Mirror Mirror on the wall …looking at Nacissism.

 

many mirrors

The article on Self-esteem sparked me to take a long muse down a road named Narcissism.

So to really get into it I want to share with you a poem I wrote about my self !!!

 Shades of Self

Knowing me, knowing you is a song often sung,
But do I know me?
In solitude I am so fine. And am always right.
Can climb the highest mountain, reach the height.
Yet in conversations with you, my halo dims, the varnish shifts, my layers thin.
And if I look closely I see some shades of me I did not know.
So I’ve gathered them together, my collectables if you like, to share with you.
Straight from the shelf,
Not all good-looking, theses shades of Self
There is the Wannabee, the Lookatme, the Knowitall and the Toldyouso,
The ever-present Babbler, and don’t forget these too –
The Mender, Bender and the Defender, all to often the Pretender, the Spender – and the ever ready Opinionator too.
Now, herein lies some stories, characters in tact.
Weave the threads, bring in the gold.
Let it show perhaps too,
Your shades of Self,
In your story told.

I remembered a picture somewhere of a good-looking Greek fella who fell in love with his own image mirrored in a water brook.   He had met a beautiful girl, and they fell in love. But it didn’t work out because he just couldn’t get past loving the image of himself !!

narcissism

Sounds a lot like the dysfunctional marriages of today !   Self-love in personalities can play havoc with harmony and happiness.   And it’s not just a case of having a pretty face or a beautiful body.  It’s not silly vanity, or an inflated ego, it is far more serious than that and reaches deep into the personality.     Narcissism is no new thing !  Indeed its an age-old human condition wired into the human psyche.  If it is not transformed, or goes unchecked, it goes to the extreme and becomes a personality disorder that has a huge and devastating impact on the lives of other people.  It is a very serious condition, and almost always goes undetected by the carrier.

worm

orange butterf;u

We all have a Self, so likely there will be some degree of narcissism in all of us.   I once asked God if He wanted me to be a butterfly why did He not just make me a butterfly.  I liked being me, I really liked myself, why did  I  have to change ?  I thought I heard Him sigh a heavy sigh, but He did not answer, and just let life’s circumstances continue to flow over me.       Now some years later, I get a glint of why I had to transform from a worm to a butterfly, it was so that those living with me would have a fighting chance to survive my bossy, over-bearing ways, and self-opinionated personality.
(So sorry Family !)

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I  have an enquiring mind,  but I am not a psychologist.  So to get more light on the subject and delve a little deeper into narcissism, I investigated, and came across a site that gave several Psychological approaches, or theories, on the subject.  If you are interested you can Goggle     https://ruveydacelenk.com/2014/12/23/narsisistik-kisilik
Don’t forget to click on the Translate button.    It will give far more understanding on this very complex subject.   But best as I can understand it  (and that took some time !) I have come to some understanding of the Self.

In the development or construction of the psychological Self or Personality, Observations made, form Perceptions – right or wrong.  A response can go up to protect the Self, or a resistance to challenge the perception.   So even in our tiniest beings, – where and when most of the Personality is formed – observations lead to responses, that cause us to make a choice that helps us to deal with the emotion or feeling  we have observed or experience in life.
Thus the Personality, the Self, is formed through a defence or resistance response (flight or fight), and either route can lead to a distortion – the Lie !    So construction of the Personality (through our thought-life which builds the neuron patterns in our brain) determines what we believe about our Self.

This self-constructed Self, called self-esteem – taken to the extreme becomes Narcissism.  Now Narcissism constantly needs to be guarded to portray a desired, acceptable and presentable Self –  which in fact can be a False Self.   And come hell or high water it demands to be protected and respected, and will emotionally annihilate anything in its path that will want to obstruct it !!    And in fact, in my opinion, it should be respected – (I did not say tolerated !)  for it is who the person is or has become,…. and that is  holy ground – the very portal of hell or heaven !!
That is,  until Truth be told,  that will help to deconstruct the Lies, that cause us to limp, often exhaustively, through life because we have to  prop up the False Self, through fear or performance, to be made acceptable by others, who don’t really care or even matter !

