Tag Archives: self-importance

A Day in a Life: Unblocking Energy

Back when I was doing my recapitulation Jeanne told me that if I did not find a way to speak about what had happened to me during childhood the long hidden secrets would putrefy inside me. I’d already had proof of this with intermittent pains and illnesses with no medical explanation, skin problems, and cancer. Don Juan explained to Carlos that the purpose of recapitulation consisted of:

“…a systematic scrutiny of one’s life, segment by segment, an examination made not in the light of criticism or finding flaw, but in the light of an effort to understand one’s life, and to change its course. Don Juan’s claim was that once any practitioner has viewed his life in the detached manner that the recapitulation requires, there’s no way to go back to the same life.” —from The Wheel of Time, page 4.

The process of recapitulation consists in learning how to release blocked energy to achieve the detachment that allows us to fully accept and experience new life. Once again, near the end of my recapitulation, Jeanne reminded me of the need to continually release all energy blockages. As I began to take on the job of becoming her channel she warned that if I did not find a way to speak about her, and what I was learning from her, that everything would begin to pile up inside me again, creating new blockages, and eventually I would die.

At that point, I had a dream in which I was feeling the fullness of being Jeanne’s channel and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that my intent was pure, that I had pureness of heart. In this dream I was confronted with a stadium filled with hecklers who, no matter what I said, would not listen to me as I tried to explain that I was a good person and I was only doing this because it was the right thing to do. Jeanne told me that I had to let my feelings go, that in feeling that I was not being appreciated for my simplicity, my goodness, that I was not listened to and ended up feeling ignored and insignificant, that I was in fact expressing self-importance. She said that no matter how justified and right I felt it did not matter. The only thing that mattered was taking the journey. She was challenging me to take the journey with her more fully. Was I ready to do it, to leave everything behind and go with her into a new world?

In taking the journey, by accepting every challenge as a challenge to let go of my ego, I discovered that most of my blockages were bundled up in self-importance. In order to truly release blocked energy and access my own vital stores of energy I had to get to a place where nothing mattered because nothing had any significance. I had to totally detach from everything that my ego previously felt was important, even the importance of being good, right, or pure of heart. As don Juan taught, in learning detachment—non-attachment to the structures of this world, including feelings of self-importance—we gain the means of shifting our perceptions and evolving.

I finally understood what Jeanne had been telling me all along: if I allowed blockages to remain inside me they would continue to eat up my energy and I would eventually rot away, just an empty carcass. I also knew that either way I was facing death. It is a known fact that we are all going to die, but now I was being asked to make a decision in how I wanted to face my death. Did I want to stay attached to the old self, so known and full of pain, or would I choose to let her go and open up to something totally fresh and new? I was headed the same place no matter what I decided. “Are you taking this journey with me, Jan?” she asked. “Or are you going to stay attached to self-importance?”

I finally understood that in giving up the ego I could become free. “I get it,” I said, “when you can accept death you are free.” How simple that statement sounds! We already possess the knowledge that death is inevitable, but we can change our perception of death by constantly finding new energy: by doing recapitulation, by breathing out old stuff, by releasing energy blockages. We can choose to give ourselves new energy and in so doing free ourselves from the fear of death, removing its dark shadow from our lives. When we allow ourselves to let the true journey begin, death no longer matters either, just as ego no longer matters.

Once I sat and did the recapitulation breath during a thunderstorm, aware that the energy of it was powerful and that if I could tap into it I might be able to create a shift. I sat for a long time and did the sweeping breath, moving my head to the right and then the left, breathing in and out slowly and methodically as I swept my head back and forth, simultaneously going deeper and deeper into myself. I breathed out the energy of my abuser, even the smell and taste of tobacco smoke that appeared, cleaning my nose and lungs of the memory of him, unblocking my body of everything else that arose to get in my way as the storm raged outside the windows, as the lightning flashed and the thunder shook. I went further and further back into the past and beyond, until I became an old Indian woman sitting under a thick and roughly woven blanket on a precipice of a high mesa overlooking a desert landscape as a thunderstorm raged and cracked all around me. As I did the breathing I was letting go of all the dark secrets, breathing out the energy of my abuser, sending him away and replacing his energy with my own, going deeper and deeper as I cleared a path to my truth, into what I had stored inside me, until I was able to leave this world and enter another.

As I took that recapitulation journey that day the energy was very much like the energy of this day, the energy of the storm that now rages outside my windows much the same as that thunderstorm, the wind offering a similar power. With awareness of energy, of our personal energy and why and where it is blocked inside us, in learning how to release ourselves from the past, we become available for experiences of energy as it flows in the universe, as I was that day when I did succeed in shifting my world.

With the intent already set to change, we just have to accept the mission set before us. We have to face death, but in so doing we also have to face life. Are you ready to take the journey? Today, with the power inherent in the southerly wind, it may be your moment. Good Luck!

If you wish, feel free to share or comment in the Post Comment section below.

