For years now, I have refused to make awareness that mandatory pinnacle called self. After all, I see awareness as only a portion of what I am. I, also, no longer see awareness as, exclusively, in one or the other part of all it takes to make me. In keeping with Roberto Assagioli, a somewhat forgotten psychiatrist from decades past, I chose to see self, somewhat, as he did. So then, for me awareness arises out of the torrent of struggles and communions among those facets which make up this thing called self.
A quick blurb from medicalexpress.com on neuroscience made me aware, once again, of a marginal contradiction. Up front, I like the article, but even in the first sentence I found, “…not only does your brain handle such complex decisions for you, it also hides information from you about how those decisions are made…” with which I’m uncomfortable. My vexation over that part of the sentence is in the exclusion of my ‘self’ from the fullness of what unconsciousness is!
As I said above I let go of ‘awareness’ as that sole expression of my ‘self’. Rather, the I that I am shifts its’ focus of attention, without awareness. As the article suggests, it is through the restrictions of where awareness will next be focused which makes awareness. So then, isn’t what you are experiencing right now in reading my thoughts not the byproduct of what I have chosen before my own awareness joins in with you?
Before studying and practicing various parts of psychotherapy I had never given thought to how our “focus’ of attention” shifts without being overtly aware of why that direction was taken. Going even further into having a portion of that spongy stuff between my ears extracted I was forced into a, shall we say, deep refashioning of how I think of my “self”.
Imagine that small portion of me, being popped out by Tim after drilling into and then sawing out a portion of my skull. That section of my brain was more than plopped into a metaphorical trashcan. Rather, a significant unconscious portion of me was forced to do many subtle transformations. Honestly, I did change and yet I am fully recognized face to face, over the phone and by email by all those who knew me before.
My abilities to pluck things from my gargantuan tree bearing fruits of abilities and memories hanging from the branches had one of those’ branches trimmed. Its’ impact is typically subtle and at first confusing.
Excessive anxiety, coming from what Tim did, was obvious to everyone else but me. I couldn’t even see the jittering in my limbs, that incessant need to walk for some time after that extraction was a problem. For awhile, memories of how I felt and managed myself had been misplaced. Until, about a year and a half ago, I experienced no dreams. Or, perhaps, I was simply unable to recall those the next day. I wasn’t denying my problems I wasn’t for a couple of years afterwards seeing those, since those all felt natural.
Today, brief stalls in my mental gait are still experienced. The difference is now that I have come back to recognizing Assagioli’s thinking of self as a tribe and not a single thing. Having a portion of myself extricated and I am still called the self everyone had seen before, I have gained a previously unknown footing enabling me to delve deeper into my psychosocial and spiritual self.
So then, I see self as never having such things hidden from it, because awareness arises out of that necessary communion among us in creating community. It is not something I possess, but what arises out of the communion with and among others.