Codependency definition: excessive psychological reliance on a partner. Here we look within the individual mind and trade the word “partner” for “template”.
How many of us have ever been in a codependent situation? All of us, I hope.
Because I believe templates (see Love and Loss) don’t just form within our brains in response to the modeling of someone we know and interact with. I believe our human brains are template makers. From time immemorial, even before humans imagined tools, templates projected any number of potential scenarios that might be of advantage or danger (a kind of approach/avoidance) to the individual.
Do we ever find ourselves thinking bad things or behaving badly? You betcha!
If an individual didn’t ever swerve from their one POV, I’d have to say they were in grave danger. POVs give us options for different behaviors, just like the languages that form relationships between systems/things/boundaries, giving them the ability to grow. The more options, the better chance for survival of the individual.
So, yes, perhaps our dynamic with others results in bad thoughts or bad behavior, but that’s all right as long as that poisonous relationship doesn’t prevent our little virtual universe (of which all of our selves are king) from fabricating other POVs.
What to do when we find ourselves a character obsessing about others, codependent with, and caught up in their templates? According to Krishnamurti, the psychologist/philosopher—kill the thoughts, the actions of the template. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. How can we quiet the voices inside our heads from these errant templates? What makes take-over and obsessive template identities dangerous?
Templates, POVs, and identities can be dangerous when they obsess and are out of balance. Why? Because when they dominate us, we have no other options for solving our problems harmoniously (creating the fewest shock waves throughout ourselves and our society) through differential behaviors.
Back to Krishnamurti’s idea of how subjective thought can bring about disequilibrium in us. For me, it all boils down to sampling:
First we reach out to another template within us, another person outside ourselves, or our greater environment. We grab a sample, but what we need to keep in mind, whatever we thought we were sampling may not be a true interpretation of the sample. Each time we reach out to sample our world, we wish to transfer information across our boundary, to form a relationship between a part of us and the WIBWI (What Is Behind What Is). We then interpret the results of our sampling, but those results may bear no likeness to the new relationship we’ve just created. [Just as neural patterns bear no resemblance to ideas, and ideas bear no resemblance to language, and language bears no resemblance to what is sampled.]
Based on the idea that there is an analog to the expansion of the universe in virtual space, there was, at one time, before birth, a blank slate, a state where we innocently sampled directly and accepted directly all data coming from the WIBWI, the implicit. As we grew, just like any other self-organized critical system, we condensed a virtual world out of our own cosmic soup that in turn educated all the virtual/symbolic possibilities in our own WIBWI/implicit.
Imbalance in ourselves comes from hiding from potential POVs, vilifying them, and burying them. When we do that, we create enemies, for just like the artificial intelligence HAL in the movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey, those internal templates or POVs will do anything to survive (even mess us up if they can).
Why do some people meditate to change the balance of flow within their brains? I believe it is to attain balance between the analytic functions of the brain (where we bring ideas and the virtual world into being by defining everything to death) and the intuitive part of the brain, the sampling part. The more open we are to sampling the WIBWI and like the Beatles’ song Let It Be, or like the Taoists’ poem By Letting Go It All Gets Done (on the Taoism page) we allow the WIBWI Universe to be anything it wants to be, we transcend to the land of the Union Of Opposites, the land where everything, somehow, remains in harmony.
How can we get from painful, obsessive, and disruptive thoughts to a place where we’re open to harmonious outcomes?
Some people meditate to get to that harmonious state. Some follow all the noise in their minds without the knee-jerk reaction to interpret any of it. Given enough time, the mind learns not to analyze its data, learns not to define, interpret, or generalize about it (for me, this includes scientific generalization).
Some people eliminate the noise of thought from their minds. Much harder for an individual when the body is hyper, revved up in fight or flight, and creating obsessive thoughts faster than his capability of ignoring them.
Each individual needs to find a way to regain his or her mental balance. But, first, what are we balancing? Others call it us, our ego, our id, our identity. These are great words, but here at the Union of Opposites, we look only at the language that has defined the physical world successfully–mathematics–and, more specifically, complex numbers (see Complex Numbers). Complex numbers are made up of a real intensity part and a time-dependent part. When we speak of imbalance in the mind, we speak about the time-dependent part (in fluid mechanics circles called the flow or the flow field). So it is the flowing behavior of the various virtual templates constructed in the mind from birth that we may find need to be in balance.
I can’t as yet speak about how a more primitive human, with, perhaps, little rational thought, brought about this balance for himself. I’ll have to think about that. But there are last-ditch efforts that someone, who seeks harmony in a mind that is like a skier headed down a steep slope without the ability to snowplow (stop themselves), can institute.
Here are some tips: First, whenever the chance presents itself, accept discomforting thoughts and templates. Do that by, when you feel guilty for any behavior of any template, accepting that that behavior is another piece in the infinite puzzle of WIBWI and work on letting the associative destructive physical feelings go and accept that this behavior and thought fits in somewhere. So the first response is, if you can, to accept the template as part of the puzzle (perhaps a part that has lost its way).
A more forceful means to quench disharmonious thoughts in the mindflow is to listen to the template’s explanations but as you hear the words, you can’t understand their meaning. Obviously, you can understand the meanings of words, but here you pretend that though you understand the meaning you give to them, you realize they are symbolic and don’t connect up to anything in what we think of as the real universe. The real, the WIBWI that we sample, though it has probable paths, it is wordless, mindless, speechless, meaningless (its real qualities act silently through us). We both consciously and subconsciously give meaning and reason to our samples, but because of our limited POVs, we do not grasp the whole picture. Therefore, we really have no clue as to what the words, the templates, the flow, any of it really means in the grand scheme of things.
Okay, so, this is my final holdout. When we can’t stop the voices, then we bomb them away. Yes, you heard me right. We literally take aim at the obsessive words in our head and explode them away (virtually, of course). We aren’t destroying the naturally formed templates there, who will always conjure more disharmonious challenges for us. Those naughty templates will just reform and babble away, but we can make them stop and wallow in the silence, no matter how short. In that way we can convince ourselves that there is a window through which some harmonious solution may enter.
Another analog to the busy disharmonious mind is a sheet of tablet paper, all scribbled over. Sometimes we need an eraser, so a whole new set of ideas can come into being and be visualized. In this way both analysis (the scribbles) and sampling (the flow, room for the new, new spaces) can find their balance.