The title of this article might seem out of place and even slightly unnecessary. You might be wondering how a word of such meaning, can be used to describe something as normal as responsibility. There might also be the chance of your thoughts being along the same lines as what I am about to discuss here.
This will be a psychological perspective on responsibility. The role the ego mind plays in all of this and then as a result of this, how it filters out into our every day life and society. How it forms the way we look at every aspect of our life.
And along with responsibility there is also the area of power or empowerment. I will talk about how these two seemingly unrelated parts actually go hand in hand and cannot be separated.
What Has Our Ego Mind Got To Do With Responsibility?
I believe that in order to understand the nature of responsibility, we have to look at the ego mind. This is the master control system of our body and our life; it has the ability to control what we see and what we don’t see, what we experience and what we don’t experience. It also makes its decisions and choices based on what it perceives as safe and therefore what is familiar to us.
It also has many ways to protect itself during moments when its own sense of safety is under threat and or when it perceives its own safety is under threat. In the first example I am talking about a situation that is real and the second example I am referring to a situation that might seem like a threat to our ego, however it is only a threat due to an interpretation or projection that is arising from past experiences. What it uses to protect itself is called a defence mechanism.
These defence mechanisms allow the ego to protect itself from what it perceives as a threat to its own safety. And although this might sound like I am referring to a life or death situation, it could be something that is the complete opposite. For example, if during our younger years we were told off or scalded for smiling or showing emotion it can create an association of smiling or showing emotions is unsafe. And this can naturally lead to one finding it hard to show a full smile or to express how one feel’s.
So by the ego protecting itself and using defence mechanism, it begins to create its own version of life, what could be called a fantasy world. It’s not reality itself, but a version of reality that corresponds with what the ego mind perceives as safe. It then begins to project its own conflict into the world and interprets every experience it has, based on what is familiar and safe. This of course makes it extremely difficult to be present.
Loss Of Responsibility
As it utilizes these two approaches of projecting its disharmony onto reality and through interpreting what its sees, it begins to lose its ability to look within. To see that what it sees and how it perceives what it sees, is actually appearing as a result of what it has come to learn or should I say associate, as being safe.
And upon the reflection of this, it becomes easy to see that living our life completely in our ego can cause us to feel powerless and a victim.
Pretending To Be Powerless
The more defences we build in our own mind, the more we cut ourselves of from our true nature. The more we go from a whole human being to a person that feels isolated and cut of from there own centre and from life itself. And naturally if we become completely identified with our mind, we will feel powerless and cut off.
It’s a bit like a wheel on a car thinking that it’s all alone and that there is nothing it can do, when ultimately it is not only the wheel, it is connected to something much greater.
Our ego is there to allow us to be individuals, to have our own purpose and yet through the conditioning we receive that causes one to forget this, we end up victimising ourselves
So if we are not our mind and we are actually part of much more, how powerful are we?
So once we have become indentified with our mind and momentarily lost our own ability to question what is safe, we become trapped by what are mind perceives as safe. And if what we perceive as safe makes us feel powerless and hopeless, then a natural occurrence here is that we will need some one else or something else is going to give us what we want.
This brings to our attention how important it is to be conscious and to develop our ability to observe our mind.
As we start to lose awareness of our own behaviour, thoughts, feelings, emotions and how the environment is affecting us, we then lose our ability to see what is known as cause and effect operating. This is the ability to observe that what happens in our life is usually the consequence of something internal or an external factor. However, when we have little to no awareness of these aspects, we not only become frustrated, we also feel like a victim and that we have no control over our lives.
A result of this ignorance is that we not only create lives as individuals that seem random and out of our control, but also a society and world at large that seems random and out of our control.
However, it is my outlook that through the awareness and observation of how these defences work, and becoming connected to our own self, we will be able to see the patterns and behaviours that come from our internal processes that are co-creating the reality we are seeing.
Validating The Lie
Having awareness and being able to observe the cause and effects nature of life, is extremely difficult, not just because it takes patience, and commitment, but because the society and the world we live in is largely based on the dysfunctional paradigm that things just happen and that life is random.
It doesn’t take much reflection to see how destructive this paradigm is. So not only do we have to deal with the dysfunction in our own lives, and becoming conscious, we also have a society that is constanty validating the illusion of life being random and that we are victims of circumstance. This assists our egos sense of separation and that we are mere victims of circumstance. It creates a loop of further misery, like a hamster on a wheel, going round and round.
Another consequence of this is that by everything being seen as random and out of our control, the whole idea of what we see is feedback to what we believe goes out the window. This is then replaced by such things as Statistics, DNA, Bad luck and other such things. Which of course is not only disempowering, it is also false.
Responsibility, Freedom And Empowerment
This removes our individuality and our personal responsibility; this not only arrests our evolution as human beings, it also prolongs our unconscious tendencies and assists in out continuation of living our life through defences. The only downfall here is that by doing so, we give our power away in the process. As we renounce our own responsibility, not only do we give our power away, we also lose our own freedom.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.