So I say we can have our conscious change our unconscious one habit at a time. The only thing in my way of figuring it all out is how powerful the unconscious is! I have tried but I have failed so far to make this work effectivly. I have yet to figure this out how to shape my personality and behavior as a person of habbit but an idealized version of what this looks like is such: I make a bad choice unconsciously, I see the bad choice and say I'll change next time, I catch myself making the same mistake next time but stop myself, repeat that step for 30 day, profit?? Tell me if this works, I'm sure someone has something to say about making positive change in ones life in regard to the shadow and the unconscious.
As I have been experiencing this, I find that changes are made to my unconscious…unconsciously lol. Let me give an example: Let’s say that someone makes a specific type of comment to me, it triggers me, and I respond in a bad way. My response is not my “normal” way of responding, and it is not something that I want to continue, but it happens just the same.
Then separately, I am getting in touch with my shadow. As I notice more about myself, look inward, and find ways in which I can access myself with less and less hesitation, with less resistance, then I am able to get to a place where I can see an aspect of myself that I consider “bad”. Then, if I can see that part of myself and accept it as a valid part of me, not judge myself but to accept it, then it will loosen its grip.
I have to add here that I don’t see for myself the connections between my shadow work and the triggered responses that I noted above. But after some time, a trigger-situation will come up again later (maybe the same type of comment from the same person) and I find that I no longer have the same response as I had the previous twenty times.
These things seem to happen somewhat unconsciously, even when I am consciously aware of them. Like what has changed that has allowed me to have less resistance to myself? Why don’t I continue to resist like I have always done in the past? Is it really my conscious decision to try not resisting that made the difference, or is there an unconscious change that sort of presents itself into my thoughts that I am aware of right now? Which one came first?
Speaking to some of the other comments earlier in this thread, I don’t believe we have a free will. While watching myself, I have at times watched myself in a way that my watching seems very removed from the action that is happening. Also, many other times as I notice my thoughts, the thoughts seem very personal and very intimate to me and it is easy for me to think of them as if they are me, or at least that I have control of them. But just because I have an intimate awareness of the movement of my thoughts, of the pushing and pulling of desires and aversions that lead my thoughts down a particular path, does that mean that I have ultimate control over them? I think not. If I could REALLY control my thoughts, then why can’t I turn them off like flipping a switch? Why is it that, when I sit to meditate, the thoughts can go in a myriad of directions, sometimes surprising me with the crazy directions they go. Or related to Alder’s post earlier, why do I suffer? Why not just simply end the suffering if I can really have control?
As I talk with people around me, it seems to be that people WANT to believe that they have control. It goes against so much of our society and culture to believe that we don’t have free will. Everything around us is designed around the idea that we do in fact have free will. I think it is scary for people to play with the idea that they don’t have a free will, and I think we all know that people often avoid the things that scare them. How many alternatives will people create so that they don’t have to deal with their fear?