An Incessant and Dissonant Whispering in my Ear

BLOG Both Me

mask 3

There are two “me’s” warring for control of my body and my mind. They’re getting farther apart in what they think I should do, and be. Just when I think one of them is getting close to winning out, the other roars back.

It would probably be more accurate to say there is a multiplicity of “me’s” that are aligned into two contingents and (just to add to the confusion and noise) there is no unanimity within either camp. Each “me” is more like a complicity, a scheming, an incessant and dissonant whispering in my ear.

One of these “me’s” is the visceral one, the one whose knowledge draws on what is coded in my DNA. It is attuned to the millions of bits of subconscious information my body processes every second. Its territory is the sensory and instinctive quadrants of Jung’s quaternity, our four aspects of being — earth and fire.

The other “me” is the social one, the one whose knowledge comes from the stories I’ve learned, and now the stories I tell, my-self, and the feelings these conjured thoughts provoke. Its territory is the intellectual and emotional quadrants of my being — air and water.

I trust the visceral “me” more, but the social one is very persuasive, and its territory (including my brain) is favourable. Here is what each “me” looks like:

(A product of biology)
(A product of culture)
What I want to do (my Passions) Less. Have fun. Look after myself.
Eat well, sleep soundly, make love often.  Play.
Listen to good music. Walk in the forest.
Dance in the moonlight. With kittens.
Imagine possibilities.
Converse. Demonstrate how to do things I do well.
Explore. Learn.
My public manifestation (Persona) Comfortable. Lazy. Hedonistic, Playful.
Somewhat introverted (INTP).
Anxious. Intentional. Intense. Earnest.
Somewhat extroverted (ENTJ).
My worldview Pragmatic. Accepting. Idealistic. Outraged.
My reaction to stressful situations Tighten up. Get inflamed, ill.
Wonder why the stress doesn’t go away quickly.
Rise to the occasion, for awhile.
Then tire, lose heart, when the stress doesn’t go away.
Then feel anger, fury, grief, self-dissatisfaction, resentment, despair.
What I care about (my Purpose) Eating. Sleeping. That really hot girl over there.
All-life-on-Earth, especially cats, dogs, wolves, birds, trees.
The people I love, whose company stirs my chemistry.
Helping people cope with civilization’s collapse.
Obsolescing industrial agriculture.
Helping people find the right collaborative partners.
Deschooling society.
Helping people learn about sustainable community.
Helping people learn to deal with complexity.
Helping people discover the work they’re meant to do.
The people I love, whose company stirs my mind & imagination.
What I want to be Warm. Naked. Rested. Alert. Comfortable. In love.
Alternatively alone and in stimulating company.
Free to be nobody-but-myself.
Present. Calm. Humble. Graceful.
More self-knowing and empathetic.
A better communicator, story-teller, fiction writer.
Free to be nobody-but-myself.
Where I belong Warm, abundant wilderness. Loving, stimulating community.

When I wrote recently about What I Want, I mentioned that I’d developed my What do you want to be? list by creating a future story, painting a portrait of what I imagined myself being as I continued to grow and explore and learn about myself. Some readers asked to read that future self-portrait. I now confess that I wrote two self-portraits, and they’re what’s depicted in the chart above.

The challenge, of course, is to reconcile these two “me’s”. Several readers told me it’s impossible for me to do all the things in my What I want to do list. They’re right. Some of the things in the first, fifth and six rows of the table above won’t get done. What’s more, I think if I asked either of my two “me’s” What’s holding you back? their answer would be: The other “me”! I think this conflict is behind much of my ambivalence, procrastination and hesitation. As each of these “me’s” speaks up, the other challenges: Is this really what you want to do? Each time I think I know what I want, the other voice says: I don’t think so.

the 2 me's

The things either-me wants to do (my passions) are shown in green above, and the things either-me cares about that are needed in the world are shown in purple, on the Sweet Spot chart above. It occurs to me that, if I really want to discover what I’m meant to do, I should probably find some way to make writing (my gift and passion) something that’s needed more in the world. And at the same time I should find a way to make conversation and demonstration (passions of mine that are needed in the world) into gifts as well (by becoming better at them, which I intend to do). Then I’ll have three things I love to do in my Sweet Spot instead of just one (imagining possibilities).

Then the question is, what aspects of the 7 things I care about am I both gifted and passionate about? With the right partners, could one or more of these be the foundation for my Natural Enterprise or activist venture, what I’m meant to do to? Hmmm.

And if I can figure that out, then maybe I’m ready to write my new story, a story that reconciles the passions, persona, purpose and intentions of both the visceral and the social “me”. That would be quite a story. Without the incessant and dissonant whispering in my ear from these sparring “me’s”, what would I start to hear? Perhaps the voice of Gaia, who’s been speaking softly to both-of-me all these years, in the whispering of the wind and the gurgling of the water, welcoming me home?

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3 Responses to An Incessant and Dissonant Whispering in my Ear

  1. Rimu says:

    You’re already there. Your blog is in the middle of those three overlapping circles

  2. parenthesis says:

    Strangely, I don’t see those two sides of you to be that far apart. It rather seems to me like you wish to create a space where the sensible and intuitive one can strive on and share his excitement with others. As if you meant to be part of a bridge, for you and many, between the two. At least, that’s where I see your compass pointing to from where I’m standing. Curious to see where it leads…

  3. EJ says:

    Maybe it’s not all about you? Engage with others, find a “cause”, fall asleep exhausted (in a good way)…

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