I AM YOUR NESTED SYSTEM
(LEND ME YOUR HIGHER SELF
I am really sorry to have to bring this very complicated schema up at a time like this. I know you’re busy, but I can tell that some of you are struggling with weight loss, stopping smoking (“cessation” as it is called now), modifying a habit, parenting, dealing with aging parents, grumpy colleagues, or angry young people. You simply must be aware of how this nested system works.
You might have heard of something that sounds a lot like this on Dr. Oz, but probably not exactly. I didn’t make this stuff up by myself, I learned it. I cannot make any magic claims. This is an operating hypothesis, people, not dogma. Ready? Here we go.
WHO AM I?
I am your nested system.4 We are five sheaths which are nested within your physical body like a Russian babushka doll. The physical body is sheath #1. In this definition, that physical body is the physical material that is left after you die.
If you’re not dead yet, then the life or living part which animates your physical body is sheath #2 and is called the life body. In some metaphysical constructs it is called the etheric body. Beyond these two are containers which are less physically connected with the body.
Sheath #3 starts out at birth as our sense body or sentient body. It is comprised of our experiences with the world, physical and emotional, fight or flight, bumps, accidents, joys of success, things we sense and feel but feelings that come AFTER something happens. It’s that place where muscle memory lives. It’s the stuff-happens body. But when we get old enough to generate our own thoughts, feelings and emotions like love, hate, fear, attraction, these bits that we build up are added to this sentient body, because thoughts and feelings are experiences, too, and this is then called the psychological or emotional body. Also, in other metaphysical texts, called the astral body. So that’s sheath #3. It’s all about consciousness; we dream in our feelings and are awake in our thinking.
The next sheath, sheath #4, is called the ego. What do you say about the ego? It seems there are two aspects of the ego: a lower self, the more self-centered or ego-istic aspect that wants to have a continually greater share of life’s bounty and sees itself as the most important part of creation (as an attorney told my lower self once: “all money flows toward you.” Of course my lower self hired this attorney); and a higher self, which we rarely show to others. This higher self is nourished by creativity and can genuinely say “I.” The higher self is influenced by our spiritual self.
Sheath #5 is our spiritual self. Our spiritual self lives in the world of ideals, inspiration, angels and also counter (negative) influences.
Okay. This is the nested system which we all have.1
WHY AM I HERE?
Weight loss, of course. Isn’t that why you’re reading this chapter? There is a law which governs all change of habit in this type of nested system. It’s called the “pedagogical law” and it says that in such a nested system of sheaths the next highest sheath can influence the next lowest sheath.
To lose weight, my spiritual self, which lives in the world of the ideal and inspiration, gets inspired that my physical body should lose weight. My spiritual self goes to the ego to get the team on board. My ego can’t simply say to my physical body, “I am inspired! We’re gonna lose weight. Now!” or command the body: “Lose weight!” Nope. Won’t work.
My ego must work through the next lower sheath, my emotional/astral, and say, “I know you love chocolate, éclairs, peanut brittle, etc. but higher self has been inspired to lose weight, so I’m not getting any more chocolate.” Then the emotional body weeps, moans and complains but will eventually work with the life body and say, “I know you have a physical craving for sugar right now, but the team is working on losing weight. Let’s do some walking, eh?” And eventually the physical sheath will shed pounds.
In a nested sheath, you can’t skip a step. Your ego has to work its way through each sheath. Fairly unorthodox so far, eh? Maybe not today.
WHAT DO I WANT?
I want to let you in on a secret, so if you haven’t bailed by how there is a REAL mystery here, something hidden.
The sheaths that are contained in our physical body are discreet to our own body system. The other sheaths: psychological/emotional body; ego, spiritual self; are available to be extended to others.
As an example: An adult can use their ego working through their emotional body to help calm an anxious child because your ego development and strength is greater than theirs. Your emotional body can influence a child’s life body. If you can sooth yourself, you can sooth them. Or if you need to energize a youngster for an activity, you have to work from your own enthusiasm.
One note from an old geezer. Parents, PLEASE! It does no good to drag a wailing child through the mall screaming to the poor tiny child, “Mind me!” because at such a young age, the child doesn’t have a “mind” or intelligence yet! But let me NOT fall into lower-self blaming. Rather, let my higher self say to your ego, “Hey, you know, you should try skipping. Make a game out of exiting!”
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