Lost in the jungle

I remember, when I was in my 20's, being told we humans only use about 2% of our brainpower.  I'm not quite certain how they arrived at that figure, or if that statement is still considered to be true.  But there are certainly days when it seems like my brain is some sort of impenetrable jungle, of which I only fully inhabit one very small corner; a cave, perhaps, or a hollow tree...

And if our own minds and motives are that challenging to decipher, how can we ever presume to understand someone else's mind or motives?  And yet often others' motives are far clearer and more obvious to us than our own, which tend to get shrouded in all kinds of protective camouflage...

I say this because ... well, just when I thought I had gotten comfortable with one resolution of a problem, it came up again and sent me off again into tizzy-land.  So clearly I haven't actually resolved things yet, I've just figured out another way to rationalize my behavior.

Sorry if that sounds a bit oblique.  But -- having read about some of the defense mechanisms we create for ourselves in Welwood's Toward a Psychology of Awakening this morning, and then having watched myself waste an entire meditation session brooding over how to challenge someone else's view of the world -- well, I can see I still have work to do.

Here's what Welwood has to say about my efforts to get in touch with my deeper understanding of myself:  "Of course, it is often hard to let ourselves feel our pain and disconnection.  As soon as we start to look at it, a story comes up, a distracting belief, thougt, or fantasy.  As soon as we ask ourselves, "What is this?  Why am I feeling so bad?" our mind steps in and says, "Oh, I know what it is.  It's x or y.  It's my hang-up with my mother.  It's my inferiority complex.  It's nothing serious, nothing worth giving any energy to.  Everyone has problems like these, don't indulge them."  Such stories are a major obstacle to healing because they keep us separate from our experience, stuck in contraction and rejection."

Yup.  Got me.  Time to take another look at this, strip away some of the spanish moss and fuzz around this stuff, see if I can figure out what's REALLY going on.  Because if I'm still making up stories around this, I've not yet gotten to the root of it.


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