Friday, July 22, 2011

What's the Big Ego (part 1)

In this time of manifestation, we must all be aware of not only our conscious thoughts we as human beings harbor either individually or collectively, but the unconscious protective though processes that serve as protector in order to maintain a rational safety mechanism disguised as balance.

Carl Jung wrote extensively of this protector as the bedrock of psyche analysis, Abraham Maslow described it as “Self Esteem” that level of need before self-actualization and Sigmund Freud divided “I” into three categories. The unconscious protector for which I am referring is that little voice from which many of our ideologies, behaviors and functioning stem unknowingly: EGO

Originating from Latin meaning “I”, our ego has served as a sheltering force, often taking over in times of danger providing a seemingly balanced explanation for our conscious thoughts, behaviors and actions. Most often this protector creeps up, shutting down all sensibility acting on behalf of self as warrior. It takes over speaking out in the lowest form of intelligence…Fear identified (ID) as whole self.

Freud defines ID as an unconscious element “filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle.” This means that our ego runs off instinct from environmental stimulants that trigger traumatic experiences held within seeking only to personally satisfy the victory of removing self from danger. Oftentimes we operate in this space without conscious knowledge until someone points it out or we are placed in such a dangerous situation upon which we cannot respond with the basic fight or flight.

So let’s examine how our ego can work outside our realm of conscious, rational thought and force us to behave in mannerisms undetected by self or otherwise. Take me for example, as I was thoroughly enjoying myself this past weekend at the Indiana Black Expo I consulted with my sister on having been off the market for five years, I needed assistance finding a man (after all it has been a year since my fiancĂ©e left me for another woman). I confided in my sis the qualities I desired: 6’3, Good Provider, Loves the Lord etc. etc. etc. As I was rounding off my long list of qualities, I capped it by saying “and they have to be unavailable.” That’s right you got it correctly, I said unavailable lol, but what was really insane I kept repeating it until my sister asked me do I really want a man who is unavailable?

As I contemplated this statement I realized that my ego had escaped my rationale and spoke its truth. Having been in as many abusive relationships, the ego had built a structure of comfort to keep me sustained in a victim mentality, disguising the energy as victorious power. If I seek after unavailable, it would satisfy two thought processes, victimization and victory. The victim in me wanted to continue believing in abuse as love and myself not completely ever being first in a man’s life. The victorious me would seek unavailable in order to consciously be aware that I was not first and therefore I could protect myself accordingly. My behaviors in a relationship would be to push the man away by never expecting much nor asking for that which I need and deserve, respect, honesty, truth, provisions, stability…Love.

The ego creates a pattern and locks it away in the subconscious until the time to unleash, usually during times of perceived danger due to a trigger from the past. Most often an environmental element triggers our responses; a sound, a touch, a person’s stature, a food, anything that was catalogued at the time of the trauma. Dianetics the film discusses this process extensively as the reactive mind taking over when consciousness or as I call it your sensibility is lost. The unconscious begins building the blocks to warn your psyche the next time a dangerous situation might occur. Unfortunately the ego, reactive mind, unconscious ID does not understand triggers and stimulants surround us every day and it is virtually impossible to not operate in fear until your rational or conscious mind can cancel the thought. This requires one to be conscious of the irrational thought process, in my case “unavailable.” Starting from present moment one must be fully aware of which thought processes are for the greater good and those which are not, embracing the good and rejecting the bad. Yes it is that simple.

It is stated that it takes only 21 days to diminish a bad habit or create a good one but you must fully be aware of every present consciousness. Begin today to seek available and cancel unavailable. Begin today to love and not hate. Begin today to serve and not take. Begin today to show empathy and not apathy. Begin today with the thought of creation not destruction. Begin today by letting God not Ego (I or self) fill your unconsciousness. Create Anu world over.

This is where I say AH…

Peace, Love and Bliss.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Saggin: Freedom or Entrapment?

