addiction Tag

0 comments

Addiction Hijacks: When I’m High, I Really Want to Be Sober

Understanding Addiction Hijacks

Addiction Hijacks are semi-rational thoughts to justify ego desires. 

 

The simplest way to put this is to tell a story.

 

Dealing with Cravings 

 

I remember working with a client. He was about a week sober, had gotten out of detox from opioids. He was a week sober and still somewhat obsessed about using heroin.

 

He very earnestly approached me as a counselor at the time.  He said, “Can I talk to you for a little bit?” I said, “Sure.”

 

We went back in my office, and he said, “I’m craving. I really want to use heroin, you know, will you help me?” 

 

I said, “Well, tell me what your plan is. How are you– let’s lay it out. How are you going to go use heroin?” 

 

Semi-Rational Plan to Use

He said, “Well, I go to Inglewood. I’m going to get some heroin.”

I said, “Slow down. Do you have any money on you right now?”

He said, “Yeah, I got 10 bucks.”

“Well, first of all, give me that 10 bucks.” I took that 10 bucks. Then I said, “So, how are you going to get ahold of your dealer?”

And he said, “I’m going to call him.” I said, “Do you have a cell phone?” He said, “No. You like picked up on my game, right?” And I said, “Okay, well now, if you don’t have a cell phone, how are you going to call the dealer?” 

He said, “We go to the gas station, and I’m going to call him.” I said, “But you don’t have any money.” He said, “Well, I’ll panhandle and then I’ll call my drug dealer.” 

I said, “Okay. So, we’re going to walk to the gas station on the corner over there. You’re going to call your drug dealer. He’s going to come drop it off.”

He said, “No. My dealer doesn’t deliver. I got to go to Inglewood. I got to get there. So, I’m going to take the bus.” 

I said, “Okay. So, you’re going to take the bus to Inglewood and you’re going to meet your dealer. Where?” “There’s Burger King in Inglewood.”

I said, “Okay. And then what?”

“So, I’m going to use.”

“So, where are young going to use?” 

He said, “I’m going to use in the Burger King bathroom.”

I said, “With what?”

He said, “With foil and a straw.” 

I said, “Okay. So, using in a Burger King bathroom. And then what are you going to do?”

He said, “I’m going to be high.”

I said, “Okay. And then what?”

And then he said, “I’m going to come home.” 

I said, “Yeah. You’re going to go back to your mom and dad’s?”

And he said, “No. They kicked me out. I’m going to come back here.”

“Okay, so you’re going to go use at the Burger King. You’re going to get high in the bathroom. You are going to catch the bus back after you’re high. You’re going to come back to this treatment program. And then what are you going to do?”

He said, “Then I’m going to get sober.”

 

Addiction Hijacks the Mind’s Rational Thought

 

And I, of course, you know, I said, “But you’re sober now. You’re already there. You don’t have to do the loop de loop.” 

 

And he looked at me, and he said, “Yeah, but when I’m high, I really want to be sober.” 

 

And I said, “Okay, so what I hear you saying is that in order for you to get and stay sober, you have to get high again.”

 

He said, “Yeah.”

Do You See the Addiction Hijack?

 

The ego self had basically taken the rational ability and created a little narrative and story that makes semi-sense.

 

But obviously, if you use that rationale in your life, you’d never get sober, right? Because every time I try to get sober, I have to get high and be motivated to get sober again. You just do that rinse and repeat, over and over. It’s actually what a lot of people do.

The Ego and Justifications

The ego self can hijack the rationale to create justifications.

 

It’s a reality. And with this particular person, he actually did it. He didn’t do it that night. But a couple of days later, he left, and incredibly he was right. He got high at Burger King.

 

We ended up referring him to a program out of town. And he’s, I think, sober eight, nine years now. So, he happened to be right. But it’s not a good equation as to how to get clean. As an example of how the ego self can hijack the rationale in order to create justifications to continue to enable addiction.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Learning to Feel Your Thoughts and Emotions

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

In general, one of the things that happen in modern times–as people become a lot more conscious of their physicality, nutrition, exercise, and of the importance in taking care of it–is being conscious of your body in the healing process.  In other words, being able to check in and be present.

