Post Reply
Page 1 of 7  •  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 2:19PM #1
wonderment
Posts: 580
We've talked a lot recently about ego and all that term may or may not mean. Beyond that, I thought perhaps we could discuss some of the more subtle ways that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives.

It seems that above all else our deepest desire is to exist. We see ourselves as separate. Even though we read or hear talk of our fundamental unity and interconnectedness, and intellectually it sounds good, we still see ourselves as "apart from" - as "me" here, the rest of the world "there". And although we may have realized the true nature of reality experientially, the need to exist as a separate self dies hard and slowly. The habits of a lifetime take time to be seen and dissolved.

So how do we see this need to "exist", to keep the "ego" alive, continue to manifest in us? A recent example for me was seeing myself judging the judger. I'm very good at it and unless I'm paying attention I don't even realize when I'm doing it.

For me practice/life is about presence and a big part of that is seeing how I continually want to reinforce my need to exist as a separate self, which is exactly what takes me out of the present moment.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 11:16PM #2
Mt_man
Posts: 80
One thing that doesn't help is society's assaults on peoples' needs.

If you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is depicted as a pyramid, you can see all sorts of needs that are assaulted by our competitive, dog eat dog, look out for number one economy/culture.

Top Tier:  Self Actualization:
morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.

2nd Tier:  Esteem:
self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others

*** Students living in lower income areas have less achievement in part because their classrooms progress at slower paces.  This does not help esteem or achievement any for those at the low end of the unlevel playing field.  Our selfish and greedy culture doesn't give a rats tail apparently since we are OK with spending a trillion dollars on a war of whim rather than on boosting the education budget.  Ironically, most Christians vote for the very politicians who get the priorities wrong, and certainly way out of sync with what Jesus would do with a budget.  How can such a lie exist within America's largest religion?  ***

3rd Tier:  Love/Belonging
friendship, family, sexual intimacy

*** Divorce can cut into this tier quite a bit.  Losing your job in organizations of all sizes, most notably large corporations, can result in moving around a lot, which can force people to start over with this tier. ***

4th Tier:  Safety
security of body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, of property

*** The greedy / cut throat nature of corporations and any employers for that matter, leaves much to be desired in terms of concern for others' safety needs.  The obvious one is security of employment, but also pensions, and of moral business executives.  For children, security of the family is assaulted within half of all families since the divorce rate is 50 percent.  The cost of housing is going up in some places beyond the reach of affordability, which is an assault on the security of property.  In some cases, the chemicals that are used in foods - take Aspartame for example, pass FDA approval only because of political pressure (in Aspartame's case, Ronald Reagan and Dick Cheney who worked for the company who makes the stuff, and he was Reagan's aid), clearly assault our health.   This goes hand in hand with corporate greed again. ***

5th Tier:  breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion

From Wikipedia: 

*** The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called "deficiency needs": the individual does not feel anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met.

*** This anxiousness is obviously a large source of blocking. ***

Growth needs
Though the deficiency needs may be seen as "basic", and can be met and neutralized (i.e. they stop being motivators in one's life), self-actualization and transcendence are "being" or "growth needs", i.e. they are enduring motivations or drivers of behavior.

Cognitive needs
Maslow believed that humans have the need to increase their intelligence and thereby chase knowledge. Cognitive needs is the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and create to get a better understanding of the world around them.

*** Too bad Bush had to cut the education budget so he could not go so far into debt with his personal war. ***

Aesthetic needs
Based on Maslow's beliefs, it is stated in the hierarchy that humans need beautiful imagery or something new and aesthetically pleasing to continue up towards Self-Actualization. Humans need to refresh themselves in the presence and beauty of nature while carefully absorbing and observing their surroundings to extract the beauty that the world has to offer.

*** There isn't much beauty in the inner cities.  Our society essentially doesn't care about the lower income folks stuck in the inner cities.  If it did, we'd see a lot more park land within our inner cities. ***

Self-actualization
Self-actualization--a concept Maslow attributed to Kurt Goldstein, a mentor to Maslow--is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can.

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.
They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.
They are creative.
They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.
They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.
They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.
They have discernment and are able to view all things in an objective manner.
In short, self-actualization is reaching one's fullest potential.

According to Maslow, the tendencies of self-actualizing people are as follows:

1. Awareness

efficient perception of reality
freshness of appreciation
peak experiences
ethical awareness

2. Honesty

philosophical sense of humor
social interest
deep interpersonal relationships
democratic character structure

3. Freedom

need for solitude
autonomous, independent
creativity, originality
spontaneous

4. Trust

problem centered
acceptance of self, others, nature
resistance to enculturation - identity with humanity

Self-transcendence
Maslow later divided the top of the triangle to add self-transcendence which is also sometimes referred to as spiritual needs. Spiritual Needs are a little different from other needs, accessible from many levels.

Maslow believes that we should study and cultivate peak experiences as a way of providing a route to achieve personal growth, integration, and fulfillment. Individuals most likely to have peak experiences are self-actualizing, mature, healthy, and self-fulfilled. All individuals are capable of peak experiences. Those who do not have them somehow suppress or deny them.

Maslow originally found the occurrence of peak experiences in individuals who were self-actualizing, but later found that peak experiences happened to non-actualizers as well but not as often:

I have recently found it more and more useful to differentiate between two kinds of self-actualizing people, those who were clearly healthy, but with little or no experiences of transcendence, and those in whom transcendent experiencing was important and even central… It is unfortunate that I can no longer be theoretically neat at this level. I find not only self-actualizing persons who transcend, but also non-healthy people, non-self-actualizers who have important transcendent experiences. It seems to me that I have found some degree of transcendence in many people other than self-actualizing ones as I have defined this term.

In 1969, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and Anthony Sutich were the initiators behind the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 12:12AM #3
strange_err
Posts: 20
I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 9:34AM #4
eputkonen
Posts: 24
"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 10:34AM #5
Dionysis10
Posts: 1,734
This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off.  I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.

Simply being my self is the internal place from where I am truly free to relate with everything, subtle and great, unique and in oneness. Be happy
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:23PM #6
wonderment
Posts: 580

strange_err wrote:

I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark



Hi Mark, I think just being aware enough to recognize these kinds of fears that rise up in us is so valuable. Being "baffled" by our reactions is what causes us to keep looking, to go deeper, to get to the root of what keeps us feeling separate.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:38PM #7
wonderment
Posts: 580

eputkonen wrote:

"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org



Hi Eric, Yes, we are indeed That. We shine as That. Sometimes clearly and sometimes not so clearly but That we always are.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:49PM #8
wonderment
Posts: 580

Dionysis10 wrote:

This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off. I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.

Simply being my self is the internal place from where I am truly free to relate with everything, subtle and great, unique and in oneness. Be happy



Hi Dionysis, I too think we are the only ones that can realize, and drop, our "thought chains" and come back to the present moment. 

What better in this life than to be our authentic self manifesting right here, right now?

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:23PM #9
wonderment
Posts: 580

strange_err wrote:

I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark



Hi Mark, I think just being aware enough to recognize these kinds of fears that rise up in us is so valuable. Being "baffled" by our reactions is what causes us to keep looking, to go deeper, to get to the root of what keeps us feeling separate.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:38PM #10
wonderment
Posts: 580

eputkonen wrote:

"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org



Hi Eric, Yes, we are indeed That. We shine as That. Sometimes clearly and sometimes not so clearly but That we always are.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 7  •  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook