Continued from Ch 4 Part 1: https://is.gd/E2SBrQ
I cannot emphasise enough how subtle, complex, and sophisticated this Understanding and Awareness was at the time, involving so much I innately Understood. Such as the phoniness angle, how I could be Appropriately different in different situations and never be phoney or false. Always real and true. A big deal comprehension.
Also, the willingness to share my Individual self if ever anyone asked. I had a distinct awareness or view of doing so happily. More subtleties connected such as it all had to be Ethical, or “right’ as I thought of it then. But right personally, according to me, to my sense of goodness. Not society right, personal individual deep inner rightness. And of course nothing at all to do with being correct or correctness or proper or anything like that. Definitely “right’ to me then meant personal ethics, determined by me, and by me alone. But this was deeper and not forcefully so, as the rest was. The other outflows from that Awareness, from the incident, came to me at different times, depending on circumstance.
What resulted, was me taking all this fully to heart. No overt changes in behaviour and no-one would have noticed any difference. I continued with what I’d more or less been doing, but not specifically, not deliberately and consciously so. This now the Change. I was thus prevented from inadvertently behaving in ways I would not have thought about, and getting into trouble in some way due to simply not considering my behaviour relative to the situation. I shifted to becoming *strategically* Aware. All this new Understanding about Appropriate behaviour focused on, and was limited to, not getting into the wide variety of trouble always an ever-present threat in that social environment.
Every situation and all persons were potential sources of trouble. Quite incredible when I think of it now. Absolutely everyone could be, and often were, risks of severe physical pain and other horridness. Hidings for just about anything were frequent for the unaware. Bullying a constant threat. Once Aware of these potentialities, how did one not become strategically minded? To be unaware was a guaranteed hiding or other negative consequence. How could one allow such dire unpleasantness to happen? Threat-free situations were rare with others. One of the reasons I enjoyed being on my own throughout my childhood. When among others though. I was certainly not dominated by fear. I knew fear attracted trouble. I seldom felt it, just an Awareness of possibility, because when one was Aware of having taken adequate measures, what’s to fear? Would be silly to fear then. My reasoning anyway. Others, I observed, seemed to feel worrying was useful, and would somehow help. Kinda a magical, superstition type thinking I thought. But I did understand they did so because they thought they “should,” if circumstances warranted. I saw even back then how conformity warped people’s lives.
I also came to have a clear Understanding my individual-person was, I hesitate to say more important, because that’s too strong, but maybe had more primacy. Even that, hmm, more the one which would be the driving force. Everything flowed out from private-self, not in from social-person.
My public side, while me, real and true me, was never really going to be engaging with ALL of me. Yes, that was the distinction, one of scope. The individual side would always be more complete. The possibility for being my individual-self in public or social settings at that time decidedly not a realistic possibility. One could get into severe ongoing almost permanent trouble for being distinctly different. I understood how one could be labelled a “problem child,” weirdo, or something similar. Such labels resulted in a doomed existence.
If I’d been asked then, or even a year or two later, what exactly the difference was between individual-self and social-self, I would have been hard-pressed to say exactly. But I was very very clear there was difference, and not and insignificant distinction either. I did know if individual-self would’ve said I had ideas and understandings about the folly so widespread in the society, my sharing of such a perception would’ve guaranteed trouble. Not just for me, but for those who’d know I thought about and perceived the silliness, especially the widespread inadvertent hypocrisy from conforming so constantly. They would not know how to deal with such an Awareness of them, as the entire farce relied on the myth of no-one supposedly knowing, especially not openly saying they knew.
Everyone did what they did mostly because of how it appeared to society. Sharing such knowing could not, from a kid, be tolerated, not even by any remote chance. No matter how correct or sensible one was as a child, it mattered not in the least, if one stepped outside accepted child behaviour, a hiding would result, regardless. Unreason and illogic were simply a fact of my existence right from the get-go, like the weather, not something complaining or stressing about would change, but a factor one had to deal with sensibly.
Sensibility, or “being sensible” was how I thought of Appropriateness as a boy. This Awareness of Appropriateness also comes up in connection with the post-light-bulb focus and Understanding of Awareness. Specifically how it was *not* part of society or anyone I knew. An astonishment for me, this absence of such a perspective or outlook on life. Somewhat of a mystery. After all, I had thought this Understanding was pretty obvious, once one became Aware of it. Surely couldn’t just be me? I never felt I’d done anything special to come to this knowing, but how come it seemed no-one else did? Didn’t make sense. My knowing had to be suppressed, for the sake of conformity. Made me sad if I went in that direction, which I didn’t, once I knew where it led.