 

So with that, therapeutically, one of the things that have become very popular is somatic work. It is the work in the body. 

 

Here is a somatic work example: You and I are doing a therapy session or counseling session. I can tell based on your breathing, how you are holding your shoulders and jaw, and your speech patterns that you are upset or frustrated. 

 

But maybe I go, “Hey, you know, you are a little upset or frustrated.” 

 

I am trying to process with you emotionally what is going on.

 

And you say, “You know, I am a little frustrated.”

Processing Emotions

Does that mean you just sort of allow somebody to say that they are frustrated sometimes? 

 

Sometimes somebody just identifying that they are frustrated helps them go:

 

“Oh, that is what is going on. Do I want to be frustrated? Okay, let me kind of calm myself down.” Or: “Why am I frustrated? Oh, you know, I let this thing slide.”

What is Somatic Experiencing?

There is a way to process that frustration cognitively by identification. But there is also a way to process that frustration somatically. How frustration shows up sensationally in the body. 

 

Meaning… 

 

“Uh-oh, seems like you are frustrated.” 

 

“Yeah.” 

 

I would ask you a question like, “Where?”

 

If you have never done somatic therapy, you will go, “What do you mean?” 

 

“Well, where in your body do you feel that tension, frustration, or whatever it is that you are feeling?” 

 

“Oh, you know, actually in the back of my shoulders right here. I feel really tight.”

 

“Okay. I want you to close your eyes, and lean into that tightness. I want you to describe a little bit of it and tell me what is happening with it.”

 

And really, what you are trying to do is connect your thinking mind to your emotions and your body. 

 

If you think about mind, body, and spirit, you think about the connection of all three of those. 

 

And so, “Oh, I see that sensation. And then what I want to do is…I want to metabolize that emotion.”

Allow Yourself to Feel

But what happens is, you stop yourself from allowing to be frustrated. You know, the whole point of feelings is to feel them. 

 

What fucks us all up is that we have a feeling and we want to think them away…or we want to figure them out. 

 

But the whole thing about feelings is to experience them. And how do we experience them?

 

One way to experience them is somatically…to actually allow yourself to focus your consciousness on the points of your body that are responding to that emotional need. And then allow it to kind of work its way through you. See what comes up from there. 

 

That is somatic work. It is really popular right now because I think everybody is a little suspicious of our minds these days. And so we are sort of looking for something to trust. And maybe it is our body.

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

How Long Do I Need Addiction Treatment?

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

 

One of the questions that people have when seeking treatment is: How long do I need to do it?

 

I’m always trying to empower people by thinking deeply about their questions.

 

If you put that question in perspective it’s more like: How long is it going to take for me to change? There isn’t an exact number of days that you can say.

Is 30 Days Enough for Addiction Treatment?

There’s a model out there for 30-day treatment. 

 

But what is that based on?

 

Is that based on some science that people break addictions in 30 days? Absolutely not. It’s based on the way that insurance billing works. The 30-day treatment model may not provide the kind of change that people need. 

 

The standard answer these days is recovery takes around 90 days. I think that has more to do with the amount of time that people can afford to spend away from the system of their lives. Most people can’t just drop out of their lives for six months or nine months unless they’re young and maybe have good insurance. Or have strong support from the family. Or possibly getting resources from the county or the city. 

 

Our treatment program is 90 days. Still, the 90-day program is sort of a compromise. It’s trying to get people as much treatment as they can get realistically.

 

In my mind, 30 days means maybe you’re starting to sleep good. Maybe you’re feeling safe. You’re beginning to approach recovery, but you’re nowhere near where you need to be to move on. By 90 days, you should have built a decent foundation…not a solid foundation, but a decent foundation. 

Effective Treatment: Engaging in Recovery

A lot of TV programs, they portray good treatment. But the goal of treatment is not to do treatment well. The goal of treatment is to engage people in recovery so they can do their lives well. That’s the real trick. 

