With our new found tools of playback and mirroring at our disposal, we are ready to move to the halfway point in the steps. It is time to start letting go in earnest. At the bottom of this entry will be list of all the steps thus far, be sure to review if needed.
6. Are entirely ready to have the facts of determinism absolve us of shame and blame for all these defects of character.
I rarely begin a piece using a caveat, but today is an exception. Absolution of shame and blame doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for your actions. Contrarily, you are ultimately accountable for your actions. This principle is even more valuable than before you committed to Biosophics Anonymous. We’ve learned about how are behaviors and thoughts don’t generate from the illusory “me,” yet the illusion is driven by our meat sacks we call bodies and organs—just this one, sorta. I won’t digress on how prosthetics and transplants change the way our thoughts and actions are generated, but even when we have those changes, they become “you.” The fact that we aren’t someone else is what gives us a jumping point to become totally accountable without blame.
This situation can be seen externally. How often are you held responsible for events around you that weren’t your fault? My guess is those memories are common for all of us. Hanging out with a friend that does something regrettable when “guilty by association” is applied. Then, all of a sudden, we are lumped in to their actions potentially losing opportunities to generate new relationships or take part in new adventures. We may not be at fault, but we suffer the consequences.
This applies within ourselves as well. There is a wonderful Sam Harris moments on page 29 of his book Free Will when he says, “I don’t know what came over me.” We can feel this most when we harm others that we would never want to harm, even if they’d wronged us. So, how do we go about letting go of these character defects plaguing our experience?
My favorite method is mindfulness meditation. I used Full Catastrophe Living to get my meditation practice started, but there are other methods that can be just as helpful. Take it upon yourself to find the method most user-friendly when applied to the life you are living. Just enter “letting go” into a google search and go crazy. How we achieve this isn’t the important factor here, but rather that we do learn how becomes a temporary summum bonum.
In doing so, we do take accountability for ourselves at a new level. We’ve mirrored-up using playback to see ourselves as we’ve been built by experience and environment. Understand that we’ve harmed ourselves and others because we thought our actions were under our control and represent who we are. Now we try to better ourselves for the whole of the planet by realizing these actions and thoughts don’t truly define us any longer. The way we become “better” is by letting go of the shame generated by this false definition. We are now ready to walk forward into the rest of our lives with the notion that we aren’t to blame, but we do have to make it better through thoughts and actions, and our newly conditioned brain will provide us with the motivation and resources to make it right.
Image credit: Daily Determinism