CONSCIOUS RESPONSIBILITY

 


CONSCIOUS RESPONSIBILITY



I wish I could find a better term for the process of salvation, re-wholing, or "becoming oneself." Although conscious responsibility may point to this process, it has inherent limitations which I do not intend. For instance, conscious is commonly used as a synonym for awareness, implying that "well being" may be found in simply "becoming aware" or "getting perceptions in mind space." And responsibility is typically seen as another word for duty as socially and religiously defined.

Certainly I intend elements of both these familiar concepts in my concept of conscious responsibility; but taking each as popularly understood easily misses fuller understanding. Only when both words are melded into one can the phrase approach what I mean by it. Neither consciousness nor responsibility, when taken alone, can point clearly to how I view this path to heaven here.

Even so, until I can think of a better term, this comes as near to what I see in mind's eye as I can yet conceive. Here are the implications I intend in each word:


CONSCIOUS


Literally, I mean consciousness as an overall state of personal awareness, not simply a mental event of "thinking about" a particular perception or event. More clearly I might say, "re-becoming conscious" to imply the process in a time frame. My understanding of humanity is that we are all born relatively whole, even before the capacity for consciousness evolves as a possible mental state subject to being named as such. We are, in a word, "already saved," "whole," or "well" without need for change or improvement. We don't, for example, need to "become ourselves" because we already are who we are

But in the necessary process of socialization, beginning with fitting acceptably into a particular family setting, and later expanded into acceptance in the larger community of mankind, we seem to universally begin the process of repression–that is, to suppress and deny certain aspects of ourselves and natural behaviors which are socially unacceptable, beginning first with our mothers who are in effect goddesses of early life. 

Instead of remaining whole, that is, "being our natural selves," we opt for restraining and hiding personal "parts" which we find to be unacceptable to the "powers which be"–that is, the forces who/which determine our survival and well being in the world outside the womb. At first, these are primarily focused in the goddess-like person we will later learn to call "mother." 

Such suppression-for-survival easily phases in time, as inherited capacity for consciousness expands, into repression, a state of being which can be described as splitting onself into two parts--one of which is conscious or subject to personal awareness, and the other is unconscious or out of awareness. Consequently, after this functional tool of successful socialization becomes, in effect, ingrained or one's established mode of coping in the world, one exists essentially "divided within," a "split-self" we might say. 

The unconscious or suppressed/denied "part" of oneself includes unacceptable and/or dangerous personal capacities (e.g., aggressive instincts) as well as outward events which are deemed threatening either to suppressed capacities (like, being sexual) or to remaining socially acceptable in their recall. If "they" don't acknowledge ("talk about") certain happenings, then children easily come to "forget" them also–that is, to suppress awareness or memory as a mode of fitting in acceptably with adults who also "don't talk about them." 

I summarize both these common arenas of typical repressions–certain capacities and events with the single word perceptions, which is the first phase of the universal Creative Process of all human experience. Naturally, before or without repression, we perceive (become aware) of internal "feelings" as well as external happenings which fall within the limited realm of emerging human consciousness. "They"–that is, inside capacities and outside events, become, in effect, aspects of who-we-are. Our emerging sense-of-self is a combination of these internal and external experiences or perceptions which occur in the course of daily living in the world as we find it.

So far, so good–as "becoming ourselves" in ever widening circles expands daily.


But, as noted before, the apparently universal temptation is to only accept and hold in awareness those perceptions–"feelings" and events, which seem to be socially acceptable. And what probably begins as simple suppression or hiding, that is, wise denial in quest of survival and increased personal satisfactions, all too easily phases into serious repression with the unfortunate consequence of effectively splitting oneself into two major parts, only one of which remains in consciousness. 

This self-splitting, wisely begun in quest of essential "services," supplies, and permissions from outside sources, beginning with mother, quickly becomes dangerous, even disastrous, in the process of becoming our larger selves as personal capacities and experiences in the world naturally expand also. The end result is an existential individual (one-whole-self) living as though he or she were in fact divided within into two persons, only one of which exists in awareness, the other being relegated into dark unconsciousness. 


