Understanding Human Nature: The Blind Leading the Blind

In this discussion, Chris Walker uses the scenic view from Ben Buckler as a metaphor to explore the themes of narcissism and altruism in human interactions. He explains that attempting to change others often stems from projecting our own viewpoints, which he identifies as narcissistic behaviour. Through personal anecdotes and practical exercises, Chris emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing our repressed emotions to achieve authentic self-growth and better relationships. He highlights the significance of untangling emotional knots to unleash our true potential and live a spirited life.

PODCAST

The View from Ben Buckler

Good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are. This is Chris, and today we’re up here on Ben Buckler. I often find myself looking south from here, even though the view to the north and east presents a vast expanse of mesmerizing ocean. When I look south, I see the coastline stretching out before me. I can see Bondi Beach, Marks Park, Bronte, and the cemetery at Randwick. Further along, I see Maroubra and even more distant beaches. This panoramic view of the coastline provides an interesting metaphor for today’s topic: the blind leading the blind.

The Coastline Metaphor

The coastline is there whether I’m present or not. Similarly, people are who they are regardless of our attempts to change them. When we try to help someone be different, we’re essentially projecting our viewpoint onto them. This can be seen as a form of narcissism, where we believe our perspective is the only valid one. Just as I look at the coastline and see my version of it, others see it differently. People around me look at different aspects of the sea and coastline, each finding their own mesmerising view.

Narcissism and Altruism

Narcissism, often viewed negatively, has two sides. On one hand, it shows we care about someone; on the other, it’s self-indulgent, as we impose our views on others. True altruism, however, recognises that everyone is perfect in their own right. If we understand human nature from a wise perspective, we see that every human has every trait. Some people, about 10% of the population, live outside what I call the “consciousness cone.” These individuals behave more like animals in human bodies, their emotions beyond their control, often manipulated by external figures like philosophers or priests.

The Consciousness Cone

Focusing on the 99.999% of people within the consciousness cone, we see that everyone experiences life through their own lens. When we attempt to change someone, we project our definition of happiness and improvement onto them. This viewpoint is shaped by our position within the cone. For instance, as a coach and a leader in human nature, my perspective differs from that of someone taking a break from a different profession. Each of us faces challenges, and our reactions to these challenges vary.

Projection and Repression

When we try to change someone, it’s often because we see in them a part of ourselves that we repress. This dynamic can be likened to an ocean contaminated with toxins; shifting the toxins doesn’t solve the problem, it merely relocates it. In human interactions, what we repress is expressed by others around us, whether colleagues, family, or partners. Recognizing and owning our repressed emotions is crucial for authenticity. For example, if someone around you is angry, it likely reflects repressed anger within yourself.

Practical Exercise in Self-Discovery

In my retreats, I used to conduct an exercise to help participants uncover their repressed emotions. This involved standing opposite someone, pressing palms together, and repeating the phrase, “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” Initially, the participants would say it without much emotion. Over time, and with encouragement, deeper emotions like anger and frustration would surface, revealing repressed feelings. This exercise demonstrated how what we repress manifests in our interactions with others.

Through this process, participants would often experience a cathartic release, gaining insights into their own emotional landscapes. This exercise highlighted the importance of recognising and addressing repressed emotions to achieve a more authentic and harmonious existence.

Uncovering Deep-Seated Emotions

Imagine taking this exercise into the forest, pushing against a tree, and screaming, “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” Eventually, you will identify the person you are addressing and understand the event that has affected you for your entire life. This underlying resentment or guilt often manifests as narcissism when we try to “fix” others who exhibit traits we despise in ourselves.

This process releases untapped potential. Meditation, yoga, and similar practices often overlook repressed emotions and underlying judgments. These judgments and repressed emotions create knots in our energy flow, blocking our life force. Over time, these knots can lead to an identity crisis, commonly experienced in one’s late 30s or early 40s. This is when life starts feeling like Groundhog Day, with repetitive cycles of habits and achievements losing their original spark.

The Need for Spiritual Growth

We need to address these spiritual blockages to reignite the passion for life. Untying the knots caused by past traumas allows our spirit to manifest fully. Every human has a spirit, but whether it can express itself depends on how many knots we can undo.

A Personal Story

Let me share a personal story. I was in Byron Bay with my then-partner, having dinner with her friend and her friend’s boyfriend. This man, a bodybuilder and bouncer, suddenly attacked me during a conversation about vegetarianism. His violent outburst, triggered by his guru’s teachings, left me injured and traumatized. For months, I struggled with feelings of invasion and anger, unable to fully process the event.

Eventually, through deep introspection and the “don’t you ever do that to me again” exercise, I realised that my reaction was tied to an unresolved conflict with my father from my teenage years. This revelation allowed me to address not only the recent trauma but also deeper issues stemming from my childhood.

The Importance of Authenticity

This journey of self-discovery and untangling emotional knots is essential for living a spirited and authentic life. The process of addressing repressed emotions helps us understand our true selves and improve our relationships with others. While the physical exercise of pushing against someone or something can be cathartic, using tools like the discard form can achieve similar results through introspective writing and processing.

Conclusion

Narcissism, in the context of trying to change others, often stems from our repressed emotions. By recognising and addressing these emotions, we can untie the knots that block our energy flow and potential. This journey requires courage, determination, and authenticity.

Remember, keep it real, stay messy, and keep practising.

Bye for now.

Thanks for tuning in to ‘The Anti-Guru Guru Show.’ If you enjoyed this post, share it with a friend who needs a reality check. Until next time, keep it real, keep it messy, and keep practising. See you soon!

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