The ability for Man (Human) to think, to comprehend, to plan...the use of language (think about the time before language), to be able to know "I" (Ego), has brought him so far, evaluated him to his supreme position to rule over all other creation.
This is both a gift and curse. Carl Jung drew allegory from the story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, to the birth of the conscious portion in the human psyche. Now, Man seems to know what he should or shouldn't do, and he tries to control himself.
The moment Man became conscious, there was a split within him. Just like Adam & Eve became ashamed and have to hide, there is now a hidden, shadow.. the unconscious part.
Fast forward to today, Man place great emphasis on intellect, the ability to rationalize, "Logical" thinking (How are we really logical?). In science, we want things to be measurable, observable, and predictable.
Man became conscious-centric, just like people in the past believed that the universe circle around earth.. Man today over-valued the Conscious. He forgotten that there are great forces that are operating, thought he can't see, or chooses not to believe of their existence.
Through the ages, this unseen, unobservant part of human psyche, the Unconscious has been villainized, thanks to pop culture (Probably due to Freud notion of everything sexual, and of primitive urgesin the unconscious), Man feel that He is too "civilized" to want to recognized that aspect of himself. Much like Adam shame.
We often think we are very rational, and logical. (No, there are tons of psychology, marketing, social psychology research to suggest why we are not as independent as we think).
GET TO KNOW THE UNCONSCIOUS
From the Analytic Psychology perspective, the Conscious and Unconscious are not "good" or "bad", but much like the Ying and Yang, they are both part of human psyche. The Keyword is Balance. In my own understanding: when either has not been sufficient, the other compensate. Problem arises when Man fail to recognize that, and try to "consciously" exert power over the unconscious.
If this continues, Man grew further away from Him self. Lots of problems occurs when He is not aware of what happen within his psyche. He is not a whole being.
He need to start to be aware, that it is not whether the universe circles around sun or earth to only focus on that.. but to see that He is the Universe with many moving planets circling around each other, and that is always in motion.
ON SPIRITUALITY (No matter what form of faith)
There is a pattern in Nature on how things are usually done. Nature love to have things to begin in their smallest form, and from "inside out".Think of seeds, trees growing, impregnation, birth, metamorphosis... Transformation are usually inward first, then outward.
Spirituality also, in my opinion, is the same, for example, first the person has to accept by faith on the Word, then understanding will come later. First receive the seed of faith,. then the "fruits of the spirit" will grow. I will say that a person can never become spiritual if he first try to understand intellectually, or try to rationalized the experience. It must be bottom up, within out.
What I have observed is that many religious people are trying to spread and teach their followers through appealing to the Conscious part..They try to use their brain, their intellect to understand the spiritual meanings... I wonder how deep can their "seeds" grow, if it's only sown on their consciousness (But, you know that's only the tip of the ice berg in human psyche).
ON SELF DEVELOPMENT
Following that thought, I think the impact of Self help books are limited, if one seeks for only Quick fixes - It will be like trying to cover the cracks on the wall with plaster or facade wall, when the foundation is sinking. For example, to work on one's confidence, or in dealing with anxiety issues. The same transformation, breakthrough must first come from deep within, then the outward behavior will be changed and long-lasting.
First, strengthen the foundation. Then do your renovation.
(By the way) I have also been thinking about why do guys in my community, myself included, often become so obsessed with the outward physique, spending time in gym....hair styling, and wearing nice clothes (nothing wrong of course!), but perhaps, for whatever reason, we are even more "eager" to deny our unconscious, to pretend that we are all well, and "conscious". Yet if only develop our biceps, and not all aspect of ourSelf - Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Mental.. Conscious and Unconscious.. we may feel "stuck"..
Man is already very Conscious-Centric. We neglected other aspect of our Self, the hidden, deeper forces, Unconscious. Today's technology is not very helpful either, i think it's making man stupid and not thinking.
On the internet, we become too individualized (Personalized search), and seeing only what we like to see, we are becoming more and more divided. In future, there will be two groups of people, those that are able to reflect, to withdraw from the 'norms', and think holistically, those who understand what makes Man, the world ticks.."those who are in the world, but not of the world".. and those who are IN the world,...feelings and behavior are unaware even by themselves, but excited over new toys (but never wonder why).
When I suggest we understand ourSelf.. It shouldn't be a very "brainy", intellectual exercise.
Today, once again, Nature taught me a lesson on Life.
I got the following revelation.
I was walking in the park, and I saw that there are some plants that grow on other plants,
they crawl on the trees, and suck nutrients off their host.. how rude! How lazy !
I wonder if those trees mind about it, wonder if they feel angry..
The more I think about it, I feel angry, unjust for those big trees. How can they be bullied by sucker and still stand there quietly!
Then as if Mother Nature has spoken, she said to me;
"Everything got it's place and it's purpose in Me,
you see, those tree..
In Me, there are different species of trees,
they don't get confused of their identities, like people,
a tree is a tree, a shrub is a shrub, they don't try to be something else they are not.
each member got it's own place in nature.
You see, those trees, they don't mind if there are other crawlers on them.
Tell me, what are the functions of a tree?
They have leaves for shades, bear fruits to feed the animal,
give up their wood for man.. they are the lungs for the earth.
All the plants are important, and serve different functions.
But, to a tree, those giants are just happy being a tree !
As long as a tree is doing it's job, it is at peace with it's self.
And having peace is most important, when you don't know what is your purpose, you don't have peace.