While attending the July 4th Freedom Celebration activities, in the midst of my view I eyed several young and older African American men with their pants hung low or as we say on the streets “saggin.” Some men were shirtless others had on wife-beater tank tops or short sleeved shirts all coupled with their oversized jeans. Now I’m not against wearing jeans a little loose for comfort ability because let’s face facts I am not an advocate for skinny or extremely tight fitting jeans either, especially on men. Yes call me sexist but it is something about a man clothed in a perfect cut that is sexy. Yet I digress, as African Americans we have set the stage of many fashion trends from the over the top bell bottoms and platform shoes, to our revolutionary afros and dread locks, African medallions and dashikis to gangsta suits with Stacy Adams to Adidas Track suits and jerry curls to leather jacket with one glittery glove. African Americans have been the contributors and creators of many mainstream style trends. So it behooves me to wonder… In the midst of rise and fall of fashionable trends, why did the world continue with the fashion frontier of “Saggin?”

While I was teaching, an email was sent to me by a colleague from an anonymous college student who was fed up with the disorder and low level thought processes of wearing below the waist pants. The student discussed how some 18 year old freshmen were attempting to grasp the attention of her 22 year old friend. When the men asked how they could the girls attention, the student simply stated “Pull up your pants!” The student also enlightened the men on the origin of “saggin” pants. You see wearing the pants low originated in the American Prison System as inmates in that time were not allowed to wear belts or shoe laces for fear the items would be utilized as a weapon to commit suicide or murder. Thus and so if pants hung low the inmates really did not have a choice because of the uniform issued, and worst the choice became ritualistic that inmates became desensitized continuing the trend even after release from the federal institution. At one point it was rumored that men in prison used below the waist pants as a method to show sexual availability or lack thereof to other inmates. So I ask once again, why would the world embrace a fashion trend with such misguided, painful and deep roots? Why take a concept that entails a prison of the mind and body bringing it forth in celebration.

In this moment of Freedom where we believe freedom means feeling safe, secure and comfortable does below the waist pants truly display personal freedom. Oftentimes I see young men constantly pulling up their saggin pants just to walk, is that safe or comfortable? Is that free? Or are our youth so desensitized they no longer understand the concepts of Freedom? Freedom is order, Freedom is truth. Truth is Order. They say knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss. Are young men free from knowing the truth or are they blissful in arrogance of their ignorance? These young men are taking an institutionalized concept which was formulated to maintain order and applying it in a disorderly fashion. As my friend Ordena says “my mind can’t calculate that” lol. How in the world can one create order in disorder, that application is not possible, order and disorder cannot live in the same state of being – human or divine.

I say now is the time of education, revitalization, self-esteem and pride. Let us reclaim our youth and explain to them that just because a person walks around with their clothes ironed, shirts neatly tucked in and pants around the waist with a belt does not mean that person is a nerd or a geek or a wannabe or gay. Let us remind these youth that at one point in the prison mind wearing pants hanging low was considered a sign of homosexual activity. Being clean, orderly and comfortable is simply a measure of self-care. Presentation is everything, and actions speak louder than words. What our young African American men and women are presenting loudly is that they do not care anymore than to look as if they just stepped out of the bed of prison. Yes I did include our sistahs in this module as well for I cannot in good conscious let them off the hook as I have seen many walk around in public in pajama bottoms and low rise hip hugger jeans with underwear showing.

When I think of all those slaves who died attempting to gain freedom or all those men, women and children who died for equal civil right, it sickens me to know our children and some adults still desire to embrace a slave or imprisoned mentality of less than. We have an African American President and First Lady, African American heads of American Express and McDonalds Corp yet we still reside in a slave mentality. Take the guts of the pig and create chitterlings, take the crumbs of bread and fry our leftovers. In order to truly free ourselves from this mindset we must be armed with the knowledge of power, truth, love for selves, love for one another, love for that high source. Love is the vibrational energetic pattern that just IS: I AM and from that one proclamation all else will follow in order. If not then the cycle continues in disorder.

In an article by Abhijit Naik published in 2010, it was mentioned how lawmakers are curbing laws to cite the practice of “saggin” as indecent. The author goes on to state “Sagging pants history is an apt example of how an objectionable fashion trend can move on to become an illegal action, severe enough to attract some time in jail, which ironically, is where it all started.” This is where I say AH!!

Peace, Love, Bliss