 

The immersive experience is upfront: experience with the recovery culture, knowledge and tools, understanding therapy, psychiatry, all the things you need. And then you really want to kind of move that person into life to build those peer and family support structures outside that they have forever. So that they can keep recovery sustainable. 

 

Ninety days in relatively contained care, as I see it: first 30 days real contained, second 30 days less contained, and much more freedom in the third 30 days. Then you’re back in your life but with a lot of support and resources to help you along the way…

 

That’s really good treatment and it works phenomenally well when the circumstances lineup to be able to do that.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Seeking Help for Addiction: Where to Begin?

Are you questioning your relationship to drugs or alcohol? Do you think you might have addiction or alcoholism? Has the problem passed some kind of threshold where you believe something needs to change? 

 

How do you know if that’s happened? Well, first of all, I would say…you know it’s happened when you’re asking yourself these questions.

 

Does that mean it’s happened permanently? Does that mean it is exactly the same as your uncle? Maybe not. But you know, when you’re asking that question, the vast majority of the time…you know. 

 

And so it’s not really the right question to ask.

 

Take Action By Asking Yourself…

What do I do about this? 

 

The hardest part is to be vulnerable enough to pick up the phone and reach out to a friend or relative who’s been through something and say, “Here’s what’s going on. I need help.” 

 

That is by far the hardest part…And there’s a reason why that’s so hard.

 

Fearing the Next Step…and It’s Okay

It’s not just the vulnerability of being seen in a weak moment. It’s also that some part of you knows that this problem is going to take a lot of work. Fearing taking the first step on a journey that is going to be pretty long and really tough..but it may be the best life decision you ever made. 

 

Of course, you’re not necessarily thrilled about it. You may not even feel like you chose it yourself if family and friends intervened.  

 

…But asking for help is the first step. 

 

Finding Addiction Treatment: What You Should Know

The second piece of that is, how do I find good help? 

 

Nowadays, that’s very difficult. You go on the internet and type keywords in Google…

 

….Suddenly you have everybody and their mother marketing towards you. They can solve your problems. They’ve got all the solutions. 

 

So I never recommend using the internet–not reviews, not any of this–for choosing the beginning of your recovery.

The Better Way to Find Addiction Treatment

It may take a little more work, but the results can save you a lot of time, money, and disappointment. 

 

You need to look around and see who’s in your community. Start talking to people. Find somebody you trust and then maybe that person knows somebody that they trust. Eventually you can get a firm word on an addiction treatment program that is actually making a difference in people’s lives.

 

Sure, all this asking around may be uncomfortable…even embarrassing. 

 

Consider attending some AA or NA meetings. The individuals at these meetings know what you are going through–they’re not judging you–they can give you some valuable insights.  

 

Persistence pays off. You’ll connect with someone who’s been to a good treatment program. Or maybe somebody who knows a great addiction therapist, counselor, mentor, case manager, or interventionist…whatever it is you’re looking for. 

 

Now more than ever, I think it is important to seek treatment with a personal recommendation from somebody in your community. 

 

And, of course, always reach out to me and Recover Integrity.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Using MDMA to Treat Trauma

We’re at an interesting time in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse. We’re trying things that many haven’t even considered in the past–and they’re showing promising results. 

 

Specifically, I’m talking about the use of plant medicine psychedelics–what used to be illicit drugs–in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse conditions. 

Can Ecstasy Help with Mental Health?

I find it so ironic, MDMA, which is commonly known as ecstasy or molly, is being recognized as therapy. 

 

Kids, including me, prior to getting sober, are running around and dancing on this stuff. Man, I felt bad about it, like I shouldn’t be taking this stuff, it’s bad for me. But, man, it just felt so good because when you take ecstasy or molly or whatever it would feel like love. It’s just you feel loved.  

 

On one end it’s a drug. But on the other hand, it feels like love. 

 

So it’s an interesting time now, they’re bringing what used to be a street drug to give people the experience of feeling loved as a way to heal…and that’s all MDMA does.

