Beware the gatekeeper
America is a divided nation that flourishes when united. What’s stopping us? Our individual gatekeepers.
A part of our mind protects the status quo of our beliefs. Let’s call it the gatekeeper. Our gatekeeper checks to see if a concept is in agreement with our existing beliefs. If it is, the gate is opened, if it isn’t, the gate stays closed and information is rejected.
For us to accept new concepts we have to wholeheartedly want to explore and be willing to change or learn. A person realizing they need to change is not enough for the gatekeeper to open the gate.
Authority figures can also bypass our gatekeeper. For example, we tend to believe people we think know more than we do. This includes doctors, schoolteachers, preachers, and motivational speakers. All kinds of people bypass our gatekeeper. Anytime we are feeling a strong emotion such as love or fear, anger or grief, we are more suggestible. Things said to us, or things we say to ourselves, will bypass our gatekeeper and become part of our subconscious programming. Normally nobody wants to be gullible but most people are at times when feeling angry or fearful especially when we are not recognizing within ourselves anger or fear. Be aware, some people are good at manipulating the gatekeeper in us.
Nourishing our minds requires getting beyond the status quo, recognizing when our gatekeeper is restricting us and finding time to grow as a person by observing all that comes in front of us, finding truths, searching for love within our souls and in other souls. Nourishing exercises the more evolved parts of our brains and rests the more primitive parts of our brains. Nourishing has a lot to do with the company we keep and don’t keep. Nourishing requires a decision.
It has become clearer and more obvious to me that our purpose in life is to gain spiritual knowledge, self-awareness, understanding, and a loving and serving nature. I think we evolve through use of new perspectives, introspection, and meditation. We either view nature and people as souls or we don’t. If we don’t, we see from fear, impatience, and intolerance and if we do we see from love and we live and die with grace.
It has also become clear to me that we have two personalities and one wants to act, think or make decisions one way and the other personality wants to act, think or make decisions another way. It is like there were a force pulling and pushing us in two directions. Some feel this much more than others do. Why?
Often heard is that some of us only accept what we can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. For those people their world is a material one. Others of us add to this material world an acceptance of a spiritual world full of mystery and magic. Those that accept the spiritual world gain perhaps a greater understanding of the meaning of life.
When we feel pulled in two directions it is because there is a gap between our spiritual and material consciousness. Gaps result in restlessness, lack of focus, and a sense of unbalance. This causes stress which leads to health issues and depression.
Our potentials are blocked by stress, anxiety, doubt, and limited introspection. Sometimes we seem to be tightly locked-in to the world as we are experiencing it. When we see and feel from this small world we limit ourselves to the small picture. Relaxing allows our body and mind to surrender. When we surrender, stop the hunt, we tend to find answers and observe from a new perspective and we begin to see the big picture. When we see the big picture we feel lighter, laugh more, walk more fluidly, and have more energy. Seeing the big picture expands us and seeing only the small picture shrinks us.
Great leaders use introspection not only within themselves but within their own tradition and heritage. Leaders can become great leaders if introspection leads to new perspective and a more global pluralist worldview. There should not be two sets of rules. When we find ourselves becoming annoyed or irritated with another’s heritage, behavior, or tradition we need to look inward for that irritation is reflecting back to us some aspect of our own heritage, behavior, or tradition that we can examine.
If we were to grasp a ring as a symbol of possession and squeeze it in our hand, the ring is captured and so is the use of our hand. Imagine holding this ring out in front of you with your palm either up or down.
If our palm is facing down and we sense the ring getting loose, our tendency is to quickly squeeze our hand. This is natural, we all do this. But some of us will feel threatened when that ring begins to fall and we find ourselves wanting that ring more and begin to squeeze tighter. Grasping and squeezing something is an attempt to own it and graspers and squeezers do this because they like to keep things, even if they don’t like them. Giving up the freedom of one of our hands to squeeze something is annoying and it follows that graspers and squeezers would become annoying as well. Graspers and squeezers tend to have lapses in ethics.
But if our palm is facing upward we tend to feel the ring less as a possession and more as a symbol of our own freedom. Open your hand and the ring is still there. Now with your imagination allow this ring to become a beautiful butterfly resting peacefully and gently on the palm of your hand. Enjoy the moment and then with awe watch the butterfly float into the sky taking with it nourishment it received from you and sharing it wherever it goes.
Love with attachment is nothing more than fear emotionally. To finish this thought I give you this by William Blake:
He who binds to himself a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
He who kisses the Joy as it flies,
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.
Ask yourself, what ring am I squeezing? Is it a lifestyle, a title, a person, a job, a house, a car, old perspective, fame, fortune, victory, domination, ego, poverty, anger, hostility, revenge, resentment, jealously, greed, hatred, unworthiness, pain, disease, beliefs, prejudice, restlessness, Trump, materialism, inferiority, failure, phobias, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs? The list seems to go on and on doesn’t it?
Learning to live is learning to release. When we release change is possible. Change involves releasing a bad and acquiring a good. If we are full we might not be able to crowd in a good until we release a bad. If we release a bad without having a good to replace it the void will be filled by whatever has been waiting in line to join us.