The absurdity of the ‘love yourself’ mantra

This is something that has perplexed me since childhood.
I’d keep hearing slogans like ‘be yourself’, ‘love yourself, ‘believe in yourself’, and so on.
I used to wonder, what is this self that they are referring to, while pointing at me.
Where is this self? What is it?
Is it my image of their idea of what I am, what I should be, or what I think they want me to be?
Is it my own image of what I am independent of them being around me?
But generally my own image of what I am, is heavily and actively conditioned/influenced by who is around me (in silent or talking level interaction with me) and the larger surroundings in that place.
Even if nobody is around me, my self is some sort of a more diffused response to the environment around me.

My general personality/disposition/investments/ways of thinking-perceiving-feeling etc. are part nature and part nurture.
I can recall an active self forming at the age of 6, then a more developed one at 11, and I think after the age of 28 it seems to have stabilized itself.
But what was that active self that first formed? What existed before the age 6?
It feels like I just emerged from a bunch of situations throughout early childhood.

Ok, then was I born a clean slate? – I don’t relate with that too.
I have no continuous memories of anything below the age 4-5, but I intuit I could have already had a seed with its potentials/proclivities/tendencies/patterns (what they call samkharas and vasanas in vedic literature).
So maybe the selves that formed through 6, 11, 20, 24, 28 etc. were different milestones where a distinctive evolving pattern emerged in my vibrating sands (like the sand patterns in Cymatics as the frequency is raised).
So my deeper self then could be my bio-memory embedded in the whole body (in its trillions of cells)? – Coming from my forefathers, ancestry, genetics, lineage.
That genetics could have passed on its own fantasies, ideals, projects, works, characteristics, goals, preoccupations etc. that I identify with or dis-identify with depending on my own past lives?
In my own past lives, again the same situation might have been there, of genetics, upbringing, conditioning, social environment (the yuga at that time) and its influence etc.
So it sort of loops on itself. When did it all start?

The dilemma is like, when you are a tree, you search for your source.
You find out, you grew from a seed.
But a seed cannot grow without the fertile ground.
So the ground is also responsible for the tree.
But that seed itself has come from a previous full grown tree (the past life), and so on.
It goes into an infinite regress loop.
My whole quest to find an independent self eludes me.
I just cannot grasp a ‘me’ that exists independently.

From my contemplation, I see none of any of this is me.
Because if I can perceive it as an object,
Then the me must be separate from the object right?!
The deeper I contemplate this, I realize that what I am is transcendent of language itself.
It is a transcendent dimension, what they call consciousness.

Delving deep into the ‘grapes are sour’ attitude

What is the deeper reason behind the ‘grapes are sour’ attitude?
What is the payoff of seeing something as desirable or undesirable?
What is possible to get and what is impossible to get?
Generally, we’d like to see what is ‘possible to get’ as desirable,
And what is ‘impossible to get’ as undesirable.
That way, the psyche remains stable, and its efforts bring continual fruits,
Without wasting effort on what is impossible.

I am going to look at the ‘grapes are sour’ attitude in the context of relationships.
Generally to bond with someone, you idealize them,
Which is the basis of the whole romantic fantasy.
That they are good for you, best for you, the perfect match, that they will raise you higher and so on.
Idealization is the process of desiring itself.
That is what motivates you to seek anyone i.e. to seek to include them as a part of yourself.
The whole life of the ego is the Kohut’s tension arc,
Driving between where you are now and the image of your ideal.

On the other hand,
Devaluation is the process of avoiding/fearing (vs. idealizing/desiring).

As an ego, one would idealize that which is in one’s interest, and devalue that which is not in one’s interest.
What serves one —-vs—- What does not serve one.
What is life positive —-vs—- What is life negative.

However this does not explain the ‘death drive’.
What causes a person to consume poisons? severely deprive themselves? self torture? and actively seek death and self-destruction?

The child idealizes the caregiver to bond with them.
Esp. the infant idealizes the mother,
Because the mother is the source of life and protection for its initial years.
So this is where the primary attachment is created.
A certain primary relational structure gets formed in those years.
If the mother herself is lost, and the birth was from unconscious compulsion,
And if the mother is severely misattuned to the child’s needs,
Then the child’s needs go severely unmet.

If its needs are met highly randomly and inconsistently,
Then it will develop disorganized attachment

(that includes anxious-preoccupied and fearful- avoidant attachment patterns).
If its needs are met consistently,
Then it will develop secure attachment.
If its needs are not met at all, even once,
Then it will become a dismissive-avoidant.