MDMA and PTSD 

MAPS right now, I think they’re in their third clinical trial. Currently, you can legally use MDMA in the United States for the treatment of trauma. The study they did was on veterans with PTSD. MDMA was by far the most powerful treatment that they found for treating complex PTSD for veterans. 

 

I don’t recall the exact statistics, you can look them up, but it was something like 70% of people that did the pre-therapy sessions, MDMA sessions, and the follow-up sessions no longer met the criteria for PTSD. 

 

I think it’s a total of five sessions totaling 10 hours. The MDMA sessions, I think, are four to six hours. 

 

Ten hours. Do you know how hard it is to treat PTSD with other methods? 

 

I’ve tried to help people, I have a treatment program for PTSD. It’s incredibly difficult. It takes years. But MDMA could, within a couple of weeks or so, be effective enough where you don’t meet the criteria for PTSD anymore. 

 

What’s happening in that experience? There’s some technical interesting stuff happening with the brain and the amygdala so you don’t feel so defensive and you’re able to be in your body and feel comfortable and safe…so that’s interesting. 

 

I was a kid and I took ecstasy when I was 15 years old. I remember the feeling. It was love. I could produce a feeling of love that heals my PTSD with another person that’s there holding the container for me in a therapeutic way. So I find that very exciting. 

Drawbacks of MDMA as Therapy?

I’m conservative about all of this stuff because I know human beings find great ways to fuck things up. We can take a good thing and fuck it up. 

 

So, on the one hand, I’m involved in the discourse and the conversation about these medicines coming into recovery, which is tricky. What does it mean to be in recovery by possibly using MDMA for trauma treatment? I don’t think it’ll be as complicated as it sounds, but it will be a little bit complicated. 

 

MDMA can be addictive, although it’s not many people’s drug of choice. You can definitely overdo it and there are risk factors to doing too much MDMA. It’s largely around serotonin or serotonin syndrome and probably other issues that we’re not even aware of. 

 

I’m excited about combining a drug like MDMA with therapy. Because recently–I’d say in the last 60 years–those two fields have been kind of split. 

Integrating Medications and Therapy

You go to see a psychiatrist and ask for medication. They give you a prescription, and, hopefully, you’re on your way. 

 

You go to a therapist and they’re doing therapy with you. They don’t prescribe medications, just more therapy.

 

So something people are talking about with this plant medicine MDMA stuff is bringing medications and therapy together. You do the medication. You do the therapy on the medication. That’s kind of cool. It’s a new way of integrating medications and therapy.

 

It’s bringing two somewhat distinct fields together in a particular act, for the sake of healing, which I think is worth investigating. 

 

I’m excited about it. I’m always conservative. I’m always like, “Hey, slow down, let’s be careful. Who can this work for? Who can’t this work for?” There’s a lot to talk about with MDMA. 

 

But, in general, I think it’s worth people knowing because these are experiences that can help people heal and transform.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Why “God” Is Such an Important Word

Probably the simplest, most difficult, complicated, controversial, and important concept in spirituality–and I’d probably say reality–is God. 

 

Sometimes it doesn’t feel right to even talk about God. Who are we to talk about God? Who am I to talk about God? 

 

If I’m being more honest and vulnerable–I guess in a moment like you ask God to talk through you–we could see that the reality of God is the most important phenomenon, the most important expression for humanity and for our survival.

 

Revelations about God

In Judaism, there’s a story about a man named Abraham who had a revelation that there was a Creator of the Universe. This Creator cared about the universe and particularly cared about every individual human. 

 

Imagine being Abraham, having that Revelation and that Truth. Imagine having the experience of God at a time where people didn’t think about God in that way. 

 

People thought about local gods; the god of the wind, the god of this, and the god of that…not about the Creator of the Universe–one that cared about people. 

 

Imagine you had kids, brothers, sisters, friends, and you knew this was truer than anything you ever knew. Imagine how important it would be for you to want to transmit that to your kids, family, and community–you just got to share there’s a God. 

 

Origins of Religion

When we think about it that way, to me, it becomes very obvious how religion started. 

 

How do I encode this and make sure my kids know and their kids know? 

