We’ve all been there before. The incessant negative chatter in our mind pervades us, and suddenly we feel paralyzed. Trapped in our own internal prison. Decisiveness gives way to indecision. What ifs become the rule of our mental law, and it takes hold like no other. Feed it enough, and it will eventually over power you. Maybe we’ve wanted to perform in public. Start a business. Take a trip to an unfamiliar territory. Quit drinking. Quit smoking. While the first two may appear to be adverse reactions to mental imagery of failure and shame, the last two can often be associated with physical withdrawal. Blame it on the physical, not the mental, and it all seems more acceptable. Except there is a common underlying thread.
We, as people, need to live more consciously. The amygdala, or the fear processing centers of our brain, is reptilian in nature. Evolved over thousands and thousands of years as a response to lurking danger, man has developed the ability to fight or take flight. And it served its purpose when we were hunter gatherers. But what now. What if the fear we are generating is in response to a perceived threat, not an actual one? Sure, I hear some of you say – but if I get on stage, and people ridicule me, that is real. If I start my business, and it fails, that is real! Sure, those outcomes are real.
This is where raising our levels of consciousness kicks in. Everything we view as positive or negative is a label. There is a reason why people miss the simplicity of childhood. The ego hasn’t fully formed, which allows innocence, or the truth, to hold its meaningful place. We play endlessly, without concern for consequence. The evolution of the ego though, through years of conditioning, believes and learns an entire way of viewing the world. Suddenly, our past experiences, along with information we selectively gather, gives way to our world view. And by world view, I don’t mean it in the geo-political or wide ranging sense. I am speaking to something much simpler here. Our interpretation of life’s events.
When we start engaging in raising our consciousness, we take a step back and can see that our thoughts are just that – merely thoughts. And as we stay further in presence, we become aware that our thoughts are conditioning. This is understandable. The evolution of the ego, while detrimental, is also critical for having a reference point for interacting the world we live in. However, society has used its conditioning and held onto it so powerfully, that automatic fear responses or cravings for substances, as examples, are met with immediate urges for a fix.
The fear response is met with a desire to not feel the fear, and so we rationalize away our dreams or ambitions. Our physical cravings are met with an instant sense of urgency, and so we reach in for that extra cigarette or drink. Again, there is nothing wrong with a conditioned response. If we just allow it to be, and rest in the awareness that we are.
Conversely, we hone in our consciousness on these issues, exacerbating them further. The business venture we want to begin gets put off, the trip we want to take is postponed, as fear based conditioning takes over and we follow the trap that our ego has set us. As Albert Einstein said – ‘we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’
With this blog, I hope to get deeper into evolving our consciousness, so that we can build an awareness around life’s obstacles and start that thing we’ve always wanted to do. I had fear of starting this blog. Writing about spiritual issues as a man would sure be met with backlash and mockery. And I said fuck it. It’s what I want to do. I let the fear be there, and I wrote and published this anyway.
I look forward to bringing you more insight as the weeks, months and years go by.