The Natural Self and the Intellect

Our intellects tend to demand a lot out of our natural selves. But we can listen to our natural selves more, too, as well as question the reasoning behind our intellect’s actions.

As we’ve seen before, there’s a difference between the way you actually are and the way you want to be. One of the most common ways that this affects our everyday lives is in the difference between our natural self and our intellect.

The natural self is like a big blob of feelings. It doesn’t speak to us in words (thoughts), but in a flow of feelings. When we’re operating purely from this side our selves, this is usually called “the flow”.

Our intellect on the other hand has many ideas about what we should or need to do, regardless of what our feelings say. It treats our natural selves kind of like a pet, who sometimes “needs its leash pulled”. Continue reading

People-pleaser to fighter: The Nurturer’s Journey

“One can easily become a monster… it’s pathetic. What I want more than anything… is to know how to care. Bah.”

Today I wanted to talk about the Nurturer. This is the part of one’s self who naturally cares about others, and wants to help people to become better. He (or she) sees people in need, and wants to help. He has good intentions.

But perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The Nurturer sometimes gets too excited about the idea of helping somebody that he forgets the whole picture, and all the complexities involved in taking action. Sometimes we hurt people without intending to, or we support those who are creating harm.

All too often, the Nurturer turns those bad results on himself, feeling guilt and pain. He buys self-help books. He fantasizes about being able to truly help others, and can get envious of those who already do. And after the envy and guilt, he fully accepts it was a mistake to get so down on himself, that he still has flaws, that he still has much to learn. And he has the drive.

There’s another path for the Nurturer, that doesn’t involve constantly modifying himself and examining his flaws, where he doesn’t have to keep watching himself in order to be a better, kinder human being. Instead, he can fight.

Mistakes in kindness usually happen when a part of yourself that’s out of line – something arrogant, demeaning, prideful, hateful – goes unquestioned inside you. Your Nurturer can decide that, instead of catering to the whims of others all the time, and helping those in need, he can do more good by fighting with those who create your suffering. Questioning them. In the process, he’ll be confronting his own demons – thus changing and becoming more able to care for others.

That’s the thing – defeating what’s uncaring in you, rather than cleaning up after them, you become more caring.

After wandering around under the radar, doing good here, good there, the decision to fight makes this part of yourself more like a chivalrous knight. Ready to draw a hard line and tell your inner demons to back down. Ready to prove their approach to life as wrong.

Continue reading

A Vision of Self-Control

Before I continue on with my explanation of how I overcame my inner deceiver, I wanted to share a monstrous vision I had less than an hour ago.

I was bored and didn’t know what to do, so I closed my eyes and started to visualize and open up to the thoughts and emotions inside of me – meditation, basically – but what I saw this time were a number of parts of me who are energetic, caring, and a very positive force in me – inside of a small domed room. Inside was a researcher pacing back and forth, telling us with great enthusiasm how what we needed to do, that this was a meditation room and we needed to relax and everything I just mentioned. I started to argue – “Why do we need to listen to you anyway?” “Just do it, it will be practical, and now is a good time to do it.”

But then the researcher crossed the line and started saying things like:
“You are all very fortunate – you’re important to the project that we have going here.” Or some crap like that. He was treating me as an experiment. A lab rat.

At this, I remembered a time when I had treated one of MY friends this way, when I was 7 or something, and called him average. Well, I felt like a complete monster after that, and now I have a glimpse of why. I am treating myself like an experiment – there’s a bureaucratic part of my consciousness that seeks to control and achieve ends it deems favorable, desirable. Now that I see this, I’m both infuriated and excited. It means I will soon, or some day have a chance to fight with this inane researcher within me – but I’m infuriated because it’s still living in me, and still has that much of a presence that on a random afternoon, IT is what’s talking to me.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share that. Onward! I’ll get back to the other topic tomorrow.