The Practice of Perfection
In part one of this series we focused on how anything expansive is likely to trigger a sense of inadequacy. In part two we discovered where the sense of inadequacy comes from, i.e. both poles of the relationship blueprint: a child self and a superego. And that at the deepest core of the child self is a collapsed child who feels very inadequate.
We’ve also seen that if we disengage from the superego and this identity and child identity, while not ignoring or repressing what has been buried, but rather feeling it, that there is something that we can call an experience of perfection of ourselves and reality that happens. Not some ideal reality or future fantasy to compensate for our personal mythology but rather reality exactly the way it is. The very “material” of reality that makes up our life, our issues, material objects, our presence, is experience as perfect. Everything is exactly as it should be, exactly perfect, Whatever form it takes.
Tonight, the opportunity is to deepen your practice of this. We could call it “reality immersion” or corework or meditation or non-thinking or non-reactivity or non-grasping or seeing things as they are or non-dual awareness or whatever. We can look at it as a practice, or something that we get the knack for and do intuitively, or the natural flow of things when we let things happen, etc. There are many ways we can interpret this process or practice but none of them will be absolutely definitive. Rather they point to something that first we learn, then we become, then we realize that we were all along
I’m going to describe it tonight in steps because that’s useful for human beings. And I think the steps will be useful for us because they take into account our psychology, our spirituality, and how our minds tend to be wired up today.
The first step that I’m going to describe, I call “incubation”. Incubation is sitting with something deeply, really feeling it, letting it incubate within oneself so that we’re really with it. What this does is it breaks the chain of reactivity; we’re not trying to do anything about it. In other words were not getting in the way trying to force something to happen. Instead something begins to happen on its own. A chicken lays an egg but it doesn’t make the egg hatch. Something much deeper handles all of that. Incubation is getting out-of-the-way and letting something deeper take over, but it does require our involvement or participation in the form of surrender or full feeling or acceptance. For example if you almost got a big raise or promotion at work but didn’t get it and felt very disappointed, incubation would be sitting with that, feeling that, through and through, noticing what comes up. You’d probably find something like a deep sense of disappointment, some superego punishment, a striving self, memories associated with these types of experiences, etc.
The next step is metabolism. Metabolism is the ego structures becoming reorganized based on what’s experienced, seen, felt, etc. For example, you might notice that the sense of disappointment is exaggerated, then that might lead to noticing that you are being hard on yourself about not getting the promotion, then that awareness and feeling might activate compassion and a greater understanding of the system of your ego. From there the system begins to rearrange itself, this is the metabolism. One likely change is that you would become less attached to things like promotions at work. You would be more free. This doesn’t mean that you avoid promotions at work; it simply means that that fixation is lessened. Metabolism is a reordering that happens ‘on it’s own”. We participate through our feeling involvement and understanding and possibly some inquiry, but the actual reordering is done by intelligence greater than an individual’s intelligence. For example, the most experienced dietitian or scientist could not tell you every detail of how food is digested or make that happen, or even get anywhere close. The neurology of the brain where the relationship blueprint or ego is largely programmed and altered is far more complex than even our digestive system. The number of neurons and how they interrelate is staggering. Trying to forcefully control that system is simply not possible.
Incubation and metabolism require some type of letting go, but also a certain type of leaning into a situation. And the inquiry or understanding that’s brought is not forced in any particular direction. This is why it often happens when were extremely relaxed, Perhaps between being asleep and waking up in the morning, or while going to sleep, or taking a nap on a spring day in the grass. One is more willing and trusting to let things go the way they want to go and one is more likely to be willing to lean into whatever is being experienced.
The final step is the dissolution of the ego structures themselves. Dissolution is a good name because we can interpret it as dissolving or the end of illusions. Of course, one retains ones memories and is informed by the past, but the system of identification and meaning that one had built up in one’s ego or relationship blueprint is abandoned. It’s not that we forcefully abandon it, it’s that it is experienced to be untrue, we realize that we are not that ego. Our past doesn’t define us, we are not limited by what our parents thought of us, for example, and our strategies are seen to have been put together largely by a child in response to whatever difficult circumstances we encountered. So the mind or ego becomes a resource, a set of capacities, instead of where we identify or where we look for meaning in things.
Not getting the promotion at work doesn’t ultimately mean anything about us. It simply is what happened and we can take the natural next appropriate step, whatever that might be. Perhaps we inquire about another position or perhaps we let it go, etc. It doesn’t traumatize us because were not playing that same old song or identified as that same old singer. You’re not the hero or villain in your personal mythology, rather you are perfectly real, as is everyone and everything else… remember this makes you sexy!