Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Process of Image building

What we consider ourselves is just the image we built about ourselves in our mind. And it is the out come of our reactive thought. The reactive thought itself is an unwanted process happening with in our mind. Let us analyze how this image has been built in to us, to the extent possible for us so that there is a possibility to destroy this self image and go into the reality. In other words, if we can understand the whole process of reactive thoughts, there is a possibility of stopping the reactive thoughts itself.

We build image about any thing based on the concept of duality. For example, we build the images like good or bad, beautiful or ugly, tall or short, hot or cold and so on. Whatever image we have about ourselves, there is an exactly opposite of that image is available with in our experience. Because any thing and every thing we experience in this world is relative to some thing, and hence duality is inevitable. In most of the cases, the point of relation is set by our mind it self, which is again based on our knowledge or experience. The mind fixes a reference point and then we measure the attribute. One side of the reference point is of one quality and the other side of the reference point is of other quality and hence the duality. Duality ceases to exist if and only if we demolish the reference point from our mind. As our experience in life increases, the reference point also keep on moving to the direction depend on the quality of our experience. If our experience is in such a way that, there is no more requirement for such a reference point, the duality ceases to exist. Let us just keep this idea with us for some more time and discuss in detail at a later stage, when it is more relevant.

Let us discuss some concepts of Transactional Analysis, which is part of modern psychology. Transactional analysis is an integral part of any interpersonal skill development courses. In modern psychological terms, the image is built by the psychological transactions between people.

Transactional analysis talks about the ego states with in individuals. The ego state of an individual can be classified into three states. They are Parent ego, Adult ego and Child ego. Every one has all the three ego states, but at a different proportion. The traits of an individual depend on how the three ego states are mixed with in an individual. The parent ego is authoritative ego, adult ego is matured ego, and child ego is the playful ego. When ever a person communicates with another one, he/she always will be at one of these three ego states. That doesn’t mean, he communicates always with the same ego state. That particular ego state depends on his/her personality, situation, and few other psychological conditions. The same is the case with the other person also. Wile communicating, the first person can be in any of the three ego states and the second person also in any of the three ego states. Hence there are nine possibilities of interpersonal communication. The each communication between two persons is called transaction. The transaction is not only verbal communication, but also the communications like gestures. Hence the transaction between two persons shall be Parent to Parent, Parent to Adult, Parent to Child, Adult to Parent, Adult to Adult, Adult to Child, Child to Parent, Child to Adult and Child to Child. When ever the persons transacting are in the same ego state, the transaction will be a healthy one. If they are in different ego states while communicating, the result of the transaction will always be negative.

Then there is a thing called STAMP in transactional analysis. It is an impression that happens with in the mind of personnel involving in the transaction, created as a result of this transaction. Each transaction will have a stamp for each individuals participating in a transaction. To make it clear let us assume, the first person involved in the transaction is at its parent ego state and the second person involved in the transaction is in child ego state. The first person says “You are idiot”. By transacting this he collect a stamp which has an imprint that “Others are always idiots”. The second person who is in the child ego state, seeing some body says him as “Idiot” collects a stamp with the imprint of “I am always Idiot”. If the second person involved in this transaction is with his adult ego state at the time of transaction, he may collect a stamp with some other imprint, probably a healthy one, depend on his mind conditioning. And also the point to be noted here is one can not be in the same ego state always. For the functioning of life, one has to have all the three ego states at different moments. Even a child need to have parent ego at certain circumstances.

The essence of transactional analysis is that with any communication between individuals, they collect stamps and store them in their mind or memory. With so much communication happening between people, we can imagine the amount of stamps we have collected and dumped into the mind and memory during our life period.

The image we have about ourselves is nothing but the bunch of such stamps we have collected during our life time. Let us assume, we came up in an entirely different environment and the transactions happened during our life time are of entirely different nature, what we consider as ourselves might be an entirely different set of qualities. To make it precious, what ever we have noted about ourselves is just an image of ourselves and it is not actually our nature. This image may change depend on the circumstances we are in. On the other hand, the projected image of us is a game of our mind only. To put the whole thing in another perspective, what we consider as our personality is just the projection of our own mind. This projection is based on the stamps collected by ourselves AND OUR PARENTS, GRANT PARENTS, GRANT ….GRANT PARENTS (they collected the stamps by themselves and then passed on it to us and we pass them to our children) and dumped in to our memory. The minds analyze the memory and give the projection of our mind. But it is not our real nature. What we consider ourselves is just the result of the type of transactions we had in the past. If we would have been had different types of transaction, our personality must have been some thing else. And this discussion now leaves a big question, then WHAT IS OUR REAL NATURE? Since we have this question, there is a scope to find our real nature. I do not know the real nature of us to write down here. The option available is to find out ourselves together, if we are willing to find out. I am definitely willing to find it out.

I am not sure, whether the point intended to be made clear is brought out or not. The intention of this discussion is we are not the one we consider as ourselves. What we consider as ourselves is just an image projected by our mind. Our basic nature may be entirely different from what the mind has projected about us, because the mind with reactive thought can only understand the relative terms or duality of the life. Once we look beyond this dualities of life, then only we will be able to understand the real nature of us. Once we understand that real nature, the next moment we can bring the change we want to have in this world.

Here the term understanding has much deeper meaning. It is not just an intellectual understanding. It is basically experiencing the fact. To bring in this understanding, we may discuss various aspects of life, energy, cosmos and at the end of each discussion, we shall return to this point of discussion. On the other hand, from this point of discussion we shall branch out to multiple directions and then come back to this point to take another branch. In this way, we will be always in focus of what we want to achieve at the end of this discussion.

The aim of this discussion is, to be aware of the internal change required with in us and prepare ourselves for to adopt the change with in. By this change with in ourselves, we can see the outside world with the right perspective and we can change the out side world, if we need to change it. To facilitate this, we need a better understanding about ourselves and probably these discussions may show the route for understanding about ourselves.

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