Updated: Oct 20, 2020
As I've recently laid out in several previous articles on the right- and left-brain imbalances, such as Thorns of Compensation: When Evil Bleeds the Hearts of the Overly Compassionate, and Nature of the Beast: Taming the Primal Energies & Egoic Mind, we humans are a mix of different energies converging in one form or body. Whether we are more predisposed to the right- or left-brain function as dominant over the other, or even when somewhere in between, we all still find ourselves struggling with the lower, primal energies of ego, as well as the higher, divine self. Many of life's situations and predicaments have led us in conflict with one or the other side as if being persuaded by two different personalities within ourselves.
It is not the result of a multiple personality disorder or any concoction listed within a DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), however, for these opposing qualities of a dualistic nature have been with us since the beginning of human existence. Many will recognize these qualities symbolized by the angel and devil, perched on each side of our shoulder, whispering into our ear to make decisions, with each suggested decision from the one side, opposed to the other. In this analogy, the devil represents our primal, egoic, self-centered nature, while the angel on the other hand, symbolizes our higher, divine nature.
As life goes on and we form patterns of thought and behavior, and depending on how we balance and utilize these energies, the result will either help or hinder us in the life we live. One of the ways in which we tend to find ourselves in a bind is when we lie to ourselves into using these energies in unhealthy ways, finding some justification or rationalization for using them in such a manner despite the result leading us to unhealthy places. We use clever forms of self-deception to continue unhealthy choices, oftentimes because the alternative means doing some work, facing uncomfortable truths or situations, avoiding fears, responsibilities, and keeping the egoic mind or lower body in a dominant position.
It would be a rare occurrence to encounter someone who has not done this in some way, shape, or form. It is probably fair to say that we all share blame and guilt in this respect, with some variation of degree in its use. The ways in which this occurs takes some real focus, discernment, discipline, and in many instances, brutal honesty. Many of us will tip-toe around this uncomfortable position at the subconscious level. We tell ourselves we are in control and do not lie to ourselves, but the sneaky nature of this lower energy tends to incrementally wield its deceptive influence, and we find ourselves unable to catch it until it is too late.
For example, many fall victim to the sneaky nature of drug use and rationalization for its continued use despite a destructive influence on our being. Addiction and drug-use has an uncanny ability to subvert our self-control and overturn our lives in ways that we aren't able to catch until we are already upstream without a paddle. We tell ourselves we don't have a problem, we tell ourselves we can stop when we want, we tell ourselves there is this or that reason for its justified use and abuse, but without fail, it eventually turns our lives upside down. We truly believe it when we justify it, and would probably pass a lie-detector test in the process. However, it does not only apply to drug use, but just about any unhealthy pattern of behavior that we don't want to change.
It is this clever self-deception we are here to focus on. It is a monster we have to learn to identify and put in check. It is not an easily tamed animal, but as with anything, there is only one way to master any given field of work, and that is practice! As I've stated in the previous articles on how to deal with brain imbalances and getting our lower natures under control, the key that opens the door is self-awareness. We have to practice self-awareness on many aspects of our daily life. That means stepping back and analyzing our thoughts and actions, asking ourselves, for example:
Are we thinking or doing something a certain way because we don't want to deal with something we fear or want to avoid?
Are we being impatient and rushing to decisions or actions because we don't feel like waiting it out and letting things unfold as they were meant to?
Are we creating alternative means and methods to tip-toe around something uncomfortable even when it is ultimately the right thing to do?
It is questions like these we must learn to ask ourselves. This is the process of self-awareness and how it helps us to recognize those fork-in-the-road situations where we can make the right decision or find a better way forward, or make the wrong one and submerge ourselves deeper into a life of suffering and hardship.
Another example of instances where we pull off clever deceptions on ourselves, are in unhealthy relationships and even the opposite end of this, where we sabotage a potentially great relationship. In the case of the former, it seems to happen where despite many red-flags going off in our head or warnings in which our inner voice tries to tell us that something or someone is unhealthy for us, we decide to ignore it or find some way to justify it, and remain in the relationship. Later we end up bearing the consequences in which something destructive happens, and by then we are already knee-deep in the problem.
The reverse is also true, whereby we may have come across a genuine, potentially great relationship, but in the process of some of life's turmoil or obstacles encountered, we may paint them and a future with them based on fear, attributing predictions that may be entirely inaccurate, and thereby sabotage the relationship before it even has a chance to develop itself to overcome the hardships it encounters. Deciphering which of the two situations a person finds themselves in takes discernment, it is not always obvious at the time because of the heightened flow of emotional response or fear takes predominance.
Other examples of clever deception, which are usually always rooted in fear or complacency, will instill in our minds that we are not capable of things we are indeed capable of. We fail to give ourselves enough credit or importance and it ends up preventing us from living deeply and actually trying to see what we're made of. We'll concoct some reason why its not possible or realistic to chase something we're perhaps very passionate about. We find ways to tell ourselves we aren't good enough, and in the process, we end up carrying out a self-fulfilling prophecy and willing it into manifestation.
It all comes back to self-awareness, cultivating that ability to take a step back, analyze our decision-making processes and how additional factors like emotions are influencing it. We have to get in the habit of asking ourselves if the decisions we are making are based purely on irrational fears, or undisciplined emotional response, so that we can make decisions in our best interest based on love. We can equally make sound decisions based on rational analysis and not overly-driven by emotion. This are factors integral and important in the process of self-realization and the practice of self-awareness.
It must be remembered, also, that all of these abilities will not manifest themselves overnight, but rather after considerable practice and applied work. The practice must be continually applied, using persistence and repetition. Through repetition we learn and through persistence we acquire. Human beings are a storehouse of potential which can be programmed and re-programmed in ways comparable to a computer. It is entirely possible to change ingrained behaviors, given that the person commits and applies him or herself to integrate it fully after the necessary work and repetition of its expression. In that sense, many of us telling ourselves that a certain quality or pattern of behavior is "just who we are," is not an accurate reflection. These traits are rather what we are choosing to be at that time, but we can change them, move beyond them, and inherit qualities that we always wanted to be, if we direct focus and Will-power to these ends.
In the words of one of my ancestors, the famous Victorian novelist, free-thinker, and important figure in women's rights, George Eliot (Marian Evans), who said, "It is never too late to be what you might have been..."