“If I do not like who I have become, can I change it?
And if yes, then how?”
As I have shared with you repeatedly, learning to ACCEPT myself for who and what I am has been a huge challenge for me. I have been struggling with a low self-image and a low self-esteem for ever and a day. And, since it took me such a long time, energy and personal power to get here, I won’t perform now a 180-degree turn in order to shoot myself in the foot via doubting whether I like who I have become! LOL.
HOWEVER, is the concept of liking or not who I have become the ONLY incentive for change?
Let us examine the following aphorism:
A GOOD HUNTER WILL CHANGE HIS WAYS WHENEVER THE NEED ARISES.
If one just remains in reading the words of the above aphorism, one will fall into the trap of finding the aphorism SIMPLISTIC instead of SIMPLE. It is only once we begin to work with the aphorism, that its hidden truths begin to be-come revealed to us. It is not the purpose of this posting to analyse the aphorism, so I shall only refer to the layers that are relevant here.
The first thing that I noticed when I began working with it, is how superbly it cuts to the chase:
We do not concern ourselves with whether we like or not who we have become, we do not care whether we like our personality or not, we do not care whether we like our life-circumstances or not in order to decide to change any of the above; because such incentives for change are hooked on MOTIVE.
Therefore, IRRESPECTIVE of all the above, whenever LIFE manifests a NEED, whenever a need arises, then CHANGE is the inevitable decision, the instantaneous outcome of being awake and LISTENING to our HEART! And a most important, as well as a practical implication here, is to be able to ask ourselves the right question.
The first question that came to my MIND was: Change WHAT ways?
In all honesty, the moment I posed that question to myself, I felt stuck. I had made the miss-take of trying to work with the aphorism intellectually, without implementing it in a real-life challenge. It felt as if I had fallen in a LOOP.
Again, the purpose of this posting is not to narrate my “history” of working with the aphorism. So, to cut a long story, being in the above loop I came to realise that I had lost touch with my heart; at the same time, I felt cut off from whatever knowledge I had managed to acquire till then. Despite this realisation, I continued to feel stuck when trying to answer the question: Change what ways?
Then I recalled that Théun wouldn’t tire repeating that more than half the battle won is when the apprentice learns to attach the proper question to the challenge at hand; and it was THEN that I realised that I had thrown myself in a loop via posing an invalid question. So, the question for mySelf became:
WHAT does it MEAN to CHANGE ways?
Once I viewed change from this angle, things began to “click” for me.
The first insight I had was that, as we know from the teachings, I do NOT know myself! I simply have no idea regarding who and what I am. The question “change what ways?” pre-supposes that I do know myself in its entirety, that I have the full picture of ALL my ways and I’m looking for aspects to change. While the question “what does it mean to change ways?” sets me on a journey of self-discovery and on a redefinition of “changing ways”.
The above insight brought me then face to face with my potential, both the unmanifested one as well as the unrealised one. The real-life circumstances that’d make a NEED arise, would bring me in touch with the potential I am meant to manifest in this life-time.
It took me a while to share with you the CONTEXT of my practical example for this month but I felt that it has been necessary.
Anyway, I have already shared in previous monthly themes, how the first lockdown caught me off guard. I had been suppressing a lot of emotions and a lot of feelings. When in mid-September I found myself in a Greek island, something I felt was necessary for me in order to shift the focus, looking back I realised that the main source of having a bad MOOD, was the fact that I kept repeating to myself via my internal dialogue that I wanted “my life back”.
I had been contemplating on all my favourite things that were missing, like going with friends and loved ones in our favourite restaurants, bars and coffee shops; like taking long walks in the old city of Athens without having to ask anybody’s permission; like going through my daily life without a mask, and so on. In a nutshell, I had been placing the FOCUS on what I could NOT have. So, not only did I end up flirting closely with both depression and the victim mentality, but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I manifested MORBIDITY.
I decided there and then to USE the above knowledge as a point of reference for the future; because it was obvious that the covid/lockdown challenge was far from over.
At this point, I wish to pause and share with you one of my favourite metaphors from the teachings; a metaphor used by Castaneda’s teacher, the being known as Juan Matus:
“Human awareness was like an immense haunted house. The awareness of everyday life was like being sealed in one room of that immense house for life. We entered the room through a magical opening: BIRTH. And we exited through another such magical opening: DEATH
Sorcerers however were able of finding still another opening and could leave that sealed room while still alive. A superb attainment. But their astounding accomplishment was that when they escaped from that sealed room, they chose freedom. They chose to leave that immense haunted house entirely, instead of getting lost in other parts of it.
Morbidity was the antithesis of the surge of energy, awareness needed to reach freedom. Morbidity made sorcerers lose their way and become trapped in the intricate dark byways of the unknown.”
A couple of weeks ago, the Greek government implemented a second full lockdown. This time, I anticipated the challenge and I felt that I was more prepared to tackle it than the previous time. I was also determined NOT to suppress anything that might be coming up but, on the contrary, to work with everything I’d be able to register.
However, I was not clear what sort of NEED was manifesting in order to contemplate on “what does it mean to change my ways”. I decided not to rush things and to start opening up to the world around me in order to register what was coming up. One of the first things that I noticed was that the wish “I want my life back”, which I had manifested during the first lockdown, was not my own “invention”.
It had been a manipulation tool at the hands of BB; subtly but firmly the general public was being “flooded” with a sense of nostalgia for the lifestyle we used to have. And the message was very clear: If, eventually, you want your life back, you have to do as BB dictates. That was evident, not only in the mainstream media propaganda. Actually, that kind of propaganda, is the easiest manipulation tool to spot; quite besides which, I do not own a TV set for years now nor do I buy newspapers.
Apart from the “loud” propaganda there are subtler ways to present us with predetermined occurrences, “parading” as real-life challenges, in order for us to RE-ACT as per BB’s agenda. Like, for example: Do you want life to get back to “normal”? Then come, accept our new “Frankenstein” vaccine!
I was suddenly very clear:
I do NOT want my OLD life back! WHY? Because I do NOT need that life!
And by “old life” I am referring to my lifestyles of the past; because when it comes to TRUE Life, no one may take it away from me and therefore no one may give it back!
So, which is the NEED that has ARISEN, which demands that I change my ways? Which is that NEED that’ll bring me in touch with my potential? I could not possible verbalise it better than Théun:
“But all in all, and as you can see, you do not really have a choice, even though for all of the time up until now your reason has managed to convince you that it is your right to have a choice. However, as you can also see, none of us really have choice. The most choice we can ever hope to have is in getting to choose what colour shirt we are going to wear today in facing our challenges. Beyond such trivialities we have no choice. We have ONLY the NEED to survive long enough in order to learn how to get to the NAGAL.”
My lifestyles of the past and my OLD patterns have served their purpose. I refuse to be manipulated by my own sense of MA into wandering, into being LOST in the rooms of a haunted house! I consciously choose freedom, I choose to en-brace my full potential; which IS my Dreamer’s gift as well as Its challenge!