Not My Thouths
Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?
Mom and dad have separate realities. They (along with coaches, clergy, teachers, scout leaders, peers, and many others) feed us impressions, which form our belief systems and operating values. Mommies and daddies in other parts of the world are feeding different beliefs systems and values (shoulds) than ours. Every Mommy and Daddy is different; therefore, no two children see exactly the same reality or sets of shoulds. Then, we get all upset over the fact that they do not see the same things on their screen as we do.
These impressions and experiences are stored in the filing cabinets of the brain as memory. Throughout my life, every experience I encounter gets stored as an impression (slides in the slide projector). Then some stuff that I didn’t encounter, but think I encountered (snubs, injustices and other products of my imagination) also get stored as impressions
When I awaken in the morning, it takes a few seconds for my senses to get into motion. As the psyche begins to realize that I am in a conscious state, the dispatcher (ego) will begin to retrieve slides from the memory bank and present them onto the screen as “reality”. We recognize the images on the screen as “thoughts”.
Now it is important that we recognize these thoughts are just impressions that others have fed to us about what a good little American, Catholic, White, Upper Middle Class, Baby Boomer, Male needs to think or do to get the love and approval of mommy and daddy and all the other humans that we encounter.
None of these impressions have anything to do with truth . . . they are simply the beliefs and values of those (good intentioned) folks who have had a hand in our upbringing. Not only are they not true, but by the time we retrieve them, the slides are so old and dysfunctional that the image on the slides has become faded and scratched. As a result, the psyche fills in fantasies of its own, which have nothing with truth or reality. The real Gary gets covered up by layer upon layer of impressions that were given to him by others.
The problem stems from the fact that I grant complete authority to the ego and accept everything that it throws onto the screen as “Reality”. It is not. In fact, it is a complete distortion of reality. Then the ego slaps labels on everything and starts judging everything and paints this picture of this frightening hostile world.
Because I have nobody to tell me differently, I walk around all day believing all that nonsense that appears as images on the screen (thoughts). I’m walking around all day creating my reality from these out of date, whacked out thoughts.
So later in the day when I get the urge to go outside and spend time with nature, the old should machine cranks up and starts feeding thoughts like “a good father and provider should be busy earning a new car for the family”. In that instant, I experience “suffering”. That suffering takes the form of fear. Fear that I’m not living up to all those shoulds. The fear eventually convinces me that there is something wrong with the real me and “I’m defective”.
The real Gary has to keep giving up what he wants to be, do, or believe as long as he listen to the thoughts of the ego and gives into the fear. Then one day a spiritual teacher plants the impression “Nothing really bad happens to you if you don’t listen to those thoughts . . . there is nothing to fear. You always have been safe and you always will be”. Hmm . . . for the first time since I was an hour old, I begin to see the unfiltered reality. A whole new world opens up and finally the real Gary springs to life, unafraid.
I’m just starting to get to know him . . . and he would like to get to know the real you.