The definition of a tyranny is the cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control. A tyrant in ancient Greece was a ruler who seized absolute power without legal right.
With our Ego as dictator, we are slave to our negative emotions, likes and dislikes, fears, and doubts.
We fall prey to its reactive nature and believe the demons that haunt us are very very real. All of this is a result of conditioning with little or no effort to free ourselves from it.
How can we recognize this tyrannical part of us that has come to work so easily and prevalently in our everyday lives?
It is most certainly the cause of our frustration and unhappiness. It hinders us from feeling in harmony with God and others. Because we are ingrained and utterly brainwashed by our internal protection system, we become slave to the belief that these ideas about ourselves and the negative emotions we have are true.
The ideas I am referring to are fabrications of a phenomenon called Identification. That identification perpetuates fear, anger and most other negative emotion. Because we “feel” these emotions, we become hopelessly lost in a web of illusion.
These seemingly real situations then create obstacles for us in regards to our work, our relationships and our self care and create a self fulfilling prophesy.
They come in the form of self sabotage, self deprecation, depression, and the like.
Many methods of self help will expound on the importance of expressing these negative emotions so that they do not become repressed or create stagnation of energy. However, no amount of expressing a negative emotion will cure the root cause of these emotions.
Only work on discovering the false belief that they are real and have power over our lives will relieve this incessant stream of negativity.
When I talk with my groups, I often refer to this cause as the little black seed found deep within a wart. Only until that tiny black seed is removed will the wart go away. So it is with our negative emotions. We must discover how our Ego plays the role of task master to insure that we remain under its thumb. The Ego is not meant to take the place of our Divine Will which follows the path of least resistance toward God. The Ego was meant to serve as a fight or flight system to protect us.
Through a revolution of Self Observation, we can break down this tyranny.
Self observation is the first tool for catching the tyrant in action. Little by little, we become aware of how little choice we exercise in our life. We keep falling in the same hole and wonder how we didn’t see it coming. The more we develop expanded attention to take in more impressions, the more we can dig underneath these illusory negative emotions and walk around the hole!!
When negative emotions like jealousy, anger, sadness and resentment are full force in our bodies, the adrenalin and physical symptoms are in full swing. Those physical responses trigger more emotions in us (triggers first experienced in childhood) which then trigger thoughts that move around and around in circles having to do with what people think of us.
This is what is called Inner Considering in Fourth Way terms and it is the direct result of states of identification.
If we can notice any part of this whole automatic feedback apparatus, we may gain insight into something that is happening often in our life that we didn’t see before.
Noticing this can unravel the whole package, so the first step is to simply notice it without changing anything. Our Work must also take into account that the Ego will often create a negative emotion, while saying at the same time “I shouldn’t be feeling this”. This is the plight of the many “i”s within us. The Ego is all about should and shouldn’ts so when you begin trying to recognize identification (i.e. direct cause of negative emotion) the best tactic to use is simply observing it without changing it. This prevents insidious infiltration of the tyrant deciding what is best..
As we practice in this way, we begin to notice more and more about our feedback loop in action. It is subtle and difficult to see.
For example, we recently came back from a retreat where one participant noticed that his reaction and inner considering regarding a particular intuition exercise we did with a random partner, brought an overall feeling he had never noticed before. His inner considering consisted of worrying he had offended the other person by not confirming what they had intuited.
His logical mind knew this was ridiculous and that she really didn’t care at all. However, a whole web of thoughts around what the other person might be feeling in regards to him and his actions ensued.
The value here is that he noticed more about an overall feeling that accompanied these thoughts.
It was even more than just the feelings; it was everything lined up to have a greater awareness around his entire process, one that included his body, his feelings and his thoughts.
A new picture emerged that connected the dots in a way he could not see before.
Subsequently, at work the following weeks, he was able to recognize that this phenomenon happened often inside of himself in regards to his bosses and his peers..
This experience at the retreat brought new Understanding of how his Ego takes control and puts him into pattern. With Understanding through synthesis of all centers, he gained insight and strength that now can help dissipate that identification with his own insecurity, something that developed in childhood.
I hope this can elucidate for us the power of increased awareness enabling Self Observation. Self Observation occurs in the Present Moment, so the more we work toward small instances of presence throughout our day, the stronger our “awareness muscle” becomes.
I look forward to hearing from you with your insights around this subject, your experience with negative emotion and your questions regarding this entire system.
Until next week, may the force be with you.