StevePavlina.com Podcast #019 - Owning Your Dark Side (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
StevePavlina.com Podcast #019 - Owning Your Dark Side
I'd have to say, I don't think I am unconditionally safe here.
This podcast kind of reminded me of "A course in Miracles" and the mantra about somthing like "Nothing real can be harmed, nothing unreal exists; herein lies the peace of God"
It may strike people as odd but I have a serious problem with ACIM. I find it very ominous and threatening. Some of the foundational assumptions are that all separation is an illusion and that we are all the son of God. So our separate physical bodies are seen as an illusion. I guess the entire visible universe would then be an illusion.
I also read "The disappearance of the Universe" which is an introductory commentary on ACIM.
The idea there is that once everyone becomes enlightened everything will disappear and we will all be one, with no more individual identity any more, just one big blob of consciousness or something.
To me that would be like hell. Losing my individuality, my independence, and free will would be hell.
Enlightenment as explained in the paradigm of "non-duality" and in many eastern religions gives me the creeps.
Giving up all desire, experiencing ego death...doesn't sound like fun to me.
So does this mean I am polarized in fear? Does this mean I will do whatever it takes to survive even if I have to claw others eyes out?
I don't think so. Personal integrity is at a high premium in my universe. Because its personal. It involves my choice. Its my decision how I choose to behave. It makes my life meaningful. Its how I assert who I am.
There are values I hold higher than mere self preservation. Not because I think everything is an illusion and nothing bad can ever happen to me, because I will just get absorbed into this big borg and lose my identity.
Its because ultimately, who I am is who I chose to be. My actions count because they may be all I have.
A big part of the polarity issue is that if you believe your own destruction is possible or even imminent (meaning that your consciousness could actually cease to exist), then things like values and integrity are effectively irrelevant except as tools for your continued survival. Such behavior is your choice of course, but it's a bit incongruent with the big picture of a fear-based belief system. You may in fact be hedging your bet, behaving a certain way just in case the universe doesn't work the way you think it does.
The idea of polarity is to commit fully to one type of reality or another, since in effect it cannot possibly be both. Either you're 100% unconditionally safe here, or you're not. There's no middle ground between 100% and not 100%. If you try to exist in the middle ground and hedge your bet, you're in no man's land -- you're guaranteed to have made a wrong choice because "maybe" isn't one of the options. If you polarize fully, you at least have a 50-50 chance of being correct, assuming both possibilities are equally likely, which is a lot better than a 0% chance if you don't polarize.
In terms of polarity, it's better to choose and risk being wrong than not choose and guarantee that you're wrong. Once you make this choice and fully commit to one path or the other, nothing will ever be the same again.
If you think life is a game and that nothing can ever be risked can you have personal integrity? Can you display courage in following you convictions?
I think there could possibly be life after death and that possibly many people are
spiritually decieved and that possibly bad things can happen to them in the afterworld as a result of their choices while alive and on earth.
Possibly people who surrender their lives to the service of various deities end up being slaves in the after life. Wheras, free spirits, atheists agnostics, do not.
So I am kind of agnostic, but also in a sense vigilant towards spiritual things because from experience there can be traps associated with spiritual beliefs and deception going on.
Truthfully, though, I don't find atheists to be characterized by a white knuckled death grip on life for fear of ceasing to exist, to the point that they will do absolutely anything to survive even if it involves preying on others.
Like for example if you were to offer atheist the proposition of eternal life, if they were to be able to exist indefinately by killing and drinking the blood of children. Do you thin most atheists would say yes?
Personally I don't.
I think you can be an atheist and believe in things higher then your self. I think atheists can have a very high degree of personal integrity. Doesn't mean they all do. But I have met many with high ethical standards and tender attitudes towards others.
Humanists come to mind. Humanism is often a philosophy of atheists.
As far as chosing to polarize, for me signifigant changes have been happening to me by pursuing my dreams, simply for my own sake, because I want to experience all that life has to offer. I feel this is hedonistic, yet I do I want to make a contribution.
I feel that real harm can come to me by wasting my potential and thus wasting my life. If I were to do that I would not make a contribution not even to myself.
You sound more laid back on this podcast than your more current ones, which is cool I like it.
Really great podcast, I believe I'm now ready to polarize as a lightworker. Thanks Steve, I don't think I could've done it without you.
*Puts on Eye Of The Tiger and gets ready to take on the world tomorrow*
Let me get this straight dive bomb,
You plan to polarize as a lightworker by firmly believing nothing can harm you?
