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EXPLORING THE 2 MODES OF THINKING

Navigation Strategy: Keep an open mind, you are on a path leading to a vantage point that enables you to see with new eyes.

Stay open and "go with" the journey. If you spend your time, using your Ego's eyes, analyzing and criticizing the concepts presented, you will miss the journey entirely. And remember! this journey is NOT about finding the truth or something to believe in; it's about finding new glasses with which to look at reality. You will still have your old glasses to use whenever you choose.

The previous leg of the journey, Climbing the Mountain, distinguished the two selves at a sketchy level. Now let's add another layer of meaning. The goal is for you to "grok" the meaning of the words , i.e., to intermingle with the information, to merge, to know intuitively, to have FELT MEANING for... ("Grok" from the book, Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein).

 

 

Text relating to the Ego self is blue... Text representing the Essential Self is pink.....  

 

PLUMBING THE DEPTHS

CONTEXT

 

Definition of context: the framework that forms the setting for an event, statement, or idea, in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed; it structures the paradigm, the system of beliefs that shape the way you perceive reality; the window through which you view your inner and outer world; the boundaries that shape your perception.

 

DUALISM: THE CONTEXT THAT FRAMES THE THINKING OF THE EGO SELF

Dualism: A system of thought that regards a domain of reality in terms of two opposed or contrasted aspects.

Dualism is the context that structures the Ego's perception of the world. Through the frame of dualism the world is seen in terms of opposites, i.e., our thinking is fundamentally structured by either/or thinking. Either you are for something or you are against it. You either win or lose. People, ideas, and circumstances are either right or they are wrong, they are good or they are bad, .

The Ego interprets people and circumstances from a programmed set of beliefs, i.e., its paradigm, consistent with this context. Personal belief systems are derived from this dualistic context. Therefore, the Point of View (POV), the "box" that thinking resides in is consistent with the dualistic way of thinking. It is difficult to entertain ideas that fall outside that box.

Just take a look at your thinking. You will notice that it is fundamentally dualistic and that it structures your ordinary/ conventional view of reality. The issues of the day are seen in terms of who or what is right or wrong. Wars are fought over opposing ideas. People fight and die to be RIGHT (and not WRONG). Some people would rather be right than happy. The Ego is programmed to make itself right and others wrong.

We live in a world where our thinking is trapped in the dimension of Egoic thinking and we truly cannot imagine any other way. The book, FLATLAND, does a great job of getting this point across. In the book, a being living in Flatland, a two-dimensional world, cannot even imagine a world of three dimensions. The Ego lives in "Flatland" and cannot see the World Beyond Ego, a world that is perceived from another context.

SEPARATE: viewed as a unit apart. Viewed from the context of duality, we see ourselves as separate. From this perspective there is l/ Me and the world of others/objects that are separate and distinct. "We are Separate" is a basic assumption of the Egoic mind and that assumption shapes our view of reality. We live (spend one's life in a particular way or under particular circumstances) in an Ego-created world. All you have to do is notice your thinking about people and the world around you to validate the idea that we think of ourselves as separate. It is our totality. Who we are from the egoic perspective IS separate. It bogles the mind to try and think differently.

The notion that "We are Separate" is a fundamental assumption of this dualistic system of thought.

 

 

ONENESS:THE CONTEXT THAT FRAMES THE THINKING OF THE ESSENTIAL SELF

ONENESS/HOLISTIC: characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately connected and explicable only by reference to the whole; a state of Being; the interconnected web of life; the domain of Consciousness.

ONENESS is the context in which the Essential Self perceives the world. (This context allows for awareness of the intrinsic value of all that exists.) The holistic thought system does not see things dualistically, as good or bad, right or wrong. It looks at the world from a different dimension, a dimension beyond the 2-dimensional world of opposites. In a manner of speaking you might say it is 3-dimensional. For example, seen through the eyes of the Essential Self, LOVE does not have an opposite. Love/Hate exist in the dualistic thinking mode of the Ego and are dependent on the circumstances. The feeling of love/hate results from an egoic interpretation of the person or circumstance. In the Ego world, love can change to hate, or vis versa, by a simple change in interpretation. LOVE in the World Beyond Ego is a state of being, it is not an emotion brought on by a reaction to people, objects or circumstances. It is an energy field independent of the circumstances. It is a state of Being. (Entertain this assertion: Who we are when we are being our Essential Self IS LOVE!  More about this in the section (Coming to Be Your Essential Self}.

The notion that "We are One" is a fundamental assumption of this holistic system of thought.

