If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. Daniel Goleman
Self awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies.
What do you do with this concept(The Mechanics of I). The idea that the true you is an intangible manifestation of your brain activity(thoughts, emotions, memories) coupled with your interactions with the outside world, the universe. First off. See what other people have to say about it. Find out what scientists and doctors and spiritual gurus have to say and believe about the nature of the I/self awareness. The true nature of I. What I’m telling you is what I believe and what I’ve come to realize through looking at things from a scientific viewpoint, and combining that view with the beliefs of people like J Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi, trying to fathom what Zen Buddhism is trying to tell us and people like Maxwell Maltz. When you combine proven scientific facts with the views of those of us who have contemplated deeply what we truly are and why are we here you get a view of the world that makes you realize how precious life is. In addition how truly blessed you are to live life as a human being. Some of us live our lives putting together information about the world to create a mental picture that will give us better understanding of our universe and who we are and these people are the ones that will help us move beyond this planet and move among the countless stars and galaxies.
Why are you here? What is it that you want? To make changes in your views and behavior? To understand better your present situation and why you are there and possibly why aren’t you happy even though it’s a comfortable and envious state of being. I can only tell you how I have used the pieces of information I have gathered over the years.
Emotions, concepts, memories and beliefs can be like a fast flowing river that we are in, that if strong enough can cause us to many times lose our balance and be carried away, we lose control. Our view of a given situation can be unrealistic.
The human brain is a computer system designed to keep us alive, taking in external ideas and concepts that might be useful in the endeavor of survival, combining these with our own mental constructs to get the job done. I have learned that I am separate from this flow of thoughts and emotions and that I can rise above them, sit on the river bank and decide which ideas and emotions I should go with in order to survive and prosper. Even though I realize this I still fight a battle with my brain. Am I in control or is my brain in control. Everyone fights a different battle internally based on genetics and their interactions, their experiences in the world therefore even though you can come to realize the true nature of the I/self, you may have a more difficult time achieving moments of control/clarity. Some of us may need the help of a medical professional. Certain drugs and or counselling can help us to bring about the state of mind we are trying to attain through self discovery.
Using the concept. Let’s say you believe what I believe about your true self, the I and you read up on Buddhism, psychology, neurology and you study the teachings of those who have gone beyond most of us in attaining a state of mind and outlook that is true and useful to our everyday lives and you agree with my beliefs. Now comes introspection. Make a grand effort at this, if you must stay in regular contact with someone who can motivate you to continue this then do so until you reach a state of mind you are happy with. Observe and question your day to day actions and interactions with the world. Why did I say that, Why did I do that. Why do I look at this particular person or situation the way I do. Why do I feel this way about this and that. Observe, observe, observe. Question your beliefs, your feelings, try and understand how they came about and how they have influenced your life. Of course we all do this from time to time but I’m asking you to do this every day. Every day make an effort to be in a state of self observation. Many of us do this through meditation and eventually we stay somewhat in this meditative state in our day to day lives, observing our behavior.
(Understanding yourself is a pathway to understanding others.)
Separate yourself from your mind. Observe it. Question it’s beliefs, emotions, thoughts concerned with your interactions with others and the world around you. Begin the process of creating beliefs, behavior strategies and protocols that are a reflection of you being the observer who looks and questions your own thoughts and behavior. In this you will gain mental clarity by which I mean you will form ideas and concepts through which you will see yourself, others and the world more accurately. Again meditation can be a way for us to go beyond normal levels of introspection and this could be a method you could use to make a strong effort at this and slowly begin to use this state of observation in your day to day routine. Then again you may be the type to concentrate profusely on the concept and the need for meditation/introspection and go right into becoming intensely observant of your thoughts, emotions and actions on a daily basis.
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I can remember being 12 or 13 years old when I discovered Zen Buddhism and a few years later Taoism because I wanted to see what these practitioners of Zen could see, what great realization about ourselves that they achieved. What did they know about human beings and the world that isn’t taught in mainstream society. The world and everything in it was a grand thing to me at the time and I contemplated how wonderful it would be to have an incredibly detailed and evolving mental picture of the universe and mankind. I understood that this hobby of mine would require me looking at the world and myself through many different viewpoints so there were many disciplines and subjects I studied in addition to Zen and Taoism, I looked at astronomy, physics, history, evolution, politics, psychology, quantum mechanics, neurology to name a few. I’m telling you this because on this journey to better understand yourself and others you absolutely have to combine facts and evolving ideas from scientific disciplines and combine these with the insights you glean from introspection/meditation and what great teachers like Gautama Buddha, J Krishnamurti and Aaron Beck have to say about the human experience. I suggest neurology and psychology be the subjects you start with and others that you think might be useful.
As I continued to build over many years a grand mental representation of the universe and the human experience here and there I would take what I had learned and use that information to fight bad habits, manage my finances better, control a quick temper, eat healthier, improve my social skills and make more money. Understand that in the beginning I was caught up in gaining a profound understanding of myself and the world. I wasn’t doing it to make positive changes in my life but that’s what happened. At this point in my life as I write these words I’m 51 years old and regardless of all that I have learned I still have issues. I want you to understand that, …….yet I can truthfully say that had I not made an effort to better understand myself and the world I might’ve died years ago, living on the streets or in prison.
When you get some time study the Zen practice of zazen. This can be a way for you to learn to become mindful, to practice becoming disentangled from thoughts and emotions and come to realize that in being caught up in them you can be led astray, creating problems for yourself and those around you.
7/21/2018 Fri night
Practice being mindful by thinking about being mindful. Read these words that seem to be repetitive because they are in order to create a a special thought structure(The Mechanics of I) in your brain. One that you will use to look through and view other mental structures (concepts, memories) and the emotions they trigger. One that you will use as a gateway to float above those same concepts and emotions and enable you to understand that you can be released from their influence and question their usefulness and how they’ve affected your life.
Not all thoughts are bad, not all emotions, Rising above thoughts and emotions should not be a constant state of mind. Experience all that life has to offer and continue to laugh, to love, to feel all the emotions that a human being can feel but understand that accepting and believing in the mechanics of I will cause you to see the futility of certain emotions and concepts. You will come to a state of mind where you catch yourself, in situations where most would be angry you are not, where others would fly off the handle you don’t, where others cannot see what’s really happening you can.
Many will say that what I speak of is simply one gaining maturity with the passing of time and experience. I feel and believe its more than that. The Mechanics Of I when coupled with one’s own experiences should bring a person to see that you can get caught up in thoughts and emotions for good or bad. The symphony of brain activity and interactions with the world can be something you can rise above and observe, question and begin to better manage.
7/27/2018 Thurs night/fri morning
Everyone’s internal battle is different. I many times feel that’s what’s going on. A war over who is in control, my self or my brain. Genetics and environment come together to shape the human brain and the biological device that plays a great part in creating you – self awareness. Sometimes our struggle for control can be successful in the context of human society and we become successful and experience more moments of peace of mind, happiness, pleasure rather than pain, depression and destructive behavior.
Many of us need help to gain more periods of peace of mind and happiness, to gain control the majority of the time. That’s what’s happening. You’re in control sometimes or your brain is.
Do what you must to gain control, surround yourself with those who can help and provide motivation and inspiration. Seek professional help if that’s what’s necessary to interact with someone and through counseling, venting and or prescribed drugs you may rise above the endless stream and take control through a new viewpoint of understanding.