posted on May, 24 2013 @ 12:59 AM
When you grew up and became the person you are now, do you remember when it was that you changed? At what time you turned from an insecure child, into
a self sustainable adult?
What I mean to say is, in most kids, the expression of self is concealed behind a static interference. You don't quite understand the world yet - the
world of adults in particular. What causes this person to move this way and speak this way and act this way? Beneath everything
we do, there is some mysterious organizing principle. Some force which unconsciously directs consciousness along a particular path, according to a
particular flow and rhythm, to select these particular words in this particular order. We know the feeling of what this is like. It happens through
"inspiration" - we become in-spirited by some "thing" - out there - in the void, in the unknowable preconscious realms. In a Portrait of a Lady,
Lord Warburton speaks a truth: "Yes, that's the bore of comfort...we only know when were uncomfortable". Outside of self reflection, we could feel
like automatons, functioning semi-aware of our own existence. Were moved as soon as the puppet master pulls on the string. The strings of your heart
billow with every energetic spur, every release of glutamate across your synaptic cleft translates as an excitatory emotional experience. A desire to
look left, is done in a certain manner, modulated by a particular neurochemical. You're not often aware of this, because, when we act, it is
only a pin-point of consciousness which is brought into activity. The rest - the process towards the completion of the act - is outside your
awareness; yet it is done in a masterful way, a way that only feels right when it happens without your conscious interference.
Through self reflection, a greater percentage of consciousness is brought into the minds awareness. In neuroscience terms, the pre-frontal
dorsolateral cortex is activated whenever we self reflect or engage in any type of behavior regulation. The "I" takes hold of the vessel, shines a
light on the landscape of the inner self, and assesses the terrain. Any unseemly thing, a thought in response to an inappropriate situation, a desire
to insult the uncouth waiter, awaits reflection here. But as Lord Warburton noted, it's also here that discomfort lies. When we feel pain, for some
reason, there's a greater temptation to reflect upon it. We get derailed from the "flow" of things. We step off the train of life, and wallow in
the swamps of self-pity. Anxiety and depression dwell here. The great temptation of this state, is the slowness of it. It's paradoxical. A greater
part of your acknowledges the vivacity and clarity of self transcendent states, like happiness, laughter, or even anger, which tends to draw the self
outside it's emotional confines. But another part, the Ego, recognizes itself alive, as apart of a grander, unfathomably complex and convoluted
system. What works me? What causes me to move when I act? It reminds one of the matrix. Forces besides me seem to organize my thinking, my movement,
my life - whereas I, the self, the experiencer, accepts the limitations. What are these limitations? They are limitations in one sense, in that they
constrict our awareness, but on the other hand, they are the material of a good and healthy spiritual existence. Meaning - goals - interests - drives
- ambitions. These are the content of our thought. This is what preoccupies when we move to go towards the candy machine. A simple thought emblazons
the mind, the body moves, avoids oncomers, or any other obstacles in between point A and point B. But are you aware of these movements? Not to the
same degree as you would be if you were anxious. In anxiety, the mind is stripped bare: the architecture of the mind is exposed. The building is not
just a beautiful conglomeration of glass, but also of beams and side beams, intersecting, lining, dry wall, ducting, etc. The building is stripped
bare, and the world is seen in a way completely different from before. It's the difference between night and day: at night, rod cells become
activated, a completely different retinal cell is responsible for our vision of the night.
The two sides of life could not be more opposite from each other. A mere glutamate verse GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) difference in the brain, but
in life, it is two different worlds of perception. Being moved by emotion - living in the flow of existence - is enlivening, exciting, exhilarating.
On the other hand, you temporally remove from perception awareness of the "I's" objective standing, as seen by other eyes - from the social
arbiters of culture. This is a delight, but for the anxious self, entrapped by the emptiness and knowingness of it's daily experience, it is hard to
So do you remember when you made that shift? When Johnny became John? When you dropped the archetypes of childhood for the archetypes of adulthood?
How old were you? How did it happen, in retrospect? The chief impetus, obviously, were those people around you. You picked up there behavior patterns
- their attitudes. Not consciously, of course, but intuitively, you "understood" how those states could be engaged and how the self could adopt
those self images. It was acted out in comfort. The more you played this part, the more enforcement other people provided "hey, we like you!", the
more this image - and the neurochemicals which support it's conscious expression - became integrated into your sense of self. This is a transition
that occurs in most kids between the ages of 12 and 16, but can come earlier, or later. By age 21, most people have made this transition. They have
taken on the psychological garbs of adulthood.
It's amazing when you think about it. The way we live - in a world - the rigors of the environment we live in, and the clothing we need to put on to
protect ourselves from the harshness of the elements. There is a metaphor here. The barrenness of an anxious mind, devoid of the clothing of emotion -
and the intellectual accoutrements of self image - is too rough. We can not live or grow without the clothing. Life is seemingly the same, monotonous,
without the diversity elicited by emotion. Were so used to this, it's so natural, and yet, as the only being with the capacity to reflect on the fact
of it's own existence, perhaps the chaotic void - the inherent roughness of nature, forces upon us the fact of lifes chaos. Anxiety precedes Living.
Anxiety prepares us for the formation of a world, according to OUR own terms.
Not every person is so lucky to come out of those early years with the "gift" of an adult psychology. The anxious in particular are forced to build
their own self, as opposed to having it develop without their conscious intervention.