Loss of Self Esteem, Losing Face - The Self Created Victim
Triumph or Tragedy - It's all in the mind
Loss of Self Esteem - But what causes it?
What does "Losing Face," mean? To me, it means that the so-called loser is a self-created victim of their own thoughts. For when we "lose face," nothing tangible happens. Not to the loser, nor to anyone else. For it's all 'in the mind.' At worse, a few people might shrug and say, "Well, I didn't expect that of him." and then get on with their lives forgetting the incident entirely. Others might briefly remember and gossip. If the person who "lost face," is a celebrity, a few might quietly cheer...or jeer. But these are people who possibly didn't like the celebrity anyway - probably because of envy. In some way they think his loss is their gain. That aside, all that happens is that a few neural pathways in brain-structures are changed. Not that we should undervalue such changes.
Our concept of what we are isn't necessarily who we are
So what is a "loss of face." What does it really mean? Virtually nothing to anyone - except the self-created image of the person who believes he has just lost face. The real person, the "I am" without anything added, is not affected in the least. The ideas in the mind of that person, the concepts of what he or she is - not the truth, but the imaginings and identifyingwith those concepts - is what feels 'the pain.' It is a pain of loss. Which really means a diminishment of something the person believes themselves to be. Note that word 'believes.'
Triumph or tragedy - It's as old as a Greek play scene.
Two definitions of true freedom -and life AS IT IS
I read somewhere that Absolute Freedom can be defined as "total unconcern with oneself." The self here meaning, if I'm interpreting this correctly, that the real self has diluted the strength of his or her ego to a point where the ego's 'pain body' can no longer influence that person's life. They are free of ego's reactions- free of self-created mental pain.
Yogi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaja's "In my life, nothing goes wrong." is a statement along the same lines. If things are interpreted as 'going wrong,' then this is an interpretation of the ego-mind. Something is happening which our ego does not like. What it wants to happen is not happening. Or not likely to happen. The reality is world is as it is, not how our ego minds would like it to be, and so our minds interpret what is happening as wrong.
Self-esteem - the choices are always ours - take responsibility!
This does not mean passive acceptance and a philosophy that it is useless to try to change things. Not at all. When we experience something we don't like we have options. We can walk away from it. We can accept it with grace - rather than resentment - knowing it will change in time. Or we can take steps to bring about the change we desire. But so often we complain, get angry, burn up inside. And in thus doing so strengthen the very mind-forms which are causing our angst in the first place, in the pain body's component of our ego minds.
Kirlian Photograph of our energy field - or part of the spectrum
Every thought we have contains emotion - miniscule or huge in its influence
I cannot stress enough that every thought we have has an emotional component. Thoughts arise within us and pass away But the emotional component of each thought is deposited in our mind-bodies. They stay. They becomes embedded in that part of our aura which we could call our personal mind. (Do not make the mistake of thinking the mind is only in the brain) This mind-energy body which surrounds and interpenetrates our physicality is forever influencing us. Indeed, it is, I believe, Ego-influence itself. This influence being made up of a self-created, Self-image along with that Image's sense of insecurity - hence its almost perpetual feelings of vulnerability. It's not quite real, and it knows it.
Self esteem and the self-image have a very shaky foundation
The self-image, or ego, senses it is a house built on sand. It senses it is an amalgamation of ideas, thought-forms that have solidified into certain neural patterns and pathways, ways of thinking and interpreting. In order to stay alive it needs constant reassurance. Thoughts arise. Ideas come and go. Immersed in these, we have the illusion that we are these. The ego mind is forever in need of stimulus of one kind or another. The verbal chatter goes on; the imaginary discourses, the scenes of conquest or defeat, acquisition and loss. There is no peace in the ego, and it absolutely abhors silence. In silence comes great vulnerability.
The every changing colours reflect our thoughts as they arise.
Our ego fears discovery for what it is. Scrutiny terrifies it
What really challenges the ego in the way it sees as most dangerous, is when the real self, the Observer, the Witness which we are, discovers and examines it. This is done when the real I stops and listens to what is arising in his or her mind. Meditation practices can trigger this, and often do. But by listening, I do not mean interpret, or analyse, or buy into the subject matter arising. I mean being still, silent, observing of what is coming up.
When this is done the ego mind rebels. In such danger, it can behave like a wild beast. Screams of protest can erupt. Yells, angry noises. Perhaps not continuously, but they keep coming up. They rise to surface, but because there is no identification with them, the frustration is very apparent. This is your pain body, the emotion trapped within, trying to make itself felt. And often it is felt. Sensations arise. They can arise as heat, cold, motion such a ticks and trembling, fidgeting, waving the arms around. The ego can even take you over by having your get up and walk away from the awfulness of such self-discipline.
