A Living System

A Living System © C. Pic Michel Jan 3, 2004

When we stalk, or practice self-inquiry, we're not looking for what's wrong with us. We're actually looking for something that works very well. It is only by mistake that it works against us. It is a living system or system of living that has been designed to protect us...by us. Because it is based on the erroneous conclusions of the child who first imagined it. Because it tends to be developed to prevent unwanted experiences, this system tends to protect us with negative motivation thus hurting us over time.

This living system the Parasite (Toltec term similar to ego) The parasite is actually a tool which creates and maintains records and searches files when various situations arise. In an instant, between experiencing some circumstance and the reaction to it, the Parasite steps up and assesses the situation, offers us feedback, which was originally intended to help us stay safe and make an informed decision.

There are differences in how this system works for the child who initiates it and the adult who doesn't realize they're spending much of their lives validating, tweaking and relying on the erroneous conclusions of their child self. A major difference is the fluidity with which we expect ourselves to act as we mature. As a culture we seem to value being able to act swiftly and decisively and sometimes view needing to take a moment to think things over as a weakness. A child is still learning about how to react. A competent adult is often viewed as one who can act almost without thinking. That's how we end up with a system that is a Parasitic, we hook up with it and let it run the show.

The living system which was born to help us navigate in the world and has become Parasitic is not something to be disliked or that we would want to get rid of. Instead it is ours, like a malnourished child to love. How can we love something that goes against us? The same way a parent can love an arguing adolescent or a toddler that is throwing a tantrum in the middle of a department store. Herein lie the Judge and Victim. Recognizing this is the way to begin transforming the Parasite into the Ally that it was dreamed to be.

It isn't easy for adults to be told they are basing their current living on the mistaken impressions of the child that they were, but where else does the foundation from our Parasite originate? Moreover, without knowing we were setting ourselves up for life, we tweaked and refined the strategies to avoid negative situations and our parasite processed and utilized everything that passed through our minds. As we began to react more and more automatically the Parasite became a self-tweaking system and is now full of a complex set of theories and strategies, which need to be unraveled.

To do this work we need to set our intent to begin noticing, when our thoughts or automatic reactions go against us, and stalk the underlying motivations for having these outcomes. Be assured the Parasite, having become a self-tweaking system, has already accounted for the reading of this passage and in an effort to protect us, is poised to do battle with anything that questions it's efficiency and effectiveness. After all, the system has been built over a lifetime; this idea that it may be flawed is recently given and threatens security. As we go about our day we start questioning authority - the absolute certainty we have developed over time that our thoughts are ours, asking ourselves: Is this my thought or a reaction based on assumptions? Did I really think about those events or fulfill an automatic response? Did I take something personally? Did I speak with integrity? What is my real and true best?

You find out that the universe is a system that creeps up on itself and says, "Boo!" and then laughs at itself for jumping. --Alan Watts

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