If we consider life as a game, there is two side of this game.
Internal Game and External Game.
We all are well trained for the “External Multiplayer Competitive Game”. In that quest we have completely ignored the other side of game, “Internal Single Player Game”.
In external games like career or social prestige, our identity depends on external factors. If we found ourselves into situation where our perceived identity is at stake, it will make us feel unsafe and insecure. So to keep our identity intact, we are bound to seek social approval all the time. Our ranking in social hierarchy becomes the barometer for our self worth.
There is nothing wrong about it, we are biologically evolved as a social animal. When our ancestor live in jungle, it was necessity to remain in the tribe. That is how we are all evolved. Being in social tribe gave us safety and security against threat from other animal. Contrary from that ancient time, we are living in far more safer environment in modern world. There is no physical threat from any other animal anymore. The problem is now flipped around. There is too much society we are surrounded by. It’s in our phone all the time. Our validation authorities are no longer outside of our homes. It’s in our pocket all the time. We are all constantly in mode of comparison and seeking validation and approval through social media.
In that quest for social approval, we have created “False sense of Self”. Majority of all our life energy is being consumed by sustaining that portrayed image we are holding onto. Because all our self worth and identity is connected to external validations.
This entire process of becoming good player of external multiplayer game, we have developed lots of tendencies and threads below that portrayed image. Those tendencies and threads becomes very hyper due to its constant practice. We are involved into it to the extent that we no longer do it consciously, it’s all happening subconsciously all the time. I can go on and on to mention countless tendencies and threads but i want to mention only one which is most strongest.
“We find it worthless which don’t bring us any external validation”.
There is no external validation of being peaceful and being happy. None of us have ever heard something like, World’s Most Peaceful Person Prize or World’s Most Happy Person Prize.
The reason for not having such prizes in society is, These games are totally intrinsic and purely single player game.
So it’s hard to initiate and sustain the internal games for longer period because the external value in terms of validation and approval is almost zero. As our perceived sense of self is dependent on external validations, sooner or later we reach to the point where we no longer able to convince our biological programming that meditation is important despite all mental reasons we have.
But at the end of the day we have to live with ourselves. It is the place we will never be able to run away on permanent basis. In fact we have to live with it permanently forever.
Meditation will surface our inner reality as it is, without any filter.
Our inner reality is, there is extreme mess about everything operating thorough tendencies and threads. Those tendencies and threads are ruining our internal peace and happiness.
But externally we want to believe that we are amazing, we have figured out everything in our life, we are happy, we are extraordinary etc. That belief of we are amazing is going to shake off once we face our own internal mess.The mess we have gathered inside in the quest of external validations come to our awareness when we sit for meditation.
My personal definition of ego is, “False sense of self” (Perceived sense of self).
Meditation is the mirror which clearly reflects what we are. Ego won’t allow us to see it beyond itself.
Meditation slow things down. So that we look at things in its original form at its real pace.
Gigantic amount of information bombardment has blurred our vision. Mass media is designed to trigger certain tendencies and passive aggression we have within ourselves. It is designed to program our mind to quickly react on everything and not patiently, thoughtfully respond to everything we come across. That’s the business they are into, “To control our behaviour by triggering certain tendencies within us.
“Meditation is a process of consciously re-arranging those haphazard threads & tendencies into constructive patterns.
Those threads have been creating exponential mess since very long time. That’s why initial stage of meditation is extremely hard. Because our monkey mind don’t want to see that mess. It will always jump around to escape that mess created by itself, Consciously or unconsciously.
What can be the solution then?
First we have to understand inner world. It is made up of four elements. Mind, Intellect, Memory & Ego. (From Grosser to Subtler.) Detailed discussion on each element is an ocean in itself. I will write on it in future.
But I would like to share the formula which worked for me.
I call it OAA formula.
Observation– It requires tremendous courage to observe all our tendencies which are blockage in our own progress.
Most prominent tendency I found is Constant Comparison and Constant Competition. Our mind do it all the time. We are constantly in mode of comparison of ourselves. We feel good in the areas where we are ahead than others and feel jealous in areas where others are ahead of us. This vicious loop run majority of the time.
Awareness– It requires lot of energy to practice it in real life.We should become aware about those tendencies when it triggers in day to day life. In which conditions, with which people etc. People and situations are just medium which triggers already developed tendencies inside us.
For example, Not everyone feels restless in traffic signal. Situation is same but it provoke different tendency of different people.
Acceptance– This part is real test of our willpower.
As soon as we identify which situations and which people are triggering which tendency and threads inside us, we should not defend it. We must accept it and let it expose to people who are very close to us. The more we defend our negative tendencies, stronger it becomes. The more we let it expose, quicker we get rid of it.
I know it’s very hard to realise and accept our own weakness and faults. But nature of life is such that it will create mess one after another until we no longer driven by awareness. That’s the ultimate goal,
To switch our driving force from Reactions, Influence and Impressions to Awareness.