Sending you all love and good wishes,

#714 Chuck’s Place: Soul/Not Soul, Uh-Oh! Merging Dreams: Recapitulation

I was in a conversation about the power of romance. It suddenly dawned on me that the topic that had been coagulating in me, that I expected to eventuate in this blog with the title Soul/Not Soul, Uh-Oh!, was exactly what we were discussing. What happens when our projected soul becomes not soul, when our mate or date disappoints us? I shared this synchronicity. That was Wednesday; today is Saturday. I am confronted with the question: is that title still appropriate, is that the topic today? Do I have to struggle to uphold that dream or has that dream ended?

In fact, that dream has deepened and so that dream merges into this dream as I write this blog today; I am still in the same dream. The rest of the title Merging Dreams: Recapitulation reflects my deepened perspective on soul play. Recapitulation, from another perspective is the ability to merge dreams, to achieve a place of continuity of consciousness where dreams, whether they be sleeping or waking, are all part of the same reality. The fragments of the self, whether they be long stored away, forgotten horror stories or challenging truths in a current relationship, are all allowed to be fully known as a united whole within the self.

It’s early morning, 40 degrees outside. We sit quietly in the hot tub. A subtle mist emerges as cold air meets warm water. I gaze through it as the morning sun gently peeks through the trees. The rays are refracted in a dazzling display of energy. I breathe it in and I am back on the gym floor at UCLA at a Tensegrity workshop, 1996. Lying on my mat, staring up at the lights, it’s the same energy I see, and I breathe it in. You see it too, lying next to me. I can fully hold onto that dream. The feelings I encounter having that dream can stay with me now, even though it is not you next to me now. I can live that dream, I can share that dream, I can live this dream, all together. No need to fragment, file it away, or shut it down. I merge the dreams and experience greater wholeness and continuity

We start to talk. I am animated. I am discussing Jung’s thoughts on anima/animus, soul image. You show great interest, I am energized. Suddenly, your attention is drawn way up in the sky. “Look!” you say. I am crushed. What could be more important than my words?! Suddenly, soul becomes not soul. Uh-Oh!

I am quiet. Slowly, begrudgingly, as instructed, I look up and witness two large birds flying overhead in perfect synchrony, an amazing sight in the clear blue sky. Can that experience be allowed into this dream? I am caught between two dreams. There is the dream of my projected soul, my anima, transfixed by my ideas. And then there is the dream where I am cast aside, birds more important than my words. Can I merge these dreams? Must I stay in the dream of rejection, withdrawing, brooding, and distrusting? Or can I allow the dream of an overarching magnificent display of nature to be a good reason to pause my words?

And actually, does there even need to be a good reason not to listen? Can I allow the truth of your separateness to be? Can I face the trap that my inner anima has snarled me in? She, my inner anima, caught me in a dream of self-importance, knowing full well the outcome of that dream. She knew you’d disappoint me. She challenges me to either retreat—brooding in deserved want for the all-giving, satisfying anima/mother who has no other purpose than me—or to wake up from my inflated dream and join reality with my real life partner.

“Aren’t you going to tell me the rest of the story?” she asks. I’m considering it. Am I ready to merge this dream? To fully merge these dreams they must be accepted and communicated to soul and to not soul. With this, dreams are merged, recapitulation completed, for this moment and this dream.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

#689 Chuck’s Place: The Ego Ideal & The Veil of Self-importance

Over one hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of the superego, an internalized component of the human personality, the product of socialization, which both judges and tells us what we ought to be. This what-we-ought-to-be component has become known as the ego ideal, the ideal image of the self that we expect ourselves to become. Our ego ideal dictates our notion of success: what our bodies should look like, what our skills and abilities should be, how others should view us, what level of education we should have, what kinds of relationships we should be in, how many worldly goods we should accumulate, how well we should be able to meditate, etc.

How well we do at actualizing our ego ideal becomes the basis of our sense of self-worth. Our judgment of personal success or failure rides upon how well our actual life “measures up” to our idealized expectation. If we are “on course” we “feel good.” If we don’t “measure up” we may judge ourselves to be “failures,” sentencing ourselves to an emotional state of deflation, experienced as depression. Alternatively, we might inflate our ego, assuming the persona, or mask, of our ego ideal. In fact, our ego might be capable of truly convincing itself and others that this is, indeed, its true identity. This might result in grandiosity, or attempting deeds way beyond one’s true ability. This is when we can expect dreams warning us of falling off a steep precipice or being in a plane crash, etc., all signs of the dangers of inflation.

In the psychiatric diagnostic world this dilemma of ego inflation and deflation, with its possible swings, is described in variations of bipolar disorder. Psychoanalytic resolution of the ego/ego ideal relationship ultimately rests upon an acceptance of ourselves as we truly are, for what we are truly capable of, which may only in part, or not at all, reflect the internalized ego ideal. Successful treatment would result in a more realistic modification of the ego ideal to fit the ego’s true capacities. Nonetheless, even with this modified self-judgment we continue to live in an internalized paradigm fixated on self.

