December 5, 2012

Well…It Could Be Worse. ~ Duane Townsend


Photo: George Eastman House

While pondering some things that I desire to change about my circumstances, I keep running into the self generated meme that tells me: “Well, it could be worse.”

Lately, I’ve found this to be such a self-regulating, change resistant inner dialogue. On the one hand, it’s true. Things could always be worse than they are. The ‘things could be worse’ meme does encourage a sense of acceptance, an empowering thing because nothing can be consciously changed without first accepting the present condition as it is, but conversely, it can also discourage one with a sense of resignation, a vacating of the urge to start the effort to change the circumstance that inspired the desire for progress.

As I’ve walked around and sat with the curious ‘it could be worse’ thought meme… I asked where does this curious bit of self-defeat originate? Why does that thought seem so comforting on some level? I followed the images and thoughts it showed me about that meme back to their source. Presently, I’m aware that this is an ego generated meme, a curious defense mechanism based on mistrust of the unknown. I’ve come to recognize the images associated with the inner generated ‘it could be worse.’ The images and thoughts seem to always be desperate, extreme fear based imagery of things no one would ever want for themselves.

Our egos are reliant on habit. They were constructed by our habitual thought patterns and fixated unconscious modes of behavior which are the basis of our ‘personalities.’

The ego fears losing its identity when faced with the prospect of even the most progressive, benign change.

Our egos like things exactly as they are. Even the stuff that grates our teeth with irritations and that which we profess to hate are on some level ego comfort. The ego knows how to deal with those things; it’s already applied the blame to someone or something and made the appropriate excuses for it’s self-exoneration. The ego has crafted its identity out of our poverty or wealth, from the dysfunction of our relationships, from our compassion or greed. Our egos have already justified themselves in those behavioral personality traits.

So where does the desire to change things come from? If our egos are completely accommodating to present conditions, what part of our ‘being’ is it that wants better?

We possess a higher mind. A part of our ‘being’ is fully integrated into our hearts; it’s been called “the watcher,” the Knower, the Christ consciousness (not to be confused with Christianity as presently practiced), our ‘Nous,’ our soul. That small still voice in us that whispers “there is another way.” Jesus, the early Jewish mystics, Egyptian sages from times antiquated, Muhammad, Buddha, Hindu mystics, Shamans of Africa, South America, Asia and the Pacific Islands all have a common thread running through their mystical teachings:

>>We are the embodiment of ‘God’ consciousness, individually and collectively

>>A practice of silent stillness can access our inner divinity

>>The existence that most of us live is nothing more than “all sound and fury signifying nothing”

>> There is an inner life happening unbeknownst to our outer egoic illusory selves, to simply let our ego-based minds touch that infinite abyss, to encounter our depth of being, and to let ourselves feel the core of our divine fabric.

The experience of our true divine self is the transformation we seek; we need do nothing but seek in our silent ‘being’ that which we already are.

No need to construct strategies or step by step flow charts to ‘self improvement.’ Finding and nurturing the inner peace is all we need do. That journey is the journey of lifetimes. Memes like ‘it could be worse’ only complicate and send our journey into confusion. You had the urge to better your life for a reason. Identify why you desire better in a situation and then acknowledge, but proceed past the ‘it could be worse’ mental roadblocks you encounter.

Your ego isn’t your enemy, it’s simply your unruly child that requires your mature instruction and guidance.


Duane Townsend: Observer of Myself and society; manager of the Divine and the profane of those mirroring realities.





Editor: Dareni Wellman

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