Why Don’t We Do Our Best?

Why Don’t We Do Our Best?

One of the most curious aspects of the human experience is how much we stray from what we know to be right.

We know that we need exercise, good food, and moderation. We know that we need to listen more than judge to keep a relationship working. We know that if we stay focused on our goals, we’ll get there. We talk of the choices we have in building a good life, yet so often those are not the choices we make. In many ways, it can seem like we’re dealing with an obstinate “inner child”. That’s closer to the truth than it might seem.

Napoleon Hill, in his followup research after publishing “Think and Grow Rich“, identified a 17th principle, what he called the Cosmic Habitforce. Others speak of ideas like the ego and the sub-conscious.

Here I speak of the mechanism being 3 level. Mind, heart, gut.

There is the surface ego, the idea of being separate, and the constructs and beliefs we build to support that. Our story. The roles we play.

The ego is driven and energized by what are typically called “negative” emotions – anger, shame, blame, jealousy, and so on. What are essentially constricted forms of will and passion.

Those emotions are in turn driven by a deep grip of fear, an attempt to control. The core person.

This mechanism is not usually apparent until after Self Realization simply because before that, we are in the ego. Only when we step out of the ego can the depths of this process become apparent. Over time.

However, we can use mindfulness to look into what arises and see this process while it is happening. With some witnessing or observer value, we can see the emotions arising that trigger thoughts like separation and judgment. When we observe thoughts, we can see the emotional charge or resistance. When we look at the emotion, we can see a more primitive emotion under or within that. And under that, we will often find a simple, childlike fear. And under that, silent peace. Or happiness. This is traveling down the ladder within the experience rather than observing it from outside.

The above is a process of the seeker, how to see, release and clear. We let go of all the old concepts and emotional noise that shadowed our deeper nature. A theme develops about getting rid of stuff. Purge, purge, purge.

When we get down to the core person, there is a new dynamic that must be seen. We exist here as a human because we have a person. That person is the vehicle for the fast evolution of our soul. We can’t get rid of the person if we want the vehicle. But it is an awkward alliance as the person can be quite resistant to change. It is very child-like and insecure. Even when it has been showered with soma and bliss, there can be resistance to more. It is one of the more amusing ironies of being human. The person has been so long living in a place of fear, it runs that out of habit, even in the face of divinity.

We have to learn to be nice to our person, to be patient, to be forgiving. It has given up so much for us, whatever we might think it has gained.

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  1. Another way to look at it is we do do our best, under the conditions. Yes, “obstinate child,” that’s good. It’s one corner of the mind battling with others, so we’re confused about what’s good for us, and if we know that, we’re confused about how to get there.

    It is a “process of the seeker”–it is a process and it is seeking but that’s where most of us start and it’s valuable, as you say, soon we release and purge and let go and be more aware, and the fog lifts, even if it doesn’t clear completely until there is surrender, it still clarifies, and living is just so much easier.

    A number of clarifying pointers in this–thanks.

  2. Davidya

    Hi MT
    Yes, just do your best, and as the great video points out, your best will vary. I’ve spoken of this before, how our consciousness is always shifting, changing our perception and changing how we thus respond.

    The post itself was more on exploring how many people experience their choices and a way to understand the mechanism, the driver of questionable choices and how they are outgrown. But you’re right – many are too hard on themselves.

    It is equally true that part of the process is finding a way to be OK with how we have responded. If we are engaged in regret, we are not present to how we are now.

    And yes, honoring. I’ve spoken of Energizing Cooperation and similar ideas here. In the west, we often fail to recognize how much support we have. How much is being done for us. In not seeing and indeed, in fighting what is being built for us, we can get in the way of our own progress and being.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Davidya

    Hi Kaushik
    Yes, I’ve observed that our consciousness is always shifting and adjusting. There can be some sense of a me or doer making choices, but this is not a complete perception. Consciousness itself is adjusting to shift perception and thus shift how we respond to any given circumstance. Consciousness is in charge, who we really are – not the apparent doer.

    There is value in making choices consciously. The error is simply in mistaking who is choosing.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Pingback: First, the Truth « In 2 Deep

  5. derick

    the rewards are good communication, truth, and freedom…. this is such an amazing statement when I reflect on the last 2months of my life where I have had the 5th agreement-phylosophy front-of-mind … Please can you let me know how I make your direct contact to have a conversation on these topics – which are so profoundly impoactful on my recent success, that I’d like to reflect apon them in sober and succinct dialogue … if at all possible ? regards, Derick

  6. Davidya

    Hi Derick
    Sure. If you click on the About link on the right, you’ll find a “Contact” link down that page. There’s a little form to make initial contact to avoid spam.

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