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Home arrow Perspectives of God Series arrow Perspectives of God Articles arrow Part 3 Psychological components and mechanisms of feelings of unworthiness and poor self image
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Understanding the relationship between
the false beliefs of the ego and undesirable
circumstances in life

 

Introduction

By now, we are coming to accept the fact that when we came into this physical world, we lost sight of our eternal true nature. Most of the time, we have difficulty seeing how our daily physical experience relates to the eternal aspects of our being, even though they are inseparably bound. When we made the decision to enter physicality, we chose particular circumstances of manifest limitations that would provide us material to work with. Engaging in this "work" would provide us the opportunity to expand our consciousness. So, can we just accept that that is a "natural" part of this whole trip-and that our aim is to remember that we have the power to transcend the limited thinking of the world? Because if we can do that, then we can just get on with it. Getting on with it "is" the trip. The object isn't to become enlightened masters "before" we can proceed. The point is the journey, to which there is no end. It can help getting on with it if we can attain an objective view of some of the mechanical elements involved in our unease within this physical experience.

As we discuss this, I would urge you to remind yourself along the way that what's being described is all just part of the trip. It's natural since we chose the circumstances, though that doesn't mean that we're supposed to remain stuck there. Since it's natural that we've forgotten our limitless nature, we don't have to condemn ourselves or think of ourselves as helpless victims. Try to laugh at it if you can. I'm going to insert a little symbol (*) throughout to remind you of this.

 

Roots Of Unhappiness

All who are leading unfulfilled lives are holding onto illusory beliefs, which, in most cases have roots that go back to our very early childhood. Some of us may have been raised in rather dysfunctional families where we were emotionally abandoned. We may have had parents who were cold or distant or who were authoritarian and / or angry disciplinarians. We may have been frequently subjected to and subsequently terrified by displays of uncontrolled rage. Some of us were children of alcoholics or drug addicts. (*) These troublesome experiences were occurring at the time that our ego was developing. Our ego is the part of us that interacts with the world. We identify self with ego; it is the focal point of our sense of self. And it is also the center of all of those painful experiences. In fact, it is exactly that identification with ego as self that is at the root of all pain and suffering.

We usually have carried our reactions to the early painful experiences with us into adulthood to some degree or another. The memories may now appear as constant anxiety, feelings of rejection, low self-esteem, inescapable fear of abandonment, depression and pessimism. We may feel powerless to exert any control over the events of our own lives. In some cases, we may feel totally dependent upon others for our own survival. (*) We may feel unworthy of love or success or health. We may feel that nothing good, can or ever will happen to us. These feelings rob us of happiness, never allowing us to feel a sense of peace or ease about life. (Let me hasten to add, however, that we have control over our feelings.)

By gaining an understanding of what is occurring, we can come to see that these feelings not only are not serving us well, but, in fact, are no longer relevant. If we can begin to see them for what they are-- illusions of the injured ego (*)--then we have taken a step toward reclaiming our power. We begin by focusing upon the truth about ourselves. I ask that you be easy on yourself and understand this particular truth. We are all innocent children of God. We were innocent when the experiences happened and we have no reason to feel guilty or unworthy. If we wish to move on from what happened then, to living a more fulfilling life now, we must turn to the truth that we are part of Universal Mind. Know that you're not alone, not powerless, that infinite love and power is with you always.

 

Roles Of The Conscious And Subconscious Mind

Our subconscious mind is our individualized part of the Universal Subconscious Mind. It is the center of power. It has the ability to draw from the universe the guidance we need and the manifestation of the desires we clearly and decisively focus upon. It faithfully responds to orders we give it. It doesn't go about haphazardly creating on its own. You direct the subconscious mind. When I say "you", I mean that part of you which is referred to as the conscious mind. Our conscious mind is that part of us that thinks and makes decisions. The surprising thing is that for all of the limitless power of the subconscious mind, it is subject to the conscious mind. The conscious mind is like the captain of the ship. It's the directing agent and the subconscious mind can only carry out orders given it by the conscious mind.

The rather confounding thing is that we are mostly directing the subconscious mind unconsciously (*). In other words, so much of our conscious activity is on automatic pilot, that in a sense, we operate largely unconsciously. We don't really pay that much attention to the things that we're thinking about or focusing upon. This unconsciousness might also be seen as unawareness. Breaking out of unconsciousness means becoming more aware. For our purposes here, awareness and being conscious are pretty much the same thing. At any rate, our subconscious mind is taking our thoughts as orders, regardless of their quality. Remember the analogy of the powerful hose (Part 2) that we can't turn off? We do, however, have the power to shape the quality of the energy that we emit. The word "orders" in the sense that I am using it, includes more than just clear and explicit directives. We might apply a somewhat more accurate word--attention. This word really is the key to how this works. Our subconscious mind takes as orders that which we give our attention to. Of course it can't fulfill the thousands of thoughts that pass through our minds every day; it takes most seriously the ones that we focus upon the most habitually and with the most conviction and emotion.

Unfortunately, many of the convictions we have about ourselves are negative and most of our strong emotions are outbursts in reaction to something unsettling (or that we perceive as such) that has occurred. These emphatic emotional reactions are a powerful focus of attention which our subconscious responds to and acts upon. We probably aren't cognizant of how much this is so. Regardless, this is how we are unconsciously creating negative conditions in our lives. (*) All of this is why awareness is so important. With awareness, we do become conscious of our habitual patterns and knee-jerk reactions. Awareness is the beginning; and with ever increasing awareness comes the release from the negative impulses of the ego.

 

The Ego Or False Self

Earlier we referred to our ego as the center of our pain. It is a natural part of us which really is the byproduct of our upbringing. Often the term "ego" creates confusion because of its associations with the field of psychology. The psychologists portrayal of the ego is a bit different than the way we view it here. You will find that we also use the terms "false self" or "separated self". The particular character of the false self was created not only by our experiences, but also by all of the things that we were told (and more importantly came to believe) by our families, our schools, our religion, our community, etc. (*)

Many of the things we were told were necessary precautionary messages that would assist us in learning to live on this physical plane--mostly geared toward teaching us to avoid dangers. Other messages were of a moralistic nature; still others were to teach us social customs and conformity to community standards. Many of the messages we absorbed though are not so obvious--things such as our parents attitudes about money, scarcity or abundance, about health and vitality, about work, social status, about difficulty or ease as far as our earthly existence is concerned. For many of us, much of the content of our ego is, as described earlier, comprised of severe emotional pain, the result of love rejection and emotional abandonment--far more common than we like to admit. (*)

 

Genesis Of Our Vulnerable Self

All of what I just described is the material you use to form the picture you have of yourself (your self image) and your ability to operate in the world. What your thoughts are regarding yourself determines what your experience in the world is. While much of the stuff the ego absorbed was appropriate for the duration of our young formative years, as we move from childhood, much of it no longer is. As we become adults, we should turn our attention from the past and begin creating our lives according to our True Selves (our Higher Selves); but quite often, we remain stuck back there. We remain asleep and thereby in a state of unconsciousness with little, if any, awareness. You know the concept of being "born again"? Well the true meaning of that is getting unstuck and learning to create anew. That involves awakening from the illusions of the ego.



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