I've had a lot of insights into myself in the past couple of days. Not too pretty, as usual. But first, Tolle writes in Chapter 1, "To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence," and "The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness." Wow.
He defines insanity not in the traditional sense but as any dysfunction, any "sin" or such. He says the difference between someone walking around talking to themself out loud that we may label as a "crazy person" and all of us who go around with a constant stream of words going through our minds is just a matter of degree. He implores us to be more present, more living in the present reality, in our physical form, and less in our "minds" which can be the domain of the ego. We can and should use our intellect, but only insofar as it does not feed the ego (which he says is the root of all "insanity" or dysfunction).
But what I realized about myself: I am a commitment-phobe! I pulled out this book on my shelf, He’s Scared, She’s Scared which I'd bought in immediate post-separation/divorce phase of my life. It hit the nail so squarely I about fell out of my bed. I’ve thought all along I’m so scared of loss and abandonment, because I've had so much of that. But this makes complete sense with my utter inability to make decisions sometimes (which I've blogged about before), especially when they affect someone else, or are really important.
These are the characteristics of the "active" commitment-phobe: sends mixed messages, afraid both of committing to a more serious relationship & to leaving (which is also a "commitment"), acts out to force the other away (hoping subconsciously they will end it or be so hurt it’s damaged). They go from one extreme to another afraid to make the wrong choice & strongly desires freedom, hence confusing & hurting the partner in the process.
On the other hand, the "passive" commitment-phobe gets heavy & serious right away, projects and fantasizes about how this relationship could be “so perfect…”, drawn to unavailable partners (emotional or physical distance or both), trusts too quickly, then lives in constant state of intense yearning for the relationship once rejected. Interestingly I've been both active and passive in different relationships, and in fact normally follow a particular pattern but it's seemed to have flip-flopped. And so that is in itself interesting. Anyway I love insight into myself, because only through awareness can we change. I welcome it, even when it's painful insight.
Also in the A New Earth workbook, one of the questions is: "What makes you feel more alive and open, less dense, less bogged down by heavy thoughts and feelings, and could this be the beginnings of what A New Earth is pushing toward?" What I wrote quickly, without thinking:
Yoga, running, sunshine, dance, jumping, spinning around, swinging.
Then I realized, wow besides "sunshine" those are all physical activities. (I later added another item to the list, which shall remain unspoken because children read this blog! hee hee) :) I am such an in-my-head intellectual, always questioning, pondering and I realized that what makes me happy is actually what he’s calling us to in the book already to just live in the NOW and be present. Quite interesting.
Oh and the Berkeley bots pic resonated because I went to see WALL.e with the kids yesterday, plus it reminds me of how much we, or I, rather, can sometimes act like robots acting out these crazy subconscious issues of the past. Hallelujah for awareness and enlightenment!