Why am I describing one of the most popular shows ever as “hidden”? People love and adore the show but how many can really pinpoint what exactly do they like about it? They like Aang but what makes Aang likeble or what makes the Ba Sing Se episodes so memorable? Many fans watched the series as kids when their minds were still relatively pure and more “silent” which allowed the show’s message to reach and touch their hearts. Few years later came “Legend of Korra” which continued the story while using the same formula with slighly more matured themes and yet a lot of people didn’t like it. Why is that? The upper mentioned kids became adults. The brain got involved and what is the number 1 enemy of the brain – not knowing how something works. Usually with the increasing reliance on our thoughts comes a decreasing faith in everything else. If we love something than the brain(# the Ego) needs to understand why! Without the required life experience and with the Western filter being “On”, its pretty difficult to spot and understand many of the Last Airbender messages. The mind is unable to “trace” your love towards Aang to his growt by overcoming fear, change and shame or to his connection with the world by not dividing people/nations when everyone around him did it. All that is lost and the only think that the mind can deliver as an answer .. you “simply” like Aang. The unknown but full love that kids felt was replaced with a nostalgic love, a memory that the mind connected to Aang and the series. When Korra came out, people didn’t care to notice that all those foundations that made the Last Airbender were still there. The only think that mattered was that Aang wasn’t. Its perfectly alright not to “like” a show for your personal reasons but to me its kind of ironic people claiming that Aang was better, stronger, smarter than Korra when his whole story ark was centered around not to view the world in such manner. There is even a hour and half video on You Tube named “The legend of Korra is garbage and here’s why” which is viewed 5 mln times.
Often you hear people saying something along the lines “You create your happiness, its mostly a mather of perspective”. Those words have merit, we often agree with them and yet their meaning doesn’t “reach us” deep down inside and we feel miserable. In a way that comes from the fact that we put society and its goals “for living and success” above Life and its “lack” of goals.
A simple example, from Society’s perspective your purpose is to climb the social ladder and have some kind of value in order for you to “fit in”. When you do not, Society finds a way to implant guilt inside you and make you feel distant and aliеnated until you make the necessary changes. You need to be like someone else! There is “right” and “wrong” for everything – beauty, behavior, thinking. From Life’s perspective your goal is to simply exist and be alive. You could be the “strong” lion or the weak “prey”, you could be the great inventor that helps human kind or some “low” life criminal that only destroys. Life doesn’t judge you because both ends of the Spectrum are needed for it to be real and sensible. You need to be YOU and only you because you are unique and bring something new. See the difference? Sometimes goals concur in both Life and Society, for example we need to learn to be adaptable. But is that enough to put your happiness into the hands of the lower tier, subjective creation of the human mind? Instead of Life, the thing that created both us and Society?
Society’s come and go, 200 years ago it was shameful just to see a women’s hand without a glove in public, today you could see a naked one around the corner and don’t bat an eye. How many 19th century women lost “their” path because of something so funny and stupid when you looked it from the 21th century eyes. Like the great Bruce Lee has said, you need to honestly express yourself at any given moment and by honest … without the confused mind sticking random thoughts inside your head. Sometimes you would fit in, sometimes you be an outsider and sometimes you would outstrip Society. In either case, you should be You and not someone else’s tamplate. By accepting that you are not the random strong and powerful image(the Alpha, the leader, the rich, the beautiful), it doesn’t mean that you are closing the door to be one. It only means that no mather what happens, you wont feel bad and unworthy, you would honestly experience your Life for what it is. Can you ask for more than that?
A lot of people, including me, focus on the things that they “lack” or they dont possess. Often those are reasons that disturb our inner peace/harmony and derails us from our paths. Love, money, success, fame, respect, friends. The things that we all want! But what exactly gives them value? The probability of not having them! The gap between “I dont have” and “I have” its the thing that provides pleasure and quality. Once we realize that on a deeper level, our fears lose ground and even evaporate. Being lonely, its what makes “love” possible. They cant exist without each other. You could apply this logic for almost everything. For example, most people dont aknowledge their hearing because its considered as something “given”. But if they lose it for some reason, they immediately would realize its value. Life is not about one thing, one situation, one month, one person or one love … its about the wide variation of choices. About moving on and not being stagnant. So the next time when we dont “have” something, instead of being disappointed and losing our balance, we could see it as a potential to create a gap, to create value. As the great Alan Watts said “Life its like a dance. Its not about reaching from point “a” to point “b”. Its about experiencing the distance between them.”