ONE: Identical/same/united/an integrated whole.

 

                                        THINKING PROCESSES

Now let's look at the thinking patterns of the 2 selves.

LOGICAL

 

On this journey the term "logical" is used as a general category which includes different thinking patterns of the Ego self, (discussed below) that are characterized by clear, sound reasoning i.e., rational thought

 

PATTERFNS IN EGOIC THINKING

Rational/Reasonable

Judgmental

Hierarchical

Analytical

Causal

Linear/Sequential

Exclusive

Horizontal (Past/Future)

Programmed

 

Just pay attention to the little voice in your head to see the Egoic mind in action. That little voice is there 24/7. Jon Kabot Zinn, in his book, COMING TO OUR SENSES, describes the thought content of the Egoic mind as obsessive, repetitive, many times inaccurate, disturbingly unrelenting, toxic, and sabotaging. In other words its thinking does not promote your best interest AND we identify "IT" as who we are. The question we are exploring is, "Who are we beyond Ego, beyond Egoic thought?????" First, you have to be able to identify egoic thoughts as they occur in the Theater of your Mind.

Let's look at some typical Egoic thought patterns:

"She has really bad taste in furniture."
(Judgmental)

"They don't belong in this group, they lack the education.
(Hierarchical/ Exclusive)

"I bet he did that because he was mad at her."
(Inferential)

"It was raining and the slippery surface is what made him fall."
(Cause/Effect)

"l thought because her friend was coming she would be here."
(Rational/ Reasonable)

"We will figure out what made that happen, let's lookat the facts."
(Analytical)

"First, we will clean the house, grocery shop, and then fix dinner.'
(Linear)

"He will never be able to get over this."
(Prediction based on assumptions)

 

We don't have to spend a lot of time describing the Ego's mode of thinking because it is going on inside our heads, in the Theater of your Mind, all the time. To make the distinction experiential, it is important to begin to notice the thoughts that run through your mind as often as possible. (Just notice and label the Egoic thoughts: observation takes you one step out of the Egoic trap)

ORGANIC

The Essential Self (ES) sees patterns and systems. It uses processes to create harmony and peace. Grounded in the context of Oneness, the Essential Self perceives people and events from a wholistic point of view, from another dimension, in a different energy field. It uses organic processes which are characterized by breaks in the boundaries of reason, allowing for higher-level perception.

 

Organic: denoting relationship between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of whole.

 

PATTERNS IN ORGANIC THINKING

Recontextualizing

Creative/imaginative

Acausal

Unprogrammed

Intuitive

Transformative

Grounded in LOVE/ONENESS

 

Coming from the context that "We Are One," our way of BEING is accepting, egalitarian, compassionate, generous, grateful, etc. Who we are Being is aligned with all the characteristics of one who is Beyond Ego (discussed in the section, Coming to Be Your Essential Self). This is a state of BEING that enables us to be creative and transform the dramas created by the Ego, and  look at the world with fresh eyes and enjoy a new awareness of who we truly are.

(In this higher dimension we are connected to a greater intelligence which can express itself through us?)

Being aware of the 2 separate modes of thinking/processing, we can identify when we are in Egoic mode of thinking and when we are in the Essential mode. We can begin to notice our Egoic reactions to people and circumstances, beginning the process of breaking free of the hold the Ego has on our lives. It is important to note that getting free of Egoic reactions does not happen overnight. It takes vigilance and knowledge of how to disengage from Egoic thinking. Information about the practice of breaking free of Egoic thinking is discussed in the section, Transformational Games.

The next part of the journey, Noticing your ego in Action is designed to distinguish, in more detail, the thinking patterns of the Ego.

Remember when you make a distinction, it brings something new into existence. So, by distinguishing the Essential Self from the Ego self, we bring the Essential Self into existence. That is the purpose of the Journey and we are on the way. 

METAPHORS/SIMILES

Metaphors and similes are literary tools that add depth and color to your understanding. They both compare unlike things. Check out the examples below.

(The words metaphor and simile are used interchangeably on this journey.)

Example: LOVE IS LIKE A ROSE

If you explore how they are alike, both:

need care and attention

are hardy but also delicate

are hard and thorny, yet soft and smooth

bloom and die

grow from a seed

blossom

Notice how the simile adds new insights into the meaning of love.

 

 

AM/FM Radio

The two modes of thinking can be compared to AM/FM radio bands. Each mode has a separate and distinct frequency band, The frequency level of the Ego mode, i.e., the energy/feelings/ emotions we have in our body, ranges from depression to excitement (Based on an interpretation of the circumstances). The energy field of the Essential Self ranges from peace/acceptance to enthusiasm. (Distinct from the circumstances).

