Category Archives: ego

I can’t keep things nice… Is that true? (A Byron Katie Worksheet.)

(Current mood setting… Vetiver incense… Thank you Molly Sorice… And Aphex Twin ambience… Thank you Skot Jones.)

Yesterday, I sold my car…

Image

And while my car was–just another thing, an object that I wish to detach myself from, an object I wish to remove associative pronouns from, e.g. instead, The CarThe Cadillac, ridding myself from my attachment to it– it is very difficult.

The Car
The Caddy

I was left with a feeling of sheer upset, a nagging sense that something else was wrong. What was it? Why was I feeling so horrible about this? I know that I no longer want a car. I know that I would much prefer the bus and have already purchased my April pass so that I may travel freely about town as I wish without having to pay more than a car would cost and, to boot,– I would be doing my part in environmental care.

So why the empty feeling?

Let me back up…

Why do I even have to sell the car?

Two years ago, during the, “2010 Pittsburgh Snowmageddon,” I had the thought in my mind that, “it’d be fun to see how the Caddy handles in the snow,” and decided to travel from Bellevue to Shadyside to Bellevue. Which, in total, is roughly 18 miles of driving.

I had made it to Shadyside without issue. I even made it back to Bellevue, within blocks of my apartment, without issue. And then it happened…

Damned warning signs...

I couldn’t have, possibly, been going more than 10 MPH at most. But when I hit that bridge, I may as well have been doing 80.  The Caddy did the old, “Kansas City Shuffle,” and the rear end went right while the front went left. A complete 100 degree fishtail into the wall of the bridge in the passenger lane.

(I’m still thankful there were no other cars on the road at the time.)

The front of the Caddy was almost completely destroyed…

"The frame damage alone," they'd said, "is going to cost you more than you paid for this car..."

I know– it doesn’t look like much. But we’re talking about a 1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham D’ Elegance and I swear, searching for replacement parts for this car, you’d think they only made 10 of them, and only 5 were still good and I had 1 of them while the other 4 were in Florida.

I knew that I was without option at this point– the Caddy needed to be sold– I couldn’t afford what was needed to pass inspection.

I posted a sentimental add on Craigslist.com asking the potential buyer to, “take care of her.” And I did, actually, pass up a few offers because it sounded as if the person had minimal, to no, intention of maintaining the integrity of the vehicle.

Finally I found someone who was not only a mechanic but also someone who knew Caddies fairly well. I could hear the excitement in his voice, “oh, I can fix that, yeah, I got the tools at home, can’t wait- I want that car, seriously, I’ll be by in two days to give you cash in hand for it.

And so he did just that, and my Stela (her moniker for how incredible she was– you see, Stela, with only one L, is an anagram for Tesla while simultaneously something I can scream at a woman who no longer desires my street car…)

So I went, cash in hand, to the bank, made a deposit and said goodbye to Stela.

I walked into my house with Kitty and fell sullen, depressed and in danger mode. Train wreck mode. Soon, I knew, a depressive episode would come upon me– I could feel it.

I put on a, relatively, terrible movie and decided to, “veg out,” alone with my favorite wine

And then I heard it… Mr. Ego… Mr. Hidden Within…

“You really… Just can’t keep anything nice can you?”

God, shut up, shut up. Not now, I don’t want this now, I can’t… Not now… Not after I just sold the best car I’ve ever had… Not after I ruined my car…”

“Look around you… Look at the black scuff marks on your ceiling… Look at your iPhone- it’s cracked… Look at your body for christ’s sake- it’s a piece of shit and everything is broken on it.”

I can’t take this, not now, not while I’m still mourning the loss of my car and mourning the loss of the future with her.

“Remember when you were a kid? What, 8 years old? Dad let you wear his letter jacket from high school and you jumped a fence– snagging its pocket and tearing it?”

“…”

“How about your motorcycle? You left it parked in the street until it rusted…”

“…”

“Your last computer… The Dell… How did you try and fix the fan on it? By pulling the blades off of it with your leatherman? Which you also, somehow broke. Ha. You can’t keep anything nice can you? I mean- nothing! Look at the hole in the wood paneling in your living room! Look at the state of your body! You’re on an electric stim machine now! You’re body’s a lemon just like you made that car into.”

“…”

“Everyone of your ex-girlfriends hate you too, don’t forget about those lives you fucked up. Your dad hates you, your sister hates you, your friends just pity you…”

“Enough!”