So could you say we need a saving of the Self ?  My answer is yes !  Because we are all created with this amazing power called the Will, our choice, our desire – good or bad.
The Will, our choice,  is our ‘distinction’ from other created species, and is accommodated in the Mind – the headquarters of the Self.  It is at this point of decision where we can embrace a thought or expel a thought.  If,  we can discern, examine or judge a thought for what it is, we can build a positive construct, if we expel or disregard a wrong thought (negative) it evaporates into a gas and is diminished !  Now that is power – the power of our Will, our choice, our decision – that plots the course of our life.
So it would seem that the forming of the Personality, the Self, or the Soul can form self-distorted constructions (neural pathways) that can, and will manifest eventually in psychological development or disorders, and even deviant behaviour.

What I have gleaned from Psychology is that there is more, much more.   In dire cases, the Self or Personality can fragment or split (sometimes necessary for surviving the hurt, shame and pain of trauma), can dissociate itself and form other “selves” or personalities, display patterns of obsessive behaviour, self sabotage on inferiority or insecurity, or roar and rage in smouldering silent angry rebellion. Anxieties and depressions are almost the order of our modern societies.  Could these be signs of the  True Self  wanting out?

worm to butterfly

Well that is my understanding and opinion, and I suppose I am entitled to it, because after all I’m just a recovering narcissist !

hand mirror

But  wait there is more, this distorted Self is not the True Self.  So how do you get to dig out the True Self from all the cacophony of voices, distortions and misconstruction.   Perhaps then an exercise in the deconstruction of the distortion  – the Lie, is a place to begin, enter the psychologist, the healer or the Truth.
After wracking my poor brain on the theories of Psychology and narcissism, I asked myself what is the truth of the matter.  So I turned to the pages of the Bible, the book of wisdom, – by the way a must read, –  to look  a little deeper for the soul and for the spirit.  I came across some of these Scriptures that told me that indeed we do have a soul and a spirit. Of course, in Theology there is more, much more than just the psychology of man, in fact a whole magnificent story unfolds of the restoration of Mankind.

Psalm  139:14    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Proverbs 18:14   The spirit of man will sustain him in sickness , But who can bear a broken spirit ?

1 Thessalonians 5:23    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and                                               may your whole spirit,  soul and body be preserved blameless…..

So, as humans we are made up of the body,the soul, and the spirit.  Three engines, if you like, that should function in harmony.   The body we know, the soul is taking a little longer to know, and the spirit  (the subconscious) which is almost unknown to most.  The spirit is very important, because it is here where The Lie operates.  It hides itself, like the coward it is, – so undetected, can continue to reinforce even entrench more lies, with invading thoughts, false belief systems, false identities, deviant behaviour, in fact all things devious and deceitful,  that cause immeasurable torments, sadness and sorrow in the soul, and play havoc with our happiness and our lives, and the lives of others, especially those near and dear to us.

The Truth of the matter is that we are made in the image and likeness of God.  God is love, and God has a will. His will is His desire.   We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made because, like God, we too have a will,  a choice, a desire, that operates through decision.
We carry, in us, the original blue print for Love and for the good, the lovely, the honourable, the pure, and all the value and virtues of goodness.  So when we have to make a decision, when we have to make a choice, it should  be for the good, for the love of the Self, because our original Self is designed in our Creator’s image.  That’s good self-esteem, and ‘narcissism’ at its best !!
That’s what our souls long for, the magnificent Self.

But of course we do not know this when we are tiny tots, rebellious teens or ambitious adults, growing our personalities. So we just develop along the lines of survival, need and greed to feed the Self.   That is unless we come to  know and accept the love of God, through Jesus Christ,  Who loves us with an unconditional love,  (warts and all) and wants to set us free from the Lie, to be who we really are – our True Self, in Him.  His task is the task of unique restoration, as we are all the same, yet each one so unique in their personality.     We  find this out when we search the Scriptures that mirror and reveal who we really are, and what lurks and is hidden beneath the surface in our souls.

But where do we begin ?  The key is Christ, to accept Him and invite Him into our hearts and our minds, to read His Word, the Bible, and by reading His Word a transformation begins to take place in our thought processes.

