Parts, parts everywhere!

Once I started thinking in terms of the different parts of my mind, I started seeing references to them all over the place in books I was reading. Here are some examples:

“We are compassionate with ourselves when we are able to embrace all parts of ourselves and recognize the needs and values expressed by each part.” –Nonviolent Communication

“As soon as you tell yourself that you need to do something, and store it in your RAM, there’s a part of you that thinks you should be doing that something all the time.” –Getting Things Done

“A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference.” –Eat That Frog

“There is a part of Sara that recognizes her choice as a mistake and her current living arrangement as a brand of foolish consistency.” –Influence

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming talks about “schemas”, which I think are basically the same thing: “Schemas with too little activation to influence any other schemas remain unconscious.”

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming deck

I’ve been interested in lucid dreaming ever since I was a kid, and Stephen LaBerge‘s book, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming is the strongest text on the subject. The deck I made from this book mostly covers two things: how we sleep and how our minds perceive reality. 

I wanted to internalize information about how sleep works in order to help my brain better model that it was sleeping while it was sleeping. Not sure whether it really had much effect. 

I’d LaBerge’s book years ago, at a time in my life before I had a good model of what people meant when they talked about the ego, so it was cool to revisit it and see that what once sounded mystical and confusing now made sense to me. Some sentences from the book that I think do a good job explaining what the ego is: 

1. “Seeing that the ego cannot be who you really are makes it easier to stop identifying with it.” 
2. “Once you no longer identify with your ego, you are freer to change it.” 
3. “Simply recognizing that the ego is a simplified model of the self gives you a more accurate model of the self, and makes it more difficult for you to mistake the map for the territory.” 
4. “If you can see your ego objectively in its proper role as the representation and servant of the self, you won’t need to struggle with your ego.” 
5. “You cannot get rid of it in any case, nor would it be desirable to do so—the ego is necessary for effective functioning in the world.” 

When I was actively keeping a dream journal and working on lucid dreaming, I was having them a few times a week, but these days I’ve let that slide so I only have them every once in a while. The intent behind making the deck was to help me have them more often, so it mostly failed there, but I do think having a more complete model of how to be more conscious of the craziness that goes on in dreams has helped me be more conscious of the craziness that goes on in waking life. The deck:

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