Therefore you will set about to do good and at great personal risk because you believe all harm done to you will be illusory?
I don't look at this like I'm all of a sudden invincible from physical harm and the laws of physics. I look at it as a way to keep my spirit alive, and recieve that motivational drive. Basically using the "act as if" principle.
So is it exercizing faith?
I guess the way I look at it, is that I don't know if my consciousness can be extinguished or harmed or not.
But I know that I can waste my life by not pursuing my dreams. So as long as I am aware and have a physical body and the ability to exercise my will, I will do so in pursuing my dreams. Helping other people along the way, is an important part of it, making a positive impact on the world is an important part of it.
But in the end its my dream, and the pursuit of it is being directed by me, so is it self centered?
I mean I could say, that I want to be above all "others centered" and be indifferent as to what I do as long as it helps others. Wherever the greatest need in the world is I will be thee seeking to fill it.
I feel I used to be on a path like that at one time and found it unsatisfying.
I have this sense that a lot of people basically just want to make a lot of money and have a fun life and call it lightwork, because it makes them feel better to call it that.
To me, lightworking, is doing somthing like that certian priest that became a doctor that went to work on a leper colony healing the lepers and eventually contracted leprosy. He just lived out the remainder of his days serving the lepers until he eventually succumbed himself.
He could say, it was all to the glory of God and that the leprosy did him no harm, ultimately because what was most important was the condition of his heart and his spirit.
I feel like I have kind of a sense of what it means to do things like that, and that I choose not to.
I feel like that makes me a darkworker.
maybe I am wrong.
Well I think it all starts with the self. You have to have the desire to do something if you want to really achieve it.
My actual understanding of polarity is that its mostly a viewpoint. You can probably justify most goals with a light or dark polarity, it all depends on how you use your imagination. Whatever polarity gives you that "HELL YEAH I'M GOING DO THIS" type of reaction is the one you should choose.
As for consciousness being invincible, what is consciousness? Is it in our heads, our hearts, our livers? It's hard to really identify but so far I think it's your inner self and you really control how you feel. If someone gives you the middle finger you can take offense or just tell yourself "WHATEVER MAN IM POLARIZED"
So yeah to sum things up, it starts with faith in your goal until you can prove it with your actions. Thats how I look at it, and I was reading some of your blogs..very interesting stuff in there.
Thanks. Glad you like the blogs.
This last podcast actually inspired this post:
Free Range Organic Human: Enlightenment
I loved this podcast so much. Thank you for it.
Feeling safe is what we all want, no? I do not as of yet, but most definitely notice the relationship between feeling safe and the amount of goodness which flows into my life.
A Singer’s Life
Great postcast :)
this podcast is like one big problem for me...
Steve, didn't you somewhere say that a darkworker can believe in Subjective Reality? Because that seems to go completely against what you say in this podcast - in SR, one is fundamentally safe.
Secondly, you state very firmly in this podcast that a darkworker will experience threats and scarcity.
Threats seem to come from what you’ve said is darkworker syndrome.
And scarcity doesn't seem like something one could get a lot of power with, darkworkers being about power and wealth being power in this world.
The podcast also says that darksiding fills your life with problems (at 14:35). If I were to believe in this podcast, I would never choose the dark side.
Couldn’t a darkworker believe that because they are so great (self-respect) and deserving, the world would support them, and that’s what they would experience?
After all, people in general do support people who radiate confidence and certainty - whether that confidence comes from being dark or light - as long as those confident people don't attack them, which seems to be all syndrome.
Thirdly, I don't see how the question of safety polarizes somebody.
They might say they're safe, but they'll do anything, including crush other people, to be more than safe, to ensure their own happiness and have power.
Or on the other hand, someone might say they're not safe, but as "I only have this life, I'll be sure to make the best of it for all by leaving the world in a better state than I found it in."
First of all - Steve - even though you don't like coffee, I really like to read you :) . You make really great articles, thanks for them.
And now, about polarization, love, and fear.
I don't believe in something after death. I am who I am, and I think I am mainly my thoughts, which are heavily dependend on my brain, which is physicall and won't work very well after they bury my. But.. it does not mean I am afraid of my death. You may say it's some kind of lack of my intelligence not to care about my existance - I don't say it's not true but sure it's not true that love is on the other side. I don't fear my death (that will make me really dead, completly dead, dead forever), because I'm just a part of human beeing on the earth. Evolution is working, and after 1000 years they won't be really sorry for my absence.
