Blog 58 – Time
How do you relate to time? Are you a punctual person?
Our relationship with time is important. Some of us are more oriented to the clock. When someone prefers to use our Judging process in the outer world, then one often has a different relationship to time. One is more aware of Chronos – a sense of time from ancient Greece related to chronological or sequential time. As human beings we have evolved from the sundial to the grandfather clock to the pocket watch to the digital wristwatch. Perhaps, we just look at our iPhone for the time. People who prefer their Judging Function prefer to be timely and organized. They tend to like planning and being methodical.
People who prefer to use their Perceiving Function are more spontaneous and flexible. They seek to experience and understand life as opposed to wanting to control it. They are adaptive and change course. People who prefer their Perceiving Function are more aware of Kairos – another sense of time from ancient Greece that is related to “a time in between.” While Chronos is quantitative, Kairos is qualitative.
The term Kairos reflects an earlier sense of time before sundials or clocks. Originally, our sense of time as human beings came from the cycles of nature – summer, fall, winter, and spring. The length of a day changes throughout the year depending on the season. The weather often varies from season to season. Time is variable. Farmers plant in spring and reap in the summer. The length of the light during the day waxes and wanes. Our bodies change with the cycles of nature – a woman has a period.
Yet the clock has become an unquestioned assumption for many modern people. We have a mechanical counting which reflects a 24 hour day. Our digital time is different from the rhythms of nature. A day in late December is very different from a day in the middle of June in Kansas City, USA, or Johannesburg, South Africa as well as for most of the world. Before we developed clocks our sense of time was different – more natural.
We had a different consciousness: sometimes referred to as mythical consciousness. These ancient people were keenly aware of nature and its rhythms. They perceived time as more of a circle of death and rebirth. “The ancients are said to have perceived events as iterations of a cosmic eternal return and regeneration within a specific place, whereas we believe that events occur on an irreversible, linear timeline that is independent of place,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Most of us just assume that this ancient perception of time is fairytale, but that linear time is real. We do not even consider the possibility that this ancient view of time has validity. “The idea that time and space exist as independent dimensions is a relatively recent development. For most of mankind’s existence, knowledge of time and space was dependent upon place, for it was closely tied to the observation of the natural cycles of celestial and earthly phenomena surrounding one’s homeland. Knowing when and how to hunt, gather, and eventually to plant food all depended upon a close monitoring of the recurring rhythms of a place. What we know as time and space were merged into place,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Our present day view of historical time assumes that time is simply a mathematical abstraction. This belief came from Isaac Newton who asserted that there was an “absolute” time. He asserted that time was then divorced from space.
Much of our modern thought originates from ancient Greece. One needs to carefully tune in to recognize an opening of Kairos. This is the source of the expression, “Seize the Day!” Kairos is also associated with an ever moving wheel of fortune. “Kairos time lives somewhere between intervals of Kronos time,” writes Glen Aparicio Parry.
“An Indigenous sense of time, it seems to me, includes both Kronos and Kairos and then maybe something more. It is understood that all is in flux, that everything is always changing and that even natural rhythms must be closely monitored because they are not guaranteed to remain the same. Monitoring these natural rhythms and cycles helps to develop an intuitive awareness, an awareness that recognizes the opportune time to act within a given cycle. This awareness seamlessly takes into account as host of variables, which are not logical or able to be broken down or counted because they are far too numerous – but they are understood nonetheless at an intuitive level,” concludes Glen Aparicio Parry.
Please watch this video on the Whole Brain State by Dr. John Omaha:
“The ego is the seat of consciousness and if consciousness creates the world, the ego is doing God’s creative work in its effort to realize itself through the way of individuation” Edward Edinger.
The quality of our life is largely dependent on the health of our ego. If our ego is healthy, we will be flexible, strong, compassionate, aware and constructive. Having a healthy ego takes effort; we need to choose to do the work to grow up and mature.
My ego has two basic powers. The first power of the ego is observation, and the second power is choice. These are the two main functions of our minds: to monitor and modify.
What is an ego? When I look out from my eyes and see the world, I am aware of myself and the world. In some ways, it feels no different from when I was 7 years of age. I have a continuity of my sense of identity as an individual. I call this part of myself “I” or “me,” and I am referring to my ego. My ego is the part of me that is aware or conscious.