Basically for a dismissive-avoidant,
Opening up to an other fully is anathema to them.
It is as good as committing suicide,
It will de-structure the entire psyche they have built.
They live only relying on themselves for almost everything.
Now this naturally idealizes self-reliance,
While decrying dependence of any sort.
The world-view formed by a person with this attachment style,
Precisely mirrors his interaction with his caregivers.
The image could be something like:
“Everyone is selfish and serving their own interests.
So I too will do the same.
Nobody cares about me unless it benefits them.
I must avoid dependence at all costs.”
Something like that,
And there are many layers to this.
There is grief/sadness and great anger towards others.
Even ignoring something is a form of hostility.
The dismissive-avoidant may ignore others with such intensity.
In the deeper psyche, it is a form of punishing them for what they did.
Giving them a taste of their own medicine, what they did to him.
RULE: “We do onto others, what others did onto us.”
So their treatment of others is a reflection and it mirrors how they were treated in their formative years.
What matters here is “FORMATIVE” years.
Because that is the time the ‘Self structure’ is formed.
Thereafter the entire experience of the world is in relation to that structure.
So for the dismissive avoidant, there is no alternation between grapes are good and grapes are sour.
They don’t even talk about it, in fact they don’t talk about anything related to their needs for relationship. It stays preserved in their own unconscious darkness .
It is just stuck on “Grapes are sour”, the idealization part has been repressed and buried into their unconscious.
Because if that is brought out, it will dismantle their entire independence idealizing structures.
The irony is, it is traumatic for them to see the world as good.

It is much easier to see the world as terrible and keep finding more proof for that.
Because that would justify their position right, of being to themselves and independent like an island.
They believe they have separated themselves from the morass of an ugly uncaring hostile humanity.

Generally the ‘grapes are sour’ experience applies to people who go through its opposite too of ‘grapes are wonderful’.
It is the alternation between the 2 that gives the strong experience in either direction.
Since in their formative years, their needs were intermittently met, followed by long periods of the opposite, it is a torturous confusion.
It is like living in a place where a gale, hurricane, flood, earthquake and other natural calamities keep striking your house again and again, causing you to somehow survive that and build your house once again from scratch maybe in a different area, only for that to happen again, and only for you to once again build a new house, and so on.
It becomes like an eternal improvisation exercise,
Where all relations are nulled, and where you try all over again and again.
This is basically a situation of high insecurity.
Where all “basis, rooting, hinging, foundation” is lost on a dime again and again.

This can be quite maddening for them.
Why? Because the projections wildly alternate,
Swinging from one extreme to another extreme,
Canceling everything out as they move from extreme to extreme.

For instance, suppose someone does not like me,
Then I will tend to try to see them as undesirable/terrible, 
Because only then can them not liking me, become a kind of ‘good riddance’, i.e. a good thing.
Else, if I see them as good/desirable, 
Then that means I am not getting access to something good,
And that will entangle my energies where I keep making efforts to try to get them to like me.

So it is better to tune perception to see them as undesirable or poisonous, 
Then them not liking me back will be good and alright, 
Because that would only prove I am good and they are bad.
Else it would turn into, I am bad and they are good, 
And that I have to be the sorry one to change and please them enough for them to accept me.

This is precisely the harrowing attachment struggle.
Preparing the body to bond OR to be alone.
Essentially, for the secure attachment people, the aloneness gets repressed in the unconscious.
For the dismissive-avoidant, the bonding part of them gets repressed in the unconscious.
They both appear to be stable, because of achieving successful repression from moving from chakra 2 to chakra 3.
Whereas, when repression cannot happen easily, because of conflicting caregiver’s attitude and behavior, then it results in the anxious-preoccupied or fearful avoidant,
Depending upon which side the scale veers to.
# If it comes closer to the secure side, then it has greater hope “If I can just try harder this time, I will make it to secure attachment”.
# If it comes closer to the avoidant side, then the hope is towards the opposite “If I can just become independent, then I can get rid of this painful need for others”.

So the scale is:
Dismissive avoidant —- Fearful avoidant –|– Anxious-Preoccupied —– Secure attachment.
This inner drama play between ‘he loves me’ and ‘he loves me not’, happens only with the middle 2. Because it is the middle 2 that are the realm of insecurity.
The dismissive avoidant is sure ‘he loves me not’.
The secure attachment person is sure ‘he loves me’.
So they both are somewhat settled in their lifestyles.

The inside-out life expression

I’m looking at the perspective of how life expresses itself from inside out.
The something that seems to come from nothing…
The potentialities/fires that seem to arise in the inner space…
It starts off from the pure desires/abstract feelings,
And then projects and focuses itself into the outer realm.
I feel the very act of being alive is the burning of these inner fires.

