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Finally: a Simple Mental Tool for Building Up Your Will Power Muscle
Every time when I am about to share a useful modality of dealing with our unwanted aspects of emotional functioning, I have to figure how to avoid making it sound like a boring lecture.
Now, while introducing the concept of subjectness and objectness I seem to be running into that kind of a problem, because I can't really inject anything of everyday examples to define it. All I can do is ask you to bear with me for just one boring paragraph, after which it gets better for the eyes.
As you are about to see, it's not even something where I could refer to those more familiar facets of our emotionality, but something entirely new that will only become very recognizable after we see it in life's practice.
So, let's get to the meat of it, hoping that you may derive the same benefits from it that I did in these last few decades---after discovering it as the common denominator of practically everything that really works in the genre of self-help.
A Two-Way Energy Traffic
Think of our solar plexus as an energy vortex known in yoga as a "chakra". Or, if you like it better in terms of anatomy---that intricate network of nerves located in that area often referred to as "guts", in the slang expression of "gut-feeling".
Did you know that Japanese are calling it "second brain" because of some quite telling personality traits attributed to that part of the body?
Using much of that information an intuitive speculation got born in my mind about "guts" not only being the site of our will power sensation, but also the one of fear, submission, surrender, retreat.
Then it dawned on me that all our emotions get their raw charge from guts interpreting the life situations---and then brain only attaching to them a certain significance.
I saw it as a two way energy traffic of two opposite primordial sensations which we are sharing with every living being from a virus to a whale.
One is the sensation of a force stemming outwards from our personal space--- somewhat felt like "will-power, intent" - and the other one gives us a feeling of our personal space being invaded in some way, prompting us to either cave-in into submission or use some of defenses from our survival arsenal.
The former gives us feelings of a "subject", a doer, so I called it "subjectness", and the latter makes us feel as "objects" being done-unto by the environment/world, calling for an appropriate name of "objectness".
Cute and simple, isn't it?
Our Friendly or Unfriendly World
Some decades after I intuitively hit upon this basis of all emotions, I read the book "Biology of Belief" by dr. Bruce Lipton which so nicely makes my theory hold water. Namely, that's where this brilliant cellular biologist talks about cellular responsiveness to our experiencing our environment as either "friendly", or "threatening" in some way - with our body cells setting their level of vitality according to those impressions.
So it stands to a reason that those folks with more subjectness in their guts interpret their environment as their "playground" for creativity, exploring, playfulness, and growth, whereas those objectness-folks are biologically oriented towards all kind of defenses from the environment which they see as "unfriendly".
Furthermore, the cellular biology is teaching us how our cells have basically two modes of functioning---one of growth, self-healing and self-nourishment, and another of defending.
What's significant about it is that one activated will automatically shut down the activity of the other. And it compares just fine with subjectness meaning going after all that spells psycho-physical survival, and objectness, when activated grabs all the energy from subjectness for defense.
Doesn't it ring the bell about those two basic types of emotions, one making us proactive, and another reactive---depending how we are interpreting our world, as friendly or not.
Living or Surviving
It takes an enormous amount of that limited available energy to be "on guard" at all times, draining us psycho-physically, and stealing away that portion of energy which would normally be used for body's recuperation, healing, and life promoting functions and activities.
Again, all emotions from the wide spectrum of our emotionality are carrying a charge of either subjectness or objectness. We like calling some people optimistic or pessimistic, positively or negatively minded.
From their solar plexus and its energy generator of will-to-live they draw every specialized emotion that basically makes them to either go-after the goodies of life, or it makes them treat those goodies as "unreachable" as they are too busy feeling bad and scared in their shell.
Indeed, whether we are talking people or animals, we can't escape an impression of some of them displaying a will-to-live and to somehow willfully affect their world-- - or those who seem to be constantly retreating, escaping, criticizing, complaining, feeling as victims---but getting nowhere, as if locked up in their mode of defensive survival.
Opinionated and Leading - or Submissive and Following
If we cared to look around for proofs, we would notice how most of those intellectually and emotionally independent individuals happen to live longer. Even a certain types of stubborn and self-centered ones may be included into that category.
These characteristics are actually a subjectness misdirected into some less plausible outlets of expression while not usually seen as virtues. Which is telling us how subjectness has no moral quality per se, because even a gutsy bank robber has a lot of it.
On the other hand, see how depressed and anxious folks are guided by their objectness-filled guts to avoid socializing, because even those compliments they might hear are interpreted by guts as something "being done to them".
Indeed, on the strictly energy level it's all about either about an influence stemming outwards or inwards our personal space, and our guts are too primitive to tell the difference between something pleasant or unpleasant. A bridegroom whose guts are filled with objectness may faint at time of saying vows, because the "joy is too much for his guts not to be interpreted as a threat".
