“We must be the change we want to see in the world.” —Gandhi

salt pond at dusk

I want to  learn to love the me that shot this shot not only love the shot that was shot by me…..

“Watch out for any sign of unhappiness in yourself in whatever form—you may be the awakening the pain-body. This can take the form of irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, a need to have some drama in your relationship and so on. Catch the pain-body the moment it awakens from its dormant stage.” –Tolle

From the perspective of mindful analysis this state or mood is commonly referred to as the death drive..  Freud, as early as 1920,  postulated the concept in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, as a fundamental opposition between life drives, conceived of as a tendency towards cohesion and unity, and the death drives, which operate in the opposite direction, undoing connections and destroying things.  Life has a tendency to hold itself up, while death has a tendency to decompose.

Lacan, and the french school of psychoanalysis refined the theory not so much as a separate energy, but rather more as a desire or nostalgic wish to return to harmony.  The point is, the death drive under many names has defined the darker side of the human condition. When the ego takes control of a mind, one can feel it spinning, out of control.  We might become less aware of ourselves, as we spin scenarios that will  look and feel like gratification.  The warm gulf stream of the death drive is inviting in the same way that crave to addiction is inviting, indeed, compulsively inviting.

This material of life and death proportion is really not that complicated.  If we begin with the very elemental fact that each feeling either feels “positive” or “negative,” we are able to access one of the miracles of human existence.  The instinct of the human body is to survive at all cost.  In the most primitive aspect of the triune brain, survival is based on aggression.  The survival of mankind also depends of eros, or the tendency to create and to bring into existence.  When we are experiencing the fusion of these drive we are moving forward toward a goal.  The feeling of well-being is fundamental to forward movement.  The much discussed Law of Attraction, is based on the guidance system that tells us to move toward positive energy and to move away from negative energy.

From my awareness, my consciousness, when my ego takes control of my mind, I can feel myself spinning out of control.  I stop noticing myself. I become so identified with the sensations in my body that I actually experience myself as the thought or the emotion, rather that noticing that these thought or emotions are arising in me, or happening to me.  I begin to weave scenarios that I will  “cease to be before my pen has teamed my gleaming brain”, to use a phrase from John Keats.

Everything becomes crucial.  Urgency takes over & reasoning becomes complicated and confused with impulse.

I become afraid that if I do not calm myself, I might die of stress. Life becomes tinged with a paralyzing urgency.    I stop thinking and instead thinking seems to be happening to me.    I build scenarios that only will come into existence by virtue of my having built them in my psyche…my mind becomes filled with actions that I am not really interested in taking.  Very little in this enveloping mood-state feels like positive energy.  Very little in this mood-state feels like joy or enthusiasm.  In short I am feeling negative.

From the classical analytic perspective I am in the throws, or the grip of the “death” drive.  What ever actions I take from within this state of mind usually ends up in manifesting some form of destruction or self-destruction.
The tittle of this essay promotes the concept of change as an internal process:  “we must be the change we want to see in the world.”  If we are to get what we want and what we need from life, we must shift the emotive experience to one that is felt to be positive.  In other words we have to do whatever we need to do in order to shift our experience of life to one of well-being. As far back in human history as Plato we hear argument about the dualism of the the human condition. Consciousness is somehow thought to be separated from the body and is therefore seen as belonging to a world of “not-form.” From this perspective consciousness is thought to be able to access a metaphysical dimension that is unavailable to the human as a body, but is thought to be available to the human as a being.  Here seems to be the split between new thought philosophy and science.
I am unclear about this channeling (ideas coming from a non-human place in the universe) as an experience any other that an access to a higher consciousness within the organism.  I am not convinced that when we march forth toward getting our way and attracting what we want that we are doing any more that “focusing” on the prize.  Of course, this does not preclude that positive thinking in any format is good or bad.  Actually, there is a great deal of evidence that well-being brings about more well-being.  However it is the process of bringing about this well-being that I am questioning.
I hope that readers of this blog are motivated to argue this question.  When we attract unto ourselves things that we want what process is at work in manifesting that goal?  If you leave your arguments and thoughts or opinions in the comment box below, readers will be notified of your responses thereby creating an arena for dialogue.  Thank you, aldussault
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One comment on ““We must be the change we want to see in the world.” —Gandhi

  1. This is a very interesting question. I am reading this three days after buying a brand new vehicle in the midst of economic ruin when there was absolutely nothing wrong with my other vehicle. There is no doubt in my mind that I did it to make myself feel better. That is one example.

    For the past four months my son has pushed himself to the limits of physical and mental endurance to play on his football team and keep up his school work. It has tested every fiber of his abilities to the max. He let nothing stand in his way. Tomorrow his football team is in the State Championship. This is a tottaly different example, and far more noble. However, both are really the same thing are they not? A way to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.

    I will be contemplating this for weeks. Right now however, I feel the need to go get a strawberry…

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