And this may be called some kind of love, to other people. If you really care about other people, not just yourself, you care more about civilisation existance than just your existance. Especially when you know, that those young people (even if this is really hard to believe and accept) may be just smarter than you (not you exactly, but statistically). So, believing that my life will end some day for good, does not mean that I have to fear. It's also not against love.
Life with believe that some day you'll be gone just motivate to work harder, to leave something for the others. Work for some greater good. Without fear of death - because when it happens, I won't be there anyway.
PS. English is not my first language so I'm sorry for all mistakes.
Kacper Cieśla (comboy)
If the death of your consciousness means the death of all consciousness (since it's all the same consciousness), then civilization as you know it may not survive without you. That's what the subjective reality perspective would suggest.
Has anything truly conscious ever completely ceased to exist?
I'm not sure I completely understand this whole light-dark concept again. I thought I had it, but then you threw in the whole fear-love bit and it threw me off again.
I had thought that the polarization was more concerned with the reasons for doing things. Thinking of it as more of an in-flow, out-flow related ideology. For example, take a farmer. I had thought of a lightworker as a farmer who will plant crops with the intent to feed 3rd world countries (earning minimal profits on his crops). This would impact his decisions because he would more likely plant crops like wheat, corn, or rice (subsistence crops). Whereas a darkworker farmer would be more concerned with planting crops which would produce the maximum cash return for him. He would end up planting different crops such as, coffee, sugar beets, or cotton (cash crops).
I was under the impression that fear/lack-of-fear need not really play a role in the polarization process, and that it had more to do with directing the "kharmic flow". Hence why I feel a bit slighted (not much, don't worry), by your comments about how darkworkers only reap "scarcity, relationship troubles, and etc...". Going back to the farmer analogy that would be like the farmer planting weeds for himself, which would only happen in very low-conciousness circumstances.
As a darkworker (well, sith apprentice... :)) who believes in an afterlife, I still feel unconditionally safe, but since my belief system allows me to pursue any goals I wish, I am still free to focus on self-service (including world-service in-so-much as it benefits myself).
Do you feel differently about it, or have I missed something?
Be sure to read the related blog post if you've only heard the audio, since the blog notes include some commentary on a couple deficiencies of this podcast.
I think your concept of Polarity has changed for the better. You seemed to have switched your focus from superficial actions like giving or taking to intentions such as love or fear. This fits in well with impaul's model. Whether you think you are safe or not depends on if you are identified with your ego. If you really believe you are safe then you do not believe that what you can see, touch, and feel is who you really are. You are aware of your true self, which is Being, The Formless, Unity, Love. If you feel you are not safe you believe you are your ego, your emotions, your body/materiality, all things which you know can be taken from you. Enlightenment is when you dis-identifiy with ego and return to Being or have awakened from the dream of form.
"If someone desires to be selfless, then they aren't actually selfless since it is their desire and is therefore a selfish desire." No. That is mincing words.
Everything emantes from the self, but you can't overcomplicate the English language by changing definitions. Humans define people who enjoy helping others as "selfless"
and humans who enjoy helping themselves at others expense as "selfish". These are the definitions we use when we speak of these things. If you change these definitions just because of the fact that "everything emantes from the self" you lose their meaning and then everything you've ever heard about selfishness/selflessness loses it's meaning.
Desiring to help others because it makes you feel fulfilled is true selflessness. That feelng of fulfillment is not a low level feeling. It is high level. You can feel that fulfillment despite any other suffering in this world - you can be in terrible pain but still know that helping others is what you want, because the self radiates supreme.
This is why i've always been so concerned with people who say they are darkworkers, because in the same breath they'll say they like helping people. In the process of polarization to darkwork, the challenge is removing that care for others and refocusing it to yourself. I'm not sure if they realise that this will happen, and I'm not sure if they actually want this to happen. In the process of polarizing towards lightwork, the challenge is refocusing your excessive selfish desires (like materialism and social status) towards others. As you polarize, you care less and less about losing these things because in their place you gain ultimate satisfaction by re-uniting with your own true nature as a giving being. Mother Teresa did not suffer for her choice, she followed her bliss, but to call her selfish is to degrade the meaning of the language.
So as I polarize to the light I naturally desire fewer possessions and want to contribute more of my productive capacity to the world. As I polarized to the dark (which is something I put a serious effort into a few years ago) I naturally came to care less about helping others and I naturally felt ok with refocusing all of that energy on my own personal profit, power, freedom and happiness.