 

I’m gonna write a song or story about it. Let me write a prayer or make sure I write it down. I’ll create a dance. I got to make sure that we all know that we’re here for a reason and that we’re scared about. It’s also our job to care about each other.

 

Martin Buber is a famous philosopher and Jewish thinker who passed away a long time ago. In his book, Eclipse of God, he talks about the importance of not abandoning the word “God”. 

 

He didn’t talk about whether God exists or not because he’s probably too smart to talk about whether God exists–unlike me. 

 

But he says, we must not abandon the word because you can’t find a word like it. He says, in the inner treasure chamber of the smartest philosophers with the most crystalline, pure, pristine, diamond, shining ideas, you will never find a word like God. 

 

It’s a word that’s been consecrated on many tongues for all time. A word that represents people dying and people living and people’s worst moments and people’s best moments that’s been in the mouths of men since the beginning of the beginning. 

 

He said, “Where can you find a word like that?” I think he’s smart, he doesn’t talk about God, he talks about the word because the word points at reality.

 

The Shared Soul We Call “God”

It’s like a soul. Some people don’t think they have a soul. That’s weird to me. Really, you don’t think you have a soul? 

 

Because I can feel your soul…because it’s you. You don’t think the world has a soul? What about the cosmos? What about the universe? Just us that has a soul? 

 

You can’t see the soul in your pet dog? The pet dog has a soul and you have a soul, but the world doesn’t have a soul

 

We all don’t have a shared soul that we call God? A source that cares, that’s deep, that’s transformative, loves, knows that order will conquer chaos, love will conquer evil, and that this whole drama that we all live in is actually about something? 

 

You don’t think so? 

 

That’s HaShem which in Hebrew translates, Ha just means The, and Shem means Name. There is no name, it’s just The Name.

 

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Are‌ ‌We‌ ‌Dreaming‌ ‌Reality?‌

There are two more ideas in the domain of spirituality that I think are helpful. And maybe I’ll paint the picture this way: There is a group of new-age thinkers–and I think I fall along these lines–I don’t know if it’s true or not, but just as a different way of understanding reality. 

 

This theory states that the brain is not an organ that produces consciousness. But in fact, consciousness is the fundamental nature of reality. 

 

Our Brains: A Fabrication?

So let’s further do it. Reality is a dream. The brain is an organ that’s being dreamt of by the “Great Dreamer in the Sky”. That creates the dream of the universe. That dream… It dreams of a thing called the brain which we have in our heads.

 

The function of that “dream brain thing” is to filter out the vast majority of reality. But also to tune in so that we can function. 

 

And so they talk about the brain as like a radio receiver — not an organ that filters and receives; not something that produces. 

 

And so if you think about that model, which I like, I think it accounts actually for more of what I’ve experienced than more of a materialistic model where we build the brain up and out. I think we build in.

 

All Part of One

If we think about reality in that way, then what we understand is that we’re all part of one whole, completely connected organism. And that the experience that we’re having as an individual is just an experience we get to have for a period of time–before we are brought back into some different form of being connected to this organism or somewhere else. 

 

So when you think about spirituality from that perspective, it’s just changed the sort of fundamental orientation of how I think about reality altogether. Then a term like the Collective Unconscious or Cosmic Consciousness makes a lot of sense. 

 

It means that at certain moments, the filter might come down a little more. And you get a glimpse–in a dream of revelation or a moment of clarity–about the larger conscious field that you are always a part of but usually not aware of. 

 

And Cosmic Consciousness has to do with consciousness beyond the human species. And, in fact, beyond all species. It’s like more than a glimpse. It’s a mystical experience of the point, reason, and being of the Cosmos. 

 

Which is something you could never put into language, but you might be able to experience it. 

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

What’s Sacred? How Does It Become Sacred?

I went to school to study to be a Rabbi–which was a trippy experience. I kind of recommend it for some people, if you’re interested. 

 

I had a professor who asked an interesting question about the Old Testament, which we call the Torah. Namely, the five books of Moses–or a piece of the Old Testament. And he said, “Is this book sacred?” 

