21 powerful questions: gain clarity on who you are, what you should do

happyliza

The Living Force
I review my aims every new year and they are on the first page of my diary. Went back to first time I did such questions - including write your own epitaph in 1991 and 2000. Really only the 'materialistic' aspects had changed. But I am grateful for the reminder and the new questions to again re-evaluate. We all miss aspects that could prove very important. So thank you.

Also thank you Obyvatel for the Jung observations - which having studied these - certainly now need to be incorporated too!

Much work to do.... :) If we 'rest on our laurels' then we have already 'lost'.

: :lkj:

PS: The question I asked myself is what would my dream job description be. Which is is why I am where I am and doing what I am doing - but there is and always will be more to 'do'. Retirement just doesn't figure - by choice - in there at all. Health remaining in the equation obviously.

Edit : Added the PS.
 

PerfectCircle

Jedi Master
Wow! Thanks, this is a very complex topic for pondering.
I intend to hand-write questions and answers to them.
It would be interesting to go through them all in a year or so and see if there are any changes to previous answers.
 

leesmith

The Force is Strong With This One
Thanks, Laura. Very attractive and interesting. Unusual attraction and interest in the effect of all the 21 questions.

A quick answer for each question suggests itself. A thread appears, also; something to follow into and out of that question's labyrinth. An attractive and interesting thing to do at my age. Perhaps partly because I'm about to ready a novel -- my first one in some time as well as the first that I will be glad to put out in the world -- for Amazon.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
obyvatel said:
Yas said:
There is one question that I don't fully understand:

16. What have you rejected that seems determined to claim you?

My understanding of the question is that it is inquiring into what Carl Jung called the shadow aspect of the personal unconscious. The personal shadow contains those qualities and traits that our conscious mind finds abhorrent or distasteful and denies them expression in our lives. Then, usually, such qualities are projected outwards towards other people or institutions and we begin to have an irrational and exaggerated reaction towards them. It would seem that wherever we go, we tend to meet such people and they keep evoking strong emotional reactions, thus claiming space within our psyche. We can and often do suppress the emotions but that would leave us in a state of lethargy, apathy and lack of direction with sudden outbursts of uncontrollable emotions.

So from a Jungian psychology perspective, the idea is to first come to terms with the idea of shadow, which is tied with the idea of the unconscious, since the shadow is the first personification of the unconscious that we encounter. IOW, our first real experience of the unconscious happens through the shadow. This is different from an intellectual understanding. When we have a real experience of the shadow, we will be surprised at best and horrified at worst. But if we do not run from it, then we can set up a dialog with it and get to understand it more. And through this dialog, we can sometimes see the other side of the shadow,and come to realize how certain traits and qualities have their legitimate place in life. The result of such a dialog is freeing up of life energy in the inner world. This then can manifest as new opportunities and avenues of growth for the individual in the outside world.

[quote author=Yas]
Is that something that you rejected because you consider it to be negative but it keeps coming back in life? Or is it something that can be positive but you rejected for some reason and it keeps coming back as an opportunity in your life? Or is it something completely different :-[ ?

If you replace the "either-or" formulation of what you wrote with "both-and" formulation, it may be a closer match.

A personal observation about the general theme of writing answers to such questions. The goal, if I understand this correctly, is to set up a dialog between the conscious ego and the unconscious mind. In a balanced dialog both sides have their say. If both are in complete agreement, then there is little learning value that emerges from the exercise. When there is an element of surprise (from the perspective of the conscious ego) in the content of the material produced from the exercise, then it is more likely that the unconscious aspect is having its say. The degree of difficulty to get the unconscious to participate in the process will vary from person to person. For some it will be easy; for others, especially those who have a tendency of being very sure of themselves regarding moral questions of what is good and bad, the process may be quite difficult. If the unconscious participates at all, it may present such material that one will be tempted to put a lid over the box and forget all about it forever. So I would suggest having an attitude of openness, humility and respect for the unconscious mind throughout the exercise. It does not mean agreeing to whatever surprising material that comes up - but rather having the attitude of taking it on board for consideration and then negotiating respectfully to come to an acceptable conclusion.

Hope this makes sense.
[/quote]

Yes, I think these questions are a very good possible method for sorting yourself out if you approach it with sincerity and are ruthless with yourself.

Regarding: "What have you rejected that seems determined to claim you?"

