Inner Prisoners of War
Hate Them or Love Them
“Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free.”Anne Sullivan
Do you sometimes catch yourself thinking that life is passing you by?
If you set your heart on external things and the objects of your desire remain out of reach no matter how hard you try to get them, you might feel powerless, angry, stuck, frustrated, sorry for yourself, envious of others, worried and/or depressed.
This would be a perfectly normal emotional response. It can drain life energy out of any healthy human organism. It can be powerful, even though it is based on a false impression.
The impression itself comes from our focus on the outer world and our conviction that we are separate from it. That’s how it feels, and we trust our feelings because they seem very real.
Our apparent disconnectedness from the outer world produces the idea that we can’t have a life, and if we can’t have a life, we are effectively dead. Everyday living becomes a struggle and a matter of survival.
In the meantime there is plenty of life going on in the inner world. If we understood the real connection between the inner and the outer aspects of our human experience, and if we knew how to create the outer world we really want from the inside out, then we would pay a lot more attention to our own inner life.
Inner Prisoners of War
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”Alan Watts
In the early 1990s I spent some time studying the work of Roberto Assagioli, an Italian doctor and psychologist, and a contemporary of Carl Gustav Jung. He founded a school of psychology called Psychosynthesis, which focuses on personal development rather than psychotherapy.
Jung and Assagioli were two of the early adopters of the concept of subpersonalities, which has since become quite popular. Certain subpersonalities have almost gained a kind of celebrity status. Mention your ‘Inner Critic’, or your ‘Inner Child’, and everyone seems to know what you are talking about.
Once you explore your inner population further, you can meet lots of inner people. It seems as if there are many different characters for all kinds of situations, they all have their own characteristics and strengths, and they all make you act in different ways.
In the Solo System the concept of subpersonalities has been taken even further. All expressions of human Consciousness are considered ‘living creatures’ in the sense that they can develop a life of their own. They can become so powerful that they take over our inner world and control it.
For example, strong emotions such as anger or fear can control your life. The belief that you are a loser, failure, victim, or an inadequate specimen of the human race can ruin your life. Thoughts of terminal illness, death, and suicide can literally end your life.
These are extreme examples to illustrate the principle. It can be applied not only to some thoughts, beliefs, and emotions but to all products of human Consciousness.
All so-called ‘mental products’ influence each other, and they communicate with one another. One thought can spread a rumour, one unflattering self-image can threaten your stability, one emotion can set fire to the whole inner world.
What makes these ‘inner people’ so powerful is that they drag other individual thoughts, beliefs, emotions, images etc., into their forcefield. They can start a movement. They form subversive gangs in the Dark Side of Consciousness. And when they become powerful enough they’ll take over the entire organism.
For centuries we have been convinced that the only way to stay in control of our Consciousness and our inner world is to keep a tight grip on all negative expressions. We’ve been trying everything to eliminate, eradicate, or exterminate our negative internal population. We have been fighting fierce battles. But nothing has worked.
The negative inner creatures are still there in full force. The inner war continues, and inner peace seems as distant as ever.
In the light of viewing all products of human Consciousness as living creatures, our attitude towards certain parts of our inner population looks extremely aggressive, violent, and hostile.
Our strategy has effectively been to convict to lifelong imprisonment every inner creature that doesn’t fit in with our plans and wishes, even anyone who causes discomfort or hassle of any kind. If it were possible we would have handed out death sentences indiscriminately and immediately.
Why can’t we just get rid of these nasty, unruly elements, which seem to cause nothing but trouble?
They are terribly resilient and uncooperative. They even seem to reproduce faster and become stronger, the more we fight them.
Hate Them or Love Them
“Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.”F. Scott Fitzgerald
What is the good reason for negative human experience?
This was one of my key questions leading to the birth of the Solo System.
It may sound like a very strange question. You might assume that ‘negative’ is bad, so there cannot be anything good about it. The question itself sounds like a paradox.
I’m so glad I asked, because paradoxes have the greatest potential for new discoveries.
Things only appear paradoxical as long as we don’t understand them. If we have the courage to explore a paradox, we may have to climb the steep learning curve, but then we are rewarded by magnificent new vistas.
This is why I can now share with you the really good reason for the existence of negative creatures in the inner world of human Consciousness. Are you ready for a surprise?
All ‘negative people’ born in the inner world are infants. You could call them the inner babies and children. They are the immature expressions of our Consciousness.
All negative products of human Consciousness represent a very common and well-known phenomenon. You can observe it yourself firsthand whenever you learn anything new. At first you get it wrong (= negative), and if you keep practicing, eventually you’ll get it right (= positive).
The so-called ‘negative expressions’ of our own Consciousness are attempts of our organism to learn something new. We keep knocking them on the head, we gag them, we handcuff them and and put them into straightjackets. This is not only not a very nice thing to do. It’s also not very smart.
Why? Because whatever we do to some part of our organism, we are effectively doing to ourselves. We are restraining ourselves all the time. We are keeping ourselves in solitary confinement, separate from real life and from the outer world.
We hate our ‘negative inner people’. This hatred is self-destructive. When you treat your immature inner creatures with love, compassion, kindness, tolerance, and patience, they begin to thrive. You give them a chance to grow up.
That doesn’t mean you just let all immature negative emotions, thoughts, beliefs etc. hang out and let them do whatever they want. That would be equally destructive. It would be irresponsible. You’ve also got to let them know who is in charge.
Anne Sullivan, the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller said, “Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.” This applies to our Inner Children just as much as to any ‘real child’.
Our job is to create a safe framework for our immature Inner People, in which they can develop into mature and positive members of our inner population.
If you raise your Inner Children the way you would want to be treated as a child, they get a chance to develop into strong grown-ups. They’ll make you proud and strong. They’ll fill your life with more joy than any external source ever could. And this will inevitably spill over into your outer world.
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