Using 2nd person perspective narration:
Your life in the world,
Is like the sex between your inner fires with the world.
You are always in the state of sex (as a verb).
Your inner fires are penetrating into the world and that is what allows you to see it.
In fact whatever you see is what your inner fires are sex-ing with.
So you could say, you are always in relationship, and relating.
All experience is from relating.
This act of relate-ing, sex-ing, is going on and on, and is content agnostic.
It is like how when your eyes are open, you simply keep seeing, no matter what is in front of you.
That faculty is simply shining its light unconditionally on whatever is outside.
Similarly your life energies are simply in a state of relating and sex, being content agnostic.
This is where I think the sayings that ‘we are love itself’ come from.
Because all that you experience, is from this unconditional perfusion into the world, propelled by this longing force we call love.

The fire within burns unconditionally,
And unconditionally burns all that it touches,
And unconditionally lights up everything around it.
This is true for all of life i.e. the non-physical fire that animates.
All life is this unconditional fire.
This burning, and lighting up, is a kind of touch.

Even light falling on something is like the subtlest touch.
‘The burning’ is a more intense penetrative touch.
Even to simply just see something, is to relate with it.

You are Shiva, the fire(energy),
Penetrating into Prakriti(matter),

In a state of unconditional total relating/sex-ing.
ALL relating is sex at various levels – from the lightest touch to the most intense.
What we generally call sex in essence I think is the most intense form of relating.
To be in contact with the fire itself vs. being in its light sphere or heat sphere.
Ultimate sex is the ultimate union.
From this perspective/context: Sex = Yoga = Union.

One’s Personality = One’s Subtle Body.
Personality = Likes and Dislikes,
Forming the 0s and 1s of reality perception (tapestry).
There is a vision/awareness and then there is relationship (1,0) (like, dislike).
# When you like something, you strive to see it more, bring it more into your awareness.
# When you dislike something, you strive to see it less, push away that from your awareness.
So avoidance is a manifestation of dislike,
And approach is a manifestation of like.
Push = Avoidance —vs—– Pull = Approach.
That is the dance of Push-Pull, Attraction-Aversion, Like-Dislike.


The world is a fractal and holographic.
…To Zoom out —— To Zoom in…
In both cases you get infinity.
The more you see in one thing, the more you see everything.
The more you see everything, the more you see in one thing.
The intensity of seeing is independent of the content of seeing.
When we like, we open up the full intensity (towards 1).
When we dislike, we try to close down the intensity (towards 0).
And there are all the inbetween mixtures.
The intensity of this seeing depends on the vibrance of life energies within.
All liberation is about unconditionality, to become unconditional,
To just be full on and on, for its own sake.

The truth I have observed about love and devotion

From my own experiences I have seen,
For people to love you, you must love them first.
Then the reflection of that would come back to you as them loving you.
You may get varying levels of this reflection depending on the other and their receptivity/capacity.

People will be devoted to you, if you are devoted to them first.
Again the amount of reflection shining back on you would depend on the other.
If you are fully on, your job is done.

Once you are fully loving and fully devoted,
Then people will recognize and reflect this back to you based on their own openness, receptivity, and capacity.

Others loving you is only a security or utility experience for you.
It is only a 1st and 2nd chakra level security.
But you loving others, now that is the real experience of love.
That is the actual 4th chakra experience.

That is why I think Gandhi said “You be the change you want to see in the world.”
You stand for a cherished quality and turn yourself on in full measure,
And the rest will simply unravel.
Your work is finished, apart from deepening your own connection with it.

Investment of life energies

Invest your life energies in:
# What you love/cherish
# What you like
# What you are interested in
# What you value
# What you care about
# What you feel really matters to you
# What you are concerned about
# What you feel deeply and genuinely about
# What you think and feel is important/significant
# What you feel is most meaningful to you
# What you desire

The ontology of emotions

Emotions ontology:
E-motion = Energy in motion
The spectrum:
Towards contraction (Negative emotions) —-<–|—->—- Towards expansion (Positive emotions)
Basic emotion flavors (one way of seeing it):
Fear, Disgust(Contempt, Pity, Sympathy), Anger —<—|—->— Excitement, Joy, Love

Pain is a demand on our attention

Every pain basically demands (seizes) attention.
When we would rather attend to something else,
That is when the pain creates suffering.
The suffering is from the resistance,
Of not wanting to attend to that which is paining.
It could be argued the pain itself appears,
Only after one has ignored something for long enough,
That it starts to break into the threshold of consciousness and escalate.

I’m creating 2 definitions here:
Selfish = attends to self, neglects the other.
Selfless = attends to others, neglects the self.
Broadly I’ve seen:
The selfless person may suffer from a lot of pain themselves,
But others are fairly happy/ok with them.
On the other hand, the selfish person may be quite well themselves,
But others struggle and have a lot of pains in relation to them.

Whatever is not loved creates pain.
When the self is not loved, it creates inside pain = selfless person.
When the other is not loved, the other gives you pain = selfish person.
Only what is loved is satisfied,
And what is not loved is in pain.
The separated disowned parts of your psyche are wanting reintegration,
And the pain is to get you to attend to them and finally own them.

