There is a saying, look to yourself for the cause and solution to all your problems. This is a very interesting saying because it has many meanings.
The first is the obvious, to see what you have done wrong to cause the problem. This is easy to apply, see what you did and accept responsibility then correct your mistake.
Next we have another view which is to see how you are getting more upset or angry than the situation deserves and that negative emotion is causing you many problems that are mainly in your imagination and needless. You may be holding on to an event that has long since past and become irrelevant, but you keep the anger alive in your own mind. Accept it is done and gone, then release it and you will be fine.
But now I would like to present a third interpretation of my own which I discovered based on the following thought. If you wish to understand a species, you must study one or more of the individuals of the species, This is how all scientific discoveries about nature and animals have been documented. In this way I apply the saying as a way to solve all our emotional problems that have to do with other people. There is very little in our life that does not have another person involved so really this can apply to anyone.
When we get hurt by the actions of another person, we must examine the reasons for their actions in order to resolve our pain. We search for the answer to ‘How could someone do that?’ so we can let go of the pain. The pain really comes more from the confusion and frustration of this question rather than the actual event. Remember that the real reason may not be the obvious or surface reason. Animals kill each other because they are hungry, it is not because they like to kill. Nature makes us hungry and we have no choice but to serve that master. Find the real cause behind all events rather than just what it looks like.
Resolving the riddle of how a person can act in such a harsh way, not keep their promise, break the trust, etc. will allow our pain to heal. And here I would like to present the method to do this.
We will use the scientific method, study the species to understand the reason and cause for an individual’s actions. I can tell you now that the solution to healing your pain is in understanding the true reasons for a persons actions. Now let us find those reasons.
We begin with accepting reality rather than defend and believe in lies and delusion. But first we must define reality and lies.
1 The reality about humans; They are unreliable, fragmented, self-centered, etc. You know what people are like, I do not need to detail the list.
2 You are a human and subject to doing the same things as all other humans. By studying yourself you can understand the species.
3 People will not look at themselves honestly and in detail. We all lie to ourselves and ignore the facts of our own actions. By so doing we will never see the truth of people because we are living in denial about the reality of what we ourselves are. If we accept that all people are a certain way, then we would also have to accept ourselves as being that way. Since the truth is so ugly, people prefer to live in denial of their own true nature and thus are faced with perpetual confusion about other people’s actions. This is explained in my book, All Is Mind under the topics of Fragmentation and Buffers, which topics I will briefly explain now.
Fragmentation is the principle that you are not one unified whole being. You are in fact thousands of little fragments of yourself, each almost identical to each other but with some little unique difference. An example is when you cannot make a simple decision; should I wear the red shirt or the blue one. Such a simple choice, but you cannot decide. This is a moment of two fragments fighting, one who likes red and the other who likes blue. You can imagine how much fragmentation effects your life.
Let’s extrapolate this to every promise anyone makes. One fragment promises and then another fragment takes control of your consciousness later on and has no interest in keeping the promise, but desires something else. It is after all, a different person, even if it came from the same source. Not many siblings of the same parents, brought up in the same house have totally identical desires and feelings. This is how promises are broken or forgotten, one fragment to another.
Add to that the changes we go through in desires and aversions as we age from a toddler to elderly. Nothing stays the same, including some things we like or dislike. Since fragments come from the same source, meaning they are all fragments of the same person, they will share many likes throughout your lifespan, but there will always be slight differences and changes over time. This is self evident with a simple observation and the reason it is so hard to see fragments but rather think yourself whole.
Buffers are those cushions or ‘cloak of invisibility’ which help you hide your true feelings and actions from yourself. If you think you are a very prompt person but in fact you are always late, you will find a new excuse each time. The traffic was terrible, there was an accident, my watch must have stopped for a while even though it is running now, I had to read that web site even though it was irrelevant, the floor had to be swept, etc. There is no end to the excuses that you will use to justify your repetitive lateness to avoid seeing the truth that you are in fact not reliable when you desire to believe you are.
Because of fragmentation, and buffers which prevent us from seeing that we are fragmented, we cannot correct the problem within our self, nor will we be able to study our self to understand the human species, without effort or help at least.