Romans 12:2….. , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may                                          prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Now we are lining up our thoughts with His thoughts, His Will – His desires, which are good and favourable toward the Self, (for we are His workmanship, His creation) , and our decisions will become positive decisions that will be for our good, our development and for the prosperity of our soul, and our lives.

Jeremiah 29 : 11    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

It is however necessary,  to implant the Word of God in our hearts.
James 1:21   …. , and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

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Is this all just religious talk.  The answer is no, because this is what the Word of God,  has the power to do,  – it is  a game changer  !

Hebrews 4:12       The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged-sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Truth, and only the Truth will make us free to be who we blue butterflyreally are, and destined to become.

We are complex, us human beings, but with the help of God, and when we begin firing in all three engines of body soul and spirit – can be magnificent in our inward parts, no longer deceived or broken, or functioning out of deficit or the Lie,  but made whole, in the right image and with a healthy, life-giving self-esteem.

Narcissism is nothing more than Pride – the very thing that caused Lucifer to lose his place in heaven, and raise hell on earth !
Narcissism is identified in the Greek fables.   In the eighties it was labelled Self-esteem, and is found in the Trolls of today’s world we call Virtual Reality  – the Internet and Social Media.

We are in the age of consumerism and humanism.  The era of  ‘the selfie’ !  Progress and development are accelerating.  We can reach higher, farther and faster on any level.    We need to take care that in our humanism we do not lose our humanity.  We need to hold onto a belief system that puts people first.  Today’s advanced technology may well pave the way for our younger generation to go into a kind of emotional isolation or “flight mode” –  desperately seeking purpose and attention, trying to escape from the gaping holes in their souls.    Or is it just sheer ignorance of the Truth about the Self, – the Truth that actually  keep us real and mentally and emotionally grounded.

Masks

Perhaps its time for change, from face book to face-off to face-to-face, where real interaction with real people help us to see ourselves a little clearer with warts and all.    A getting to know the real me, the real you, – and that will take a whole lot of courage because emotional pain is almost unbearable, and will distort any image .
Bring out the mirror, take on Truth, get a little more honest, a little more humble, a little more real,  then, observe the personality bloom like a sweet-smelling magnificent rose, for all around to enjoy.

So lets boot out nauseating narcissism, give the selfish Self a big shove to make room for others  –  and bloom where we are planted in the garden of humanity,  – or even too in the cesspool of life.

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1 Peter 3:4   rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty          of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

 three butterflies

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Let there be light

bright sunrise

“Darkness  comes before light”  intriguing words  spoken by Teddy an African photographer, taking amazing photos of the wildlife in Botswana”…. said the insert on the TV  programme I had watched.   Intriguing indeed for me, as I have recently been investigating the subject of light.

What is light ?   There are many interesting levels to the concept of  light;  my play on opposite words searches hard to find an understanding  e.g.  light or darkness,   day or night, morning or evening.   And of course on another level the opposites of   truth or lies, right or wrong,  good or evil, knowledge or ignorance put another spin on Light, -which also needs to be explored one day.
One thing is for sure, there is a clear distinction between Light  and Dark, yet these two opposite dimensions can run parallel to each other.

So what actually is light ?           images (4)
Wikipedia says :


“Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  The word usually refers to visible light.

The electromagnetic spectrum :  infrared rays,   ultraviolet rays,  micro waves, radio waves and gamma rays.
Like all types of light, visible light is emitted and absorbed in tiny “packets” called photons and exhibit properties of both waves and particles.

Our whole universe is covered in darkness, yet were it not for the light we would never know it !  Light makes all the difference.   Without light our material world would not exist.  Therefore light is imperative to our existence.

Quantum Physics’ String Theory says  “every form of Matter or Energy is the result of the Strings vibration”   Ref : http://www.louis-delmonte.com
I’ve also read somewhere that “all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration.”

As far back as 2008, I became inquisitive about the universe and quantum physics – this just through an email I received from a friend, on the subject titled : Keys to your Quantum Leap.   It was an article written by David van Koevering.  Here are some snippets from the email.

