September 22, 2016 1:10 PM
The Outer Ego Aspect is about our dynamic personas. It is not about defining ourselves, or presenting an image designed to manipulate the opinion of others. The Outer Ego Aspect is about communication—about speaking the other person’s language. It is about speaking from our heart, to theirs. Ultimately, it is about love.
From the book in progress…
I live a largely solitary life, almost the life of a hermit. I was concerned I wouldn’t have a Moment worthy of the Outer Ego Aspect, but as it turns out, “luck” (see the Mystic Aspect) was once again on my side…
I stepped into a coffeeshop in Aberdeen, Washington and looked around the room. The coffeeshop faced east, which meant the morning sun was streaming in the windows. Bright sunlight shining in your eyes makes it difficult to work on a computer. Recognizing my dilemma, a heavy-set bearded man—the spitting image of Zach Galifianakis—pointed out a table next to him in the shadows. I told him I travel a lot and in every coffeeshop I come to, I go through the same ritual. Of trying to determine the best table to work from. He asked what type of work I did, what kind of work allowed me to travel so much and I said, “Well, I used to write software, but now I just write.”
I didn’t know why I prefaced my reply with the programming thing—it seemed out of place—but then he told me he was writing an RPG, a computer role playing game, and he asked me what languages I coded in and we discussed his game and the problems he was having and for every problem he had, he had an excuse for why he couldn’t continue. And he told me of all the problems he was having with his computer and the problems he was having with finding a job and for every problem he had, he had an excuse. Then he reminisced about how much simpler life was in the military and I smiled.
I said, “Remember in basic training what we were supposed to say whenever we screwed up? We’d have to shout, ‘No excuse drill sergeant!’ I hated that. Hated it. It just seemed so unreasonable. But then I found out I was getting a lot more done. Just knowing they wouldn’t put up with my excuses forced me to find a way around the problem. To change and to adapt but to always keep moving… keep moving.” And I paused for a moment, recalling those days of pain and confusion and joy. “The whole platoon eventually figured it out. It made us unstoppable.”
“Yeah,” he replied, “I forgot about that…”
“No excuse sergeant!” he said in a deeper voice, a firmer voice. A more confident voice. He paused and his eyes lost focus. “No excuse sergeant!” he practically whispered as he slipped back into his mind, to a time when he felt better about himself. Stronger. More confident.
“Yup,” I said in agreement, “When the going gets tough, the smart find a way around it.”
Then we opened up our laptops and he started coding and I started writing.
The next day, at an ocean overlook just north of Depot Bay, Oregon…
I walked out to the point—a spit of land vacant of tourists—and just as I reached the wooden fence, a whale crested fifty yards offshore. Seconds later, another crested. A pair! It was the first time I’d seen whales in the wild. I’ve grown used to this luck—the luck of the Mystic—but still… I’m always grateful. I silently thanked Her.
Just then a group of women came up and stood at the rail next to me. I don’t know how women do it, talk and listen at the same time. To me it sounds like a room full of parakeets, all chirping at once. It’s a beautiful sound—full of energy and excitement—but it’s confusing. I can’t follow it. It’s bewildering, yet it always leaves me smiling.
The whales crested again, first one, then a few moments later, the other. But the women missed it. They continued to chatter and chirp as they leaned in excitedly toward each other. They were so caught up in whatever was going on in their minds that they were missing the miracle just offshore.
When the first whale crested again, I nudged the woman next to me and said, “Watch the ocean, right there,” and just as I pointed—as if I had miraculously manifested it—the second whale crested and she gasped and told the others and the group fell silent and watched and waited in anticipation as I walked away.
And as I walked, I realized how happy I felt.
Later, that afternoon as I strolled along a sidewalk of Lebanon, Oregon, looking for a Thai restaurant that Google had recommended…
She was walking on the sunny sidewalk toward me and our eyes met. She was old but lively and I asked her if the Thai food here (nodding toward the restaurant next to us) was any good and she told me they serve strange things—weird food with names you can’t pronounce. Years ago she had eaten there with her husband and he didn’t like the food. He didn’t like it at all.
