In pursuing this Buddhist path and how to approach a clear understanding of past habits and patterns, I came upon this interview that has some great points. Certainly, meditation really helps bring the experiential closer to home, i.e. the body. But you know our little weasel of a mind that often cries, “What about me?
Here is some transcript from points I find clear and pointed from Peter Shor’s interview of Andy Nesky(part 2 of 7), explaining the teaching of George Ivanovitch Gurdjief on Youtube. Gurdijief borrowed heavily from ancient religions forming his own teaching. I feel transcribing it would be more beneficial to other seekers of wisdom than just putting up the link. There are a few jewels of wisdom here and I might post some more. I apologize if I make any errors in my transcribing, and the italics are mine.
“Basically as we’re mostly reactionary. So he says something to me and really I have a reaction and I say what my reaction is. If you insult me I might have a reaction of feeling defensive because I don’t think I deserved that kind of comment. In most of our life goes sort of like back and forth with reactions. The problem with reactions they don’t always serve our purposes. So in a certain situation my anger might have caused me to lose my job. In another circumstance my fear may prevent me for doing what I really need to do. An opportunity that might never come again. So by being aware and expanding our consciousness we get to the root of ourselves in these situations so that the peripheral reaction that happens in the case of say anger or fear or any of these common forms of lower emotions. There is something that can shift through it and can see through the surface of it. So for example a person insults me and see directly that the person who is that position is a hurt person, and it maybe because they were mistreated by their parents or whatever the circumstances. By being able to have a deeper connection with the present moment and the person I speaking with, my compassion for seeing that would prevent me from just falling into anger and saying something that would not be beneficial for that situation. So part of the idea of more consciousness in life is having the ability to choose. To decide what is appropriate for any given moment and to not just be subject for reaction. If I’m there and deciding, I have an aspect of will or an aspect of I as an individual, that isn’t there, if I am just reacting. So, when I react and basically I am this set of patterns that were formed in my childhood and all my life, up to now. Hence, I learn to have a deeper connection with myself and have a choice at given moment how to manifest. Then there is a conscious intention that inwardly is manifested as a state of ‘I am.’ I am an individual that can choose what to do, what to say, what is appropriate, rather than just fall into a mechanical action. The advantage of that is that is many of our mechanical reactions gets us into trouble, because we get into a habit. So if I have a habit of drinking it may lead me to be an alcoholic, or if I have a habit of smoking my lead me to certain forms of cancer. Various kinds of things that we do mechanically don’t surface.”
I know for myself, more than half of how I deal with life, I learned from my alcoholic father. A father who was sadly inconvenienced by his four kids. Sometimes, I would come home and it would be a sarcastic commentary on the messed up world that is out to get us. Oh, he was funny and biting and had it all right, until it came to us children. It was suddenly no fun, anymore. Other times, it was hell on fire with no fire extinguisher. It never left me with a reasonable way to see the world, and so I learned to be reactionary, thinking I can make a decision right or wrong and be done. A Fight or flight way of seeing the world, which doesn't always allow you to be a well adjusted and diplomatic person. Or just be able to sit with it. Yet, I am inside a common sense type of person, who is now on this wisdom path to make a sensible and kind contribution. Instead of running away.