“Years ago, as a young scientist and inventor, I worked with Dr. Bob Moog and together we gave the music world the first performance keyboards called Moog synthesizers.  I learned to work with electrons and photons – tiny elements that are so small they can’t be seen !  Yet these invisible elements cause all electronic devices to work.  This project caused me to ask the question, ‘Is there more to our universe than what I can perceive through my senses?’ ”

He  continues ….  “1 Corinthians 1:28 says, “… God (has) chosen…things which are not (the invisible) to bring to nought things which are (the visible)”     This Scripture makes sense only when you understand it at the atomic and subatomic level.   Everything is made up of atoms, which are frequencies of energy.   These frequencies of energy are the voice of Jesus causing all things to be !   Atoms are made up of subatomic particles, and subatomic particles are made up of superstings (which are toroidal vortices of energy).
Superstrings are tiny donut shaped packets of energy that spin at a frequency – or sing as in a pitch.” 

This rang true for me and lined up with one of my very special Scriptures.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.   For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him.   And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.      
Colossians 1: 15-17
Could this be a place where Quantum Physics lines up with Theology ?

the-more-i-study-science-the-more-i-believe-in-god-albert-einstein-religion-quote.jpg
I have been thinking hard and long on the subjects of Light and Darkness.   Now darkness is even more intriguing than light because seemingly even the brilliant minds of quantum physicists do not yet know the whys whats and wherefores of darkness.
You will find a little more on my inquiry into darkness – if you click on God Calling in this Blog’s menu bar.

I think the words of Teddy, the African photographer are more accurate than he realises “darkness comes before light”  Perhaps Teddy also reads the Bible for it opens with these verses :   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep……

The electromagnetic fields of atoms photons electrons, waves, vibrations, frequencies, pitch, and all the brilliant quantum physics stuff,  to me,  all point to sound (light) – which is energy.
The genius and enquiring  Einstein puts a whole lot of ‘light on the matter of our universe’  (chuckle !)   –  with his famous formula
E = MC 2   Energy  is equal to Mass multiplied by the Speed of Light squared.

But how did light come to be ?  Where did it originate ?    According to the Bible light was created through spoken words, – (sounds vibrations pitches) by the Creator of all Matter.

Then God  said,    “Let there by light”  and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness…… ”    Genesis 1:3

The Big Bang occurred  and the platform for our physical material world was set up for the history, not only of the cosmos, but for our planet Earth, and for our world down through a l l the ages.  All put in place for a special reason and an intended purpose.   The scene  Space-Time – our Universe – was set in motion; and it began with sound vibrations – creating light, creating matter, creating life.

So God used quantum science to create our universe ?  I think yes, for how else would we mere mortals be able to come to know Him or understand His unfathomable wisdom?

Essential for understanding, a part from knowledge – which is a form of light,  is revelation – a deeper form of light.
Revelation means   “… the making known of something that was previously secret or unknown”   Ref http://www.en.oxforddictionaries.com

By putting a spotlight on the first verses of John 1:5  more revelation is given

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.   And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Words are for communicating.   A communication system was put in place.  How else will we clearly communicate with each other.  Words are essential for any form of faith, development or advancement;  and especially so too,  communication with the Creator of the universe.  He is not so distant, and has a desire to communicate with His creation.  He has a desire to tell us His story of restoration.

The Light and the Word are found in the person of Jesus Christ,  all wrapped up in one mystery, a hidden secret in full view for those who want to see, want to hear, and want to believe the Word of God,  –  the story of our universe on display through the brilliant mind of God.   Oh wow,  how amazing is that ?

Yet, there is still so much we don’t know.    So much the quantum physicists could fill in for us as they come into new light of scientific knowledge.   Until then, it is Faith that will carry us on to the time of revelation ….  and resurrection.

 

cosmic cross

Resurrection ?   A new start, a restoration.   The cross of Christ is another beginning of another sequence in the here and the now and the hereafter, of the unfolding story of God.  A story He has written with tiny you and tiny me in mind.  A story He started when He spoke our universe into existence with these words
                                                              ” Let there be Light “ 

lit candle

 

Speak the Word, and light a candle in the dark.

