One of the easiest ways to gain awareness around the hidden aspects of yourself that are actively creating in your life is by realizing that all outer stimuli only serves to awaken what’s alive within you as correlated qualities. As inherent aspects of us are activated and brought out by others, they form the basis for what type of reality and experience we create as a result. This is because our psychological makeup is comprised of unconscious, semi-conscious, and conscious aspects that interact in relationship with each other to produce our perception of reality. All aspects of ourselves that we’re fundamentally unaware of (don’t own or acknowledge) still play an active part in creating our perception of reality and others, and can be known by learning to observe our own “reactions” to them. As we’re stimulated by something outside of us it activates the same qualities and patterns inside of us, and they start playing out as the means of creating how we experience whatever it is we’re reacting to. When we keep our attention focused on whatever it is that’s stimulating us instead of what’s happening inside of us as we’re being stimulated, our own unconscious complexes remain elusive and hidden from us. This idea is commonly represented in Esoteric Sciences as a “veil” that hangs between two pillars (aspects of the mind) and keeps the underlying reality hidden from us.
Once we realize that anything we form a reaction to outside of us is showing us hidden aspects of ourselves that are normally vague and feeling oriented, we can learn how to use it as a mirror for seeing our own soul. We can see it as a tool for working with parts of our self that normally operate in an automatic and unregulated manner to create in our life. The outer sphere of our conscious awareness is structured, held together, maintained, and animated by our mind as a “whole”. We can become aware of our unconscious aspects because they form a natural part of our outer awareness and what it is that we notice and react to. This idea is represented in philosophical mathematics (algebra) by the fact that we can realize unknown parts of an equation by how the exist in “relationship” with known aspects of the same equation.
Every “quality” is an “energetic vibration” that’s polar in nature, and forms all of our natural characteristics. A characteristic has both an active (aware) and passive (unaware) component that “act on each other” to stimulate each other into an active and expressive state. The passive and latent (feminine) aspect of our character is a “magnetic receptor” for its active and projective (masculine) counterpart. All vibration as a quality of consciousness has a metaphorical pattern inherent in it that produces the “type of reality” that’s analogous to the qualities being expressed. As we bring certain aspects of our character into active expression, they have natural behaviors inherent that “run” automatically to produce a specific type of experience as a form of theme.
When qualities that make up our character remain hidden from us we can’t “see them” as they truly are, but when they’re activated by their complementary opposite in our outer environment and rise-up in an active state, we can become aware of them by “observing” them as they play out within us. By removing our attention from the outer source causing it and placing it inward and watching our own thoughts, emotional activity, and what automatically starts running through our mind, we can gain great insight into our own psychological makeup. As we learn how to observe our own internal activities while in a reactive state, we can begin gaining awareness around how it is we came to develop them and what memories they’re associated with. The subconscious mind runs in an automated fashion through the patterns provided as memory that are married to an equivalent emotion.
The Nature of Judgment
One of the most powerful mirrors we’re provided with through introspection comes by way of how we judge others. We all judge others in the same way we were judged “by” others, and come to judge ourselves using the same criteria. In order to form a mirror into our own soul, we have to create as objective, neutral, and detached perspective and mindset as possible. We have to remove all “personalization” from the process and observe our own thoughts and tendencies from a neutral and detached perspective. Judgment, like all activities born out of perception, comes in two basic ways: one as a process of true evaluation that’s based on facts being demonstrated and used to make good decisions formed out of “sound judgment”; and the second comes as a “value judgment” formed out of a kind of classification as an opinion that assigns qualities to someone that are not readily being demonstrated by them.
Value judgments make something good or bad based on a biased opinion rather than an observable fact. Value judgments that are designed to tear people down, make them inferior, and make them into bad people by the story we tell ourselves about them, are the ones that provide us with the greatest insights into our own hidden nature. This is because we judged those same qualities in ourselves to be just as bad, which is why we denied having them and refused to express them. As we deny having certain qualities and desires or tendencies, we repress them, and lose direct awareness of them, while they still remain a fundamental part of our character and continue to operate in a subliminal manner. As we render ourselves unconscious of our own undesirable traits and tendencies, we continue to project them onto others and react to them in a pronounced manner.