There are factors which help strengthen the ego: balancing one’s brain, regulating one’s feelings, reclaiming one’s projections, and engaging in self-care. These skills helps one see the world more clearly and make life giving choices. When my brain is balanced, I am able to use both sides of my brain. My left brain is about logic, facts, and time. My right brain is involved with relationships, emotions, and spatial relationships. When the sides of my brain are balanced and connected, I have access to both brain hemispheres when observing the world and making choices.
When I am able to calm myself down, I am able to see more objectively. When I calm myself down, I am not overwhelmed with emotions. As I am able to remain more neutral, my choices are more reflective of the facts of the situation.
A projection is something that interferes with my ability to see clearly. My projections are when I see parts of myself in others. A teenager is having a projection, when he idealizes an athlete or rock star. He is seeing his potential strength and creativity in another person. When he is able to see these projections and reclaim them, he is empowered. He does this by doing the work to develop his skills in music and sports. As he gains mastery in himself, he has more objectivity and confidence. He feels empowered, because he sees himself as he is. He can see his internal power.
When I take care of my needs for sleep, healthful food, exercise, and time with emotionally supportive family and friends, I feel calmer and see more objectively.
When I have a working ego, I am willing to do the work of an adult. I take the steps to keep my ego strong and healthy as an adult. I get 8-10 hours of sleep, eat healthful foods, take time to exercise my body, and talk with empathic friends and family. I also play and have fun. A working ego also implies a willingness to make difficult choices that support the vitality of my life and the lives of others.
An unhealthy ego is an ego that is weak. When an ego is not strong, it attempts to be the only center of the person. When our ego is weak, our energy alternates between thinking we are greater than we are (inflation) and thinking we are less than we are (deflation). It is like a balloon being too full or flat. We are most effective when we see ourselves and the world as we are – no more, no less.
It is possible to wield great power as a president of a company, the leader of a country, or a religious leader, and to still remain quite unconscious. Sadly, this is more often true than not. It is possible to be a leader who manages things and people with great authority and precision and still not be awake. If one does not have the interest or take the time to think introspectively – to examine oneself – then it is impossible to be conscious.
Our ego is formed when we are young. As young baby, our ego begins by being uninformed. We are totally dependent on our parents for survival. We are unable to see ourselves as separate from our mother. Over time, we begin to see that we are separate from our mother and by crying or smiling our mother responds by feeding us, changing us, holding us, or smiling at us. As we gain strength, we become more aware of how we can influence our own life. Our powers of awareness and choice are born in this way.
As we mature in healthy ways, we are able to see that we are not the center of the world. We are aware of the impact of our choices on our family and friends. We are able to consider others and the world as a whole when we make decisions. Some of us consider our Soul and God in our decision making. Possessing a healthy developing ego, we are able to be flexible with others socially. We can choose to love.
Please watch this video by Judith Peterson on the value of a working ego:
Your body is the only thing that no one can ever take away from you. While you are alive, you physical body is the only thing you are guaranteed to keep. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, whom you have received from God?,” Paul writes in Corinthians in the New Testament.
My performance in school was average from age 8 to 15. I did not work very hard at school, rarely doing my homework and just showing up for class. In 1979, when I was 15 years old, I started cutting and failing my classes at Cupertino High School which is located about a mile from the new headquarters of Apple Computers in Cupertino, California, USA.
When I started attending West Valley College in Saratoga, California, in January of 1982, I was starting over. I had been expelled from two high schools for cutting. I did believe in my intelligence and ability, but I had not yet proved it to myself at school. I finally followed my mom’s advice (years before she had been a classroom teacher). I took a Study Skills class where I learned about note taking, reading the text book, preparing for exams, and taking tests. I learned that generally one needs to study three hours for every hour spent in the college classroom. I spend most of the hours that I was awake focused on school. When I started working, it was at a job where I could study. I often spent 12 to 14 hours most day focused on school. I was an honor’s student. I had excellent grades.
In 1985, I hit a wall emotionally. I feel horrible. My lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise, loneliness, and worry took a toll on my brain and body. I crashed. I took a semester off and started seeing a counselor. I learned to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night, eat well, exercise, meditate, and talk to friends. I do not let myself feel so miserable, because I know what to do when I feel tired, nervous, or worried. I focus on taking care of myself.