Wishing all a reflective Easter season as we look to the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world,  Who died for us that we might be a light in the darkness.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Filter of my Mind

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I have been reading the book by Dr Caroline Leaf, Switch on your Brain – on the science of thought.  Her research has revealed how thoughts grow, are established and if acted upon become deeds or behaviour – moulding our lives, and influencing the lives of those around us.   She writes, with utmost simplicity, how the inside of our brain works.  It is truly amazing and fascinating !
Her book offers information and solutions, which are the result of years of research, practical application and clinical work, and are guidelines for managing toxic thoughts.

The human specie, is fearfully and wonderfully made.   She has linked these scientific findings with the words of the Bible.   When reading her book through the Mind of the Bible it becomes apparent that God is infinitely more intelligent and wise beyond  what we can ever ask or think.     Biologically we are His master pieces, in fact all of creation is, but the human body and the human mind must be His finest work.  In the book of Genesis it says that we are made in His image and likeness…. now there’s a thought to light up your mind so to speak. Furthermore, we are His temple, the place where God resides, His address, the place where He lives.  We are His dwelling place !!

The Bible weaves these concepts, and so much more, into our thinking, that we would be wise to pay close attention to it if we are to appreciate and discover the intricacies and purposes of His creative genius – intended for our very own lives.

From her book Caroline says : “I want to shape my world around God’s truth because I know as a scientist and a believer paying attention to my thoughts and purposefully focussing my mind leads to great transformation.”

Snippets from her book:  “whatever you think about the most will grow”  – where the mind goes, the brain will follow.”
“Choices are real, you are free to make choices about how you focus your attention; and this affects how the chemicals and wiring of your brain change and function.”

In the chapter on the Science of Thought she writes :
“It is our choices that make something out of nothing.  Its our choices that collapse the probabilities into actualities that define the state of our nonconscious metacognition which in turn inform our conscious cognition and symbolic actions.” page 134  and furthermore   :
” It is our choices that either create healthy thought universes in our brain or turn the powerless lie into a toxic thought universe – which is essentially evil.   This is the incredible power God has given us :  to be able to think and choose and create reality.  This reality can be good or evil based on our choices”.

Rest, and sleep are needed for restoration of the cells, and rest and reflection for the mind, which plays itself out in the body whether in sickness or in health, for we are more than just a pretty face (well some of us !) –  we are also a cosmic concoction of minerals,chemicals, electrons, neurons and gasses, – all well designed and orchestrated to play the beautiful song of life.   So the key to life, or death, is what we choose – and it begins in our thought-life !!
God has graced us with a free-will.  We get to choose and therefore also get the responsibility for our own life.
     I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you that I have set before you          life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your          descendants may live.   Deuteronomy 30:19 

Now that can begin a whole theological banter, but biologically speaking that’s how the mind works – through thoughts – that brings us back to the decisions we make, the good ones and the bad ones, even those we don’t make !  And the miracle of free-will is that it is designed into our DNA, we can actually switch our thoughts from the ugly to the good, and visa verse.  Our choice ! –  (We have the power people !!)
The subconscious is the storehouse of all our thoughts, they are all filed, they are our subliminal memory – it is what we draw on (positive or negative) for our life, through the decisions we make, and the consequences we face.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.   Proverbs 23:7

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For the light to go on we need to think the right thoughts ! We need to re-align our thoughts with the thoughts of God in the Bible.  He made us and He wrote the manual for us to follow.
          For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,  thoughts of               peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.    Jeremiah 29:11

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There is so much more to glean from this book.  If you want to know more about the mechanics of the mind, I recommend you read her book.   What have I learned from her book ?  I need to observe my own thought-life, and for that to happen I need, at times, to be still, and to do introspection.    That’s when I am quiet and just listen to what I am actually thinking and filtering through my mind.

It is vitally important to feed my mind on good thoughts for a healthy thought-life ?   This will enable me to make choices in the all kinds of the everyday.
Make a decision to think on the stories and wisdom found in the Bible, the word and mind of Almighty God.
   …   whatever things are true,  whatever things are noble,  whatever things are just,  whatever things are lovely,  whatever things are of  good report,  if there is any  virtue,  and if there is anything praiseworthy,  meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Rest, filter the mind and
Think on these things.