The difference with lightwork is that when I suffer I feel OK about it, because there is a deeper fulfillment, and I just slowly work to overcome that suffering. Whereas as a darkworker when I suffered the solution was always to separate more, take more power, take more control, and using those faculties remove the suffering. A darkworker has to depend on his own skills to protect himself, whereas a lightworker can call on the universe to help him serve and have faith that the pain will pass. Separation versus unity.
Its not mincing words. You have this idea that to be a darkworker you have to be a serial killer.
If that is kind of a cartoonish model then perhaps a more explicit model would be better?
So to try and make it more explicit that is mincing words?
Here is an example: Boundary issues. Have you heard that term before? You know how some people have boundary issues?
Often cult leaders have boundary issues, at the same time as preaching oneness and selflessness. So then they take liberties with all these selfless people.
Here is another term. "Negation" as in negating people. Often narcissists and sociopaths do things to negate other people. They do things to make other people feel as though they don't count. They do things to make people doubt themselves.
What is a good way to counteract these negative things?
Its by asserting yourself and your individuality. Its by being self reliant.
To me helping others is about helping people empower themselves. Assert themselves, be independant, express ther individuality.
If getting rid of the ego and being selfless is the end all be all then wouldn't it be god to let everyone walk all over you? Violate your bundaries and negate you?
Wouldn't that be doing people a big favor by helping them to see that their separateness is an illusion?
So therefore when someone says that being selfless is selfish, that is mincing words because they are changing the definitions. According to the definitions, selfless and selfish are opposites. If you change the language you make it hard to communicate.
Helping people to assert their individuality so they can free themselves from the grip of opression is like my #1 goal in this world. Seriously. This is also why I tend to spend a lot of thought on the nature of good and evil, because what it comes down to is that the "evil" prey on the weak, and so personally I want to help the weak to transcend this predation. IMO there is an effective way to go about it, and there are many ineffective ways, and there are also ways that do more harm than good. So people interested in this kind of thing would do well to analyze approaches and also analyze the nature of good and evil. Most of the people that society considers "evil" are themselves just the weak, being oppressed by the true evil, who are powerful.
Petty criminals are the weak, inmates are the weak, serial killers are the weak. In my opinion it's not fair to call them darkworkers or lightworkers - they are the unpolarized masses.
Evil is something powerful, something polarized, something effective, and something that is mostly invisible because it chooses to be invisible.
By saying this stuff I don't intend to contradict you, I'm just trying to show how I view the world, since it seems i'm misunderstood.
I guess the way I look at it is that I want to persue my dreams. That is my main goal. In getting there if I pick up any helpful tips along the way, I am glad to share them.
I don't plan to step on people to get where I want to go, but on the other hand, my goal is not to serve others as my main modus operandi.
I feel like focsing more on my self.
I think its god that you seriously study good and evil, because I think a lot of bad things happen from seemingly good intentions.
All that changes as you follow this path is that each time you make a realization, you choose a polarity (either consciously or unconsciously, it doesnt matter either way), and then you choose a purpose.
So the process goes:
1. Make a realization. (find yourself)
2. Choose a polarity. (unconsciously or consciously)
3. Choose a purpose. (a course of action)
4. Repeat Steps 1-3 forever.
If your Step 2 choice is the same each time, you are polarizing. If it isn't, you aren't polarizing. Life is going well either way.
The only way to improve the process is to increase the speed, you can do this by increasing Step 1 through meditation and stuff like that. You can go hike the Appalachian Trail and that is going to make Step 1 come at you more quickly each cycle.
Darkworking in Subjective Reality?
So this is going academic now :) I stated my problems with understanding Steve's Subjective Reality in a post in February called "Darkworkers Live only in Objective Reality."
But I still don't see how identifying with the world (consciousness) would keep me from pursuing fame, fortune and adoration. I want to improve MY consciousness, which is actually all of the only one consciousness. It makes me feel great to see any happy face.
But how much happiness will "I" see when my avatar, enhanced by a lifetime of darkworking, dies? What will "I" see and experience from the moment my avatar gives the spirit? Kingston's worldly ego will probably be gone (except from the financial records of history :) ). This is my fundamental problem. My avatar is NOT fundamentally safe, but reality as a whole is definitely fundamentally safe. Now do I believe in SR? Am "I" safe?
@Steve: I have a really hard time believing the whole world would end with my death. So if that would exclude me from SR, what good explanation do I have left for the Law of Attraction?
@everyone: I REALLY need to get this, and any help would be greatly appreciated! :o
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