The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Monday, December 13, 2010

Diamond Hour and Dexter

Diamond Hour and Dexter

Had a great "Diamond Hour" show on Saturday. We were talking about a concept related to mastery, "I.D.E.A."--Instinctive Designation of Energy and Attention (I love XXX, don't you?).

(http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=77111&cmd=tc)

The approach I take to developing this skill (everyone has moments of it. The greatest among us seem to live in that space) is to have balanced goals, to breathe consciously five times a day, to seek elegance in thought and action, to break the goals down into small enough chunks that we are evaluating feedback multiple times per week (at least) or per day (preferably.)

I'm going to enjoy doing the show even more once TACFIT Warrior comes out. Until now, the best I could do in telling people to seek an efficient physical discipline is make suggestions like "The Five Tibetans" plus (for instance) the "Kettlebell Interval Training for Women" DVD put out by Maureen Martone, as hyper-efficient and effective fitness products. It was never fun to send people to a bunch of different places to get the basic pieces they needed. Now, for the first time, there is ONE place I can send them that has all the foundation they need. Customizing the program will require additional research, study, mentors, etc. But...that's life. There's a big world out there, with six billion people who have different histories, personal realities, and goals. All a general teacher can provide are the basics.

The foundation would be Mental-emotional health. The feeling of being comfortable in one's skin. Waking up in the morning happy to be you. Going to bed at night grateful for the day. Being able to love and be loved. There are practices that are quite productive on this level: meditation, journaling, prayer, therapy, flow-state activities and more.

We all have problems, which can be like rocks clogging up a pipe. We can either remove said obstructions, or flow around them. Preferably, you use some combination of these: seeking self knowledge, then using that information to remove obstructions. Or being fluid and flexible enough to move over, under, around the problems. This often requires a "shrinking" of the ego self, a lack of Self-awareness, and a control of negative emotions.

This is also necessary to move forward against the inevitable criticisms. No one ever makes substantial progress in their lives without running into people who try to tear them down, doubt their decisions, question their ethics, and more. And that simply has to be all right with you. If you take ANY action that has the chance of leading to greater than average results, you are violating social rules. Common wisdom leads to common results. This is just the price you have to pay.

If I define several steps along the path of growth: from Adulthood (taking responsibility for our actions and emotions) to Awakening (responsibility for the experience of life, bringing unconscious value structures and beliefs up to conscious awareness), then the potion called "self-love" is just wonderfully valuable. It not only gives you the strength to move forward (why should you take special efforts to improve your life unless you just flat love you?), to accept and give love to others, and to resist venom from spectators. Of course, there are levels beyond this, but it is a darned fine start. Most people who display negative beliefs and actions in their lives display cognitive and emotional dissonance if asked the simple question: "do you love yourself?"

I'd say that people who cannot exercise an hour a week, can't focus on transformative goals, or are not in loving relationships most commonly draw a blank when asked a question like this. Oh, they can work hard, until their backs hurt or their brain turns to mush, but can't put conscious care into realigning their spines or generating a healthy, controlled sweat. They can be good friends, but not learn the rules of exchange that lead to love and sensuality. Often it seems that they are afraid that if they really knew themselves, they wouldn't like what they found. This extends to believing that if others really saw them for who they are, they'd run screaming.

Last night's Dexter touched on this. Won't go into it too deeply, but this season has been about Dex exploring his humanity, the meaning of his monstrosity, the desire for connection and family, his ability to give and receive love. And the fact that people he cares about, and respects, see more of him than he ever intended for them to see...and find him human. Yes, an extreme portion of the human spectrum, but human. "One of us" as they said in Todd Browning's immortal Freaks.

Most of us don't have to go as far, as deep, as Dex has to go to make contact with something uncorrupted. At one point he makes one of the most touching declarations of love I've ever heard, promising to keep another's "darkness" with his own. I almost lost it. Wonderful, wonderful moment.

There is something beneath that darkness, Dexter. There is light. And beyond that, there is a non-dualistic state that is not-light, and not-darkness. For Dex, unless he finds an extraordinary balance, this would be spiraling into an endless void. Light will be enough.

For most of us, Light is heaven. Great season.

1 comment:

Orignal Wombman said...

Literally...this post just saved my life...have balanced goals, to breathe consciously five times a day, to seek elegance in thought and action, to break the goals down into small enough chunks that we are evaluating feedback multiple times per week (at least) or per day...The feeling of being comfortable in one's skin. Waking up in the morning happy to be you. Going to bed at night grateful for the day. Being able to love and be loved. There are practices that are quite productive on this level: meditation, journaling, prayer, therapy, flow-state activities and more...Awakening (responsibility for the experience of life, bringing unconscious value structures and beliefs up to conscious awareness)...Insha'Allah...I will do my best in hopes of a sound mind.