Monday, May 6, 2013
ID, Ego and Personas.
In my experience which includes a full blown classical Kundalini Awakening, while on tour in Osaka, Japan, and which took 18 months to get a handle on the explosive force which would even wake me out of my sleep into a psychosexual pinball game on tilt. It really is kind of funny because I came back to New York and sought out kundalini yoga classes where everyone else was trying to awaken the kundalini and I was trying to get it to go back to sleep or rest. I could not look upwards with my eyes because it would instigate another episode. I had read all of the ancient texts such as The Hatha Yoga Pradikipa by Svatmarama, The Geranda Samhita, The Shva Samhita, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Shat Krama Chakras and many more.
I learned that what I thought was metaphoric was literal, and what seemed to be literal turned out to be metaphoric. Well, Mr. Gurdjieff does say that we live upside down and topsy-turvy, so I guess I found out about that, pretty damn impressive. But this post isn't about that. It's about what is called the "Ego". When a child is born it arrives with ID – the essence or in Sanskrit, the Rasa, or "Juice" of the self. This ID is the root of the words identity and identify, ad infinitum… It fills the entire creation from the baby's point of view – absolutely everything is "Me". That's why young toddlers play in the playground but separately, and if one sees a toy it likes it simply takes it and if it is told to give it back to its owner it replies with the words "mine, mine, it's mine", and the parent has to superego the child into relinquishing the other person's property.
Somewhere between two and three or four years old the now toddler begins to identify that there is a boundary, or separation and that there are separate things and separate beings such as "mother", "father" and "brother or sister" or "Friend". This is the beginning of the boundary which is the "Ego Essence". All of this is simple developmental stages which were probably better as Paget delineated them, but I am working my way towards a particular slant.
Now that you have an Ego, and you begin to recognize boundaries and concepts like mine and yours as separate. All well and good. We can't have human beings just simply walking around like zombies taking what they like as complete moronic idiots, can we? (sounds like some people I have heard about: the 1%)
Personally I don't think so, but now that we have the ID and the Ego we can begin to build the person--ality. The personality of course comes from the root word sona which means sound – as a few men would put on a play in ancient Greece they would simply switch masks to play different roles. The men also played the women, as the women were not permitted to act. So here we have a young being in the midst of grown-up beings that haven't been (even as much as they would have liked to) given a proper upbringing – so that the sins of the fathers visit upon the sons unto the third or fourth generation, after which they wash out but are replaced with pretty much the same load of shit.
We are very proud of our educational system, which has a child sitting in a chair hunched over with a writing implement in his or her hand for something like eight hours a day, five days a week. At the conclusion of 12 years of this, they are usually "graduated" either into the workforce or further education (I refuse to call it higher education – it's just college). That involves sitting in lecture halls listening to so-called experts prattle out their curriculum. And so it goes…
Some anthropologists want to change the name of our species, and they are serious. They want to change the name from Homo Sapiens Sapiens (man who is aware of his own awareness) to "Homo Sapiens Sedentarius , man who does not move. He sits in front of the television or the computer or the dinner table or in the car, and he hardly knows what to do with himself as regards physical health, so he joins health clubs for six months and quits after two weeks. This is due to the deviation in the half steps of the Scale and Solfege, going round and round on the right-hand side of the Enneagram performing his little songs of do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, or 142142142142 his whole life.
As an aside, when I was eight years old I had a hamster. I loved my hamster and I used to take really good care of him and watch him run around on his little wheel. I often wondered if he knew he wasn't going anywhere for that he was not leaving anywhere, but one day my hamster ate a little ball which was hanging from the curtains, and died from being poisoned by the flame retardant chemicals. That guy meant a lot to me. And with his wheel he taught me as I watched him endlessly.
So, in growing up we imitate and invent characters for different situations. These are our personalities. Everyone can have as many as they like. Personality is strange, because it is built out of everything we aren't, really, and it is built as needed, so to say. Man's name is Legion, and the guy that said that wasn't kidding. As I was growing up, when I was with my black friends I learned their lingo, and when I was with other musicians I had a different persona. I had a persona that I allowed my parents to see, and many that I hoped they would never discover. As a Teenager, I had more personalities than I could keep track of.
Eventually a man decides he's got to embark on a money making something. He has to do ordinary work, whether it involves millions of dollars or penny candy means nothing. He struts around with his personalities like roosters – have you ever seen a rooster farm? They each have to have their own little hut so they can strut. Once on tour we rounded a bend in either Kentucky or Tennessee and by golly there was a rooster farm. I had never seen a rooster farm so I asked the driver to slow down. It was fascinating. Each rooster had his own A-frame house and they would either strut back and forth in front of it or they would climb on top of it and preen themselves. I just couldn't believe it. I felt like the luckiest boy on earth that day, because I had never seen a real rooster farm, and now I had. If the roosters got too close to each other they would peck to the death, just like men.
So a man has a job or work or a career (he gets fancier as we move along) and he becomes somewhere within the 99% who aren't the one percent who are super rich.
I never wanted a job because I thought it would harden like cement around my feet and I would be inmobile and stuck in that one place, so I became a musician of sorts playing in a rock 'n roll band and traveling a lot and making some recordings. My definition of a successful musician is as follows: "a successful musician is paid to go where tourists pay to go, and when you get there they applaud."
Enough about me. Let's get back to this study of the realm of personalities. No one, and I mean no one, even Mr. Gurdjieff, has only one personality. Everybody needs at least a handful if not an entire crowd. I was once doing some quiet work and I heard a murmuring just like you hear at the intermission of a Broadway play where everyone goes to the lobby or outside and has 1000 conversations, only in my quiet work they were all my different personalities having what seemed like endless conversations. I almost have to laugh at myself for that one. It sure was a bucket load of Richards, and they were all capable of saying "I" and causing me endless difficulties and problems.
They are still there chattering away, but I have learned to not bother listening to them. I have an Agenda; I have a Aim, and it consists of providing service to the Work at large.
I've been inside the "Inner Circle of Conscious Humanity", and I like it there a lot. I don't know about you, but I expect to spend my dotage there, until the undertaker overtakes me.
I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth, and I don't believe in luck. I was asked if I believed in God when I was little and I said "no, I know". The idiot adults couldn't get past the phonemes and asked me what I meant and I told them, "I don't need to believe because I know, and knowledge is superior to belief."
It still is.