Reflected Self

Jim:    Excuse me, are you talking to yourself?  That’s wonderful.  If you’re a bit taken aback by that thought, or those words, please listen on.  The only requirement here, the only ticket you have to buy to this world is honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try.  Consider this podcast as an amusement park ride that thrills and titillates.  However, unlike an amusement park ride – which ends and takes you back to the mundane and normal, this one never ends.  This is a journey and an adventure where we seek treasures such as serendipity, synchronicity, creating reaction – creating oneself, not finding oneself, and experiencing life in an explosion of consciousness.  In order to do this we help you suspend self-conception.  We help you deal with thoughts and emotions and use them as the vehicle.  Use their power to become your authentic self.  We ask you to learn how to Fish Without Bait, a life without definitive expectations.  And, definitive expectations are formed by ego, which is the subject of this podcast.  We move from ego into authentic self, and authentic self participates in life through full-impact mindfulness.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, producer and co-host of this program, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, we talk much about one of the goals of Fishing Without Bait and Full-Impact Mindfulness as self-realization.  We talk about our real inner self, which is the goal of full-impact mindfulness.  And, to do that we have to connect the dots – finding keys to unlocking doors, and finding our inner selves and releasing it.  So, Mr. Mike, tell me – when you hear the word ego what do you think?  Tell me some common phrases that are associated with ego.

Mike:    With ego, in my head it’s big-headed, really into yourself.  I guess over confident.  

Jim:    Sure.  He lets his ego get in the way.  He needs taken down a notch.  I would believe that when most people hear the word ego, or are asked about it, they think it is something that needs to be taken care of – a bad thing.  So, according to our sometime friend, Sigmund Freud, the ego is part of the mind that compromises and deals with – it’s the mediator between the external and the internal self, as well as the super ego.  And, of course, the id’s the center of the primitive that drives the immediate gratifications, the impulses.  The superego is your moral, ethical self.  And, the ego is the mediator.  Mike, are people born with an ego?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    Of course not.  Does a child come into this world with any awareness of his own self?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    I’ll ask everyone out there, what’s the first thing that a baby is aware of?  Of course, the world outside his body.  When a child opens his eyes, what does he or she see?

Mike:    Light.  

Jim:    Light.  A caregiver.  A mother.  A father.  The outside.  So, Mike, your ego develops as a reflected awareness of an individual’s environment.  Consider that, Mike.  Reflected awareness of your environment.  We often talk about mirrors, do we not?  

Mike:    We do.

Jim:    Indeed.  Generally all we know about ourselves is what others’ perceptions of us are.  And, again, Mike – is this our authentic self?  Is this our real self?  Is it our real being?  No.  If you grow up in a non-validating environment – people constantly criticizing you, second-guessing you – how do you feel about yourself?  

Mike:    You’re second-guessing yourself.

Jim:    Indeed.  So, Mike, an ego is an accumulation of life experiences and perceptions.  Many people believe that the ego has to be destroyed or it has to be taken away.  It has to be deflated.  I’m going to challenge that.  I’m going to insist that we need our ego.  And, it is indeed our next phase to full-impact mindfulness.  So, let’s talk about society.  Society wants you to fit in, does it not?

Mike:    Indeed.

Jim:    Rules, regulations, morality.  So, Mike, is killing generally identified as wrong?

Mike:    Pretty much.

Jim:    Sure.  Well, of course.  And, morality – remember, Mike, is formed by societies.  If it approves of an action, a thought or a behavior it is moral.  So, if a person kills someone, what are they termed?

Mike:    A murderer.

Jim:    A murderer, of course.  However, if a country is at war, does morality change about killing?  

Mike:    A little bit.  Yeah.