This self-other distinction I wrote above,
Is more for the convenience of speaking and analyzing.
In reality or essence, there is no such division.
They both are only parts of a single landscape.
They are both parts of your current dream in consciousness.

Some insights on love

What is desired is love itself,
The light/the space/the being/the vibe of that state.
The forms it takes are its celebration/expression.

Every action that any being does can be traced back to that.
The whirlpool/vortex/process of one’s life is the journey back to source.
Desire/Interest/Passion is the direction/process/verb,
Love is like the destination/noun/horizon.

We are all the universal heart and universal mind,
Beneath our own hearts and minds.
To serve others is to serve our deeper selves.
A visionary lives alone in the deeper spaces/depths,
And acts as a vortex to draw interested others closer,
Acting as a representative and doorway to those heights/depths.

When it comes to myself:
Everything that I do is from love.
Everything that I do not do is from the absence of that.
For instance: My love for this blog,
Is from my love for clarity/distillation (extraction)/expression,
Creativity/documentation (logging/recording)
Higher truth/reasoning/insight/knowledge,
To weave tapestries of meaning/to connect bridge everything.

Complete Silence/Disinterest/Neutrality/Shunya,
Is the space where you see yourself.
Because all creation is made up of sound/reverberation.
So silence is the perfect mirror that makes us feel ourselves.

To connect with an other is to connect with what they love.
Everything that a person does is a reflection of what they love/value.

To depend on others for love,
Simply means you do not love those things enough.
So they are enhancing those aspects for you.
While what you love which they don’t,
Enhances those aspects for them.

In a deeper sense,
You are what you love.

Before people can love “you”,
They would love your works/emanation/scent,
And love what you represent etc.
Because your works are the outcomes/outpourings of your love,
And therefore they would serve as roads to lead them to you.

The experience of emptiness (the emotion),
Is to experience the lack of love.
In the sense, the love that is present in you,
Is too little to sustain/empower your body and mind enough,
To stay in a state of well being and coherence.

Very broadly speaking:
Love = Desire = Interest = Passion = Purpose = Pursuit.

Love and Expectation

‘The power of Love’ being subservient to/within a ‘Structure’ = Expectation (A love that is bound/conditional).
‘Structures’ being subservient to/within ‘The power of Love’ = Free-Love

Earlier I believed that unconditional love was a virtue to strive for.
But now I see that conditional love itself happens from ignorance,
From the ignorance of the mixing of form and essence.
It is like shining light on objects,
And mistaking the light reflections to mean the objects are inherently emitting that light.

Generally greater the love = Greater and Subtler the identification.
There is a finer-perfusion and extension of that into the forms of this realm.

Love is also what allows you to see.
To see something you must love it first.

All expressions/symbolizations/representations of love,
Are understood and self-evidently known,
Only when one is in it.

We believe we love the loved-objects,
But what we really desire is love itself.
We only really love love itself,
And enjoy the reflections of the love we ourselves put out.

When we love very little,
But take on enormous overheads and burdens to uphold those things,
It is a case of the yin-yang black fish with the white eye.

When our love is enormously large (for a great many things),
But the overheads and burdens are negligible to uphold those things,
Then it is a case of the yin-yang white fish with the black eye.

To feel blessed(abundant) —-vs—- To feel forsaken(abandoned)
White fish with black eye —-vs—- Black fish with white eye

The reflections from others

Every other is a kind of mirror,
Where their behavior towards us,
Reflects how they see us.

How real the reflection is,
And how much we are reflected,
And how selective or whole it is,
Is based on how much the other desires to truly see at all.

Not many desire to truly see things.
Some folk are almost entirely manipulative,
In which case, they see very little of you,
And exaggerate whichever aspect they deem,
Will help them achieve their vested interests,
Which maybe unconnected to you.
This kind of seeing is subservient to their vested interest.
So when that interest is over, the seeing of you will also end,
And they will direct that seeing to their next interest.
Any manipulator always works off a seed of truth.
But the rest of the fruit is usually fabricated fluff.
When this is done consciously, it is called manipulation.
When this is done unconsciously, it is called madness.
But even in the former case,
Conscious manipulation does serve a deeper unconscious madness.

We like to gravitate towards reflections,
That portray us as being lovable and wonderful.
We like to seek people who reflect aspects of ourselves,
That we ourselves love/like/value/cherish,
Which is based on the structures of our beliefs and identifications.

We cannot see who we are,
We can only see our reflection as a perceivable graspable object.
So this attachment to reflections,
Is a subset of attachment to objects(abstract) themselves.

Every person reflects us in their own way,
Setting up a unique dance/music of interaction in time,
Between us and them.
All of these comprise the riches of life.