The seers of ancient Mexico would definitely concur with Freud about the profound impact of socialization upon our perception and interpretation of ourselves and our world. For these seers, our awareness is staunchly fixated upon the self, causing all our available energy to be monopolized by self-importance, whether it be in the form of self-worth, self-esteem, or self-pity. For these seers this fixation of awareness on the self creates veils, which narrow our ability to perceive and experience all there is to see, for instance, a world of energy, the true nature of reality. For these seers, most human beings live and die in a world of self-obsession that shuts us out from reaching our true potential. That potential is not measured as some form of a socialized ego ideal. That potential is simply the freedom to perceive, unencumbered by the self, which spends all its energy worrying about how well it is doing, or what it is entitled to.

These seers discovered that the number one key to unlocking the true potential of the self, to discover total freedom, is to embrace an enduring practice of suspending judgment. This orientation asks that we seek always to know the truth, without any consideration of the value of the self for its performance. For instance, if I made a decision, took an action, that resulted in an undesired outcome, my goal would be to examine the full truth of that process with a detached curiosity and quest for understanding. I might discover that I had forgotten some important detail or acted hastily, causing the “failure.” However, the “failure” would not extend to myself as some kind of measure of my worth or as something for me to feel bad about. This does not negate the absolute examination of my level of competence and how that might inform me in future actions, but it, in no way, is attached to my value or level of self-importance.

For these seers this is the critical point: to avoid constructing a definition of self based on competence and performance. These seers indeed seek to be impeccable in all of their actions; however, they attach no significance in terms of self-worth to the outcome of those actions other than knowing the truth of them. They seek to totally eradicate the self; the self too is a veil blocking total freedom. To eradicate the self, from the seers’ point of view, means freeing the self of the encumbrance of self-importance, becoming a being free to perceive what is. In this manner they accrue valuable energy for expanded perception, rather than spend it on the construction of the self, with its all-consuming self-importance. In the process of constantly shooing away self-importance, we are in fact working on the ego, which becomes a tool to actualize our true potential. This is one reason why the seers place so much value on the petty tyrants in our lives. Petty tyrants are beings who challenge our attachment to our self-importance to the max, and offer us the opportunity to arrive at the ability to laugh at ourselves, rather than get caught in the clutches of victimhood or the fixation of self-pity.

For the seers of ancient Mexico, if we never “achieve” anything in this world other than the ability to suspend judgment, we have indeed achieved the most important thing there is to achieve in this world. Suspending judgement allows us to break the fixation of self-importance, dismantling Freud’s ego ideal, which opens the gateway to expanded knowing and infinite possibility.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

#687 Chuck’s Place: Deeds of Denial & Indulgence

“Denying oneself is an indulgence. The indulgence of denying is by far the worst; it forces us to believe that we are doing great things, when in effect we are only fixed within ourselves.”

In this quote from A Separate Reality, Carlos Castaneda unmasks the self-importance of self-denial. On the one hand, Americans overindulge and, on the other hand, have a puritanical guilt complex about it. What Carlos is challenging is the self-definition of becoming valuable because we begin a collection, a new inventory of deeds of denial and feel good about ourselves accordingly.

Certainly, the inability to discipline the self comes with a huge price. On the other hand, disciplining the self and accomplishing great deeds also comes with a huge price, the illusion of permanence. The challenge is to avoid becoming a collector of anything, huge deeds or huge misdeeds, indulgence or denial.

Self-importance appears with many faces, asceticism and worldly accumulation are but two. Beware as well of the middle way: if you find pride in your attachment to balance, once again self-importance has found its way into your self-definition. Better to indulge, to break the accumulation of days of pride in having achieved the better way. ‘Tis better to pick up after a year of sobriety and restart the steps than to indulge in thirty self-important years of dryness and rage.

Break all the rules. But beware not to get attached to the self-importance of being a rule breaker. If you fall into that trap, better to become consistent and disciplined to erase any attachment to the self-importance of the maverick. Self-definitions are rigid and fixed and make us appear to “be something.” Better to be nothing and everything, as fits the situation. This is fluidity, the ideal place to be. Of course, it’s possible to get caught in the self-importance of being fluid! In that case, it might be important to become rigid and unrelenting, to break the spell of unwittingly becoming fixed within as a superior fluid being.

I close today with another quote, from the Tao Te Ching:

“To hold things and be proud of them is not as good as not to have them,
Because if one insists on an extreme, that extreme will not dwell long.
When a room is full of precious things, one will never be able to preserve them.
When one is wealthy, high ranking, and proud of himself, he invites misfortune.
When one’s task is completed and his mission is fulfilled, he removes himself from his position.
This is indeed the way of Nature!”

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

NOTE: The quotes above come from The Wheel of Time by Carlos Castaneda, p. 53 and Tao: A New Way of Thinking by Chang Chung-yuan, p. 25.