“…”

There is a multitude of ways to derail a train…

And when we feel a depressive episode coming on– there are means to getting ahead of your train and laying down trees, cars, cows, boulders or anything in its path to derail it.

One of my preferred methods of derailing my trains is, as I’ve mentioned before, The Work of Byron Katie

Bryon Katie... My Mrs. Hudson.

So… I set out to do, “The Work,” and see what I could learn from this experience. And this post is the process of me going through a worksheet in the moment and not from a copy that I did.

“Don’t do this, you won’t get anywhere with this, this is not going to work and you are going to keep ruining things.”

Use your perceived enemy, to defeat your real enemy.” – Guy Ritchie.

  • I ruin everything that I own, and everyone that I know.

1.) Is that true?

  • As I look around my apartment, I can see a multitude of things that are not only intact but also in very good condition. My Semi-Recumbent bike is something that I’ve been using for a long time and it’s still in perfect working condition–and it’s helped me repair my body. The lamp that I bought from the antique mall down the road is still beautiful and illuminating my living room as I type this- it’s in great shape. My 1950’s radio, my yoga matt, my printing press from 1890, my framed portraits of Billie Holiday– all intact and in great shape. And Kitty loves me, my dad loves me, my friends, I know, love me– and I can’t ruin them, they are all far too strong for me to do that.
  • So… No, this can’t possibly be true.
2.) How do you react when this happens? When you’re internal voice, your ego begins to bully you? What do you do? What do you reach for? How do you stop it?
  • I tend to listen to it and have a drink, or two, or ten. And then I find myself wanting to be alone. I enter into what I call an, “Episode,” what some friends have known to be called a, “Train Episode,” or a, “Danger Night.” I become lethargic, I berate myself, I call myself names, I ask people to leave, to leave me alone, to wait for me to call them. I’m prescribed pain-killers for my spinal condition and when I’m having an, “Episode,” I will sometimes take more than the recommended dose. I try to reach out to people (e.g. dad, Emily, John) but then feel that I don’t deserve their support and I don’t respond to their responses. Etc.

3.) Who would you be without that thought? Without the thought that, “you ruin everything that you own, and everyone you know?” If everything you own and everyone you know were standing in front of you and you couldn’t possibly think this thought– who would you be? What would you think? Who would they be?

  • All of my things would not be my things. They would simply be objects that, well since I can’t take them with me when I die, they would be things that only… exist and that I utilize for the time that I am lucky enough to utilize them. They would all be things that I am lucky enough to be able to spend time using until someone else takes possession of them. They would be objects without ownership. All of these things would just be things, and not my things. I would be altruistic with these things and allow people to use them as they please, I would be helpful to those in need by lending them to people. I wouldn’t believe that things get ruined; because they can either be fixed or modified or turned into art. As for the people who stand before me– I would feel nothing but love towards them, I would trust that they know that my 30 year old story has caused some difficulty in relationships, I would trust them, I would believe in their strength, I would know that regardless of how I treat myself or how I believe I hurt them– they’ll stick with me. I would look at my loved ones, my friends, my companions and I would tell them, “I will always, all ways, do my best by you.”
  • And thus I realize, which is the, I believe, central point of The Work, that it is the thought, the ego, the inner voice, that is causing all the trouble and not the perceived “ruined” objects and people.

4.) Now turn it around, the thought itself… Negate it… And provide examples of why these are more true than the original statement.

