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Reflections for Meetup - Your Personality?From Memory

From: Jay
Sent on: Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:02 PM
Your Personality���From Memory!

IN this the final exploration of the 'self management series' we encounter the faculty of our consciousness that tends to be the main focus of our formal education ��� not our mind or intellect, but our memory.  More than just a repository of past experiences our memory plays a pivotal role in the formation of our personality.   Everything we have thought, felt and done is recorded and stored in the deepest recesses of our memory.  Every habit or tendency to think or act in certain ways, have their roots in memory.  Just as the computer has a memory into which the programmer will programme the programme, so the ways that we think, act and react over time become our personal programme, our personality.  Eventually the programme will run the programmer as the programmer loses self-awareness and falls asleep at the inner keyboard of their consciousness!

A habit of acting in a certain way is simply a recording of previous actions.  Each time the action is repeated it becomes a more powerful memory and a tendency or habit develops within our consciousness.  The smoker's habit eventually becomes so automatic there is not even a thought in the mind, "I want to have a cigarette".  And the intellect, which serves to discern the appropriateness of the action, is completely by-passed.  With the mind and intellect avoided there is just an 'impulse' to smoke and the cigarette is lit.  Impulse is a previously recorded action repeating without thought or consideration.  It is often confused with the idea if 'instinct' whereby an action seems to come from nowhere as if it's permanently built into our consciousness.  But instinct is just habit as an impulse, triggered by someone or something 'pushing our buttons', much like pushing a button on our computer keyboard and up comes a letter on the screen.  There still has to be a previously recorded programme (habit) for the impulse to emerge.

The deepest level of our personal programme is our 'belief system'.  It is our belief system that shapes the way we perceive and interpret the world, what we think about the world, and how we act in the world.  Our consciousness is 'seeded' with beliefs at an early age and in time they will grow into our personal belief system.  Almost everything we think, feel and do has its roots in a belief system previously recorded within our consciousness.  As the thoughts and actions based on these beliefs are repeated they create their own recording and a tapestry of habits and tendencies is formed.  This tapestry becomes our unique personality.

Using the metaphor of the tree, the habits of belief and perception are the roots, habits of thoughts and feelings are the trunk and the habits of action are the branches.  Slight variations of the actions over time will become the twigs.  As the tree of our personality grows it becomes more like a vine, a creeper, which surrounds the true and authentic self.  It also becomes like a fence behind which the self will sit, a mask behind which the true face of the self abides.  The real problems start when the self identifies itself with the mask, with the personality.  When we identify with our personality and the many 'strands' of habits and tendencies that now form the matrix of our persona, we will develop the tendency to become over sensitive and reactive.  When we hide behind the fence of our personality we 'electrify the fence' and anyone who touches it i.e. says something about us that we do not like, will spark a reaction that will give them a 'shock'.  We send a wave of negative energy in the form of words and actions.  This is obviously why a personality clash is simply waves of negative energy going back and forth.  It's like live but bare electrical wires brushing up against each other.'  The meeting of two 'prickly personalities' creates friction, which generates heat.

When we attach to and identify with our tendencies at whatever level (beliefs, thoughts, emotions etc) the energy recorded and trapped in the memories of our consciousness is frequently released.  Triggered but not caused by external events and people, this energy emerges into our consciousness, often as emotion, flooding our mind and thereby disabling both our creative capacity and our ability to concentrate.  It also interferes with the eye of our intellect blinding and distracting our inner eye so we are unable to discern clearly and make sound decisions.

For example, let's say we have a 'tendency' to get upset.  We create a habit of irritation towards another because they are not doing what we want them to do.  This habit has its roots in a programmed belief deep in our memory, which says that others should dance to our tune and make us happy.  So when they don't do what we want there is the tendency to erupt and it's as if 'molten emotion' i.e. some form of anger, then flows into and floods our mind making it impossible to think clearly and creatively.  And so our personality sabotages our mental process, the very process we need to create our life.  The only way to change this habitual negative reaction is to cancel the belief and replace it with the truth.  This is the function of the intellect, which is to go beyond belief, and 'realise' (see reality with the inner eye, the 'real eye') what is true, which in this case reminds us that happiness is not dependent on others or our circumstances.

Our personality however can easily sabotage our intellect in a similar way as it sabotages our mind. For example, sometimes we say, "Well my intuition told me���", which is our intellect connecting to our conscience, drawing on our innate wisdom, based on what is true.  But is it the truth that the intellect is seeing?  Between the intellect's connection with wisdom and the appearance of that wisdom at the level of feeling i.e. 'it feels right', and then at the level of our thoughts, the personality (programmed memory) interferes.   For example, the most common interference pattern is the habit of desire.  We might say, "My intuition tells me that I should be at that meeting tomorrow to make a contribution to the process".  But if we are honest, in reality we want to go to the meeting because there is someone there that we desire to see, and we desire them to see us!  So we allow our 'desire tendency' of personality to deceive us and cloud our clarity of decision making.

While there are many subtle distortions of our 'intellectual eye' by our personality, much more common is simply 'blind belief'.  This is when we use our learned beliefs to blind our self to a deeper truth, which in itself just becomes a habit.  We see examples of this all around us every day.   Currently a hot topic is 'evolution versus creation'.  The meeting of these two camps illustrates how 'habitual believing' shapes personality and kills the ability to be open to others point of view and others ideas.  The 'evolutionist' is often so dogmatically certain in their understanding of 'how' we got here, to such an extent the 'creationists' point of view is strongly resisted, even ridiculed.  And of course the creationists do the same in the opposite direction and each personality creates the habit of adding the 'heat of emotion' to a discussion that often 'evolves' into the habit of argument!  Sides are taken and each side is closed to the other, as is the case in any argument.  Personalities, which means belief, thought and verbal habits, are locking horns.  Occasionally someone comes along without the habit of taking sides, without the habit of attaching to one side of an argument, one belief over another, without the habit of wanting to be right, without the habit of wanting to be seen as the winner, and they can 'see' both sides, they are able to integrate both views into one.

And so the roots of the matrix if our habits and tendencies that make up our unique personality lie within our capacity to record, remember and repeat our memories.  Much of our memory is outside our day-to-day awareness in what is often referred to as the 'subconscious'.  It is from there that the origin of all our tendencies and habits exist.  And so it is there that we must go if we are to alter our ways of believing and thinking.  If we are to alter any unwanted habits we have created within our personality the root of 'learned belief' must be dug up from our subconscious and 'seen through'.  Through the ages one of the aims of the practice of meditation has been to lower the line that separates conscious awareness and subconscious memory.  In so doing we see the roots of our habit and tendencies, we see the original beliefs upon which they stand and we see through the belief.  This seeing beyond to a deeper truth is often referred to as 'realisation'.  And with every realisation our memory lets go of the darkness of an old belief and becomes lighter.  An old habit of thinking and acting is about to atrophy.  And is it does we feel freer, and our personality seems more 'real'.

Question:  Identify three habits you would like to free your self from.

Reflection: Take each habit and look deeply through it and into your self, into your memory, and see if you can see the belief that lies at the root.

Action:  Articulate the truth beyond the belief and write it down.  Then visualise the action/behaviour based on that truth.


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