When you really "get" the distinctions being made on this journey, it will become apparent that it is possible to choose your energy level. (This possibility will be explored in the section, Distinguishing the Ego's Energy Field)

2-D vs 3-D

This metaphor helps illuminate the proposition that the Essential mode of thinking exists in another dimension

The book FLATLAND, by Edwin A. Abbott, depicts a 2-dimensional world where inhabitants only see 2-dimensions. In the book, one of the citizens of Flatland goes to Spaceland (a 3-D world). When she returns to Flatland, she finds that she cannot describe the 3-D world she visited to the inhabitants of that 2-dimensional land. Since they have no experience of the 3rd dimension, any attempt to describe it could not be understood. Likewise, the World Beyond Ego cannot be comprehended from the "2-dimensional" world of the Ego. It takes looking through the eyes of the Essential Self (having vision) to see the World Beyond Ego. (To be explored in the section, Through the Looking Glass)

When we are trapped in the dualistic mind set of the Ego, we can only see the world as it is perceived in 2-dimensions (either/or). When we can shift out of the Egoic mode of thinking into the higher dimension of the Essential Self, we have an expanded view of reality and are free to respond to things in a new and creative way.   Egoic thinking is a tool that is absolutely necessary for our survival.  The problem is that it has taken over and structures our perception.

Meaning Making Machine vs Context Creating Machine

The Ego is constantly interpreting the meaning of everything and reacting unconsciously and automatically to people and situations. These interpretations are based on its belief system. (As individuals, we identify with our belief system and consider its premises to be true). Many of these beliefs are invisible, i.e., not available to our conscious mind. The Ego's beliefs have rigid boundaries which are difficult to penetrate.  Information that contradicts these beliefs tends to be filtered out.

One school of thought is that the Ego takes the position of being right in order to survive, which makes it difficult to surrender a position. Which could explain why some people will die to be right.

(Take a look at what's happening in the world today from this point of view.)

The Essential Self does not make meaning. From this higher- level perspective one is aware of the many possible meanings and can respond consciously and deliberately to a situation rather than reacting automatically.

One way the Essential mode can dissolve the Ego's negative interpretation of a situation is by recontextualizing it rather than attacking it. A new context changes the way circumstances are perceived. This idea will be explored in more detail in Through the Looking Glass.

Masculine vs Feminine

The terms masculine and feminine in the context of this journey do not relate to gender, but rather to characteristics of the two modes of mentation. Ego thinking is termed masculine: being right, competitive, and aggressive and taking a win/lose stance. The feminine mode is more inclusive, nurturing, more holistic/systemic, cooperative and having a win/win approach.

Trees vs Forest

The old adage, "you can't see the forest for the trees," fits an aspect of the Ego mind which focuses on the details, while the Essential mind sees the big picture and/or from another context. (The Ego self focuses on content; the Essential Self focuses on context. David Hawkings again.)

WAYS OF BEING

 

The Ego self and the Essential Self have two distinct ways of being. The Ego's way of being is explored in the next part of the journey, Noticing Your Ego in Action. An exploration of the Essential Self's way of Being happens in the section, Coming to BE Your Essential Self.

ENERGY/FREQUENCY LEVEL

The Ego's energy frequency is derived from its interpretation of the circumstances.

The energetic state of being of the Essential Self is not dependent  on the circumstances. The awareness of your energy level can be a powerful tool for recognizing where you are=-- in the Ego mode or the Essential mode.

One of the skills needed to move beyond the Ego World and into the World Beyond Ego is the ability to shift your energy. This is explored in Distinguishing the Ego's Energy Field.

TIME

                       The Ego is focused on the past and future.

The Essential Self is grounded in the present moment. The present moment is a portal that can take you into the World Beyond Ego. (To be explored later.)

Can you begin to SEE that making the distinction between the Ego self and the Essential Self can be a transformational experience?  Knowing that distinction can create a shift in consciousness!  No longer do you need to be trapped in the Egoic mode of thinking, you have the freedom to choose your mode of mentation. When seen through the lens, "We are One:" the World Beyond Ego can be envisioned, (We will delve into that in the section, Through the Looking Glass.)

The next part of the journey is designed to further REVEAL the Ego and enable you to notice It's mode of thinking playing in the Theater of your Mind.

 

Click on Noticing Your Ego in Action to get to the next part of the journey.