, consciously creating the thoughts, engaging in the actions and speech that bring forth the results you would be proud of and in alignment with your innermost self. Sorrow, pain, repression, regret, guilt, complaining are where victimhood starts but one need not dwell in that pit for long.

2. Vitriol: This is a state of consciousness where one has risen above crippling sorrow to Anger. Anger originated as a self-preservation model to cover up deep hurt and sorrow. Anger seeks to invalidate and crush any other opposing viewpoint, which seeks to threaten its current existence. For anger to take root there has to be the presupposition of an opposing force — real or imagined at every point in life. The worldview in constant anger is one of competition, dominance and scarcity.

For the viewpoint of anger to be “right” there has to be an external party that is always held “wrong”. There is no option for a “win-win” situation.

Anger originates first as negation of internal pain and trauma. Feeling the pain and being in complete acceptance of it soothes the tough rough, hardy exterior anger creates. Having life experiences that the world is a collaborative, friendly and supportive place in its core is vital to reforming this worldview. To surpass anger one has to surrender to reality and awareness of the present moment.

Feel the rage internally and release it safely rather than letting it build up and explode onto people or situations. Anger exists for self-preservation and has an internal dialogue to assure that eventually everything will pass. Keep continuing to hold faith that humanity and the world are essentially good and we are all seeking love and to be loved. Use anger as fuel to guide you to action.

3. Inactivity: This is a state of feeling uninspired, lazy and generally in a state of low energy. This state is characterized by excessive sleeping, distraction via media, communication, lack of energy and purpose. In this state one does not have a clear direction and focus and hence all the energies within become dissipated running after multiple outlets. This is also a current epidemic due to the endless sources of instant gratification we are placed with. There is also a tendency of emotional avoidance by numbing it out by going to sleep or overeating. There is lack of physical movement and generally a feeling of “What’s the point?”. This state begs you to get more in touch with your internal drive and purpose. Getting in touch with what inspired you as a child and all the grandiose visions you wanted to bring forth into the world. Life situations might have made one lose hope and get into a slump of crippling inactivity. So it is vital that one moves. Any physical movement, feeding the mind with empowering mental systems and cultivating awareness are great ways of avoiding the slump. Create accountability and taking on responsibility and activity will keep you going and striving to contribute. Contribution and service is the essence of fulfilling your purpose. It is about shifting the focus from what I can get to what I can give. The state of giving and contribution through creative, loving pursuits will re-invigorate life. Changing physical location and habitual patterns are a great way to start. Slumps are also natural ways the body and mind prepares for a concentrated period of big action and drive. Hence, best not to create labels of “being lazy” or “not good enough” to justify the behavior but rather do activities that will reconnect you to things you were excited about as a child but forgot as an adult.

4. Attraction/Aversion: This is a mental model where the individual is drawn to experiences that create pleasure and seek to avoid at all costs the ones that create pain. The key here is “perception” is the root of this complex and this model is embedded into our survival program (to seek pleasure and to avoid pain).

Yet, one cannot base life solely on personal preferences. This means that within every seed of attraction lies aversion and vice-versa.

The most pleasurable experiences of the past can cause pain in the present; like the loss of a relationship, death, work, and friendship. It is useless to mull over past pleasures and wish things were better, instead focus on what is at hand and what I can do to appreciate the present moment.

Difficult experiences like long years of training, business and relationship failures may one day set you up with the strength to attain greatly. Hence, there is a seed of attainment and fulfillment when undergoing pain. Pain is the forge in which the steel of character is molded — It is how we evolve and adapt.

Many of us get caught up in trying to protect what generates some pleasure and comfort to the point of stifling the life out of it. Letting go of attachment to both is the where one transcends this vortex of dualities.

When one is unattached to outcome, experiences begin to transform. Life organically grows and takes you on an adventure.

Definitely align with purpose, plan and execute your vision, take action on it incessantly. Yet the final ingredient is surrender — coming to an internal space of allowing and remaining detached from how the actions will take fruit in the physical world. Karma Yoga, or attaining unity through action highlights this extensively. It is integration of opposites, experiencing pleasure and pain, Attraction and aversion yet not getting caught up in either that can create a shift.

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