Awareness – Integration – Self Awareness

Friday, April 16th, 2010 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

In the second lap around the spiral we examined self awareness, your understanding of who you are. Including your public self image, other people’s understanding of who you are, built from your projection of your personality, your self confidence.

If there’s one type of awareness which it’s most evident will affect, and either improve or repress, the other skills it is your awareness of your self.

There is not a moment of your life which you are not present in. When you wake up in the morning, you wake up every morning with yourself. When you work, play, eat, drink, excercise, socialise or make art you do it with yourself. Every night, you take yourself to bed. Only extreme meditation or perhaps recreational drugs or extreme loss of inhibition ever take you away from yourself and even then, let’s be honest, you’re still there, even if your self-awareness isn’t.

Literally everything you do then is filtered by, modified by and exaggerated by your self awareness. It is involved in every conscious moment of your existence.

Clearly getting your self awareness right will help as much as any single improvement you can make in the skills in the Transcendence Spiral. While it may pay to sometimes let your awareness of yourself pass into the background, you certainly need to be aware of it, in some detail, in order to correct and manipulate it to improve it.

Your self awareness is built from your memories of your self. As you’ve improved your memory over the course of this course you’ll have gained more accurate impression of your self. Perhaps more often remembering occasions which reinforce your positive self-image, or else better remembering those occasions in which you acted in ways contrary to your self image. In the latter case this will help you to either decide to improve, or else accept that you’re already better than you thought.

Self awareness and consciousness are so intertwined with each other that they’re almost synonyms in popular usage. Almost mean the same things, can be used interchangeably. Some would argue that the only thing you ever can be conscious of is your self, including your perceptions, your emotional states and your senses.

Your public self image, the ideas people get about you from the first instant of meeting them, is built almost entirely from your body. From your posture, your gait, your way of interacting physically with the world. Gaining greater control over your body feeds back to your self image through both the way others react to you, and the physiological systems inside your own skin.

Your self image is perhaps most important when it comes to the social skills. It’s the hand of cards that you play with, the most important piece on the board, the very image that you project to others and which they will respond to. Your public self image is an essential part of your interaction with others. It probably isn’t who you are, or what you think it is, but becoming aware of it and refining it and getting in control is key to making friends and influencing people.

Likewise your ethics will pretty much be entirely determined by what sort of person you think you are. However you decide you’ll act in the cool rational deliberation of calm abstract thought, your actual decision on any ethical dilemma will be hot, momentary, and immediate. Your actual actions won’t be determined by what kind of person you’d like to be, they’re determined by what kind of person you think you are. Improving your self image is vital for improving your ethics too.

The Meditation

Given how important this is, you’ll spend a couple of minutes during your walk as you listen to this month’s mediation pondering your self as a person, vividly re-imagining times when you proved your self image, integrating it better into your life.