Everything got it's time,
tides, the moon positions, seasons.. rate of growing..
You can't hurry a plant to grow up.
Only by providing an ideal condition, it will grow by itself,
It is in it's nature, to grow,
good fertile ground, enough sunlight, also need to watch out for pest, and diseases,
over time, the plant will grow..
some grow very fast initially, and slow down..
and there are those which grow very slowly initially but will be giants!
and then, there are crawlers..
So, don't get angry.. be at peace.
Be who you are in this universe,
fulfill your purpose, and you will have joy, and
Mother Nature will be here watching."
(Matrix: There is no spoon)
I think human's ability to have thoughts, differentiated him from animals. I think animals are more reactive, behavior are motivated by instincts drives, flight or fight. and they live moment to moment. from one instinct to another. But, at least they are mindful. Look at dogs, they live their life mindfully.
Earlier humans, maybe are also like that. But as he evolved, and "progressed", he became better and better in planning and expecting problems (but he still succumb to older drives and instincts at times). Then, there was language, in the transmission of thoughts among humans. With Words (Written or spoken), he shaped the external world around him.
With Language/Word. it is possible now to come together to build civilization (Tower of Babel). By calling out things by name, they give the unseen shape and form. (Thus labels are powerful) giving objects, thoughts and feeling power. Playing with Words sometimes.
But that is also a curse on man. More and more, human beings do not live "in the moment" anymore. All the thoughts in his mind, draws him away from his immediate moment into the future or the passed. This universe-giant-mass-orgy of thoughts influencing one another that is happening.
The world is about the spread of ideas, and thoughts. and adapting each others thoughts.
I think most of our sufferings are mental, in the mind, and is brought on by all this unceasing, continue streams of thoughts in our mind of "what ifs", and "if only". And man tries to rule over his inner mental world with the same method as he rule over the external world - by using (rationale, "logical") thoughts. But. we are illogical.
What if, the answer for all mental agony and suffering are not about changing or suppressing those thoughts. but to have no thoughts? Yeah. just nothing. for once. nothing in the mind. Empty?
Thoughts are simply thoughts... they are passing clouds in the sky. drifting leaves in a river. if we do not give it power. then it's powerless. If we do not hold on, or become attached to them...they just passes away. then it's powerless.
Because we are so out of touch of our inner world, we get so afraid when stuff from the sea get washes up onto our beach of consciousness ... and anything unknown is scary, so we name our feelings, or thoughts ... and by naming them, we some how gives them a shape, and form. a certain "presence".. . and that become somethings we need to "deal" with. What if, there is no sea, no consciousness, no beach, nothing is being "washed up" ?
Then we end fighting with our shadow. We wrestle with ourselves. We choke ourselves. We do not understand all those stuff that is happening inside our head is all us. How can we fight ourselves? Is there a need to compartmentalize ourselves?
The mind, there can be sunshine and sunny beach, and stormy thunderstorm in the open ocean with massive tsunami at the same time. Earthquakes, and green grass, bird singing at the same time. One second, the sky was clear, and the next second, fire and whales falling off the sky. then suddenly, it's all sea and sea gull.
I wonder, do animals have this experience?
If thoughts are simply thoughts, then we simply need to feel it, see it. then let it go. just "touch and go".. No need to be to concern for them.
I think the more thoughts we have, about anything, the more interpretations, the more feelings about feelings, thoughts about thoughts. that is when we get into trouble. It become foggy, hazy, and we get lost in the cold, wet swamp. The more he try to analysis his thoughts , the farther he detach himself from this moment, and get "lost in his thoughts".. and become persuade that he knows it all. Silly. No one know it all unless he live all human's life, and lived in all places, in all life time.
You need a clear, loud bell of mindfulness, to wake you up. to ring through all that fog, to bring you back to this very moment. Then you can feel the sun's warmth,and see the light penetrate though the fog. look at your hands, feel your body postures. and breeze blowing away the drowsiness in the mind. Then you realized you have wasted time in your head.
It's like, instead of arguing which junk food is healthier.. simply stop eating junk food!
Get out of your head.
Just came back from my 6th Annual In-Camp Training. (See last year entry)
On the 16th of April, I read about the Boston Marathon Explosion incident. Now, as a Citizen, a Solider and a student taking a module in "Security in International Relations" for my International Relations graduate diploma all at the same time.. such event does makes me worry, and pray hard that there will never be the need to be call upon to fight.
Although Singapore is relatively safe, and I am thankful that we haven't had any successful terrorist attacks so far (although there are fail plots in the past) we can't take our sovereignty and security for granted. Many of us are not aware of what is happening around the world, events militarily or politically taking place daily that may affect our lives. (Even simple issues such as drinking water.)
We are sheltered.. we live in Tupperware.
Handwritten. Moses Hng
I enjoy it.
What a wonderful performance! <<粉墨春秋>>
I am so glad that I went to watch 粉墨春秋 (Opera Warriors) by the Shan Xi (I think is 山西艺术职业学院华晋舞剧团) yesterday at Kallang Theater. I only wish I have bought a more expensive seats to be closer to the perfomers.
All of them so professional.. Oh my god.. the music, the lights, the expressions.. each body movement.. their skills (splitting leg).. I laughed.. I teared.... It was such wonderful! I felt so satisfied after the show.
Now, I have a new appreciation of Beijing Opera.
Some of the media I found online. (I love the theme song).