As you find yourself reacting to someone by judging them in a harsh and detrimental way, detach yourself from your own dialogue and the story that starts running through your mind, step outside of yourself momentarily, and witness it instead with a neutral attitude. As your story about it starts automatically running through your mind, don’t restrain it in any way, and allow it to play out while silently watching it. As you let it unfold without censoring or modifying it, see what it’s about by letting a natural chain-of-association to occur. As it plays out internally and you watch it from a detached perspective, you’ll start associating the same characteristics to other people, ideas, and behaviors of the same nature from your past, and you can begin to see how it originated through an event or series of events of the same kind where those traits and behaviors we’re actively expressing through a complementary dynamic of some kind.
As you tear someone apart and belittle them through what you tell yourself about them, notice how it makes you feel, and ask yourself what it is that’s “motivating” you to do this. What’s “in you” that’s somehow being fulfilled through this type of mental activity? What need is involved? How do you use this dialogue and perception as the means of shaping yourself to be the opposite? What does this judgment and story “allow”? What is it attempting to explain or describe or justify? Allow yourself to go fully into the feeling that’s motivating it and allow a free-flow of memories that are associated with it. As you penetrate the unknown aspects of your own psyche, a natural process of unfolding occurs as a synchronized series of memories that will eventually take you back to its roots. Once you can objectively see the root cause, you bring it out of the shadows and into the light of self-awareness. Once you’re actively aware of how and why you formed these judgments, they no longer operate subliminally in an automatic, knee-jerk fashion, and you begin resolving them.
All character traits, behaviors, and activities are “appropriate” when used within the proper context. Usually when we disown traits it’s because they’re expressed in an inappropriate way or through activities that bring us face-to-face with moral issues that cause a dilemma. By realizing that we disowned traits because of how they were being expressed in certain situations, we can ask ourselves what an appropriate use would be and in what way we could utilize those traits to create in a productive and desirable way. Once we associate the character trait to its appropriate use and expression, we can integrate the characteristic and behavior congruently into our paradigm through the experiences it brings, and we no longer project it onto others while reacting to it. All healing, no matter what form it takes, always involves returning to a “whole state of being” where we’re fully self-aware and conscious of our own actions and create consistently in a responsible manner.
This same process as a tool for self-awareness is available to us anytime we’re forming an emotional reaction to someone or something. An emotion being outwardly expressed by someone acts to stimulate and bring out that same emotion in us. By realizing this and removing our attention away from what’s causing it and turning all of our attention to what’s happening inside of us, we can gain new forms of self-awareness. All memory is formed out of events that have a strong emotional impact on us. The emotion associated with an idea or activity is what shapes our experience of it through the story we told ourselves about it that gave it the meaning it has. Emotion serves as a triggering mechanism for memory that was produced out of that same or similar emotional state. In a like fashion, as we think about and replay memories in our mind, we activate and bring forth the same emotional state that we were in when we created the memory.
As we’re triggered by something emotionally we instantly search our memory bank for all memories of the same kind, and the memory selected based on the emotion associated with it is used as the pattern for producing “automatic behaviors” in the current event or situation. We form our reaction out of an unconscious state as the reenactment of the same idea of the past and use it to create more of the same type of experiences in the present. Emotion is the motivating force of the subconscious which creates in an automatic fashion by using the preset patterns of memory. As someone is acting angry with us or in the immediate area around us, it activates a sympathetic response in us and we either become angry also, matching it, or we become afraid, based on how we reacted to those same feelings in the past. All responses are ultimately pre-programmed in us through the memories of our childhood and continue to provide thematic patterns for creating consistent experiences of reality as adults.