  • I don’t ruin everything I own, nor do I ruin everyone I know.
  1. I look at the art on my walls, the art that I have created and I see beauty. These are things that I have not only created but also continue to maintain the integrity of.
  2. My car being sold has required me to tune-up my bike… My bike! I’ve had my bicycle for years! I have kept it in great shape and put at least a thousand miles on it! And I keep it tuned up and oiled. I’ve never allowed it to be broken.
  3. My Rollerblade Twister Pro series– I’ve been using these since college! I’ve kept the wheels greased, I’ve rotated the wheels every 6 months of use. They are still in great shape and I’ve had them for 5 years.
  4. The chair I am sitting on is getting old, very old, and I have fixed it 3 times to where it is consistently useable.
  5. My drill bits are all in their right place.
  6. The desk that I type at was given to me by John Lambert; it was his mother, Donna’s, and after she passed away I inherited it. I loved her more than a blog could express and I keep it, the desk, in great shape. In the front of it I engraved, perfectly centered, the apt word, “Adytum,” and it looks wonderful and describes the desk perfectly. I’ve even modified this desk and added shelves to it and hanging mechanisms for necessary tools and the desk, while cluttered, is as strong as Donna was.
  7. I think of my friend Emily (The Statler to my Waldorf)… Who once said to me, “being friends with you– I knew I was signing up for a team with someone who had problems that I never had– it didn’t stop me from being your friend then, it’s not going to stop me now.
  8. I think of my dad, who would, at the flash of a New Orleans storm, jump in his car to be with me when I am in crisis mode.
  9. I think of Kitty and all her affection each time I’m in a, “Train Episode.” The epitome of compassion… In a scientist no less.
  10. I think of Blake… My brother-in-arms… And how he’d burn red lights and tire treads to be at my side.
  11. I think of Diane, Tiffany, Amy, Jerry, Aunt Wanda and all of my loved ones who have time and again sat with me while I cried and broke down over something affecting me in a anguishing manner.
  12. I think of Skot Jones, the newest of my friends, who has always, each time I called– listened to me or demanded we have drinks and discuss. I think of all the simple things he says that stick with me, “Do easy my friend,” “You have to be the barrier.”
  13. I think of John Lambert and the 11 years he has spent mentoring me and know, that if it weren’t for him, I would be lucky to be alive. (Thank you John).
  14. And I think of how this list, for this turn around, can reach into the hundreds… So I move on to the next.

4… Continued…) Can you think of another way to turn this around? To the self? To the other? If there is an other?

  • Things can’t be ruined, people can’t be ruined.
  1. I’m immediately drawn to cite the Conservation Laws of Physics which states that, “no energy can be created or destroyed, it can only become something else.” For reasons that would take a whole other post, I have a tendency to not believe in reincarnation, but imagine the idea of the reincarnation of objects. A typewriter is destroyed or becomes useless over the years and is taken apart and sculpted from. Calcined clays, calcium carbinate, pryogenic silicas, talc, vinyl, oils, aliphatics, various stabilizers and emulsifiers are all “ruined,” or “destroyed,” to make paint which an artist uses to create something stunning. My car is gone and it has gone to a mechanic who respects Cadillacs and plans on repairing it to a condition that I could not afford to do… My time with Stela is done and she has a new life to attend to.
  2. In October I am eligible for an upgrade on my phone and will be able to afford a new one.
  3. People who have been, “hurt,” by me have, I hope, grown from the experience.
  4. People can not be ruined, they can grow, learn, succeed, thrive. Even if and when they grow heart broken– it’s as Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack, a crack in everything– and that’s how the light get’s in.”
  5. I can’t ruin other people– no one has control over my emotions and actions besides me and this goes for everyone, I simply do not posses this power. If I did– we’d all find beauty everywhere…
  6. Even in death people can’t be ruined. I think back to Robert M. Pirsig‘s “afterward” in his book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” where he, regarding the tragic death of his son, states–

“[…]Now Chris’s body, which was a part of that larger pattern, was gone. But the larger pattern remained. A huge hole had been torn out of the center of it, and that was what caused all the heartache. The pattern was looking for something to attach to and couldn’t find anything. That’s probably why grieving people feel such attachment to cemetery headstones and any material property or representation of the deceased. The pattern is trying to hang on to its own existence by finding some new material thing to center itself upon.Some time later it became clearer that these thoughts were something very close to statements found in many “primitive” cultures. If you take that part of the pattern that is not the flesh and bones of Chris and call it the “spirit” of Chris or the “ghost” of Chris, then you can say without further translation that the spirit or ghost of Chris is looking for a new body to enter. When we hear accounts of  “primitives” talking this way, we dismiss them as superstition because we interpret ghost or spirit as some sort of material ectoplasm, when in fact they may not mean any such thing at all.[…]”

And now? What is the point? What is the outcome? As with each time I complete a worksheet of Byron Katie’s I find myself feeling uplifted. Some say that the idea is a form of, “Circle Logic,” that life requires suffering (which is something I sincerely disagree with).

What I know is that after I complete Byron Katie’s methodology- I feel relieved- I feel the proverbial bricks fallen from my shoulders.

I often do these worksheets in private but wish, due to this being a mental health blog, to emotionally expose myself and do them here from here on forth to share with, and show, others what sort of self-improvement and discovery may come from it.

It does, however, go without saying that those worksheets involving identifiable people will either have one of two things happen; the worksheet will remain in my private handwritten journal or, upon their approval, names will be changed and the worksheet will be done as a blog.