As I came to that Understanding about the Awareness-focus of others, after the Light-Bulb Exploded, the memory of the Appropriate Awareness Understanding from the Bathroom Incident came back to me. Its relevance became focused. I saw how, going forward, my individual-self was on a very different Path. My recent illuminating experiences from asking people about their ideas on Perfection brought into sharp Awareness the necessity and value of strategic Appropriateness, especially when it came to what I thought about, and was involved in. In terms of the focus of my individual self and what was sensible (Appropriate) in social and public circumstances. I also thought of Appropriate as strategic back then.
I knew the circumstances for sharing my new life-path were not present. I was okay with that, a Gift from the Bathroom Incident. I had the clear feeling and knowledge it was good either way. I could enjoy each Way-of-Being, both.
Being myself and “doing my own thing,” while never a secret or a hidden activity, was joyful and satisfying. More than okay and fine to pursue on my own. I felt an excitement and powerful rightness to the Path going forward which was not connected to whether shared or not. That was incidental. If someone were to ask, I’d be happy to Share my personal-self.
I’m most thankful for having had that Understanding there in the bathroom. It’s mysterious to me. A powerful influencing factor, as I have been more than happy being alone and doing my thing, and, when I have been able, to Share. Also, I am, and was, very happy on the social and public side of things. Never had any problems fitting in, being sociable, liked and so on. I was even relatively popular or one of the “main kids” as we called it back then. Although, “being popular” was not in our thinking. The focus was more on not being a “stuff up” and not being “weak” and thus an automatic victim. Not being at the bottom of the ever-present hierarchy thinking. Whether one subscribed to it or not.
There’s more to this Appropriateness of Being Perspective, much more, in significant and powerful ways. But that’s for another story. 🙂
The Path Of Awareness I had put myself on took on a life of its own. The developments and outflows from it were profound and deeply affecting. I became immersed in a deliberate program of extending and adding to myself in whatever ways I could figure out.
That specific deliberateness of figuring out and resolving, most profound and affecting. I developed the habit of deliberately and consciously “reaching out” with my thinking to look for, and create, new Aspects of Being I could learn and apply. I wasn’t in an environment where I could glean these. I had to invent them. I had to take myself and my Personal Circumstance-of-Being and examine such in a pure abstract sense. I had to look for how exactly I could improve my Being relative to an absolute standard. Not relative to others. I was on a purely individual Path. Comparisons were simply unthinkable, inappropriate, and never ever a factor. I simply did what was important to me. That was it.
The absence of competitive comparisons of self one of the outflows from the Appropriateness Awareness Incident. It just was clear comparing was never relevant. Whatever I was in, whichever situation, was simply me being me. No more and no less. How could I compare? One could not when there’s an Awareness of difference. Comparing an elephant to a house makes no sense. As I worked on exploring new ways to be, new attitudes to add, new perspectives to have, new moods to feel, Humility and Modesty became very strong and powerful allies. They became me. Powerfully so, as they gave me a freedom to be me in the individual, private, and also social circumstances.
In those first few years post light-bulb, I developed many many conceptions and Understandings which are the foundation of my A+ Philosophy. This was before the reading bug bit me. I did nothing but think and think and think all day and night. Figuring out, thinking through. Somewhat different. I wasn’t content to simply think *about* something, I had to come to some conclusion, a resolution, a result. Something tangible and useful, an Understanding I could add to my Understanding-of-Self, the world, and how things worked. I wanted to be Aware of the underlying logic and reason to everything, so I could USE that knowing to change myself.
The thinking took on a few different forms; the creative part, a kind of a reaching out into the nothingness and gathering little bits, from those constructing something. Or simply coming from the other end. Deciding what I wanted to happen and then creating what I needed in order to achieve my goal. Also, the usual maximising of inspiration whenever it came. When one is immersed in something to that extent, the mind automatically notices and connects to what is relevant.
Then the Figuring-Things-Out aspect of the thinking, all about efficiency, effectiveness and Application. Mostly about clearing confusion of any kind. The drive and desire for Awareness most powerful. Still is. I could not, can not, leave something I don’t Understand alone. I had to, have to, *Know.* This applied to everything. I was, am, insatiably curious, but especially applied to Abstract Concepts. As I had discovered, once I understood the Abstract of something, it led to being able to Understand all of its particular applications.
A huge discovery. All resulting from that singular Awareness and Understanding which was the Bathroom Incident.
I remember figuring out “how to abstract.” So liberating and exciting at the time. That joy and profound value has stayed with me all my life. So huge, then and now. Knowing I had figured out Abstraction, that I now had the Ability to Abstract, filled me with a deep joy. Still does. But then, in that vacuum of innocence and naivete, was sublime. A treasure, a precious precious treasure. one with significant influence. The Ability to Abstract made an inordinate difference for me. A big big deal. Still is.
Continued in Chapter 5 – Necessary Detours: https://is.gd/RPkfXe
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