Our sleep is the most important thing we do for psychological health. Before electric lights in 1907, the average person slept 9 hours a night. Now, the average person sleeps 6 hours and 24 minutes a night. Dr. Daniel Amen reminds us that if we fail to get six hours sleep a night, a SPECT scan of our brain reveals problems. Dr. James Maas writes that if you get plenty of sleep every night, you will probably feel more alert, have more energy, and be healthier generally. If we are tired, we have lower energy and gain weight. In every significant problem psychologically – such as depression, anxiety, addiction, obsessive thinking – poor sleep is involved.
It is not only our sleep, but our food that strongly contributes to our health. Dr. Barry Sears writes that “food is the most powerful drug that you will ever take.” Our food affects the functioning of our brain and body. Every cell in your body is made new every five months. This includes the cells of our brain. When we eat food balanced with fresh green carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, we feel and think better. When we are depressed, it is helpful to eat a balanced breakfast that keeps our blood sugar even. In the morning, I often drink a smoothie with protein powder which gives me energy and clear thinking.
Exercise is also very important as well as sleep and eating. Dr. Agatston writes that adults and teenagers are less active than their parents and grandparents. It is widely accepted that our bodies benefit greatly from exercise. But our brains are affected by exercise the most. When we exercise, we change the wiring of our brains. This change to the functioning of our brain improves our learning, memory, concentration, and focus. Exercise is the best treatment to reduce depression or anxiety available, writes Dr. Mark Hyman. Check with your doctor and then get some aerobic exercise for 20 to 40 minutes frequently.
Taking time to talk with friends or family who are supportive and compassionate listeners is very helpful as well. Learning to relax your mind also helps reduce stress. Getting time to relax and play are part of a healthy balanced life. All these are parts of self-care. You deserve to feel good! Please watch this video and learn more about self-care.
When does sex become an addiction? Has sex ceased to be fun?
The internet is now the leading source of pornographic materials worldwide. It provides unprecedented anonymous virtually unlimited access to inexpensive or cost free sexually explicit text, still and moving images, and audio. More than half of all spending on the internet is related to sexual activity. Fourteen percent of searches on the internet worldwide and four percent of websites are devoted to sex.
Addiction is when someone is unable to stop doing something that is bad for them. The addict does not see all the bad things that are happening, because he is taking this action. The key factor is that the sexual addict is unable to control or stop the sexual behavior even though there are negative results that continue to get worse. The behavior may include compulsive masturbation, compulsive use of pornography, anonymous or public sexual encounters, and cybersex or phone sex.
Orgasm is the last thing an addict wants. He creates a bubble of fantasy. Sex addicts are addicted to drugs inside their own bodies: dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline. These neurochemicals suppress anxiety, anger, resentment, and shame. “Rarely does the average person get to experience, for example, love without fear, or pure joy much less ecstasy. But these higher states are so powerful that once experienced, they are never forgotten and are sought ever after,” writes psychiatrist, David Hawkins.
The bubble of sexual fantasy allows him to maintain a false set of beliefs about his own power. Addiction is like a greedy little god inside you, writes Robert Moore. Your ego is so inflated that you act as if you think you are God. Grandiosity tends to destroy you if you do not look at it honestly and accept that you have needs and limits.
Addiction is at its core a thought disorder. The underlying belief of the addict is – “I am a damaged and worthless person.” The addicts also believes if others really knew who he is, they will not love him. He does not trust that others can be trusted to help take care of his needs. The sex addict also believes that sex is his most important need.
Sexual addiction, like all addictions, is biological, psychological, social, and spiritual disease. One can see the differences when looking at the scan of a brain of a sex addict. A sex addict frequently experiences with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse during his childhood. After he grows up, the sex addict often has relationships with other addicts or someone who reduces the consequences of his unhealthy sexual behavior – a co-addict. His wife and children are affected by his addiction; addiction is a family disease.
Healing is possible from sexual addiction. Mary O’Malley writes in The Gift of Our Compulsions that “compulsions are our guides back into (being grounded in our body that connects us to wisdom, our heart, and our life.) This is the connection we knew so well when we were young (as a child); it has been waiting for us to grow up enough so we can know and live it again on an even deeper level.”
Bill Wilson said something similar about addiction – there is no full recovery from addiction, until we have actually achieved emotional sobriety. Healing our sexuality begins with accepting the reality of our sexual urges. Our healing continues as we see sex as a way to spontaneously and playfully build connection and belonging with another. In this video, Manuel Costa, MFT, author of “A Path to Life’s Fullness: A New Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus,” discusses sexual addiction, perhaps, the most shamed addiction of all.