Moreover, I do plan on experimenting with other forms of methodologies devised by those self-help authors, psychologists and others that I respect (See also: Brené Brown, Melody Beattie, Paul Tillich, Seth/Jane Roberts, Bashar/Darryl Anka) and openly posting the results on this blog.

And soon, I will say the next post, I will continue with either the story of my mother or how I had the magnificent opportunity to teach a group LCSI the other day while being given the chance to incorporate my research on ASL facial grammar and the problem it causes due to mirror neurons and microexpressions.

Until next time…

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Attempting to quell the un-quellable… And the guts behind it…

Jason,

I need advice. I don’t want to give myself away through my microexpressions. And I have several. More than most. How do I be more… stoic? Similar to [our stoic friend]? I’ve [learned to control my emotions, I stay away from drugs], I’ve done all of that except tried logic. Do you know of any books on [our friend’s] shelf, or should I library? And honestly, I think there is something wrong with me on a professional level only, I can get emotional about work, and it’s been hard to hide lately. It’s causing slight stress but more of a disturbance in my flow, and my effectiveness.

– [Left to be unnamed.]

I have neither attempted to, nor come across a means to, or desire to, stifle microexpressions. As far as I’ve always understood; a microexpression occurs on account of having to attempt to conceal an emotion in the first place. In other words, a microexpression is a form of a “tell,” as they call them in the poker world. They, microexpressions, occur because the personality, perhaps the id, requires truthful information to be conveyed. If I were to, say, lie about something and I was a person that was apt to convey microexpressions; then a microexpression (a full blown facial expression) would flash upon my face in, approximately, 1/10 of a second.

(And the timing is no guess. When I decided to study microexpressions, I asked friends to lie to me while I filmed them. One friend specifically was, as I knew, disgusted by, and abhorred, cigarettes. I asked her to convince me, on film, that she loved them. When I’d spot a microexpression I would cut that single second out and put it into my computer. The second of footage was able to be broken down into 30 frames. A microexpression of theirs lasted for 3 out of the 30 frames. 1 frame was the initial onset, the 2nd frame was a full blown expression, the 3rd frame was the offset of the emotion. 3/30 frames, in other words; 1/10 of a second. And the expression was full on disgust. To be technical it had a Facial Action Coding Score (FACS) with the Action Units (AUs), 9 (the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi), 15 (the depressor anguli oris) and 16 (the depressor labii inferioris) Amazing! Full blown disgust in one 10th of a second! It’s staggering. Back to the point… I agree…)

I’ve been spending a few days now trying to think of a way to conceal something that manifests as a result of concealment and what I have come up with is that, simply, you don’t.

On the one hand, the more prominent one in this metaphor, there are, theoretically, one is my theoretical and the other is, so to speak, Ekmanomical… Paul Ekman, the one who is widely credited as discovering and working with microexpressions (though technically it was E.A. Haggard and K.S. Isaacs in 1996 who called it “Micromomentary.“) has developed a training tool to learn how to spot microexpressions. (I have taken all of the courses and each are worth it.)

The point is, if it is something that people need to practice at or take a training on; the chances of someone who is of the, for lack of better terms, average individual having taken such a course is, likely, pretty minimal and they will miss them (microexpressions) when they occur.

Remember, we’re talking about 1/10 of a second here!

On the next hand we have those pesky little buggers called mirror neurons. And these are a problem, why? In this case they are anyway… Mirror neurons are what promote and manifest empathy. When I yawn, you yawn– mirror neuron. When you frown, I grow saddened– mirror neuron. When you show anger, I become afraid– mirror neuron. And they exist for a beautiful evolutionary reason. Mirror neurons are where empathy comes from, how we can feel sympathy. So, if a person exhibits a mircroexpression then it is quite reasonable to expect that, since the brain notices more information than we can possibly imagine, the person who sees a microexpression will have a mirror neuron effect from the cause of you making such a grumpy face.

It’s a pickle. No doubt.

(Not to mention the growing probability that thoughts and feelings may be less private than we think or that we are cluttering the noosphere with all the muck and entrails of what we think and feel. Enough hippy side tracking… Back on point…)

Now that we have a bit of an understanding as to what and why a microexpression is… Let’s consider their control. It is reasonable to suggest that you will have to, instead, learn to control your emotions and not your microexpressions at all. Honesty is, as I always say, the best route. Once a friend said to me, “lying–it is something that you can do to all people or no people; your choice.” And, quite frankly, I agree.

