Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - My Year of Deconstruction

One of the reasons I haven't written as much this year as I would have liked is that for me, this has been a year of deconstruction - the systematic deconstruction of the many concepts by which I have identified myself. And as the walls crumbled, I discovered serious cracks in the foundation upon which I have built my life – my self-concept.

Chiefest among the concepts that fell to deconstruction was the idea that I could be defined by the roles I play, by someone else's image of me, or even by my own image of myself. What is a self-concept but a collection of ideas we hold about ourselves? Much of the time, when we look deeply and honestly at those ideas, we find that they have no basis in fact.

Closely linked with the idea of a self-concept is the concept of inferiority and superiority. If I say, I am intelligent, the underlying idea is that anyone who cannot be defined as intelligent is less than me. If I say, I am successful, the idea attached to that is that I am superior to anyone who cannot be defined as successful.

If I say, I have a good job, the idea is that some jobs are bad. My job is valuable, whereas the janitor's job has little merit. Try cleaning your own office and emptying your own trash for a couple weeks, and that idea will go right out the window.

The concept of inferiority and superiority has created the denigration of others for millennia, and yet we all still carry traces of it in our psyche. It is nothing more than an idea, and having outgrown that idea, why not cast it away?

And so I ask, What do you mean, think outside the box? What box? This comes from the realization that there is no box unless we generate one with our thoughts.

Another way of putting what has been happening in my life is strategic emptying of myself as a vessel. A full vessel cannot receive. It needs to be emptied in order to be receptive.

As long as I am full of knowledge, I am not open to learning. When I empty myself of knowledge, and admit that much of what I call knowledge is nothing more than judgment, I become open to what is. When I empty myself of ideas about you, I become open to who you really are. When I empty myself of ideas about myself, I become unlimited.

I love being empty, being nothing. Nothing at all. Unwritten, undefined, undefinable.

And so it is.

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