Friday, September 3, 2010

Who's in charge here?

Yesterday I wrote about the conflict between Miss Shud, our judgemental self, and Mimi-Mi, our impulsive self.  There's more to this story, I thought this morning.

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with someone, oh, a mean guy at the post office counter, a woman at the X-ray department who tells you you can't have your own X-rays?  Okay, they are doing Shud like they think they're supposed to, and Mimi-Mi can't get her wants satisfied.  What do you do?  You say, "I'd like to speak to the manager."

Here he comes.  He is a nice middle-aged man, going bald, a bit overweight, with a humble air and the somewhat harried look of someone who is in charge of a bunch of people who don't want anyone to tell them what to do. "How can I help you?" he asks, pleasantly, I hope.

But then there are things he explains he can't do.  It's our policy, he says, obviously believing that's the final answer. Policy.  What now?  In the real (illusory) world it may be time to go home and get on the internet and find out the name and address of the CEO.  In our imagined world you want to get in touch with the Big Guy.

Long ago I met a really nice CEO named Gary, who was in charge of a reasonably large, successful corporation.  It surprised me that he himself was not large, about 5'8, with an appropriately slender build and a quiet presence.  Unremarkable dark hair, handsome in a quiet way.  He was relaxed and polite, though my boss, who was writing his company's history, was embarrassing me deeply with his sycophancy. (I quit that job not much later.)

I have the kind of life that doesn't put you around too many other important people, though I've been around plenty who thought they were. Still, I remember a kind woman who was my department head and went on to be the first female president of more than one college.  A dean who moved on become a Vice President.  Some fine ministers and Teachers.  They were characteristically quiet people who gave you their full attention and spoke to the point.  As CEO's they were people who had the detachment to see the big picture.

This morning I added these two types to my constellation.  Say the Manager is a negotiator who can step inbetween Miss Shud and Mimi-Mi when they really get to brawling.  Maybe you think of him as your will power or discipline, or thinking things through.  His ideas are different than the concepts Miss Shud so freely dispenses, often with disapproval; her ideas are pretty much inherited from your parents or expressing the cultural imperatives, not really yours.  They're different than the Want/Don't Want! of Mimi-Mi, and her automatic resistance against Miss Shud.  The Manager's ideas are logical, and take reference back to your priorities.

Ah yes, but he can't solve everything, or sometimes anything.  That's when you need to get in touch with The CEO - the one who's really in charge, above all the principles and precepts, above small You.  Maybe you'd prefer to think of this One as feminine, or de-gender the image and think of The Tao, or karma, or Big Mind, or God. 

How do you get in touch with this One?  Right here I am tempted to tell you what I do, but I have to go exercise right now.  So I'll leave you with the question for now.

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