I want to manage myself internally in the most effective and optimal way I can, to maximize my Inner Power so that I can achieve the Purpose of Life. To do that, I am using a subjective model of myself that I find extremely helpful and effective, and in fact revolutionized my life for the better.
I do not claim that this model is objectively correct (and the terms I use here may have slightly different meanings in other places). The only point of this model is to be a useful and powerful perspective from which to view myself and my life and operate.
Essence vs. Self
According to this model, I have two main parts:
Essence (aka “True Essence”, “Inner Light”, or “Soul”). This is Who I Really Am. It is an eternal and powerful spiritual entity. It has only love, joy, confidence, peace, courage, optimism, patience, generosity, curiosity, creativity, compassion, gratefulness, and other positive values and positive emotions. It never has any fear, sadness, anger, hatred, envy, anxiety, depression, or any other painful emotions. Read more…
Self (aka “Psyche”). This is my “earthly manifestation”. This part contains all emotions, both pleasant and painful, and all thoughts, both helpful and harmful.
The internal “mental objects” that our attention can focus on have several types:
- Sensations: sensory inputs we experience from our body, including sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and sensations from inside our body
- Desires: things we want, needs, and urges
- Emotions: such as fear, anger, sadness, joy, excitement, attraction
- Thoughts: ideas in our mind, usually verbal
- Imagination: pictures we see with “our mind’s eye” and even full experiences
A very important thing to understand is that the Self is infected by The Virus. The Virus contains all our harmful, self-destructive beliefs and thoughts, which are the cause of internal suffering.
When we are born, the Self does not have The Virus. The Virus came from external sources, such as parents, teachers, friends, society and culture. Then it germinates and expands like cancer in our minds. So a central goal in our lives should be to heal our Self from this Virus by eradicating it. Read more…
True Self vs. False Self
Another axis that helps me understand myself is the True Self vs. the False Self. My True Self contains what my Self really feels, needs, and wants deep down inside. In contrast, my False Self is an artificial mask of my Self which I show to others, and sometimes even to myself, which hides certain aspects of my True Self about which there is shame, guilt, criticism, or embarrassment. E.g. at a certain moment, my True Self may contain sadness, but the False Self I project to other people contains artificial joy, because my False Self wants people to think that I am happy because it fears that otherwise people would not like me. The False Self is a product of The Virus. Read more…
Surviving Self vs. Thriving Self
The Surviving Self is concerned only with the survival of our physical body and of our Ego: getting food and shelter, obtaining material possessions and wealth, obtaining social power over others, etc. Our Thriving Self is concerned not only with our physical and social survival, but cares also about the thriving of all our parts and needs. This is where our positive character traits and values are manifested. Read more…
Consciousness is a “space” in our psyche that is filled with mental objects according to what our attention is focused on. At any given moment, it may be focused on our Essence, our True Self or False Self, our Thriving Self or our Surviving Self, or The Virus, or some partial combination of them.
When our consciousness is fully directed at The Virus and we identify with it, and we forget our Essence, we experience internal suffering. So our goal is to direct our attention as much as possible at our Essence, and then think and operate from that place.
Try to think: roughly how much time in each day is your consciousness focused on each of the different parts mentioned above? Is it mostly focused on The Virus, the Surviving Self, the False Self? Or is it mostly focused on the Essence, the Thriving Self, the True Self? How would you feel and how would your life be different than it is now if you focused most of the time on the latter group?