What is bigger the foot or the dog? It might seem silly to ask, but sometimes the answer is not always so obvious. Just as the mirror says “objects my be closer than they appear”, there are a lot of illusions in life. While practicing yoga we take the time to observe the details that we may otherwise block out. In deepening our awareness we can dispel personal illusions and gain a clearer image of our authentic self. Some may say this is a narcissistic practice and ask how getting to know yourself better can help anyone, but yourself. I would ask them to notice what the largest factors are that effect how they interact with the world?
When an individual feels sick they are less likely to be patient and tolerant. If an individual does not understand their own needs how will they understand the needs of others? The list could go on and on, my point being that your personal experience in the present moment has the greatest effect on how you interact with the world around you. If you can increase the quality of your experience you are also more likely to influence those around you in a positive way.
So, with that said, do what you can to understand yourself and drop the illusions that wall you in. The view will clear and you will find yourself doing good even without trying….now that is grand!
I am currently studying for my last final (at least in 2011). I have a huge stack of flashcards that I have made to try and learn just the terminology. Well, out of 58 terms, there are 12 that I thought might make my yogi friends smile. So here it goes, a dozen fun words.
- Organismic Valuing Process – The internal signal that tells whether self-actualization is occurring.
- Transcendent Self-actualizers – People whose actualization goes beyond the self to become more universal.
- Constructive Alternativism – The idea that any event can be construed in many ways.
- Defensive Reappraisal – The process of re-defining a threat out of existence.
- Actual Self – One’s self as one presently views it (I am not sure this one is very accurate?)
- Lexical Criterion – An index of the importance of a personality trait from the number of words that refers to it.
- Actualization – The tendency to grow in ways that maintain or enhance the self.
- Self-handicapping – Creating situations that make it hard to succeed, thus enabling avoidance of self-blame for failure.
- Existential Psychology – The view that people are responsible for investing their lives with meaning.
- Existential Guilt – A sense of guilt over failing to fulfill all of one’s potential. (Could we have existential guilt without existential psychology?)
- Dasein – “Being in the World”, the totality of one’s autonomous personal existence.
- Need – An unsatisfactory internal condition that motivates behavior.
Can anyone guess what class this final is in? Call me a geek if you like, but I love rolling these words around in my head.
Ego is greatly misunderstood and defined in many ways. Is ego the picture we present to the world, the whole of what we think of ourselves, self esteem or something entirely different? I believe that ego is the identity or core of an individual as that person sees themselves. This view of oneself is influenced by our public identity, experiences, self esteem and so much more. The ego is often conceptualized by a some of parts that distinguish us from others. In a collectivist culture an individual is likely to also define their ego as including the characteristics of the self that make them like their group. What does ego mean to you?
Ultimately, the only definition of ego that I believe is universal is that ego is only a word we use to pin down the idea of what makes us who we are, both privately and publicly. I believe it is important for us to understand ourselves and what motivates us in life. Once this sense of identity is clear enough, we can then move through life in a more authentic way…making our actions sync with our authentic selves. How do we move from ego, to identity to our authentic self?
It is my belief that we truly shine when we release our attachment to our self-presentation and connect to our self-concept….letting our actions speak the volumes that our heart sings!
I was studying my counseling book, The Skilled Helper, when I decided I needed a quick break. I picked up Brad Warner’s book and flipped it open to an arbitrary spot and began to read…
“There’s a truckload of extremely good reasons why you don’t want to rip open the doors of your subconscious too quickly. If you’re not fully prepared for what’s behind those doors, they’re better left shut tight until such time you are. It’s a dangerous game to fuck with people’s heads.”
~ Brad Warner (Zen Wrapped in Karma dipped in Chocolate)