From an early age some people feel either special, or different or know themselves to be out of sync with what they are seeing as the rest of the world. Some people will come to attribute this to being gay, or black, or korean in an american society, or american in a canadian society. Some people will attribute it to a low self-esteem or a neurosis or a narcissism that has them holding back from participating in life to the extent that they would like to. Unfortunately there are some folks among us that will never recover from ideas that they have held about themselves since before they can remember. On another spectrum there are people in wheel-chairs, on crutches, in braces or confined to bed or born with no arms or legs. Some people will have no voice because of an accident and other will have no voice because of fear. Some people recover from some of these tragedies and other people will never recover. There are people who have been physically and sexually assaulted, people who have witnessed violence and wars and atrocities that we can hardly speak because they frighten us so. Some of these people will be alright and some will remain bitter, regretful, guilty or remorseful for the rest of their days.
Why? What is the basic ingredient that will turn a soul from a bitter and resentful existence into a better and will-full existence?
From my 40 plus years of exploration, I have not come up with one right answer. The chances of there only being one answer is rather slim. However, the chances of each individual finding the answer that is right for them, well, those odds are very strong. The human spirit, the energy of humanism, the courage that each man and woman can summon to navigate through life is built into each one of us and that energy, that source energy can reveal itself to us in a multitude of ways, at anytime in our lives. I think we pretty much all know this. Most of us who would think of reading this kind of essay are probably equally capable of writing this kind of essay. We all have the right stuff in us to create in various way when we are ready to allow ourselves the advantage of awakening to our deeper instincts. In order to do that, we have to be prepared to handle the aspect of us which has been our most faithful companion since we emerged from the womb. We must be prepared to stand up to our egoic selves and be prepared to power through an almost bullying ego in order to catch a glimpse of the baser instincts which have been covered up by millenniums of social customs and acceptability standards which were necessary to establish civilizations. Freud, covers this topic in his last book, Civilization and Its Discontent. His thesis is simple. If we want to live among humans we must abandon our more base instincts. Man had to be toilet trained. And from that “day” forward, we have essentially been expelled from the garden of eden. We are only beginning to understand the travesty that we have created for ourselves as a human race. We in this century have begun to explore new ways or reconnecting with instincts without that meaning that we need to sniff every butt in the park.
The establishment of the critical ego–I have to be either critical of you or I have to be critical of me, began with an evolution toward covering the innate intelligence of the instincts. During the devastating tsunami that occurred in Indonesia several years back we heard time and time again that the animals that were loose all made it to high ground. They had an instinctual rhythm that was disturbed by the on coming tsunami. Humans have indadvertedly covered up that instinct in the effort to combine forces and reach for a power that comes in numbers. I need to caution myself here. I want to make certain that I do not devolve into the devaluation of the ego which in many ways was the responsible organ for all the development that earth has to be proud of. But it is an easy thing to do because despite the generosity of egoic man, the very ego that taught us to walk and talk and associate and synthesize, is the ego that built itself up on top of the valuable instinctual resources of our deeper human spirit. In reading Eckhart Tolle and other spiritualist of our age and of ages past, we frequently get the idea that there needs to be a bad guy, even in discussing the intricacies of the human condition we appear to look for the good, but are more inclined to find the bad and the ugly. The ego is not an evil entity that we must rid ourselves of, but it is a large budging apparatus that hides from plain view the instincts of the human heart. (Be advised that human heart is a metaphor, and any word that suits you can be substituted). The material of the heart of man is a different material than the thoughts of man. Both are significantly impossible to find or to locate in space and time, and both contribute different knowledge to help us to navigate our way here on planet earth. However, from the very beginning of each of our lives the ego has received tremendous support from institutions, schools, parents, friends and all kinds of interactions that we have with and in our world. The instincts on the other hand were treated as the poor country cousin and were made to behave in such a way that they were effectively silenced. Awareness, awakening, spiritual insight and words to that effect are cropping up in our world as we begin to feel that in order to move toward joy and happiness, we have to push the ego out of its position of prominence and at least give equal coverage to instinctual matters of the heart. The egoic consciousness is as familiar to us as the A, B C’s of our language. The instincts and the passions and the drives are so powerful that they were asked millenniums ago to take a back seat so that civilizations could grow.
But, what if the very power that frightened us because we had little control over impulses and instincts when we were barely evolved several steps ahead of the alligator, what if that same power of the instinct could be harnessed for good, for healing and for joy. It appears to be a good possibility that the instincts were greatly complicated by the impulses and that it was not until the ego aspect of the psychic apparatus were able to modulate and mediate between the ego and the instincts that man was able to come together in community.
Where we are today in the evolution of the human mind is not where we were 10,000 years ago. And in some respects it is not where it was 100 years ago either. A massive shift in human energy is beginning to take form and from more corners of the world we are seeing that the buried instincts were not only about sex and aggression in their raw condition. The drives of sex and aggression are also prototypes for love and curiosity & creativity. In fact when the two raw drives are fused together sex and aggression can have a powerful impact on our self determination.
Creativity and co-creation are words that accompany us today. People are searching not only for an out-come, but are searching for a community in which the very process of creativity is respected and held in high esteem. Creative community building through supportive group efforts are cropping up all over as aspects of sustainability projects. We know that Monsanto will not be what saves us in the face of disaster. It will be the canning that our neighbor did and the garden that Sue cultivated and the dairy that is down the road that will supply milk long after the industrial agricultural giants have failed by poisoning every crop and every cattle at once.
These military like gigantic corporations do not have a heart. They may have won the vote, but they will never have heart. Heart is that instinctual knowing that emits from below the navel, rises through us and lands in our minds as a good feeling thought that is capable of producing just about anything that it wants to produce.
Manifesting an awareness that we are capable of deliberately altering our thoughts in search for a better feeling thought, which in turn produces a better feeling life, is beginning to take the form of a movement. Spiritualist and humanist and social scientist from a multitude of disciplines are converging on the idea that as humans our minds when infused with the raw instinct is a powerful apparatus that can mimic the very source of the universe. In touch with our nature we begin to act like the divine and we worship the very act of creation.
Life in this lane is easy. Life in this lane is like a warm breeze beneath a gently sky. We are able to deliberately negotiate our way to the next better feeling that we can have by stopping and become aware of ourselves. The very act of aware consciousness provides us with a new dimension that is capable of turning around a ship of state.
As we decide that we are going to learn to maneuver our way through life rather that be shoved and pushed and prodded, we take on a responsibility that no longer resembles obligation. Instead, our responsibilities emerge from a powerful desire to feel good. When our mind have sufficiently become divided so that we are capable of witnessing ourselves operating on earth, we have found the portal, the glimpse to our happiness.
There is no magic here, no secret solution, no society of a privileged few that are keepers of this knowledge. This knowledge lives in the soul of man as his and her instincts. All we need to do is the allow ourselves to believe that instincts have as much right to see the light of day as do the egoic thoughts that we have been growing with since birth.
The ego has only eclipsed the instincts and when we have dared to go to look at the dark side of the moon, fear no longer rules our house. We are free to become as free as we will let ourselves become.