About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The human condition is pretty unflattering. We are quite infantile, petty creatures really.

Well that's what it seems like anyway. Perhaps it is ? Different for 'normal' non alcoholics? The people that just seem to get things done and not react very much at all? I dunno. But this is something I have been noticing a LOT lately.. Seems to be EVERYWHERE...

The more I get to know my head, the more ? 'small' and pathetic it looks. I call it, petty, childish, pathetic, defensive, grandiose, lazy, reptilian, 'cornered rat syndrome'. what I'm trying to say is that it is NOT very sophisticated. No 'big' words for it. I thought getting to know my mind would be 'interesting' and ? academic or something. But instead it seems very basic and a bit petty and embarrassing.
I can sort of see now why a wise person told me that I didn't need a therapist and I would do a much better job of it on my own. most of the time I see my outlook as very basic. an attempt to avoid 'grown up' things. stay a child, and shift the blame onto someone else.
I think you get used to it after a while. but at the moment I am surprised at how petty and small the human condition is. I'm sure I will reach a point where I have more compassion for this, but its a big disappointment to see it the way I do. (By the way if I am disappointed, it just means my previous expectations were too high)

Don't get me wrong. I can see there is good stuff in my head as well,but the 'small', lazy, petty, hiding, avoidant, shifting blame part, just looks SO disappointing. There are grand aspects of the human condition, but the 'small' bit looks SO lame. Oh well.
I think what I find disappointing, is that because there are layers of more sophisticated thought, its like I think we should 'know better'. But I suppose alongside the sophistication and more developed ideas, is a much more ? Reptilian part of the brain. Hey I will get used to it, but for the time being this is my current ? Disappointment I am coming to terms with.
I think to myself, 'why isn't it second nature for people to employ their OBVIOUS intelligence in the pursuit of the destruction of this childish pettiness? And why are these very capable minds still being run on some level by an inner infant? I would like them to be more impartial and less at the mercy of these basic childish instincts.

Whatever. Its none of my business. I don't know WHY I thought looking in my brain would reveal something 'interesting' or 'impressive', any more than you should expect to be 'impressed' when you cut open a body (surgery etc) to examine the contents. Well inside the mind is no more 'impressive' to look at than examining the contents of a body. Both are impressive from the point of view of the miraculous functions they are able to perform. A liver, for instance is an incredible piece of biological engineering, but I don't WANT to LOOK at a liver or HOLD one in my hand. Why? Because there's something very BASIC and very VISCERAL about it. It does not look 'grand', if you know what I mean. Well that the same way I feel about my mind. I can see there are aspects of its functioning that are transcendent and drawn to elevated ideas, but at the same time, I can see that it is THOROUGHLY BASIC in its nature too. That seems to me to be the FAR more obvious part of it.
So there you go. That's what's been on my mind lately. I am coming round to the idea. But I'm not quite there yet. I am in the process of getting used to the idea that our intelligence does not save us from our childish (ego driven) tantrums.
Now I can see why 'restraint of tongue and pen' is such a HIGH teaching. Because it essentially ROADBLOCKS this 'pathetic' part of the brain. Which, now I can see, is a HUGE part of the mind. So when you take that on, you are being pretty brave!

It sort of makes me want to be a marine, or a Shaolin monk, or spend three hours a day in the gym or something. Meaning I want to develop something inside me SO tough and SO strong, that I rarely have to observe this SMALL, PETTY bit of my mind. Or that if it does raise its head that I have the coolness or the impartiality to see it for what it is and not give in to it.
By the way I'm not saying that all marines or fitness freaks are enlightened. I'm just saying I could do with 'some of what they have' to deal with this part of the mind I am noticing a lot more these days.

Ah well . I will just have to look at developing more willpower and discipline. Or something!
Right off to the gym . Have a nice Wednesday!


Shadow said...

i just wish my mind would make itself up, and then stay that way. but it keeps changing it's mind. very frustrating. call learning is suppose.. or regressing.. etc. etc.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

yep. well there is no 'self' as such anyway. we are in a constant state of flux. the whole idea that we are a 'fixed' self is an illusion. the buddhists call it ''no self' unsuprisingly!
reminds me of the lyrics in the song by the verve called bittersweet symphony:

And I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no

doctor a said...

Yeah, watching and being aware of that small, pathetic monkey mind can be pretty depressing. It's always good for a well-earned dose of humility. Thanks for the reminder.

Syd said...

The rages and tantrums that seem to come from my alcoholic are puzzling to me. It is selfish ego and isn't about me but I simply don't understand that level of blind rage about inanimate objects. If something doesn't work, it gets cursed at and thrown down. Very childish to me but I never was given to tantrums.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

yeah syd. see I would call that 'acting out'. you can have a tantrum and not say a word, or make any outward gesture. when i say tantrum i am referring to the emotional condition of 'indignation'. i see that as in the 'style' of a tantrum. not 'acted out' in word or deed. just felt.
yeah, acting out is a bit crap. but you can be just as ?? childish when you say and do nothing. my ambition is to just not really have an ego at all. im not sure if its possible, but its worth a try!

Kathy Lynne said...

Don't you think in many ways we just have too high expectations of ourselves? And then we are disappointed when we find out we are just like everyone else. Once we used alcohol to erase that feeling and now without it we are confronted with it. And learning to accept ourselves as we are may be one of the hardest parts of sobriety.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

yeah Kathy. I call it 'coming off our pedestal'. its a BIG part of recovery. i think what's disappointing for me is that on the surface I cannot see my rebellion because I do not see myself acting out. Its only recently that I've been paying more close attention to the emotions rumbling around in the background that this unflattering personality has come to light. But i also think that you see MORE as time goes on. you see the SAME THINGS, but you see them more deeply or something. whatever it is, 'more is revealed' or something, and it is always a bit of a shock at first. Reality seems to get more beautiful and at the same time, more ugly as time goes on. Its like the volume gets turned up on the light AND dark. It gets richer or something. But yeah the lessons are basically the same. But there are a million ways you can learn ONE leson because life is infinitely complex. Don't worry about it for now, just try not to be idealistic and mentally prepare yourself for uncomfortable truths to reveal themselves, and you should be ok!!

johno said...

Its prayer I needed, to develop that inner strength, and its getting stronger. I no longer sweat on the small imperfections, they are just a part of me, I work on them with God, in Gods time. God Power and Willingness is much more Powerful than will power. Well thats my experience for what its worth! The Gym developing my muscles and abs and reducing the bingo wings and gluteous maximumus. Prayer develops my heart, core, source, truth, honesty, authenticity, which leads to growth and other Good stuff blah blah the stronger my relationship with God is, the less I think and analyse my own stuff. the mental and physical strighten out etc etc ok enough now...