Lat week, on sunday, I was subjected to two very different theories on self-consciousness.
A friend of mine told me that she hates it when she is self-conscious, for nothing is worse than to witness the shame and guilt that one creates by his actions. This rather strong belief has turned her over the years into a rather strong alcoholic.
That same day a cultist (Fellowship of Friends, report on this blog) explained to me that the only way to fully experience life is to be conscious of everything, as often as possible, ultimately all the time. If you train yourself not to miss what’s going on around you, if you fight your conditioning and programming in this manner, you have the opportunity to break free.
So now what? My friend’s logic was funny at the time she said it but it stuck in my head and reappeared today, proving its importance. The fact of the matter was that what was making her unhappy was not the fact that she was conscious of herself – that is undoubtedly preferable to living without the knowledge of what one is doing. She disliked this state because she was identifying her negative feelings (fear, anxiety, hate, shame, guilt) and making conclusions or judgements. She would feel clumsy and instantenously jump to the conclusion that everyone else thought the same, thus feeling ashamed. If she was not self-conscious (if she was drunk) her clumsiness did not provoke a reaction – she would just laught it off. In other words by not being self-conscious she was acting in such a way in which she would have wanted to act normally. Wouldn’t it be better to simply break from the conditioning and stop those judgements? Instead of feeling stupid and ashamed after a clumsy act, she could tell herself that she was clumsy, but that it did not matter. She could understand that other people do not usually judge us in the way we believe them to. Our own heads usually produce the harshest critique, the trick is to recognise what’s real and what’s not. The things that we witness and sense and the emotions that we feel are real (to an extent); judgements about them are nothing more than illusions, simple mind tricks that our lazy brains create in spare time.
So to be truly self-conscious one would have to have the ability to identify his feelings, without jumping to conclusions and without producing judgements about them. Such behaviour would produce only positive results and leave the subject happy.
It is a sad day indeed when an unknowing cultist outsmarts my friend.
This article is followed by a newer entry.