“You’ve lived here long?” I asked, knowing the answer. And standing there, I watched as her eyes came alive, so grateful and eager to finally have an audience once again after so long, so long. It brought tears to my eyes to see this lonely old woman light up like that.
“A long time. Too long. I know everything about this town.” And she told me how one year she and her girlfriend had taken all the Christmas trees that lined the streets on this corner in the winter and stuffed them in the police car so the cops couldn’t chase them when they got into trouble later that night. She told me of all the places she played in over the years and…
“Played?” I asked.
Oh, I used to play the piano and the saxophone and the clarinet and I played in all the pubs and clubs in this town. I played in every town from here to Portland. You should have heard me. You should have seen me. Ah, I was so young then. And she told me of the town and the locals and the events and the store and shops and houses and the history and when she was done I felt like the blind man in Amélie, the man who lived in the dark and whom Amélie helped cross the street, describing along the way everything she saw of the marketplace—everything she saw but he could not.
I saw all of Lebanon that afternoon, standing on a sidewalk next to a very old woman who was very young just then.
And as I walked away, I felt happier and lighter and I knew the old/young woman felt happier and lighter too.
And even though I couldn’t pronounce the name, the Thai food I had wasn’t bad either.
Two days later, I awoke to the sound of Her (TaoGod’s) whisper, “You won’t be around forever. It’s time to start weaning Michelle. She’s ready. Help her find her own way.” And I got out of bed and I wrote Michelle, who had wanted to schedule a phone call. I wrote her not in English, but in the language of Spiritual Mentor. (We used Google+. The first paragraph is the topic thread):
Holding Myself Accountable To The Witness/Mystic.
When I catch myself taking my thoughts or emotions too seriously, I will access the Witness (no boundaries) while opening my Heart (Mystic). I will send Love to everything and everyone in my vicinity. I will be boundless Love.
No call. I want to focus on the book and I want you to become more confident in your abilities.
I met a man the other day who wanted to write an RPG (computer game), but he had a dozen excuses for why he couldn’t do it. Something was always wrong. Some barrier was always in the way.
When I was in the Army, the first thing the drill instructor taught us was when “asked” why we didn’t accomplish some task, the proper response was, “No excuse, drill sergeant!” At first this bothered the hell out of me, but soon I found myself thinking differently. When I encountered a barrier I could either go around it, go over it, go under it, or go through it. The option to say, “I couldn’t, there was a barrier in the way,” was no longer on the table. I resisted. I fought it. I tried to argue it, but all I got were pushups in return. Soon I stopped resisting. One after another, barriers were encountered, dealt with, and left behind in the dust. Confidence soared (the wise have their scars).
Re-read the purpose of this post, but in particular the last part: LOVE. Love will help you cross ANY barrier (around, over, under, through).
Barrier: Mind taken too seriously
Detaching from Barrier: Witness
Transcending the Barrier: Love
I’m not saying you are making excuses. You are not. I related the story of the RPG man and my Army experience as a parable. Forget my misunderstanding about your being bogged down. Forgive it. Forgive yourself the transgression of self-doubts. Detach from your concerns about pleasing me or progressing at some pre-determined rate. All mind stuff. All noise. Detach. Transcend.
Relate the good and the bad here, but also relate your insights and your understandings too. Don’t expect my response. Only you can transcend your Barriers. Only you can grow confident.
I love you. I want what is best for you. You have everything you need—everything but confidence. And confidence can’t be taught.
“I will be boundless Love.” No barrier can withstand that.
Finally, a few days later in a coffeeshop in Sisters, Oregon…
Four old men sat at a table next to me. Like practically every coffeeshop and McDonald’s in America, every morning you’ll find a table of old men solving the problems of the world. These men were no different.
For a half-hour these four men were sharing their ideas. Happy to have all the answers. Happy to be doing some good (if only in their minds). Then a fifth man came up. He asked if I was using the spare chair and I said, “Nope, it’s all yours,” and he pulled it over to the table to join his comrades.
A few moments later, I heard the fifth man say, “It’s a refill scheme! What are you stupid? They’re just trying to sucker you out of your money.”
Within three minutes, the other four men had each made an excuse and said their goodbyes and the fifth man found himself sitting alone at a table for four in a crowded coffeeshop in Sisters, Oregon.
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