Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

And the Devil will Drag You Under…

Originally posted on December 27, 2010

That phrase from the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls (“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”) is evocative; but really, it’s not “the” devil—really they’re just old patterns of childish motives combined with the imps of facilitating mental magic that work to seduce you. They’re prevalent, in everyone, not intentionally malignant to begin with. This is how the muddy middle-unconscious works. It’s sort of like spam from the inner brat—that’s the unsavory side of the sweet inner child complex. (Ha ha.) You know, those seductive appeals from wherever about how someone’s died and left a fortune that you can get a big hunk of if you’ll only… ? What I’m saying is that we need the equivalent of spam filters and scam detectors to identify and counter the really rather seductive messages that play on our unrealistic subconscious motivations.

One temptation is to think about or reflect on our own thinking as little as possible. There are many external social co-enablers as well as internal saboteurs who will suggest that we can get away with this, that it isn’t that necessary, that just being yourself is fine. There’s a germ of validity here—just a germ—in that you don’t have to be consumed by self-doubt; but complacency isn’t the answer either—it’s best to have a balance.

Many of the other maneuvers also draw on the one above—they operate in the shadows. It’s best if you not look at them too closely—sort of what they say about it being best to avoid watching the making of sausage out of yucky body parts of animals, or the making of law by politicians. But really, it isn’t better—ignorance is only a temporary avoidance and what you avoid comes back and “bites” you with venom. Consciousness and responsibility is uncomfortable, but wise, and it saves you grief in the long run.

In other columns under “follies” I’ll be describing various scams. It’s sort of like getting an anti-virus program for your computer: Identify the buggers and don’t leave yourself open to be sabotaged by them. But you have to do the work for yourself, because where it’s coming from is not the outside, but yourself.

So, lesson one: Unless you consciously notice and relinquish certain goals, they’ll continue to operate under the surface. One is the hope that life can be easy and that if it isn’t, it’s not fair. It was okay to feel and think that way for a few years when you were very young, but that passes as you become more able to determine your own destiny. A listing of some other childish illusions is in a paper on my website.  If you haven’t deeply, honestly admitted that these desires are in there, and made a decision to let go of them, they’ll continue to use all sorts of ways of perpetuating their goals.

The inner childish child doesn’t discriminate between work and un-fun duty. It doesn’t know that you can take responsibility and also think of ways to make your work fun, as Mary Poppins teaches in her “Spoonful of Sugar” song. If you really do what’s needed, you can make time to enjoy yourself in other wholesome ways. But not knowing that, there’s a deep program to avoid consciousness and responsibility and to get by on manipulations and inner self-deceptions. In the shadows, these inner scams work—though in the light of consciousness their childish underpinnings are more obvious.

So I invite you to watch this category and read more about waking up, fighting the inner saboteur.


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