Imagine “Life” being a big, white, empty canvas. Each of us resembles a paint brush. By that, we are meant to leave a mark. It could be a gigantic one or a slim dot, both hold the same value. Imagine “Mona Lisa” without the small dots that filled her eyes?! There is no “right” or “wrong” collor. “Better” or “Worse”. “Good” or “Evil”. Each collor it’s there to be used – sometimes more often, sometimes less. Sometimes with a purpose, sometimes without. Its impossible to understand the “bigger” picture that we, as a unit, draw. So why worry about it? Thousands of brushes could be drawing the same things and you could be that ONE, that gives a new direction. Never forget that but also never grasp on the idea. Just draw whatever comes from inside you – it would never be a mistake.
I would like to share with you the signs that I spotted in others + those I felt while being under the control of the “Ego”:
- The overuse of humor. The person tries to be funny and original way too often, both to hide his own insecurity about being disliked and in order for the “Ego” to be recognised. The later is possible, because if you make someone laugh that often brings appreciation and positive energy for the Ego, “John Doe is one of the funniest guys that I know”. The problem is that “the Ego” doesnt know “balance” and when it needs to stop. You could be the most clever and humorous person but if you do it 90% of the time, its not funny anymore. Also the humor from Ego driven people doesnt come as natural because they are on a constant ” ready ” mode to spot an opportunity to “step up”. Those people doesnt actually listen you, they just use you and your talk for their own merits.
- Becoming a puppet. Once the Ego tooks control, a voice inside you starts to command you how to walk, talk, behave in the “right” way. A walk should come naturally and you shouldnt be aware of it. But if the “Ego” wants to look “confident” he would imprint inside you a “model” of walking. It would took it by copying a confident person or by reading a manual “be straight, walk slowly and so on”. Once imprinted, you Follow it while a “Big Brother” watches over you. Imagine every step you take being put under a review, imagine the constant doubt for YOU that comes with it. Its a literal Hell. The person senses that something is not right. The “Ego” opposes it it and claims that you didnt follow the manual and you should try harder. Meanwhile for other people, that person looks like a walking tree. Because nothing in his walk comes/seems and feel like a natural motion.
- You replace your face with a mask. In modern Cinema, often enough there are CGI Faces of real people imprinted over a character into the movie. Some of them are done really well, like 99% copies and yet you immediately spot that they are not real. Your unconscious sense that something is “Off” about them. Its absolutely the same when you meet an “Ego” person and you trust your senses. They wear this “friendly” face with uneasiness behind it. It seems stretched with hooks. This is all because the Ego doesnt understand how humans are created and how each part of us + our energy fields are all and the same. It threats the face as an alien object which is not connected with the rest of the body and because of it, it looks like a mask. The picture I put as cover for this post, its from the amazing show “The Last Airbender” . This lady portrayed a similar, brainwashed character which I found a good fit for an example.
- You become a victim, you are easily offended. The “Ego” wants you to believe that what you are the image of yourself, in other words YOU=Your Name. If you say that John Doe is a failure or Jane Smith is a whore, often people would be triggered at full max because of the simple fact that they identify themselfs with their name. They cant stand the idea that someone would talk “shit” about it. It doesnt matter how absurd its the claim – they feel it like an actual wound. A person could live his whole life feeling unhappy, for example constanly trying to please others. He does it because “his name” raises over the others “John Doe never let anyone down. He always kept his word and helped others”.
- You hate loud sounds. A loud sound is something that gets you out of your head and your thoughts. Have you ever walked on the street and suddenly you felt that instant rage for a second just because some car hitted its horn? It was because you were heavily inside your thoughts. That is why Buddhism have “singing bows” and althrough borrowed for the wrong reasons, Christianity has its “bells”. Once you accept that loud sounds are not your enemy, I assure you that your perception for them would totally change. And one day, when the neighbor hits the drill early in the morning, a smile would come onto your face .. an actual, real and happy smile.
