I’m raising to my awareness the roles and scripts that I’ve created for myself. Given that I’m doing it publicly, I hope I’m contributing to the general raising of consciousness on the matters discussed here.
If we were having a discussion in which all of us were doing what I’m doing, we’d all be “consciousness raising.”
Paul Ferrini maintains that we’re headed into what he termed “stage-three consciousness.” Stage one was subconscious awareness, like many animals have. Stage two was intellectual knowledge. He says of stage three:
“The third stage is Super-Conscious Knowledge. It is the state of total surrender of all intellectual solutions, all need to control or plan. It is characterized by conscious unknowing. It is the state of the divine person, or co-creator. You are living at a time when stage two is coming to closure and stage three is being born.
“The entrance into stage three calls for a different way of living individually and collectively. It calls for a repudiation of the controlling mind. It calls for a thorough investigation of that mind, the fears on which it is based, and the utter futility of its creations.” (9)
This that I’m doing is intended to be a thorough investigation. I’m not sure at the outset what I’ll find underneath my conditioning. But I’m going to find out.
If I elected to hide behind a false front, a constructed self, a self-image that I then try to sell to others, that would have the effect of reducing my awareness.
If all I could see after a while was simply my own image, rather than my self, then I’ve set my feet on the road to becoming a living fossil, totally out of touch with itself and totally absorbed in the top ten tunes on its vasana jukebox (“She Left Me,” “Look Into His Angel Eyes,” “What Will Become of Me,” etc.).
Before I start out, I need to make a distinction between being aware and awareness itself.
If we want to be aware, we need to be neutral, balanced, centered, rather than residing in the extremes of passion. The more we live in the extremes, the more our awareness becomes burdened and goes down.
Nonetheless, awareness itself is not neutral. It dissolves our unwanted conditions so it’s decidedly a committed force.
I’m raising to awareness as many of my conditioned roles and the scripts that evolve from them to dissolve them. The truth of them, simply observed from a neutral place, will set me free.
Our core issues (vasanas) cause our conditioning. But our conditioning survives our vasanas and needs to be loosened and allowed to drop if we’re to be in our natural state.
Our natural state is balanced and equanimous, loving and joyful. It’s our upsets, issues, and conditioning that exist as overburden, smothering our natural impulses. In this instance, I’m raising a role and its script to awareness.
What I’m observing at the moment is a script that I’d call “Disagreeable.”
Disagreeable reflects my birth position in the family. I was the runt of the litter and held that no one listened to me. And so to get them to listen to me, I’d put a stick in the bike’s wheel. I’d refuse to cooperate, bringing things to an abrupt halt.
My favorite line in this role was “Don’t tell me what to do.”
I was in a line-up today in which a grown woman told her mother not to tell her who she was. I perked up immediately. Another Disagreeable type.
I grew up to be a colossal “No!” in the family. I developed a keen nose for knowing exactly when to dig in and refuse to go along with things. I mantled myself in thoughts of how right I was. I became an expert in justifying myself and polishing my story.
But all the while I knew it was a false front.
This role ties in well with another, which I’ll be looking at later, which I call “Unloveable.” That role evolved out of my hatred for my Dad but it fits into the overall role I chose for myself in the family – “Opponent” to my Dad.
Operating as Disagreeable left me feeling like a negative influence on the family. It definitely was unsatisfying. Therefore it created residue, overburden on my natural state.
Gradually I became imprisoned in this role and the decisions that it led to. Some of these decisions were that one had to stick up for oneself, I would not be forced into anything, I’d only participate if I was given a hearing, etc.
These skills came in handy whenever there was a rebellion or revolt brewing. But they could tire people out and see me excluded from settings were I might want to be included.
Where did all this lead to? Years ago my brother bought me a T-shirt on which was printed “I’m a Grumpy Old Fart.” That about sums it up. Crotchety, cantankerous, disputatious, disagreeable.
Raising a script like this to awareness allows awareness then to begin its work as a solvent. Gradually awareness alone will wear the script away.
Raising it to awareness is like making a caterpillar aware of its many legs. It then trips over them. Once aware of my script, I can’t run it outside of consciousness. If I’m screechy with the sales clerk or bank teller, I now can’t escape listening to myself. It becomes much harder to behave in the same ways under these conditions.
Finally, raising it to awareness has a third advantage: It allows me to rechoose when I see myself at a choicepoint, a fork in the road. At the moment when I’m about to embark on this role of Disagreeable, I can choose not to go down that road. I have the opportunity to let it go. Unaware of it, my automatic response to stimuli is fairly certain.