I’m observing myself as I clean up my apartment. And I see that I actually do “deal with myself.”
There are constantly two of me – the one who acts and the one who passes judgment on me acting – who “deals with me.”
Growth-movement leaders called it the critic, constant comment, the monkey mind, etc. I am a three-legged man. There’s me and my constant critic, joined at the hip, here.
I don’t intend to do anything about it except observe it. Paint it with awareness. If it were divine, it would prove to be eternal, permanent. If it isn’t, it’ll disappear. “This too shall pass.”
I’m grateful for this inter-regnum, this hiatus in world events. I’m using it to enjoy a few days of as-close-to-meditation as I ever get these days.
But then I forget and remember and forget that awareness is my path – self-awareness is my part of that path. I have agreed to remain self-aware as bare, minimal membership in the awareness path.
And as I clean up my apartment, expecting a friend over in a few hours, my critic is having a field day: Criticizing the order of my cleaning (this first; no, that first), on length of time for any one operation (too slow, too fast), on my confused state (but look why I’m confused), etc.
Constant critic forever disapproves of what I do. And I can’t get rid of him.
This is certainly no fun.
Can this constant critic be the source of things not being fun in my life? Does constant critic take all the fun out of things?
Let that be the testable hypothesis I run in this next experiment in awareness: Does the constant critic add to my enjoyment of life or take away from it?