This wont be a post about “how to be a good parent”. It would focus mostly at the matter mentioned inside the title. During their early years, children are “pure” and dont have the “adult” filter to disintegrate the world around them. They receive everything with an “open mind” and their view its widely open. The later is possible because they dont hold any major “fears” and the accompanying doubts.
Everytime a person creates a “fear”, a certain % of their consciousness is “appointed” to be on guard about that fear. Now part of your unconsciousness, that % always scans the world for signs of appearance by that fear. Lets say that you are afraid of bees. Compared to other people, you would be able to spot them earlier via smell, distant buzzing, recognizing their likely habitat and so on. If before that fear, you were experiencing the world with 100% free consciousness, after that it becomes 98%. 2% are now redirected onto the bee problem and you cant use them freely. In a perfect world, children start with 100% consciousness on their disposal.
When they begin to interact with other people and Society, they are exposed to Western thinking and its Ego. They begin to face difficult tasks named as “problems”. They are incited with a solve mechanism, which is – cut your wild open view of the world and create this small bubble so that you could enter it and think about the “problem”. One problem = one bubble, ten problems = ten bubbles. By jumping from one bubble to another, he has no capacity and time to view/enjoy the World. If he does it long enough, he becomes “addicted” onto the solving mechanism which sadly means, for the rest of his life. IMO a parents job should be to destroy those bubbles until their kid is big enough to do it on its own. By doing it, you protect him from overvaluing his “mind” as a problem solver.
Sadly, often enough parents are the ones that create those bubbles and chain their kids for their entire lifes. They do it unknowingly but that doesnt change the end result. For kids – parents are the most trustworthy beings in the whole world even more than themselfs. Its inprinted in their consciousness. Even if a kid has a really bad parent, by seeing other children with their families, the idea that he should be close with his father or mother its reinforced. When a father says to his child that “he is dumb”, the later may not like it, he may even rebel against it but there wont be a single thought “my father could be wrong”. He believes you 100%. Everything you say to him, he doesnt doubt it. Many people put their shortcomings, ambitions, unreal expectations onto their children. For every one leader and champion created in that enviroment, there are 50 other whom are tainted for life. Adults are full with bubbles from their childhoods. They dont know how to destroy them instead they cherish them in a masochistic relationship. Do not underestimate the things you say to your child, they receive them with their souls.
For most people, “depression” is something that they should avoid at all cost. Its “bad” and unwanted. Its a sure sign that they are weak and that they cant handle life … that they are “failures”. Its no coincendence that we ignore facing it as long as possible. Here is a fun fact for you – there are plenty of people who “understand” death and are ready to face her BUT not once I have met a person who is “open” and ready to accept depression.
In the noisy Western World, its almost imposible to not have at least a small “Ego”. IMO, with social media around, it worsened a lot in the past years. If an “Ego” could be measured, for the majority of population it would be around “medium” to “large”. An “ego” is a mental projection of our physical Self, like an adopted brother. By accepting and nurturing it, we give it home. That home is our body and head. At first, we are the ones that have control and make decisions but with time that changes. “We” begin to crave fame and power, to seek validation and love, to be offended more easily. All that is where the “Ego” trives, where it is strong enough and naturaly it takes the lead and we step back. What “Depression” really is … a cry! A cry for help coming from deep down inside us. A cry from ” the Self” going against the “Ego” .Its the best sign that change is needed – a change of rule.
Like a tyrant who tries to deprive from credibility those that speak against him, the collective “ego” tooks measures . If “depression” was a person, we are made to believe that he is to be despised forever. But imagine if that assumption was somehow “wrong”. Like really wrong and unfair from our side. What if that person really just wanted to show us the truth, shake us really hard in order for us to see it? When his voice is too loud to ignore, the Ego makes the perfect chess move – a step backwards, so that it can avoid rebellion. A rebellion that leads towards suicide or “awakening” of the Self. Both cases resulting in dethroning the Ego! It gives some amount of power back, enough that we make some changes. Change of partner or a job .. or a “belief” system/religion. The later are like parties in politics, they could number 1000 and yet are being sponsored by one guardian – the “Ego”. No mather who you would choose, its an illusion of choise .. the ruler its one and the same.
