Welcome to step #7. What a journey it has been thus far. We have been working hard to wrap our heads around this new type of thinking, and for many of you, I am sure you are unconvinced or don’t see the point. Well, this is no surprise to those of us who have already been through all the steps. Free will is one of those addictions that seem impossible to shake at times. People talk about quitting smoking being tough, and it is. Heroin, kicking can be one of the most painful experiences a mind and body will be put through. This habit is no different from those two except for the fact that it is in our minds already. The illusion is so complete, and its effects so devastating to our perception of reality, we have a hard time coming to terms with how to exist without it. There is almost no support out there for us. Even those who might agree with out efforts will still point fingers and refuse to let go of events they wish attributed to their own or someone’s personality or behavior. “That person is toxic,” or “they’re just mean,” will come up in conversation or in a mind, and those folks will just run with the thoughts. We don’t judge them for their thoughts; we know the genesis of such shortcomings, as they were our shortcomings just a few short weeks ago.
Maybe they still are, but here we are working to make a difference and to make things in our lives more powerful so that we can be more of ourselves and more honestly ourselves for the whole world.
Take a moment to toast and congratulate yourselves for your bravery and potential for change. In our mirrors and recorded in our playback, we are becoming part of the solution, and that deserves some positive reinforcement.
Now back to work.
7. Humbly declared how letting go of free will allows us to come to terms with our shortcomings.
This step seems easy. “Humbly” isn’t hard to come by after walking through the steps. We know that our behaviors and actions have come from a long line of causes for which we had no say and were issued no control over. Being humble is intrinsically built into nature of physical reality when one takes the time to observe as we have done. I have long said when complimented on my musicianship, “I don’t play the drums. They play me.” I still stand by this. A creative writing professor and author of many books of poetry, Michael Heffernan, PhD., once told me “Let the words fill the page.” Many artists feel this way about their art, and it is a good analog for the rest of life (as art so often provides). What I mean by that is: all of life plays us. I don’t take any credit for becoming a good musician, but rather, I feel so fortunate for my time behind the drum set and in the studio making music for the universe. My pride comes not from knowing I am a good drummer, but comes from knowing, for some causal reason outside my control, I get to be a drummer many have admired and enjoyed working with. Huzzah! for me. This has allowed me to be motivated to teach others when they come to me. Not only do I get to play drums well, I get to ensure that others will also have that opportunity. For this, I am extremely lucky. “Humble” may be the understatement of year.
Why this step isn’t easy is for the same reasons that I just mentioned but with a darkness from human nature we might not like mirroring up about.
It feels good to point the finger.
Just as it feels good to believe you achieved something based on merits generated from who we think we are, we also get a hormone reward from pointing out when someone “sux.” Don’t look away from the mirror now! Admit it!
It is empowering to think, even more so to say out loud with a supporting audience, “They are so fucking stupid.” Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, I can feel the rush of exhilaration, as memories flood my consciousness from times past when this has been my behavior. Our brains are programmed from unforgiving evolution to reward itself when we feel “better” than another. A horribly immoral stance, yet undeniably a part of the human experience. I wrote an article called “Immorally Integral” about a dangerous philosophy where someone who buys into this it is upheld as a paragon of behavior. It shows how we will be lessened by these notions.
So, keep the playback loud, don’t avoid the mirroring moments, and we won’t fall victim to our own impulses, which may lead us astray from our goals of equality and becoming more morally sound individuals leading to more morally sound societies.
Image credit: Daily Determinism