Self-observation with total objective clarity is the way to understand why a human will do the things they do which we consider totally unacceptable. When you can see yourself for what you really are, you will be able to change yourself. You will also cease to be shocked and hurt by the actions of others since you will understand that they do not have any power to act otherwise. This is why I never ask anyone to make a promise, I know it is impossible for a human to keep a promise long term. This way, I never get hurt or disappointed.
You may not like this and insist that it is not correct or should not be that way. It may be true that this is not a good system, but it is how it is. Our emotional pain comes from rejecting and denying reality. It is not the thing that happened which keeps the pain alive, it is the rejection of the reality that this is actually something humans cannot help. Study yourself and then you will see what we are. If you can accept what you are, then you will accept and understand others. We are all the same, it is just a matter of degree.
Delusion is thinking that a human can keep a promise. That is not possible and you know it. Certainly we can keep some promises but rarely the ones that project long into the future. Too many things change in the world, our life and the things we deal with. As I mentioned above, we age. As that happens, our thoughts, desires and feelings change as well. We all change. That is reality, and with that change, what we were so sincere and certain about that we promised to do forever has also changed. This is simply the process of nature in an ever changing world and universe.
When we accept reality, we can have trust and yet not feel hurt or disappointed when the trust is broken. It is our own fault for projecting the capacity of consistency on a totally unreliable creature. Look to yourself for the cause and solution to your problem. You lied to yourself and believed that lie, now the truth has come out. The pain is not that a person broke the trust, but that you are faced with believing a lie you lied to your self. You wanted to believe people can keep a promise yet you knew it is not possible to guarantee that.
Objective study of humanity, beginning with honest study of oneself brings freedom through truth. But of course we close our eyes and expect everyone to be honest and reliable and keep their promises, so we blind ourself to the truck coming straight at us and get run over.
I believe we can truly and freely love and be in a successful relationship only when we accept the reality of our own self and our own weaknesses and thus those of others. You cannot buy a 20 year old Russian Lada and expect it to run like a new Rolls Royce. But that is exactly what we do with ourselves and other people, we expect total reliability from a very unreliable vehicle, and when it breaks down we curse and wonder how could this happened because it should not! By the way, even Rolls Royce breaks down.
The truth is not pleasant or pretty but accepting it without imagining it could or should be different gives a state of mind that is peaceful yet not closed, and ready to move forward with life as it is where you are.
Funny enough, this method is not going to make you cold or closed, rather it is in trying to believe a lie that keeps your heart closed. There is a wise part of us, one we rarely use, which knows the truth and does not fall for the lie. That part wants to protect us, but we fight it and insist that we know better. Subconsciously, our heart is kept slightly closed all the time, as that wiser part of our being tries to keep at least a little protection from the inevitable.
On the other hand, by fully accepting the truth of humans, and the lack of ability to be completely reliable, our heart opens because we accept our self and others as we are. There is no more lie to hide from, no more false expectations and if the trust is broken, we will not be as badly hurt.
The third benefit is that if we do truly accept ourself and others, all the grasping and clinging attachment that usually pushes a person away will not be required. We can finally love and live in a relaxed honest relationship.
The result will be that promises will be kept simply because there is no pressure and we will not be forced to jump fragments by needing buffers to avoid our past actions. If you can be so accepting of reality, the energy will be calm and accepting and only then can your heart open to love and be loved, fully.
Self study requires using a part of our being which is more than just human, our higher consciousness awakens to study our lower ego. By using that part of our being, we become more aware of our self. When we know how we function, seeing our fragmentation and to the best of our ability to see the buffers and self lying justifications, we can find freedom in the reality of what we can expect to happen. It could be said simply as this; ‘Play by the rules and you will enjoy the game. Ignore the rules and you get penalized and have to sit it out watching everyone else play and have a good time.’
When you see the truth about yourself, how you do not, and in fact probably could not, do what you have expected from another person, then you cannot be hurt when they themselves do it. There are many good old sayings which if we actually put in some effort to understand, would change our life.
I regard children’s fables as highly as ancient texts in this case, since they sometimes both carry equal value. I will end with two great sayings.
‘Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you.’ and;
‘Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.’
And just for those of you who are really good at hiding from the truth, painting a glass house with black paint or with master artistry to make it look like bricks, will not change it from being glass.