5/5/17 - The Self-Authoring Mind & Conscious Freedom
In the process of writing a book, I’ve accidentally dipped my toes quite deeply into a sea of information regarding human consciousness. Before that word makes you roll your eyes with imagery of ayahuasca ceremonies and barefoot hippies, let’s just clear one thing up. That word, consciousness, just refers to your mind’s operating system for managing subjective information. It’s how you make sense of things.
The prevailing understanding is that the majority of us are walking around with a certain level of consciousness called a socialized mind. In the grande scheme of things, it’s actually somewhere in the middle of the mental simplicity of a baby and our upper potential for mental complexity. While I’m not here to bring the bad news that many of us are simple, I do want to offer the shortest explanation of what this could mean for someone with a socialized mind and what’s possible for those that transcend this stage.
This socialized mind enjoys the comforts of subscription to socially supported ideas of reality. Our values and perspectives in this frame of consciousness come from socially recognized institutions like your church, your juijitsu community, and the geographical and socioeconomic details of your experience. This is convenient for many reasons, including a sense of belonging and a framework for which to make sense of our world. You can imagine how much work it would be to start from scratch, ignoring all social norms, and try to make sense of why the sun sets, what happens when we die, and the value of something like commitment all on your own. It only makes sense that we have things like science, religion, and parents to help mold us along the way.
Obviously, there are limits to this frame and advantages to having the mental complexity to transcend it. Part of the limitations of this commonly occurring socialized frame is that it’s limited to the borders of socialized groups. In this view, we become more Republican than we become a free thinker. We can tend to lump in more Republican ideals than we intend to carry, for example. In the same way, we can become more of a CrossFitter than a human being. After all, would you really wear those weird shoes if none of your friends did?
Being able to break this limited frame, isn’t just “better” all around. It’s harder. When you transcend the socialized mind, you’ll need to take full responsibility for your life. What happens to you and your expression of life in this next stage, often called the self-authoring mind, is up to you. Ultimately, for leaving the comforts of the socialized mind you’ll earn freedom. The self-authoring mind is in charge of writing its own story. It assigns meaning where it wishes. The beauty of it is that you can hold all the experiences and even many of the beliefs of the socialized mind, but you’re not just that.
While it’s easy to read this and agree that you’re most definitely a self-authoring badass, it’s statistically unlikely. Just because you understand what you just read and agree to the benefits and logic presented to you doesn’t mean you’ve evolved from the socialized mind.
I encourage you to look closely at your perspectives. Who’s are they? Are they yours? I invite you to do the harder thing and break your socialized frame (if you’re stuck there). It’s much harder to live beyond that, but what’s on the other side is, by definition, freedom. Everyone ought to have that.
PS – Keep in mind, the self-authoring mind isn’t the end of the road. It gets even more gnarly after that – Sheesh!
Complete 4 rounds for quality of:
100′ Waiter Carry (Right)
100′ Waiter Carry (Left)
15 Rear Delt Flies (Right)
15 Rear Delt Flies (Left)
Then, with a partner, AMRAP 12
8 Overhead Squats (115/75)
Partner B: Rest