And to further illustrate how guts have nothing to do with morality, a ruthless terrorist has all the guts that a meek altruist, a "professionally-nice" dude doesn't have, while putting others' welfare in front of his own. also those nice and mellow altruists who put the welfare of others in front of their own. Those are the people that we usually like more, but also the people who inspired the saying : "Nice people die first."
Unfair but true.
Polarizing Subjectness Starts in the Womb
Some of you may wonder what subjectness and objectness have to do with those babies and kids who never got their chance to live. In my opinion, in their particular energetic individuality, there are some hidden sensitivities to certain signals from their environment which produce objectness in guts.
Exposure to any of those unsuspected environmental triggers may flood their solar plexus with a massive will to escape from life. Not to cause any guilt in parents who experienced that tragedy, I'd like to suggest to all parents to encourage their tiny kids to move freely, to use their hands for grabbing, to "get impressed with their own doings".
Also, don't forget - if an embryo in mother's womb can sense mother's moods, much more than that a baby will be highly impressionable to those raised voices in the household, gut-sensing a discord between those on whom his/her life is depending.
Remember, even if it doesn't result with a tragedy, a baby's individual inherent sensitivity may instill a lot of objectness in his/her solar plexus, predisposing a defensive mode of functioning later in life.
Not in Our Genes
My apologies to all those, sometimes called "health-nuts", but politely called "health-aware" people being constantly watchful about calories, macro-and-micro nutrients, but I have to say how their opposite type, possibly a smoker and junk-eater - only providing that he's got more subjectness polarized in their guts - may outlive them by a decade or more.
Like I said quite metaphorically in some of my other articles, we have in our nature a "chemist" spying on our dominating feelings and virtually turning a vitamin into crap, or crap into a vitamin - all depending on our "emotional climate".
It's catering to our will-to-live, raising or lowering our metabolism, giving us a propelling force or draining our batteries to go from one doctor to another, from one misdiagnosis to another. We often talk about our "genetically triggered" deceases, not thinking how our parents instilled their mentality, their emotional climate into our sensitive and impressionable child psyche making us prone to exactly the same health problems they had.
A Matter of Emotional Intensity
While nothing is wrong about being health conscious, it is about its emotional intensity playing its role in our general impression about "how friendly or not" is our environment. Our exaggerated concerns about "environmental safety" - polluted soil, water, and air, use of fluoride and chlorine, the amount of radioactivity around us - it's all biting into the years of our life.
By being so critical and overcautious we experience our world as "threatening", flooding our solar plexus with defensive objectness, too busy escaping from those dangers as to enjoy anything of life.
This paranoia actually turned into a multi-billion dollar business. Remember folks, once that our guts are saturated with objectness, it doesn't really matter what its outlet may be and what is making us more pissed off, is it our government, our food, our neighbors, our news...it all spells out an "unfriendly environment".
We Are Eating Food - or It's Eating Us
I am trying to eat right foods, but there I'll go breaking any rule in the book as well. Do you know that - scientifically speaking - munching on a hot-dog with a real "gusto" and having happy thoughts will give you more nutritional value from that food than munching on a broccoli and being disgusted with its taste, and calculating calories while you eat it?
We are not eating machines, we are humans, and every morsel is an experience. Food is a part of that "friendly or unfriendly environment" and we are ingesting it, making it building blocks and energy for our bodies. On the invisible energy level, a gourmet dinner cooked by a miserable chef has "energy-toxins" in it as additional "ingredients".
Just to make this energy stuff even more spooky, have you ever heard of so called "sun gazers" who apparently hardly eat anything at all, getting all their vital energy from the sun? Imagine how far they are from worrying about their food and its nutritional value - while just embracing and absorbing the life giving energy from the sun.
Crap-In and Crap-Out
I recently bumped into an acquaintance in a grocery superstore, and he really showered me with a lecture about healthy and unhealthy foods. In short, he was a caricature of a health-nut, steaming and fuming against government food regulations and "politicians' hidden agenda to reduce the world's population by poisoning us with food and pharmaceuticals".
He just couldn't stop ranting over things that neither of us could change even if they were true - while I was not volunteering to contribute to the lecture, too busy noticing those good looking shoppers and even giving a smile to their babies. Like in so many instances in my life, again I was a witness of what objectness-filled guts can do to someone's outlook on life.
Longevity Is Really Longevity of Dreams
There is no doubt in my mind that the ratio of subjectness and objectness in our guts is determining the quality of our life and our longevity. We are born with a will-to-live and a will-to-die, and it's up to our mindset, our attitude, and our worldview which side is stronger in us.
Life can be taken as an adventure, fun, challenge, and exploring the new ways to outgrow and outdo our yesteryear's selves - or it can be felt as a constant battle against illness and death, as an escape from dangers lurking everywhere, and an inventory of all those small and big defeats.
When we remove all those toxic news and one-sided, pessimistic impressions - life is wonderful, the world is wonderful, and we are wonderful. And it takes a really suffering someone to call this "dreaming". Well, even If I am only dreaming, it feels like a dream - not like a nightmare, and it's good enough for me.