The first guidance I received from ThÃ©un was in his reply to my question about my son.
I had realised that there was no warmth in our relationship. There was also a situation where my son was earning a very good wage every week at a young age. However, he was drinking and gambling this money as fast as he was earning it.
ThÃ©un told me that my son's behaviour was due to his sense of unworthiness. ThÃ©un also told me that my son was mirroring to me my own sense of unworthiness.
He asked me how I felt when I came to meet all the people at the retreat for the first time. I replied that I was nervous. He laughed and said that I was shaking in my boots. He explained that the reason I felt nervous was because I was afraid that these people would recognise my sense of unworthiness. He told me that I need to understand what is causing my sense of unworthiness. This would give me new knowledge of my-self from the experience.
He went on to tell me that once I had worked through this and had acquired new knowledge, which would be my knowledge of my-self, learned through my own experience, I could then sit down and have a drink with my son, and explain to him how I worked through my sense of unworthiness. This would help to point him in the right direction, and assist him to come to understand his sense of unworthiness.
I learned that the unworthiness, when it first surfaced, was covered up by me in an unconscious way. The way I did this was to develop my sense of self-importance even more than I had already. I was not consciously aware of my sense of self-importance, any more than I was aware of my sense of unworthiness. So self-importance has its roots in feeling inferior.
I have come to understand that self-importance is the active shortcoming of The Dark Jewel 22 which is Egotism. I do not work directly with The Dark Jewels but with their resultant shortcomings. I also learned that, according to the Toltec teachings, the active pole of the Jewels should be regarded as what I inflict upon the world around me. I am listing below some of the behaviour patterns stemming from the shortcoming self-importance. From this list, I can clearly see how I inflict my behaviour on the world around me.
List of some of the behaviour patterns stemming from self-importance: Self-opinionated, arrogant, self-centred, pompous, holier-than-thou, longwinded.
Self-pity then is the passive pole of egotism and the behaviour stemming from self-pity is what I inflict on my-self or what I allow others to inflict on me. I am again listing below some of the behaviour patterns stemming from the shortcoming self-pity and again I can clearly see how I can cause my-self great suffering by indulging in these behaviours.
List of some of the behaviour patterns: victim/martyr, feeling hard-done-by and unappreciated, fear of exposure, fear of being wrong, fear of criticism.
In observing my behaviour patterns stemming from both of these shortcomings, I began to learn and to recognise that when I was faced with a challenge, it was an opportunity to understand my shortcomings, by acknowledging the behaviour and then by not-doing the behaviour. In not-doing my usual behaviour I was responding, instead of re-acting to the challenge.
I learned from encounters within my own family, especially with my wife. When there was conflict between us, the first thing she would do was to challenge my sense of self-importance. This was a defence mechanism she had learned, her perceived way of survival. But she knew that it would bring a reaction from me. I then recognised that this was a mirror to give me the opportunity to see that I was doing the same thing.
The reaction that always came from me was to defend my sense of self-importance. The reason for this defence was because I, unconsciously, was afraid that my unworthiness would be seen by her and also by me. I did not want to see or own my unworthiness. :(
How did I defend my sense of self-importance? I did it by challenging my wife's sense of self-importance. But then as she was also afraid of revealing her unworthiness, she would just attack again by launching another challenge on my self-importance. So the battle continued and at times got louder, but alas none of us gained any new knowledge of our-selves. We were always fighting the wrong battle. :( but LAMOF.
Whichever one of us won the argument boosted their sense of self-importance even more. While the one who lost the so called battle just went to the opposite polarity and felt hard-done-by, and indulged in self-pity and in doing so, inflicted even more suffering on them-selves.
From this, I came to understand that both polarities of egotism are separative. Take self-pity first. When I indulged in self-pity, I was separating my-self from life. By feeling "hard-done-by" or by indulging in "poor me", I was putting my-self in the position of "me and the world out there". I would close down and sulk. I then recognised this feeling as being "I am too good for this to happen to me." Self-pity has its roots in my sense of superiority.
I can get hurt and feel hard-done-by, especially in cases of abuse. Abused people are invariably people who believe that they are somehow better than or more important than anyone else, most especially better than the abuser! So what can I expect with an attitude like this? Self-importance will attract challenges that will cause us to feel humiliated in some way.
I was also separating my-self from life when I engaged in my sense of self-importance. In indulging in the behaviour stemming from my self-importance, I was being "better than". Being "better than," whether it is conscious or subconscious, is arrogant. How can I have humility when my behaviour is showing me I am arrogant? So when I find arrogant behaviour in one aspect of my life, I can be sure that this behaviour is present in all aspects of my life. Every time I indulge in this behaviour, I separate my-self from that part of life which I think I am "better than".
In recognising this, I also began to learn humility. I began to see that the challenges that come into my life are opportunities to recognise my shortcomings. By identifying the behaviour stemming from my shortcoming, I can change and begin to transmute my shortcoming, (a lifetime's work).
I am not any "better than", or any "less than" any other aspect of spirit, whether that aspect of spirit is another human being, an animal, an insect, or anything in the universe. There is only one life and we are all units of that ONE LIFE. And all of life is inter-related, inter-connected and inter-dependent. We are all here on the physical plane to learn about our-SELVES and each interaction between us provides an opportunity to get new knowledge about our-SELF.
We all wrote our own scripts for this lifetime. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we will all begin to evolve our awareness, and in doing so, fulfil the purpose of the Unspeakable in the TIME we have now. :)