For me, this is rather easy to answer: it is being a teacher and thus carrying a burden of responsibility.

Years ago, someone asked me "why aren't you teaching" and it struck me as complete hubris to think that I could. From my perspective, I didn't know enough. As hard as I had worked, I knew there was way more, thus, the Cs experiment. Even then, I began to SHARE, not "teach" per se. And it is still that way from my perspective. But again and again it is thrust back on me: If you don't do this, who will? And I don't see anybody else standing up and taking the blows that come with taking a position and declaring it. Because, believe me, it has been nothing but suffering and I guess I knew that and that is why I rejected it and why I still take each new step so reluctantly. I just want to read and learn... and the Cs - my conversation with the unconscious in part - keep pushing me (along with the people around me). I hope that, in the end, I will be judged a good workman, at least because it has been the most agonizing labor imaginable.
 

Konstantin

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FOTCM Member
I think that these questions are the good way to explore our inner world.I started to answer them in the most honest way I could, no matter how embarrassing it will be or not.
I plan to post them here when I' done with them.
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you luc, obyvatel and Laura for your clarification. I answered the question with the idea of something I rejected because I considered it to be bad but it still comes back to me. Obyvatel's and Laura's remarks gave me a different perspective so I'll answer again with that in mind.
 

msante

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for these insightful questions, all of them were a great food for thinking and very useful to brought to mind meaningful thoughts and feelings. I think that one should do this kind of "evaluations" periodicaly to keep self-remembering running and and review aspects of our life that with the every day life tend to stay hidden or run on the background of our mind without being noticed.
 

mimimari

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
msante said:
Thanks for these insightful questions, all of them were a great food for thinking and very useful to brought to mind meaningful thoughts and feelings. I think that one should do this kind of "evaluations" periodicaly to keep self-remembering running and and review aspects of our life that with the every day life tend to stay hidden or run on the background of our mind without being noticed.

I agree, these questions a great exercise in self-remembering and self review.

Thanks for sharing.
 

zulhelmi

Jedi
These are really good questions to ponder upon. I am going to write them down into my journal as an exercise of self-remembering. Thank you for posting them.
 

caballero reyes

The Living Force
Are amazing the synchronizations that sometimes occur.
The night before and the time that Laura posted this topic, I had thought of at least 15 of these issues, many of them are closely related to each other.
Excellent subjects to think / meditate. Although it often makes you sad, then you feel better thinking about all those things.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Very timely and thanks! And to you to you also, obyvatel, for some refinements; different ways to see this - helpful.

Laura said:
Years ago, someone asked me "why aren't you teaching" and it struck me as complete hubris to think that I could. From my perspective, I didn't know enough. As hard as I had worked, I knew there was way more, thus, the Cs experiment. Even then, I began to SHARE, not "teach" per se. And it is still that way from my perspective. But again and again it is thrust back on me: If you don't do this, who will? And I don't see anybody else standing up and taking the blows that come with taking a position and declaring it. Because, believe me, it has been nothing but suffering and I guess I knew that and that is why I rejected it and why I still take each new step so reluctantly. I just want to read and learn... and the Cs - my conversation with the unconscious in part - keep pushing me (along with the people around me). I hope that, in the end, I will be judged a good workman, at least because it has been the most agonizing labor imaginable.

Very interesting how this must feel, to look at it as it is through all this time, through all that has happened and come into being - and you did a good job writing about it here, imo. A good workman indeed.
 

Nico

Jedi Council Member
Once you begin answering the first you're ready to answer them all. I was practicing these kind of questioning, but not as thoroughly. My mind seems to have a lot to dream about the answers, even my whole body is going to participate, thank you for engaging us to dig this way.
 

Dakota

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Please, excuse me if I'm going to sound little bit confused, but this questions that Laura posted made me feel like moment 'now or never'. They trigger my own doubts in accomplishment in my life.

Because I'm 42 years old, sometime I feel like my time is over. But, if I'm gonna live to the eighties I have one more life to live, right?

I don't know, maybe I have spent to much time in dealing with some other stuff in my life, then dealing with career or gathering knowledge through science.

For now, it is still a mess in my head about my life. One part (or 'I') thinks that I have learned many valuable lessons, another thinks that I could do everything different. Third one thinks that I did best that I can and etc.
I'm not sure that I can be objective toward my life and if I can't who can?