Jim:    Yeah.  A lot a bit.  For sure.  So, remember, Mike – an ego can be massaged, formed, manipulated, and controlled.  What we are talking about is the authentic self – your real self.  The inner being, Mike, and that’s incapable of being manipulated or controlled.  However, Mike, as we’ve often discussed with thoughts and feelings and emotions they are neither good or bad.  And, Mike, neither is the ego.  Remember, the ego is part of our mind.  And, remember, we have this dysregulated thinker inside us.  And, it interacts with the environment and people, places, things, circumstances, and events that surround you.  And, your ego is asked to protect and maintain the view that you have created of yourself through the reflection of others.  Wow, that’s a lot of work, isn’t it?  A big job!  So, what we do in this podcast, Mike, is to try to create what really is reality – to be aware and to write our own story rather than merely reflect society and others’ opinions and beliefs.  So, once again, getting back to Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness and discussion of the ego, our goal in full-impact mindfulness is about self-realization.  We’re talking about our inner selves.  And, when we’re talking about our inner selves, we’re talking about creation – not reflection of others’ perceptions.  When I talk about the observer self as we have so often in the past, I’m talking about our inner self.  So, when we’re dealing with our ego we’re talking about walking through life with our eyes wide shut, talking about viewing life simply with our ego.  So, when I’m talking about full-impact mindfulness I’m talking about seeing with more than your eyes, Mike.  I’m talking about seeing with your inner self and your inner spirit.  This is essential.  When we see with our inner self, is our inner self judgmental?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    It’s our ego that has biases and discrimination, and acts on thoughts and feelings.  And remember, Mike, our ego is what?  A reflection of others’ perceptions.  Is a child born biased?  Is a child born with discrimination?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    No.  These are learned behaviors by reflecting others’ opinions of those around them.  It’s important that we fully develop our ego in order to get rid of it.  Sounds like a paradox.  However, it is not.  So, remember, Mike – how often do we talk in terms of full-impact mindfulness being like a butterfly?  And, of course our logo for full-impact mindfulness, the center – which is dark and tight dots together, are considered our ego.  However, when we spread out, our wings spread and become colorful, then we flow into life with our inner selves.  However, we have to start somewhere, do we not?  We start in that center.  Mike, we need to understand and develop our ego as it is our mediator between our inner self and the outside world.  Indeed it’s the ego that is outside – and we need it.  And, when we fully establish our outward self in that ego we can be like that butterfly.  The ego is like the chrysalis, Mike.  The ego is the chrysalis.  It’s the ego.  It’s how we view the outside world.  And, inside when we fully become aware of the outside world, only then can we expend – step out of that chrysalis and transcend into full-impact mindfulness, into your authentic self.  We come out of that chrysalis the butterfly.  Developing an ego and understanding it, Mike, is like having a launching pad where a rocket blasts off from.  If the base of the launching pad is not strong and thick, what happens if you light the rocket?

Mike:    It just shoots off.

Jim:    It’s a disaster.  So, let’s go back to our child being born and not possessing an ego immediately.  So, what does a child seek?  A child seeks self-gratification.  So, by understanding our ego it helps us accept our imperfections and our limitations.  Wonderful things, Mike, and only when we accept our limitations and our ego completely understands what our bodies are and what our personality is, only then can we become awake.  And, remember, this podcast is progressive.  We build on things.  So, when we talk about our inner selves, when we talk about our authentic selves, when we’re talking about full-impact mindfulness, we’re talking about being Buddha awake.  And, you may want to refer back to our podcast Being Buddha Awake.  Also, when we understand the ego, and understand that it is built on our reflections of others’ perceptions of us – of people, places, things, circumstances, and events, we can begin to detach.  Again, referring back to our last podcast, Mike – Addition by Subtraction.  However, in order to subtract, we have to be aware, do we not?  And, again, we build and we work from strength not from weaknesses.  Mike, our inner self is able to make conscious choices – referring back to a previous podcast on Developing Conscious Choice.  If you remember, we talked about questioning everything.  And, by questioning everything we can make conscious choices and decisions.  When we give up the concept of perception, or our perfect life, then we’ll be free.  Remember, it’s our ego that builds up a perfect world from reflecting the perceptions of the outside world – from society.  And, Mike, this is truly the concept of Fishing Without Bait – the opening up of possibilities.  The concept of trusting yourself, Mike, is so important.  And, when we operate and walk through life simply on ego we’re walking through life with our eyes wide shut.  When I’m talking about the inner self, when I’m talking about the authentic self – and in the beginning of the podcast I started off with talking to yourself, the observer self, the true inner being that will endure.  Mike, I’m going to end this podcast with an admonition that in order to fully Fish Without Bait – to fully participate in life with full-impact mindfulness and to pay attention on purpose, to bring forth your inner self, to unlock that person, to create it, to be free, is to be free of altering substances.  For some of you out there you may not want to hear these words.  However, hear the words I do say: Using mind-altering substances is an inappropriate response to life events.  It’s an undeveloped ego that needs to be massaged and cared for.  To care for a child.  Remember, in order to fully – what I would call transcend into your authentic self we have to have a developed ego.  This is a subject we’re going to address in earnest.  And I’d love to get some feedback on it. I’d love to incorporate this mantra in your life as I have in mine.  And, this mantra is I am clean and sober all the time.  My thoughts are strong and clear.  I’m confident in the decisions I make.  When you truly believe this, when you truly incorporate this into your life, this is your authentic voice.  This is your real self.  And, when you develop this let the world do its worst.  When you incorporate this into your life I challenge you to tell me what you cannot do.  I challenge you.  Do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Forgive yourself and forgive another.  Namaste.  

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