If we’re looking for a synopsis of what we’ve been doing for the past three years in preparation for this phase of things, I’d like to suggest that what many of us have been doing is deconstructing the constructed self.
What is the constructed self? Human beings have the unique ability to construct, with their thoughts, an image of themselves which they attempt to substitute for what is truly themselves in their dealings with other people.
The most obvious ways we construct that image are by what we wear, how we shape our hair, how we shape our bodies through exercise, cosmetic surgery, and other means, how we learn to speak, etc. We may “dress for success” or wear a “killer dress.” We may sport a street-savvy vocabulary or talk like the royals. We may walk like a fashion model or like “Don’t mess with me” Rambo.
We then attempt to sell this image to others. Our friends become those people who respect and buy our image and our enemies become those people who won’t buy it and disrespect it.
In the beginning of our work, each new act or script or number or racket was painful to acknowledge and painstaking to complete. But now, after we’ve burrowed down through layer after layer of our constructed selves, parts of them begin to fall away like calving glaciers. What was hard before now becomes easier.
It’s easier to see how we’re run by our beliefs that we’re not good enough, that we lack some vital quality or attitude, that we consider ourselves incapable of ever “making it,” being “in with the in-crowd,” and so on. Now it begins to feel like play to see and acknowledge that it’s our “unloveable” script or our “unwanted” image speaking.
We may never rid ourselves of our scripts and numbers completely. I think a more realistic goal would be to “run them” from a point of awareness: “I’m feeling unloveable again. Don’t listen to what I’m about to say.” “Here I go, trying to manipulate you again with my unwanted script. Let’s see. I wonder what move I’ll try this time and to what end.”
To run our scripts from a point of awareness is to take the observer position.
There’s no way to stop thoughts from arising. I’m not sure it would be a good thing to try to control our thoughts even if we could. That would lead to suppression and another version of a constructed self. What all the sages recommend is to observe our thoughts as they arise, linger for a while, and disappear – and not to identify with or attach ourselves to any of them.
The observer is the Self. So even though we haven’t completely eliminated our scripts and numbers from our lives (as thoughts that will arise, no matter what) we’re at least in the driver’s seat with them, rather than letting them drive us.
I personally enjoy the drama of acting out some of my numbers from a point of awareness. That’s what makes Hallowee’en exciting, is it not? To dress up and play at being a different self?
Today I’m a warrior. Tomorrow I’ll be a fighter ace. The next day a monarch who wants to be fawned upon. As long as I acknowledge to others the scripts that in former years I would have tried to hide and run, running them can be harmless and a source of fun.
On the astral plane, people go through a phase of dressing in togas or orating like Shakespeare. Here are examples from Judge David P. Hatch, the well-known “Living Dead Man” of afterlife literature:
“I began to experiment to see if I also could make things. It was then that I conceived the idea of wearing a Roman toga, but for the life of me I could not remember what a Roman toga looked like.
“When next I met the Teacher I told him of my wish to wear a toga of my own making, and he carefully showed me how to create garments such as I desired: To fix the pattern and shape clearly in my mind, to visualise it, and then by power to desire to draw the subtle matter of the thought-world round the pattern, so as actually to form the garment.” (1)
“In a former letter I wrote about my meeting with a newly arrived lady, who, finding me dressed in a Roman toga, thought that I might be Caesar; and that I told her we were all actors here. I meant that, like children, we ‘dress up’ when we want to impress our own imagination, or to relive some scene in the past.
“This playing of a part is usually quite innocent, though sometimes the very ease with which it is done brings with it the temptation to deception, especially in dealings with the earth people.” (2)
“One day I met a man in doublet and hose, who announced to me that he was Shakespeare. Now I have become accustomed to such announcements, and they do not surprise me as they did six or eight months ago. (Yes, I still keep account of your months, for a purpose of my own.)
“I asked this man what proof he could adduce of his extraordinary claim, and he answered that it needed no proof.” (3)
If we cannot banish the ego, if we cannot escape having thoughts that come from our scripts and rackets, then perhaps we can play them from a point of awareness and have fun with them.
(1) Judge David Patterson Hatch (“X”), Letters from a Living Dead Man. Elsa Barker, med. New York: Mitchell Kennerly, 1914. Ebook downloaded from http://www.earthlypursuits.com/LtrLDMan/LtrLDMan.htm, 28 August 2008, Letter XV.
(2) Ibid., Letter XLV.
(3) Loc. cit.