I wonder how others progressing in answering on this questions. From which position you start to value yourself? Is it from position of status of your career, your level of knowledge, feeling of confidence or something else?

I'm asking because, for example, I think that I did good job considering programs and lessons that I presume that I pick from my parents. That took a lot of time in my life, but I feel good about it. Also, on emotional level I think that I have ability to calm my self and others very easily. And that wasn't my inherent ability. Also, I have very healing touch, and I can control my voice in order to calm or heat situation. But, even when I write this I think that this is just a bragging and I'm not objective toward my self. Also, part of me thinks that that is not something special and also how can I prove that I have those abbilities.

p.s. almost every time when I write on forum (what is not very often) I have a feeling of déjà-vu, like I'm in some kind of loop and can get out. :huh: Did you ever experienced this in this situation?
 

Cleo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you as well for posting this list of questions.

Dakota said:
I'm not sure that I can be objective toward my life and if I can't who can?

I wonder how others progressing in answering on this questions. From which position you start to value yourself? Is it from position of status of your career, your level of knowledge, feeling of confidence or something else?

When I worked on answering the first question the other day, I also wondered how objective I was being or how ruthless and sincere as Laura mentioned. So, I'd just write about that as it came up. Also, when I first started to answer I answered based on whatever first came to mind. So not looking at it from a career perspective, for example. I'd wonder though if I was writing it correctly, as I was sort of listing things and then would think that I need to narrow it down to what is 'best.' So maybe a perfectionist program there.

Anyway I noticed some guilt come up, because certain things didn't come to mind first that I thought 'should have'. So, I explored this feeling of guilt to an extent, remembering what obyvatel mentioned about the shadow aspect (if I'm even understanding this correctly)
And that was only the first question, heh. Yesterday I didn't work on it as I've had a cold but plan to work on the second question today as I'm starting to feel better.

Is the point to write out the answers in stream of consciousness style? In that way, less time to then maybe judge whatever comes up, there's no right or wrong answers kind of thing.
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Dakota, I don't know if this answers your quesions somewhat, but here it goes.


[quote author= Dakota]I wonder how others progressing in answering on this questions. From which position you start to value yourself? Is it from position of status of your career, your level of knowledge, feeling of confidence or something else?[/quote]

Value in STS mode = defining situations/ things/ persons as 'special' for the Self. Meaning that in this case you choose to find it 'special' because it decorates your Ego. In a nutshell Subjectivity is also the cause of all suffering for the Self. Because defining something as subjective special means you value other things as not special.

And when your life is comprised about a lack of 'special' situations / things/ persons. You suffer, which is suffering deprived from the Ego. Aka unconscious suffering.

That's what subjectivity does to our being.

I am telling this because if we want to value our life in a meaningful and Objective way

We ought to keep our higher Aim in mind. Which is trying to be service for others best we can. Anything that helps us get closer or aids this cause are truly things of value. It can be a lot of things. Careers that are community orientated for example. It's not about being super women or men perse. It's about trying the best we can.


[quote author= Dakota]From which position you start to value yourself? Is it from position of status of your career, your level of knowledge,[/quote]

Well, what can be said about that? Don't consider yourself wise, but hope that you are knowledgeable enough when you need to be. Keep on learning.


[quote author= Dakota]From which position you start to value yourself? Is it from position of status of your career, your level of knowledge, feeling of confidence or something else?[/quote]

Never build your confidence by social status and comparing yourself to others. Being confident means that you are confident in your abilities to carry out certain tasks. But for that to happen, we actually need to have mastered those abilities.


[quote author= Dakota]But, even when I write this I think that this is just a bragging and I'm not objective toward my self[/quote]

The Predator mind is addicted of praising itself noteworthy for all kind of things. You might be objectively correct about your own observations, but always be carefull that it's not the Ego who is praising itself.


[quote author= Dakota]p.s. almost every time when I write on forum (what is not very often) I have a feeling of déjà-vu, like I'm in some kind of loop and can get out. :huh: Did you ever experienced this in this situation?[/quote]

Loops like that happen all the time, spotting them is 1, realizing for what it is 2. And trying to get out of that loop by recognizing it's soulless potential while also trying to chance our live in a meaningfull way is 3. It's suffering of the conscious kind and it takes a lot of attempts.


- I am struggling with a lot of things you mentioned myself. But this is my current take on it.
 
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