Self Is Bigger Than Ego
Now this is something that sounds familiar to me. As a person who has spend decades in taking courses and studying the human psyche in order to help others without doing more harm than good, a training that includes looking beneath the surface, I am well aware of the unconscious.
“We do almost everything unconsciously. We eat unconsciously; we drink unconsciously; we talk unconsciously. Although we claim to be conscious, we are completely unaware of the afflictions rampaging through our minds, influencing everything we do.” [Lama Yeshe]
Is this too extreme, this statement by Lama Yeshe in his book, Becoming Your Own Therapist? I don’t think so. I used to believe that I had my own shit together and that I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. That said, beneath that level of certainty I was still being triggered to respond as old complexes were activated. I can remember teaching on auto pilot, even driving on auto pilot. And of course, there were so many felt and unasked questions that stirred within me. As a therapist, I have seen and heard so much stuff emerge from my clients that was denied by those clients, stuff they couldn’t believe they had said. I used to use a voice recorder for sessions with clients and could show them through transcripts what had emerged and then begin to probe with those clients deeper. There is a fine line between that thin layer that the ego self claims as full reality and a larger self that includes the unconscious.
“Instead of distracting yourself by busily doing something, relax and try to become aware of what you are doing. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? How am I doing it? What’s the cause? . . . Your main problem is a lack of intensive knowledge-wisdom, awareness, or consciousness.
To become your own psychologist, you don’t have to learn some big philosophy. All you have to do is examine your own mind every day.”
It sounds simple, this approach to self therapy which is done through meditation, mindfull awareness. Lama Yeshe goes on talking about how we project our unhappiness, our problems on others and on things and events. He tells us that the root of our dissatisfaction is not from others or events or things or whatever – the root is buried in our unconscious contents. He counsels us:
“Examine your life from childhood to the present. This is analytical meditation.”
Ah, now it all comes together for me. Now I understand just how it comes to be that I use meditation, self-analysis, reflective writing and perception checking as part of my healing journey – a journey back to consciousness that is bigger than my ego.