What does “confidence” actually mean? Have you ever tracked it back to its roots? Most of us, never bother. We inherit its understanding from our surroundings a.k.a Western Society. Its inprinted inside us since an early age and the “feel” about it seems extremely natural to us to ever doubt it. We question its meaning, with the same likeness that we ask ourselfs “Why do I have two hands and not three?”.
For most people, confidence equals “feeling good”. Nothing wrong with that. But when we crushed it to smaller pieces, it becomes “to have some kind of an advantage over the rest, to be better than them”. We want to be more – beautiful, successful, fit, smarter, to have the best swag and so on, it could be anything. Once we choose, the mather becomes the center of our life. Its the very first thing we want for other people to see in us and the thing that we are most secure to be judged on. Let say someone choose “beauty”. His subconscious starts to compare him to other people. There are always areas that he would “lack” compared to the rest. Hypothetically those are the ones that lower his overal ranking which translates into those are the ones that stops him from “feeling good”. The mind begins to view them as “flaws”, they became his ill places. He co-exist with them as “something that he has to live with” but never accepts, often feeling shame. Once we putt too much weight on our “flaws” we become self-critical. The next and bigger scale, letting it “outside” – we see our flaws/fears in other people and we begin to critic them as well. All of this is subconscious, we do it while not understanding the process and our motivation behind it. We accept the idea that this is us. The real person steps back so that the “image”, created by the mind, could take over.
How could we escape the illusion named “confidence” and avoid being trapped inside it. If you read this, you already did – the hardest part is to know that it exist. Now you would begin to spot it with an increasing rate. Fight it but not with anger. Give it time and dont be hard on yourself, that slows the process. In the meantime, I could offer you a new take about “being confident” – be confident because you exist. Its a simple anchor but the most real one. If you accept it and eliminated the endless race with others, inner peace would come naturaly.
How do you understand “logic”? The brain sends you the most likely course of action based on past experience and information around us. “Logic” draws water from our lifes and with time, as deep as it could be, that well could stale and lose it freshness. Once that happens, we become heavily biased against new experience. A common and dangerous deception for most people is that “Logic”= “the right way of action”. Once we accept that as a fact, everytime time the brain sends you something with the “logic” label on it, we take little or no notice. Decisions become an illusion, we stop choosing based on our likeness but instead obey an analytical tool that cant grasp the scale and dept of life. We receive “decisions” as a documents that “simply” need our signature and we give it, lacking any consciousness about the content. An answer could be backed by 95% of the data or 10%, it doesnt mather if it tops the list – its the most “logical” one. The Mind doesnt like the idea to be “wrong” and with its increasing influence, it begins to talk us out from entering uncharted territories. That limits our experience and puts frames on our existence. The well is tainted by fears.
Motivated by its own agenda, the “Ego” aims to reduce the information coming from other senses. Instead, it provides us with its own cheaper coppies – “words”. Everything that doesnt include “thinking” we start to assume as unimportant, trivial and annoying. Give it enough time, most of our daily routines are branded as such. The “Ego” cant remove them completely, so it persuades us to either “speedrun” through them or not pay them much attention. A daily routine list:
- Fixing your bed, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, tying your shoes, covering the distance between home and work, fitness, dropping your kids at school and so on
How many of those you are perfoming without being annoyed? Without wanting to be somewhere else and doing something more “meaningful”? A lot of people “dream walk” through them. Their bodies are doing the physical exercise while their consciousness go on a “mind” tour full of thoughts. The later, often enough are deprived from any weight towards your life or any possibility for them to actually happen: ” What if my best friend, who is a gay, sleeps with my wife? “
The Ego’s strategy for cutting you from reality. It creates a “dream” as far into the future as possible – making a family, collecting a diploma, having an “X” amount of money and so on. It fools us that those “dreams” possess a great value. We neglect our present,daily lifes and instead concentrate on thoughts about “that” one special future moment. We are unhappy but dont know the reason about it. Something inside of us rebels through emotions but the mind cuts it with something along the lines – “When that future “X” moment arrives, everything will change and I would live differently and be happy”. And often enough that comforts us for a while. One day we reach that goal, that goal that filled our mind and life for years. Only to find out that it brings us a very slim pleasure. We are left empty, all those years we werent chasing the actual goal but an illusion. She fueled us for so long that we cant live without it anymore. In order to survive, we create another longterm future goal.