Saturday, December 15, 2012

an ill-fitting, poorly-designed, too-tight suit...,

The Personality that we all acquire receives the impressions of life. But it does not transform them because it is a dead machine. If impressions fell on Essence they would be transformed because they would fall directly on real and vital centres.

Personality, which is the term applied to all that we acquire, (and we must acquire Personality), translates impressions from every side of life in a limited and practically stereotyped way according to its quality and associations.

The Personality in this respect is sometimes compared in the work with a secretary who sits in the front room, dealing with everything according to her own unexamined ideas. She has a number of dictionaries and encyclopedias and reference books, etc. round about her and rings up the three centres—that is, the Moving, the Emotional and the Instinctual centres—according to her limited ideas.

The result is that the wrong centres are nearly always being rung up.

This means that incoming impressions are sent to the wrong places and produce the wrong results.

A man's life depends on this secretary(Personality), who mechanically looks up things in her reference books without any understanding of what they really mean and transmits them accordingly without caring what happens, but knowing and feeling that she is doing her duty.

This is our inner situation. What is important to understand in this allegory is that this Personality which we all acquire and must acquire begins to take charge of our lives. And it is no use imagining that this only happens to certain people. It happens to everyone. Whoever we are, we find ourselves, through self-observation, possessed of a certain small number of typical ways of reacting to the manifold impressions of incoming life. These mechanical reactions govern us. Everyone is governed by his own set of reactions to impressions— that is, to life—whether he is revolutionary or conservative, or good or bad in the ordinary sense.

And these dead and mechanical reactions are his life.

Mankind is mechanical in this sense.

A man has formed in him a number of reactions which he takes as himself and his life experiences are the result of them.

If you can relax enough physically, and drop away mentally from all ideas of yourself (which is mental relaxing) you will be able to see what I mean. You will see that, as it were, there are a number of things below you—namely, external to you—that you keep on taking as yourself. In such a passive state you can see them dimly.

At first sight they seem to be above you.

Immediately you tense your muscles or begin to talk you become them.

They become you or you become them, and off you go again.

But you must not try to do this exercise too much at first.

Actually they are like little grasping machines that insist on taking charge of you and demand that you should enter them again. They are set in motion by this "secretary"—that is, by the habitual way this secretary responds to impressions.

And the reactions which follow you take as life. You take your typical and mechanical reactions to impressions as life.

You take your reactions to a person as him or her.

All life—that is, outer life, which is what you usually think "life" is—namely, what you see and hear—is for each person his or her reactions to the impressions coming in from it.

It is a great mistake to think that what is called "life" is a solid fixed thing, the same for everyone. '

No one has the same impressions of life. Life is our impressions of it and these can be transformed.

But as was said, this is a very difficult idea to reach, because of your identification with the machinery of Personality and loss of connection to Essence.

You cannot help thinking and feeling that the machinery of your Personality gives you reality. But because of this, your real and essential inner life remains dim to your subjective experience.

To establish a point in the work, to make it more real than life, you must observe yourself and make your innermost life of thoughts and feelings a fact more powerful than any "fact" given by your Personality.

This is the beginning of transforming.

One cannot transform anything in oneself if one is bound up in that tight ill-fitting suit of Personality.

The work teaches that if you are negative it is your own fault. The Personality teaches that it is this or that person in the outer world, that you see and hear by means of your eyes and ears, who is at fault. This other person, you will say, because he or she does this or talks like that, is to blame for your thoughts and feelings about them. But actually, if you are made negative, what you have to work on, what you have to observe, is this negative emotion projected from your Personality into your inner life—that is, into the inner invisible "place" where you really exist. Your real being is in the inner invisible world of yourself.

2 comments:

makheru bradley said...

Hopefully she won't try "Gangnam Style" like the dude in Britain.

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