INVOLUTION; INNER TRANSFORMATION AND SELF-AWARENESS

There’s a mess inside you: You clean the outside.  ~ The Dhammapada

In life we’re confronted with many puzzling, cryptic and complex questions.

Who am I?  Why do I keep making the same mistakes?  Why do I continue suffering so much pain?  What am I supposed to be doing with my life?  Where am I going?

In our slow and tumultuous journeys we come across hundreds of possible answers, and thousands more dogmas, creeds and doctrines that claim to cure our inner sicknesses and give meaning and direction to our confusing lives.

At the end of the day, many of us forget a very simple truth:

Change – deep, long-lasting change – comes from within.

Yet many of us outsource and externalize our efforts in an attempt to change the way we think, behave and interact with ourselves, other people and the world.

This is where Involution comes in.

Involution,  the antithesis of evolution, does not align itself with any particular dogma, creed or religious doctrine, but is rather an experiential practice of life.

The practice of Involution is an all-encompassing philosophy; one that can be observed in the actions of thousands.  From the Sadhus, yogis and monks of the East, to the New Ageists, fitness nuts and self-help enthusiasts of the West, Involution can be observed anywhere in which a person or group of people seek inner strength, understanding, metamorphosis and liberation.

SELF-AWARENESS AS A TOOL OF INNER EVOLUTION

Without awareness, we are not truly alive.  ~ J. Bugental

Are you a self-aware person?  Think about this question for a minute.

How conscious are you really of the many thoughts, feelings and behaviors you exhibit during the day?  If you have a tendency to:

  • Be unaware that your words or actions have hurt or offended another person,
  • Be self-destructive and continue to make the same mistake over and over again,
  • Have trouble identifying what exactly you are feeling or thinking (poor emotional intelligence),
  • Have a habit of behaving without thinking,
  • Have an unclear perception of who you (think) you are,

… chances are that you are low on the self-awareness spectrum.

DEVELOPING SELF-AWARENESS

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.  ~  Pema Chödrön 

Self-awareness is the essential building block of inner transformation because without being aware of who we are and what we do, there is little chance that we can grow to understand why we feel, think and behave the way we do, and thus grow closer to living a life of peace.

To become a self-aware person requires patience and practice.  There are no quick fixes.  There are no immediate solutions.  In order to follow the path of Involution, we must be persistent in our efforts.  These efforts could include:

  1. Paying Attention.

Consider for instance: what you are saying, how this is influencing the people around you, what you are feeling, how this is influencing your behavior, what you are thinking, when your thoughts occurred, what you like and dislike, what makes you happy and what makes you sad.  Paying attention to what goes on inside of you is an excellent way of developing self-awareness.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation.

There’s no need to practice this for even 10 minutes a day.  5 minutes at first will suffice, but in order to make that 5 minutes count, you must make a habit of this practice.  Start ideally first thing in the morning, in a quiet, comfortable place.  Mindfulness meditation is the practice of becoming aware of your inner chatter, in the present moment and letting it pass.  Benefits include increased inner calm and stability, and decreased emotional reactivity.

THE BOAT ON TOP OF THE OCEAN

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. ~  C. Jung

The non self-aware person can be compared to a little boat drifting on the surface of the ocean.  The stability of that boat is completely reliant on the stability of the ocean beneath it.  When the sea is turbulent and chaotic, so too is the boat; cast here and there, to and fro violently.

The same can be said of the non self-aware person; their peace and happiness is entirely controlled by how calm and stable their inner worlds are.  In fact, the non self-aware person is basically a slave of their thoughts and emotions, which is the main culprit for their suffering.

The intensity of the person’s servitude is dependent on the intensity of their inner turmoil.  This is the principle of the Boat On Top Of The Ocean.

FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY

Never become a slave to your own thinking and your own self. Understand that you are continuously changing.  But, in which way you will change is your free will.  ~ R. Papian

It may strike you as an odd thought to think that you enslave yourself to yourself.  But when we lack self-awareness, we perpetuate the pain and suffering in our lives, both within and without ourselves.

Involution can help address these problems.  When we follow the process of Involution,  we realize that self-awareness is an essential building block of inner transformation.

I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey.

3 thoughts on “INVOLUTION; INNER TRANSFORMATION AND SELF-AWARENESS

  1. Cristina, which is your opinion about who is responsible for/from where or from whom it comes the inner chatter?

    • Florin, I am Cristina form Prepare for Change answering you, thank you for your participation on this post.

      The so-called inner talk, or inner chatter as its name says, is a succession of conversations, gossip, acts, etc., that occur in our inner world in the form of thoughts when someone speaks to us or does something we do not like.
      In this case, even if we do not say anything verbally, in our interior we are talking about horrible things about the person, cursing them, humiliating them, etc., etc.

      For example:
      Suppose we work at a desk and doing any task, we make a certain mistake. Then our boss calls us to his room and politely reprimands us.
      That may already be enough for us to be willing to kill him, humiliate him and tell him horrible things, although on hearing his rebuke, externally, we barely apologize for the mistake and calmly leave his room.

      And why does that happen?
      Because, due to the ego, our emotional life is based on self-sympathy. That means that we only sympathize with ourselves, with our beloved ego; and we feel antipathy and even hatred of those who do not sympathize with us.
      The biggest problem is that this internal chatter causes a lot of suffering and psychological wear to the person who is in this condition, because it absorbs a lot of energy and accompanies it all the time.
      In addition, it can bring you problems in the sphere of social relationships as well. A person who feeds that talk is like a bomb that can one day explode.
      They are known several cases of people who were apparently calm and quiet and from the night to the day, they were able to commit terrible acts of violence.

      So what to do in relation to this?
      We have already seen that the inner talk is due to self-sympathy, which is nothing more than a psychological defect. Then the only really efficient solution to solve this is to apply psychological death.
      Then when we feel that unpleasant feeling that occurs when someone says or does something we do not like, we must immediately apply psychological death.
      We must also apply psychological death when thoughts of hatred arise in our minds, to say or do something to a person with whom we do not like.

      In addition, we must also adopt a new mental attitude in relation to this.
      We need to learn to see from the point of view of others, as well as know how to put ourselves in the place of other people.

      In the example that was given, analyzing the case from the point of view of the boss, he acted correctly because his function was to coordinate the work of the desk.
      Also, if we put ourselves in his place we would probably do the same thing, once the boss, like us, has his responsibilities and needs to comply with his superiors as well.

      • Thank you for your response, Cristina.
        As per your example, if the mistake it is mine it is the case that will be assumed and that there will be a lesson to be learned even if the boss will came with a rebuke(this isn’t obedience but humbleness). I am inclined to go more for cooperation than competition… probably I am from another planet ;).

        Returning to your comment, the self-sympathy seen currently as a psychological defect: in my opinion this kind of behavior was “implanted” in human genes to serve to a specific agenda and all the humanity was hijacked and lead to falsely and obediently believe that this is the true human nature. With all respect, the “psychological death” presented and explained in your comment it sounds too radical, looks more like repression of thoughts, reactions and intentions. Indeed, the true solution it is to learn and be aware of the point of view of others, as well as know how to put ourselves in the place of other people and adapt to those situations.

        Returning to my question, I think that there could be something more than just ego/self-sympathy behind the inner talk, more like a puppeteer(s) broadcasting all kind of thoughts and the human beings resonate accordingly with those thoughts due to the way in which they are choose to live their life…
        The human beings are extensions from the God/Source; do you think that God have ego and self-sympathy?

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