There will be rationalization as to why this is "silly," or "harmful." Or, "This will drive me mad." The ego mind is both cunning and devious and will do almost anything to fight off the domination by our real self. Yet, until we do win out, we will always be the victim of our emotions; never really be able to say, "I am the captain of our ship, the master of my soul."
The writer's own experiences through years of meditation
During my years of Vipassana Meditation practice I have experienced these sensations over and over again. They are there in what seems like an endless supply, just below the surface. They can become so intense that I suspect that if even a hundred, maybe even a thousandth part of what's in us arose in one moment, the shock would kill us.
The moment my mind is stilled and I sit, or stand, or lie in silence, the sensations arise. When my mind is active and I'm involved with my life - the normal ego-identified life most of us lead 99.9 percent of the time, the pain body is not experienced. But nowadays it does not take a meditation session to enable me to feel this auric movement in and around my body. The years of practice - I estimate around 25,000 hours over nearly thirty years - have sensitised me to the point that I can feel the pressures, the pulsating and wobbling of the auric field surrounding my physicality, just by being still and bringing my attention to bear on it.
(To get an idea of auric-fields you can now see short movie clips on Youtube)
But to get back to Losing Face.
Diminishment of our self-image can arouse fearful chain reactions
When the ego perceives that it is under threat, that its importance is diminished in any way, the mind-body's contents, the suppressed and repressed parts (known in Buddhist terminology as our Samskaras) become activated. They can, and often do, link up into chains-of-emotion. These arise quickly, virtually instantaneously to the surface, often overwhelming the real self in a burst of negativity: temper-tantrum, anger, even rage.
For example, a married couple in argument. The wife, accidentally drops, a plate and it breaks. The husband, already out of sorts for some other reason retorts:
"Gawd! You're clumsy."
"Well, if you did the dishes occasionally, you'd smash a plate or two,"
"Why would I do that. It's woman's work. I bring the food into this place. I don't cook it!
"Yeah, well you should."
"Don't you tell me what to do - bitch."
"You call me a bitch! You're despicable! You're man who slept with that blonde harlot when you said you were away playing golf."
"You -! Up comes an angry fist and crashes into a face.
Note the spike in this aura. No, I don't know what it means.
When we react with emotion we both replenish and strengthen our false self
This scenario is typical of pain bodies arising, linking up with past pain, and causing an immediate chain reaction. It is a reaction that can happen so quickly the real self is overwhelmed and the ego-mind, in it automatic efforts to replenish the energy of the pain body, reacts. When we react, the emotional parts of us in that particular area of our lives become stronger. The only way for it not to become stronger is not to react: not at the thought-reactive level, and certainly not at the physical action level.
The hard thing to do thing is to keep our equilibrium, our emotional balance. Yet our job is to keep a sense of equanimity rather than reacting, if we're ever to get free of ego.
I would say this indicates, happy, blissful thoughts.
Emotional deposits locked in below our level of consciousness
In Vipassana, the technique is to systematically observe the sensations which arise in the body. At first, the sensations are the ordinary, everyday sensations that we experience, such as an itch, an ache, a cramp, sweat on the brow, cold or heat of the room, discomfort from tired limbs and the like. But as time progresses - especially in the confines and discipline of a ten-day retreat - one begins to bring to the surface subtler sensations, subtler energies. These are energies now experienced in consciousness but which are emanating from deep within. They are coming from, I believe, the mind-body and, in particular, the Samskaras or emotional conglomerates or patterns which represent suppressed or repressed emotion. These have been safely 'locked away' below consciousness - possibly for decades. Now, with the mind-chatter stopped, they find their way to the surface.
The self-image and self-esteem cause all plenty of angst
Losing face is just a part of our greatest fear
These samskara-sensations are also what are activated when a person says or feels they have '"lost face." They have, of course, lost nothing of real value. What the ego-mind feels it has lost is some of its security. Someone - the blame is always placed outside - has taken from it, weakened it. A fear is aroused. And as we all know - or should - all anger has its roots in fear. It does not matter whether it is a slight resentment or a strong one, impatience, frustration, jealousy, envy, hatred - virtually every negative emotion we have is ego based. And every fear is caused because, deep down, the ego knows that it has no foundation. It is just an imagined thing, always was, and always will be. So a loss of face brings it one step closer; it feels, to its death. And that is its most abject of all fears. The