Thereafter, the process of "well" being (medical perspective) is essentially re-wholing, or re-uniting parts of oneself which have become split off from each other in acts of repression. Existing consciousness is, as it were, rejoined with previously denied ("unconscious") aspects of oneself and his or her personal experiences. The split-in-self is re-healed ("wholed"). A divided person is made whole. One becomes again "as a little child" in the sense of existing naturally as one's whole self. In colloquial terms such a "healed" or "wholed" person "re-becomes himself"–as we all are before acts of repression divide us. 


RESPONSIBILITY


The second half of my term for this process is responsibility. Again, I choose a familiar word which is commonly associated with duty or "should do's" and give it added implications as implied in the root meanings of the word, namely, re-spond-ability.

Expanding consciousness begins, as the word implies, with re-becoming aware of previously denied aspects of one's self and experiences–or, in negative terms, un-repressing oneself. This means, in colloquial language, re-becoming able to "think about" or bring and hold in "mind space" parts of one's self ("feelings" and "wants," e.g.) and one's experience which have been systematically repressed in the past. This might be called the "intellectual" or mental part of the overall process, in which the conscious mind becomes able to remember or recall "forgotten" experiences and emotions from long ago.

But remembering or "becoming aware" of what has been repressed or "forgotten" is only the beginning–the first part of the process of "wholing" or becoming again "as a little child."

Re-claiming re-sponse-ability is the second, and often most difficult part of the process of re-achieving well being. Typically un-repression begins with conscious awareness, but continues to keep projection–the second aspect of repression, alive and well. That is, one may dare to recall previously "forgotten" or denied aspects of oneself (e.g., anger or passion), but continues to "blame" or project responsibility onto some outside cause or other person. "Yes," one may finally admit, "I am angry," but "he (or she) makes me so." Or, "Yes, I do feel sexual about her," but "she turns me on," etc., etc.

Emerging consciousness commonly begins in this fashion, with powers (causes) for what is brought into awareness still projected externally. In the process of un-repression, one may start by admitting or acknowledging such and such, but typically keeps on projecting causes onto external sources (e.g., "The devil made me do it," et al). 

Hence my adding responsibility for completing the phrase naming the process of "getting well" or becoming whole again. That is, wholeness is not completed with conscious acknowledgment only; re-assuming re-sponse-ability for each aspect of one's self and "forgotten" experience is also required. 

Conscious responsibility, as I mean the term, may be summarized as: re-becoming conscious of previously repressed aspects of one's self and experience (literally, one's denied perceptions) in a fully responsible manner. Both halves of the sentence are essential for understanding the re-wholing process as I see it. 

Responsibility, as I intend it here, begins with common meanings of the word, as in, duty and "doing what one should," but extends on to root elements of the word, namely: re = again; spond = back to; and ability = personal capacity. In summary, these deeper implications of etymology point toward what I see as the second phase of "getting well," or "emotional maturity," etc.–that is, re-embracing one's ability to responsibly "own" what he "sees" in the first steps of consciousness, especially previously projected powers associated with being oneself wholly. 

Spond-ability, the second part of the word, refers to the natural human capacity for sponding or registering perceptions, both inward and outward, to experiences in the world. Naturally we spond to whatever our senses are able to grasp. But in natural sponding we also, in effect, "own" or embrace powers inherent or initiated in acts of "grasping the world" via our five senses. Literally, we be-come what we perceive or grasp. Our actual perceptions become the substance of our emerging selves. 

But this natural process is interrupted when we begin to repress certain capacities and experiences; instead of owning/embracing powers generated by perceiving, we unwittingly project these forces onto some outside-of-self source, such as, gods, demons, circumstances, other persons, etc.–that is, we thereafter view ourselves as relatively impotent and "see" causes of our perceptions to be outside of who-we-are. "They," in effect, "make us do/be" as we are. 

Of so we commonly assume following the events of repression.



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