The Psychology of Heightened Awareness (Part 2)
by Bruce Scott. Ph.D.
The Psychology of Heightened Awareness is based on this moment, seeing what is, without having to identify it with a name. This way or process is always about awareness and the practice of noticing everything all the time. It is about hearing deeply behind the words. It is about being with, and following another person’s experience, while simultaneously aware of our own. The intent is to join with another, wanting to see what they see with a sense of wonder, allowing our own learned beliefs to step aside. This way offers the safety required in this world, for innocence, softness, and personal revelation to emerge almost effortlessly. It is about simplicity, and can be a daily practice with all relationships.
The present collective belief system about human behavior and psychology requires a polarity; those that are identified as having problems, versus those that are the so-called healers or teachers or fixers. This is not bad or good. It just is. Clients and therapists. Teachers and students. Patients and doctors.
For this polarized system to work efficiently, there must be a sufficient number of problems to fix; and there must be those who perceive themselves as not together, ill, or in some way, wrong. They, or us, believe “In the future, I will have it together. Later, I will be happier and more satisfied with my life and the world. Not now. Later. Tomorrow will be better.” That’s the belief.
Current psychology and cultural practice is based on what could and should be; what is missing, and how the past caused whatever it is that is seemingly not happening today. It is about how you want to feel and be, eventually. It is about how we believe we have been damaged by what has been done to us by our past experiences. Another perception is that all our experiences happen for us, not to us.
There are multi-cultural beliefs about personal relationships, global chaos, family dysfunction, racism, sexism, addiction, violence, and prescription/street drug abuse. Among these beliefs is that these items are outside of our individual control, and we are powerless.
The psychology of the future requires an internal shift where you feel, see and believe there is nothing wrong and there is nothing to fix. You remember more often to see the world in yourself instead of yourself in the world. You bring magic into daily life, the magic that demands imagination, faith, inner discipline, and a willingness to believe that what is not there to see or touch, is still there. You come to realize that what is happening in your life now is right for you – that you are always doing what is right, yet may not know or believe it. Even reading this may, at first, seem vague, intangible and not practical. If that is true, open to the possibility that simplicity is more profound than complexity. Or, that none of this is true.
I no longer know what is right or normal for other people. I do know how to help others find what is right for them. It is also true that what I write here, I am not attached to. I do not require anyone else to believe these words. I do not have to be right. I do not need agreement. This information may make “sense” to you. It may not. Either one or both are correct.
There was a time that I thought I knew how people should behave, feel, react and express themselves. I knew what Normal and Abnormal was. I just knew for sure (since I had learned it from others who knew for sure), what appropriate, healthy behavior looked and sounded like in a standard human person. My personal relationships were filled with expectations, disappointments, blame and frequent suspicion of motives. I believed I had the answers for others, and that with my professional training, experience, and self anointed enlightenment, I could, on my own, cure, heal, and bring about a healthy, whole human being based on my beliefs of what one looked like.
I learned to believe that my body was a home for disease, headaches, backaches and a variety of illnesses requiring store bought drugs to numb and hide any unusual sensation or symptom. I expected to get sick. “It is what humans do,” I believed. My body belonged to unseen germs, viruses and fate. I believed that my mind, wherever it resided, and emotions were destined to be occasionally depressed, moody and negatively affected by traumatic life events, or for no known reason at all.
It was inevitable, I thought, that I would have to devote decades towards healing the hurts of childhood, so I could eventually live in the present without hurting anymore, or feeling victim to life itself. That’s what I believed.
Assume that physical symptoms, addictive tendencies, relationship difficulties, and altered states are directly related not only to the environment, and our personal history, but to how we live our daily lives. These symptoms carry the information necessary for life change, for discovering some wondrous creative process. They are the direct link to where we go unconscious, into a trance, unaware, asleep.
To view the daily world this way requires the practice of listening deeply to our own inner voices, intuition, body signals, dreams; everything. And to do all of this without any guarantee that we are right or accurate. More often, we surround ourselves with people who “see” us and say Yes to the world. They tend to live from wonder and awe. Or as Rumi wrote: “Be around those who help your being.”
You become willing to see that every daily relationship and event comes to you for your own evolution, and that relationships serve as a practice field for awareness and personal insight. You come to recognize that there are no boundaries or limits even when we attempt to set them.
You learn to enter into uncomfortable, seemingly risky emotional territory for the practice, and to become familiar with what has previously been scary and cause for no action. You also appreciate the part that does nothing. Instead of waiting for fear and hesitation to lift, you use that fear energy as inspiration to engage, to risk, to move more deeply into the world and into relationships. You do this, if so inspired, to demonstrate to others, especially the children, how to do it. When life moves this way, stuck places become unstuck. Energy returns. You lead yourself, becoming your own authority. Real community is strengthened.
“What if we are the ones to bring the peace and presence?”