Now, sadly, if you attempt to conceal microexpressions there is, then, a good possibility that you will be given away based on three principles–

  1. A Simulated Expression is when a microexpression is not concomitant with a natural expression which will lend suspicion to your conversationalist pal.
  2. A Neutralized Expression occurs when the one emoting attempts to neutralize an emotion (quite like you are doing) and, consequentially, no emotions, where one should, appears causing a non-microexpression-microexpression…
  3. Masked Expression is when the microexpression truly rears its head; that is when you attempt to mask a natural expression then another expression can, and most likely will, give you away.

In other words; you will most likely be fully incapable of repressing your microexpressions and if you do/try you will only lead to more. Not to mention the amount of damage it will do on your psyche. On the path where you are heading I would beg to ask the question, “if you would not do this job for free, then why are you doing it?” Instead is it time to change professions?

If, however, this is a necessary job for the time being I would work on practicing keeping your “cultural emblems, subject manipulators and object manipulators,” at a minimum. These are things that really do cause an affective effect in the person who views them. And these are things that people don’t even need to study in order to spot…

Pesky mirror-neurons…

I hope that answers your question and I hope that I can convince you to watch a video before you leave. The video is a Ted.com lecture by a woman named Brene’ Brown. She talks about allowing yourself to be vulnerable to your emotions and compassionate towards yourself to a point where things like you are trying to do–are no longer relevant. She explains a simple method to trusting yourself and others with whatever emotion is given or received… And furthermore she talks about the power one receives by becoming, of all things, as vulnerable as one possibly can become.

I hope this helps…

If not, you can always hit up a Byron Katie, “Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet.”

To Frau Kelly

An email, from Kelly, dated Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 6:01 PM.

It has been 10 days (typing now) from my last update regarding codependency and suicide,my response is this blog post.

Jason,
“[…]My continued wondering about being present in the moment, and ego[…].”

[…] On ego: could you […] please tell me what you mean when you talk about ‘ego’. I got the freshmen psychology Jung ego-superego-id lessons, although struggled then to truly grasp. Thinking your meaning differs and will give me deeper insight […]

[…] made some notes on Frau Gertrude (spelling). Will send from iPad. Yep, finally took time to properly read! Made some notes about ego as I was reading[…]

– Kelly

Kelly,

Regarding my ego and I, it has been as if Cain and Abel are trapped in a single body. A Janus personality not letting me feel comfortable traversing 3-dimensions. Why?

(I’m, at present, little concerned with Freud’s, “Id, Ego and Superego” ideas and more about the ego itself only.)

What is the ego?

20120131-160421.jpg
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego

I am left to pick out two ideas from the above–

  • First is the idea of rationalizations. These are, definitionally, lies we tell to make ourselves feel better…
  • Second is the idea that the Ego makes decisions that are better for it’s personality in the long run rather than bringing and furthering anguish.

But– the ego is responsible for all the anguish there ever was; there is no external enemy. This I feel and know to be true. I cannot expound enough on the methodology of Byron Katie; its effect, and affect, have been cathedrals of therapeutically opened doors for countless people.

And then there are connections… Katie’s methodology exposes the truth beneath, behind, above, between, below what our perceived anguish is. And where does the anguish come from?

According to Katie it comes from our story, our neural network, our connectome.

In other words; the world is a projection of our story. And it is all connected up there…

Thoughts that fire together, wire together.

Now let’s have a personal example…

Take something simple… Remembering that, “thoughts that fire together, wire together.

A combat boot rests next to me on my bedroom floor, I’m sitting, legs up, staring at my chalkboard.

20120131-171135.jpg

I immediately think of my late brother Ben Bloom. Why? He always wore combat boots and I, miss him often and terribly. There is thus a connection and we begin the neural network of Jason’s thoughts fired and galvanized together.

20120202-103432.jpg

Furthermore, combat boots remind me of Heather… A black clad and mascara sullen goth girl in high school, we shared an infatuation with each other, sometimes in was rough, others beautiful.

It is orientation I want her attention badly enough to hike up my shorts and put my boots on the desk.

It is May, 2001– high school graduation, my Mother refuses to attend.

Ben is my teenage years like drunk parallel lines arm around neck and stumbling into, careening against, the other. My teenage years are linked with heart ache, with love. My mother is abandonment as are many ex girlfriends.

So from a single boot we have the following…

20120131-173510.jpg

And what’s more is that each of these things now are connected to each other…

20120131-173857.jpg

And while this is base example, 11 thoughts wired still and chalk outlined together; it is not nearly complete. The story is hundreds of thousands of these connections… Dynamic and unmappable.