 

I’m not Orthodox, you know? So I’m not an incredibly traditional Jew. As you can see, I’m not wearing the kippah or stuff like that. It was an interesting question for a non-fundamentalist, non-traditionalist Jew to say, “Is this book sacred?”

 

Very tough question to answer. 

What Makes Something Sacred?

And if it’s sacred, why? I could ask a different question: What is sacred in your life? Here we go…A family. 

 

And anything else that’s sacred in your life? And what makes it sacred? What gives something the kind of authority that it transcends what we would call the ordinary to the level of sacred?

 

Wow. And I would say there is a lot that’s sacred. 

 

The place that I start with people who have a hard time with that notion–like the metaphysical notion of the sacred, is ancestors. 

 

If we study anthropology and go back historically to look at tribal peoples long before organized religion–before Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism. I think about most of those older shamanic tribal traditions or ancestor traditions. Even in Judaism when we pray, we pray to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, etc. Those are our ancestors. 

 

There’s something about our ancestors–those who have passed–that’s sacred. It’s just somebody who’s an atheist and is wrestling with entering into spiritual domains…that’s an interesting conversation.

Atheism, Sacred Meaning, and Cemeteries

How would you feel about pissing on a grave? 

 

Are you desecrating something? What if nobody ever knew about it? Like nobody saw you do it. You peed on a grave. Well, if there’s no metaphysical reality, nothing sacred, who cares? The person’s dead. Why wouldn’t you pee on the grave? 

 

If there was some good incentive on the other side, if I’m peeing on the grave, I would want to pee on the grave. Because we have a sense that it’s a taboo or something about desecrating the dead. 

 

Well, why is that? They’re dead, who cares? You know you’re an atheist. They’re fucking worms and fertilizer. Who gives a shit?

 

But for most people still, there’s something there. It’s a boundary they don’t want to cross. They say, “Well, there’s actually something about that, that’s wrong.” 

 

I’m like, in a relative way? Just like wrong for some people, or is it wrong for everybody? And you know people…push them hard enough and they are thinking and honest enough, there is something there that feels like it should not be violated. 

Identifying the Sacred During Modern Times

And for me, that is so important, especially in these times. We live in this hypermodernity with hyper-information and hyper-reality. You know, these slogan-y terms. 

 

But if my kids aren’t in touch with the fact that there are elements of life that are sacred and in fact, if my kids aren’t in touch with the fact that they are sacred–their being and their soul is sacred–I have a big problem with that.

 

The recognition of the sacred as part and parcel of the spiritual tradition that’s been handed down to us as a fundamental creates the kind of boundaries that allow a society to not only thrive, but probably just exist at all, is crucial.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

The Soul, Higher Self, and Ego-Self: Understanding the Differences

We’re trying to map out spirituality. I like to kind of place it within the realm of a person. 

 

How do I interface with spirit? Where’s my spirit? What was going on with me? 

 

There are a few terms that are helpful. Some I talked about in previous videos. 

The Higher Self and Ego Self: Part of the Psyche

There’s a higher self that’s more of a rational observer mind. The part that knows and seeks the good. 

 

And there is the ego-self which is kind of my everyday operation. The ego-self is very helpful, it protects me. When I get in a car and drive, I’m operating from the sort of habitual nature of the ego-self. A lot of my daily, more utilitarian interactions, are operated by the ego-self. 

 

But it’s only when I’m trying to figure out how to be a better husband, father, friend, human, soul, I’m thinking…

 

Okay, I got to find that higher self and work through this. 

 

So you have a higher self, you have the ego-self, I think that’s in the place of the psyche. 

What is the Soul?

Then there is an interesting term called, the soul. And you might think about the soul as also having many dimensions. And the soul is a little bit different than the higher self.  

 

The higher self is rational and logical, in some sense. The soul, to me, is the realm of poetry. It’s the realm of art. It involves the archetypes that I spoke about in a recent video. 

 

And it’s also sort of the seat of meaning. Meaning is not a rational concept. Meaning is the faculty. When something is meaningful, it has nothing to do with whether it’s irrational or not. Meaning is happening somewhere else. 