Anytime we’re being stimulated inwardly with an emotion being expressed around us or projected at us, we’re provided with a mirror for examining the unknown (disowned) aspects of ourselves formed out of and as a result of that same emotion. By removing our attention from the cause and placing it on the effect it’s producing “in us”, and we simply witness the activity taking place, we can gain new realizations about ourselves and our life. We can see into the memories associated with the emotion and begin resolving its magnetic grip over us. We can resolve the issue by following it all the way back to its roots. Once we find the root cause of a tendency formed out of an event, we can gain new awareness from within the event that changes how we experience it. Most of what we call “core” memories were created out of an unconscious state while we were children and served to provide us with the thematic templates for creating more events and experiences of the same type as adults. By simply reviewing these core memories from a different (adult) perspective where we remain fully aware of what’s happening and why, we evolve them by learning how to tell a new kind of story about them that makes them mean something different.
Using this same process of introspection and self-reflection we can learn how to observe our own habitual, redundant and repetitive thought processes that run constantly in an automatic and spontaneous way. While we can do this with any of our random thoughts, whenever we’re feeling stressed, anxious, upset, irritated, annoyed, and so on, we can gain deeper insights into our own mental complexes. We can learn how to see the “type of story” we’re always in the process of telling ourselves about what may be the most ordinary things. Through a regular practice of self-reflection and observing our own mind, we can begin realizing the theme to all of our commentary and inner dialogue.
Another form of habitual thinking comes by having conversations as a means of playing out ideas to predict possible outcomes as a form of “preconceived idea”. Whenever we’re anticipating something, especially if it’s important or meaningful, we “rehearse” conversations and play out possible scenarios in our imagination. We do this as a way of being able to not only predict the future based on the continuation of the past, but also as a way of practicing composure in order to lead or somehow control what happens and direct how it transpires. By learning how to let habitual thoughts play out in an unimpeded way while simply watching and contemplating them, we can gain great insight into our formative conditioning. By recognizing our own conditioned tendencies we begin realizing our own insecurities, fears, motives, and relationship patterns. We can begin recognizing how we form our identity by the stories and dramas we’re programmed with and run in an automatic and fluent manner.
Anytime we form an instant reaction of any kind to an outside stimulus, it’s providing us with a mirror into the hidden aspects of our own soul. The reason an active force being expressed around and therefore transmitted through the air enters into us and causes an equal or greater reaction, is because we possess the same quality and trait in its passive and latent state. The active is projected outward and transmits through the atmosphere and seeks out its passive aspect of the same pattern. Complementary aspects seek each other out through a magnetic attraction, and when they meet, they copulate, and work harmoniously to produce the same reality as a co-creation. The passive component of the same pattern is “magnetic” and “draws in” the active by serving as a receiver and transducer for it. Once they’re connected as one, a pattern is activated and they produce offspring as a shared reality and joint experience of the same type and kind.
By removing our attention from the other person and whatever is stimulating us in any situation and placing it on the internal activity produced by it as a feeling and emotion, we can “see” the behavioral pattern associated with it as it begins playing out within us, and we can see things about our self that normally elude us. As we bring what’s vague, elusive, and hidden within us out into the light of direct awareness, and gain whatever realizations it provides us with as a result, we can own and fully embrace them. As we begin seeing them with full awareness and clarity, they’re integrated into our mental paradigm as an energy that’s brought into balance as a harmonious state, and we “heal” ourselves of it as a result. We know when we’ve honestly looked at our own reactive and habitual tendencies because they no longer affect us. We still see them as a normal part of our outer environment without reacting to them or being controlled by them. When we no longer form a pronounced reaction to them, we’re no longer serving as a magnet and an unconscious receiver for them. As we integrate fragmented and disowned parts of our self, we become “whole” and begin creating in an aware and conscious manner, and we transform our life as a result.
Dr. Linda Gadbois
Transpersonal Psychologist, Mind-Body Medicine Health Consultant, and Spiritual Teacher
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