[Tangential theory… I remember once having a random thought interrupt my current thinking. Like a tree lain down on the tracks ahead my train derailed into thinking something else. This happens to me a lot. Like an unconscious Edward De Bono-ian thought exercise of random word mind hacking. Acknowledging this behavior I grew annoyed with my own mind. But I quickly learned that this happens with all people. What if, like a bus right, a flight with layovers, a grocery store with many things to buy; our brain, when leaving a single thought must traverse, pass and give at least an inkling of contemplation to each thought passed? What if these are our “random interruptions? Just the brain passing all the stops it sees as necessary to acknowledge before it’s destination?]

We each have our schemas, our a priori, our judgements. And where do all of these come from?

Well, it’s simple really. Our Connectome, our neural network is a construct of all our schemas, a priori and value judgments.

And where have we garnered these? From our own subjective history.

I talked a bit about all the things I find beautiful that you may not- these are projections from our story.

Ok, now is where the snake swallows its tail, where the ouroboros can only begin to defecate itself back into its own mouth. Not quite unlike the ego does to us.

And so we are back again where we’ve began…

Our Connectome, our neural network is a construct of all our schemas, a priori and value judgments. And where have we garnered these? From our own subjective history.

So, then, who is our spokesman? Which Lorax speaks for the trees we have planted at birth?

I am the Ego, I speak for the story of this individual.

Why then, I wonder, does Freud suggest our ego attempts to make better in the long run what may become anguish? Were does anguish come from?

Who says these lines?

  • I can’t do it.
  • I might fail.
  • I am simply not good enough.
  • I have been here before, this is a mistake.
  • My mother never loved me.
  • All of this is my fault.
  • People don’t like me.

It is our spokesman talking. The head back voice, the every whisper that makes us believe that we’ve said it. Every voice you hear in your head is your ego thinking it knows what’s best for you. But the ego isn’t us. Not when we become conscious of it.

And I am not alone on this…

(Insert slew of relatable quotes…)

“The greatest con, that he ever pulled was making you believe that he was you.”
Guy Ritchie

“The ego is the worst confidence trickster we could ever figure… That we could ever imagine. Because… You don’t see it.”
Dr. Yoav Dattilo

“Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.” – Siddhārtha Gautama

“And the single biggest con is– I am you.” – Dr. Steve C Hayes.

“The problem is that the ego hides in the last place you will ever look; within itself.” – Dr. Peter Fonagy.

“It disguises its thoughts as your thoughts, your feelings as your feelings, you thinks it’s you.” – Leonard Jacobson.

“Peoples needs to protect their own ego knows know bounds. They will lie, cheat, steal, kill. Do whatever it takes to maintain, what we call ego boundaries.” – Andrew Samuels P.H.D

“In religion, the ego manifests itself as the devil and, of course, no one realizes how smart the ego is because it created the devil so you can blame someone else […] there is no such thing as an external enemy. All perception of an enemy is a projection of the ego as the enemy.” – Deepak Chopra

“Your greatest enemy is your own inner perception, your ignorance, your own ego.” – Obadiah S Harris

And now, how do we live in the now? I always default to a Byron Katie quote here when I say that, “nothing before, or after, this moment is any of my business.”

Simply, don’t argue with reality.

This is all the fundamental basis for The Work really. Byron Katie uses what she calls a “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet. It allows you to access all the ego is hiding from you. All the problems it is projecting.

On my bedroom wall, I am reminded, through the Judge Your Neighbor work sheet to…

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And the only enemy, that I can tell, ever existed; is our own egos.

The last time I was in New Orleans, John and I spoke about this. I was convinced that the ego was my enemy, the only enemy there was!

20120131-164248.jpg

I’m uncertain, yet, if enemizing the ego is the way to go though. Or even correct. As of now, however, it makes sense.

John said it is, “simply a voice providing you with information you may learn from.”

But I’ll be damned if I don’t feel like Jake in the elevator scene in Guy Ritchie‘s movie…

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A scene, from which, I shall leave this note with…

In Nola, Pittsburgh and Oz. Sincerely yours,

Jason.

Ps. My first reaction to “enemizing” my ego came in the form of a warning to it.

A Caveat…

Before I crucify them,
bloodied, to lintels, and
agonizing, I drill
pilot holes in my beliefs.

A curtesy only, they are
least deserving of my
kindness. They stand less
a sacrifice than my own omen.

If ever, the savage, ego
were to pass by my home,
he’d take heed lest
he be perched among them.