 

When I’m cognizing or thinking about something important or good? For me, that’s the higher self in action. 

 

But when I see something, have a great moment of watching my children and tears come to my eyes…It’s a meaningful moment. To me, that’s happening in the soul. 

 

So the soul is separate from that higher self. And the soul is sensitive. The soul is subtle. 

 

I have certain colors and textures I associate with the realm of the soul. The realm of the soul is universal. It’s not personal, it’s not particularly individualized. It would make a lot of sense to me if we all shared a species soul. If we all shared in a world soul, and I just experienced my bit of that in this incarnation of my existence. 

 

I think that’s what happens when you know somebody.

The Soul During Times of Trouble

I can use an example of somebody in addiction, but it could be anybody when they hit a bottom in their life. It’s like something in their soul can’t take it anymore. Something in that realm of meaning, in that more transcendent, deep space. 

 

But we don’t think about the soul as happening in the head. We think about it like somewhere between the heart and the gut–not because the soul has a physical place–but we feel it at the core. 

 

And that’s where that feeling of demoralization can happen. And that’s where you go, “Man, I need to change something.” 

 

So you have that experience–sometimes it’s very dark. But the meaningful experience of the soul that generates it motivates this different kind of experience. That turns into actionable choices and then starts operating from the higher self. 

 

And the soul is beyond our control, the soul is happening. I can bullshit my head all day long, but it is very difficult to bullshit my soul.

 

I think what we’re talking about spirituality–at its core–is the realm of the soul.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More
0 comments

Understanding the Higher Self

Whenever I talk about spirituality, it’s important not to confuse the map with the territory. 

 

So when we’re using language to talk about spirituality–spirituality is not going to be captured by the language. The language is a map that allows one to begin to sort of navigate or get a foothold in the reality of spirit. 

What is the Higher Self?

One term that’s used by my mentor, Rabbi Mordecai Finley, is he talks about the Higher Self. There are actually different levels to the Higher Self in his map–the schema he created. But, put simply, the Higher Self is the observer mind at one level. Observer mind is the rational part of the self that knows and seeks the Good. The Good is a philosophical term, it simply means that which is good.

 

There’s a part of me that knows and seeks the Good. I don’t always know exactly how to produce or behave well to get to the Good, but I know of the Good and I’m seeking it. We call that the Higher Self. 

 

If there wasn’t a Higher Self, nobody would ever transform for the better. The act of transforming for the better is the act of tuning into the Higher Self and all the work that it takes to do that. So that you can begin to have clarity, think, feel, and behave in a way that’s aligned with your Higher Self. 

 

Other religions and spiritual practices use a different nomenclature and language. They’ll talk about the part of you that’s living within God’s will, which to me, just talk about the Higher Self. 

 

They’re saying, “Live in God’s will.” The part of you that knows what God’s will is, in that moment, that’s the Higher Self, right? 

And Then…The Ego-Self

Then they’ll talk about your disease. 

 

Your disease is kind of your lower self or what Rabbi Finley calls it–and what I call it–the ego-self. The part of you that is living for short-term gratification. The part of you that has a difficult time navigating complex relationships. The part of you that is skeptical and doubts the Good. The part of you that rationalizes in the negative sense. The part of you that’s more narcissistic, selfish, etc.

 

To put it simply, behaviors that don’t help you grow, learn, and change. 

 

So in most traditions there is some schema that lays out something like the ego-self–the necessary part of the self for survival and to navigate every day–but is not good for the really important parts of life.

Coming to Terms with the Higher Self and Ego-Self

And when I’m calling the Higher Self, which is rational or at least meta-rational, more than rational and is connected to the good spirit, God, etc. That’s an important kind of schema. 

 

For Christianity, it’s just the devil and the angel. I think it’s a bit more complex than that. And so understanding that Higher Self, one that you are/have a Higher Self that you can attune to. And also, you have an ego-self. It can be pretty destructive–in your life and the lives of others. 

 

There are both darker and higher things in the schema that I think about when it comes to spirituality. But a good starting place is Higher Self and ego-self.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

Read MoreRead More