Monday, May 29, 2017

Path of Maturation

     We have an intuitive sense of what's really going on, but to help maintain the momentum of life, we keep this from every-day conscious awareness. 

     “The person who can freely acknowledge that life is full of difficulties can be free, because they are acknowledging the nature of life - that it can't be much else.” Shunryu Suzuki

     Our conscious mind (left brain) is concerned primarily with survival. The left brain, home of the egoic self, pretends that we have far greater control over the environment & our life, than we actually do. Exaggeration of a normal, healthy sense of agency ("illusion of control") is most clearly seen in young men who take crazy risks with the assumption that they'll be just fine.
     Another delusion our left brain holds is that of our own normality. We readily notice others' faults, idiosyncrasies, and strangeness, but hold (idealized versions of) ourselves as models of perfection, or at least what's proper & normal.
     Interestingly, as we become increasingly self-aware through years of meditation practice, we see with increasing clarity how we truly are. This is very, very humbling. So much so, that we're filled with love & gratitude towards all those who patiently tolerated our (to put it gently) eccentricity over the years. When we now see our own "eccentric" traits & behaviors in others, instead of being harshly critical (projecting or externalizing) as in the past, we're far more apt to warmly recognize common human steps on the long, slow road to growing up.
     Seeing things more objectively or realistically (allo- & ecocentrically, rather than egocentrically), is the work of the "right brain". An improved left-right brain balance may occur gradually as we age, but aging definitely does not guarantee maturation. Regular meditation practice does tend to accelerate our human psychosocialspiritual maturation process.


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