Meeting Paranoia

Paranoia, one of the Malcontents

Had a talk with another one of my malcontents today, who I call “paranoia”. Found out several things about this guy:

  1. His whole job, as he defines it, is to avoid death.
  2. Since there is no room for error in this job, he can get pretty stressed out.
  3. Also because of no room for error, he often extrapolates suspicions about what might possibly lead to death, and tries to make sure those paths are avoided. This can get pretty extreme, for example something like, “we’ve got to make sure we keep up good appearances to others so that we don’t get stigmatized and thus are more likely to fall into poverty and thus die early.”
  4. Ultimately, his purpose for starting this in the first place was to preserve life. By doing his job right, he can preserve the lives of those who enjoy life.
  5. By consequence, he is afraid of letting down those who enjoy life, for if they are ever endangered, he’s often the one to get the blame.

I finally got him to calm down a bit when I told him that if any of those he’s trying to protect ever did blame him, or ever did die – whatever might have happened is part of life – and he can rest in knowing that he did everything he knew to do possible. Anyone who still has a problem with this is being unfair to him. Maybe it’s a small change, but at least I got through to him. He was extremely paranoid, after all. And even if it’s a small voice within one’s self, that paranoia can make life pretty chaotic.

Stubborn Pride

One of the malcontents within myself, who I call “stubborn pride”, is, as you might expect, hard to change in a fundamental way, although he deeply considers everything that you might say when you reason with him. A few things are clear with this guy:

  1. His job is based on the fear of tragedies, so he does his best to create an
    Stubborn Pride, one of the Malcontents

    atmosphere of joy within

  2. He himself is not joyful, mostly because he doesn’t like his job. Who would like a job that’s totally based on fear?
  3. He’s unwilling to abandon his post, because he has seen the effect of tragedy first hand and wants to do what he can to prevent it.
  4. He doesn’t really enjoy that job because it’s hard to see the results, and any news (a potential or active danger) is bad news. In such a position, it’s easy to get grumpy.
  5. While he’s willing to consider new things (such as letting go of inhibitions, or emotional healing), if they don’t have a clear, practical benefit after being tested, he’ll shut it down.
  6. If you can help this part of yourself to see their reason for living as they are in the first place (the purpose behind their actions), then they will become much less grumpy, if not downright glad. For me, it was because this guy had seen tragedy, and seen how upset those who went through things could get – so he wanted to make the world better so he could help those he cared about to not experience that stuff as much.

However, it’s clear that this part of myself can be dangerous. If he is ever too short-sighted to see the effect of different actions, or if he misjudges certain situations, he could apply a backwards solution to the problem without really taking the time to investigate it. Fear does that – it incites quick reactions that may not be well-thought out, or even based in cowardice. If the fearless, emotionally vital parts of yourself, who bear the brunt of this kind of misjudgment, keep watch, it could reduce the number of damaging mistakes this malcontent can make. That’s what I decided to do – I will see if it works.

The Malcontents

Tonight was the second time I’ve come across a group within my consciousness that I can only describe as “the malcontents”. These parts of you are involved in high-level decision making processes and try to make sure the world stays in balance, even if their methods aren’t always fair. Some of this group I identified: stubborn pride, worry and doubt, suspicion, depression, paranoia, and annoyance. All of these guys constantly look for things that might cause bad things to happen within your consciousness, and direct an effort to keep things on the right track, according to them.

Trouble is, as much as they might want a happy, joyful, fulfilled inner world, they are not happy joyful or fulfilled themselves. In fact, they’d rather be doing something else! But nothing else within the consciousness seems to have the patience to constantly watch for threats (like egotism, hatred, “evil”, etc.), so they do it out of a sense of obligation. They simply do not know of anything else that would want to do this task, and who could do it well. Not to mention their suspiciousness stops others from trying to take over their job also.
However, it’s important to know that this setup can piss some other things in you off – these malcontents don’t always take the fair and just approach. After all, they’re doing this whole thing out of fear, basically – love is much too random, non-practical, and unknown – as much as they’d LIKE to use it.

Somehow I feel this powerful position needs to be given to someone who WANTS it, and whose primary motivation isn’t fear, but love instead. But, we shall see.