After some meditation, unconventional rituals and my Shamanic Sunday Sessions -- I came to the conclusion I needed to share a bit of self-knowledge that goes against conventional wisdom.
Is programming the mind with slogans a sign of positivity?
We use platitudes, affirmations and adages to assuage our feelings of anxiety during uncertain situations. The things we tell ourselves to keep us going during the difficult trials of life are like band-aids in that they are short-term solutions. The limits of our human perception are like thick thorny vines enveloping & constricting our conscious mind. Admitting our shortcomings, limitations and dark side is the first step towards true self-actualization. If we remain in the light while ignoring the darkness within we become daze by our own vanity.
What Is Bias?
A bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. Some biases are positive and helpful—like choosing to only eat foods that are considered healthy or staying away from someone who has knowingly caused harm. But biases are often based on stereotypes, rather than actual knowledge of an individual or circumstance. Whether positive or negative, such cognitive shortcuts can result in prejudgments that lead to rash decisions or discriminatory practices.
Cognitive Biases are like a dense fog which limits the range of our perception...
When faced by times of sorrow, anxiety and numbing depression some individuals drown-out their fear by using positive affirmations. These are helpful shortcuts that can give us a second wind when we are bloodied by our internal struggle. However, as habitual creatures we tend to use these short-cuts as long-term solutions; and this eventually creates a more powerful demon.
The ferocity of anger, the bleakness of misanthropy and sobering despair are not our enemies; they are inseparable from our being. They are also genuine indicators that reflect the authentic conditions of the psyche. When negative emotional complexes in our being are blanketed by platitudes we gradually numb our passions.
Exonerating ourselves from these negative complexes shrouds our perception with a dense fog of self-ignorance. Consequently, instead of finding ourselves through painful self-discovery we lose our Self through comfortable self-ignorance.
The Disney Movie, "Inside Out," perfectly illustrates the necessary roles of all our emotions: without the ugly side of our being we would be lost...
When we are faced with these dark elements in our life it is better to question their origins than to banish them with bromides. The internal pain that calls our name is not a burden to bare but a challenge to embrace. Authentic human experience is a gold mine which is hidden under layers of socially approved roles, habitual pleasures and obfuscated by misguided intentions. If we seek to find this hidden treasure, then we must dispel with band-aids, bromides and comfortable pleasures.
Our Convictions, The Context and The Consequences
In her novel, "The Fountainhead," Ayn Rand personifies this conflicting internal dynamic in the individual through the conflict between Howard Roark & Peter Keating. Peter's self-appraisal, unlike Howard, was solely based on the caprice and convictions of the crowd. Peter Keating found respite from his inner-malaise in the comforting words of his absent-minded peers. Eventually, Peter found material success but his passions were long gone. The phantoms of fear of ridicule, the fear of standing alone took his passion to create...so the only thing left was his conviction to conform.
We assume that positivity is good for the soul...but is it? We assume that negativity leads to tragedy...but does it?
An individual's perception is their interface to the world, but also their personal reality tunnel. The conscious mind is an amalgam of trauma, convictions and conflicting complexes. The individual is beset by two tidal forces: evolution & involution -- self-acceptance and growth or self-abnegation and stagnation. We are not here to choose sides, and cherry pick the best qualities of our being. We are here to embrace our humanity and all of its pain, ugliness and limitations.
We can not depend on others to give us the road-map to our inner-world. If we don't discover these answers for ourselves we will not EARN wisdom. There is no short-cut to self-actualization, but the ego-driven person can simulate the experience. This perennial trap keeps individuals in a one-season world in which nothing grows or dies but just exist in a state of fragile vanity.
To embrace life is to learn the principle of complimenting elements, the Yoga of Life. The marriage of opposites in the natural world clues into a deeper wisdom that is self-evident. Everything in this natural world exist for a purpose, and we need to discover what that means to the Self.