“Said the web to the spider who thought it was a fly……”
In ancient Vedic texts Indra’s net is used to describe our interconnectedness. It has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex and each jewel is reflected in all the other jewels ad infinitum.
We are like spiders spinning and creating our lives. Then why do we sometimes feel like the fly trapped in the web?
Are angry all the time? If you are feeling that life is happening to you and there is no way out, then read on. Let us try to untangle this web.
As with all issues in life this one too will require a trip into our past all the way to our birth, infancy and early childhood. The circumstances around our helpless self forged neural pathways that went on to define our personalities. Once created these pathways are used to “unconsciously” respond to life in more than 75% of our interactions.
At the offset I want to say that this is not about demonizing our parents and families, blaming them for everything. For in truth they too are the products of their circumstances in early life and their parents of theirs and so on.
It is believed that some time, around the age of 6 months our ego is born. Its sole function is to ensure our survival. A worthy job indeed. But like the camel that asked to put his nose into his master’s tent and eventually pushed him out, we too slowly but surely handled over the controls of our life to our security software. For most of us this alert system is set and stuck on critical and starts blaring loudly at even the smallest of inconveniences.
Anger is an emotion (you can replace anger with fear, resentment, impatience, blaming, complaining, indifference, yearning, wanting) that is produced by the ego mind in response to a perceived threat. In fact, really any situation that makes you feel diminished and unhappy, likely means that the ego mind is at work.
To break from this unconscious way of living we will need to face our childhood threats and traumas truthfully. As fearful as that may sound the good news is that you survived. Infants need to be seen and celebrated, nurtured and soothed and provided with safety. For most of us these needs go unmet either wholly or partially not because the parents are evil (although that has been known to occur) but because they are either busy working, tending to other children or dealing with their own issues.
So now that you know the code that runs your reactions, what can you do about it? Reprogram it of course!! Sounds like a lot of work? Yes and no. The reprogramming will take time and attention but the process is fairly simple. It will require you to sit quietly for 20 minutes everyday bringing attention to your breath, gently becoming aware of the difference between your body, its sensations, feelings and emotions. As thoughts come up (usually about past events or future plans) apply a label, “past” or “future”to it, then let it go and bring your attention back to your breath. Become aware of who is doing the observation.
Back in real life continue to observe and be aware of which program is running you. When a situation presents itself that flips your alarm, STOP immediately. Step away, breathe, run around the block, do what ever you need to create the space for a considered “conscious” response. Most situations are value neutral. It is our unconscious ego software that give it charge and then demands a similarly charged response. The more we play and practice this game the better we become at it.
The ego keeps us trapped like the fly in the web. It isolates us, keeping us on high alert which drains our adrenal glands leaving us exhausted and tired. We become victims of the circumstances of our life rather than the creators. Understanding our software opens the door to change. As adults we are no longer dependent on our “parents” ( replace with spouse, boss…) for survival. We do not need any ones love except our own. Forgiveness, self compassion and loving ourselves passionately opens us up to love others in turn. We become the jewels in Indra’s web, interconnected and reflected in all others ad infinitum.
‘“There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet-Human Unconsciousness” – Eckhart Tolle