A MareNectaris production
Lo Sfidante
The Opponent
Who is using your mind?
Movie transcript - 7. The Disempowering Spiral
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Everything starts with a thought that appears within our Field of Consciousness.

Initially, this thought is essentially an image, a vivid flash, which is not accompanied by any words, because it comes from a place where words do not have any importance. It's a thought/image that has enormous power, because it is the initiation of a creation: a thought that outlines a possible reality, that we might choose to create or not, knowing that we have the possibility to choose. What we do, however, as the result of little or no knowledge of the phenomenon, is to comply instantly with it like conditioned androids.

Until we intervene to shine a light with our Consciousness, these powerful thoughts/images are generated involuntarily, unconsciously and focused on repetition and the rooting of experiences to which it’s generating, or has already triggered, a strong emotional attachment. These experiences will become habits, and habits will become emotional addiction, that is the primary support of the Opponent, and one of the primary means of our energetic and vital disempowerment.

So we can say that until we intervene to shine a light with our Consciousness, almost all of what we call free actions and creations are under the control of the Opponent.
A random step
and desire can be reality

Another indulgent step
and reality can be habit

Another inertial step
and habit can be a river of mud

The tip of the foot with no memory
and the river falls into the Abyss.
It is simple to discover the evidence of an emotional addiction rooted into habit: if you try to put up resistance to it, or to suggest to another one the possibility that you can try to put up resistance to it, the reaction is always the same: tension, nervousness, uncontrolled disagreement up to an explosion of emotions of rage and resentment. This means that there is a strong emotional attachment hooked with the satisfaction of a habit, therefore, the habit is controlled by the Opponent. Really, almost all of our habits generate emotional attachments hooked with their gratification; so, we can say that almost all of our habits are under the control of the Opponent.
Many people use
alcohol, drugs, sex, food, work, television,
or even shopping
as anaesthetics
in an unconscious attempt
to eliminate their deep discomfort.
When this happens,
an activity that could be very pleasurable,
if done in moderation,
permeates itself of compulsion or dependence,
and all that one gets
is a relief of the symptoms
for a very short time.

Eckhart Tolle
Breaking habits
is a mean to learn
new ways of perceiving the world
and provides a clue
of incredible possibilities for action.

John Michael Abelar
Once the Opponent has generated in us a thought/image to create a reality that is positive for it, it triggers the Disempowering Spiral: the Surface Mind intercepts this thought and starts to transform it into a reality through the conditioned inner dialogue, which will justify, encourage, support it, paying in it all its attention; that is to say, it will be fixated on this thought, a behaviour that is very easy to find in ourselves, but also in other human beings, and in locutions of common use, as "become fixated" or "obsessed" and similar.

The focus of the Surface Mind, as we have seen, can produce a phenomenon of greatest importance: the generation of emotions corresponding to that focus. The continued and intense focus of the Surface Mind on the thought/image triggered will sooner or later produce the generation of emotions which, in their turn, will feed this focus with further energy, as if they were the confirmation and additional fuel to this focus.

Thus, the process of Disempowering Spiral will load up the thought/image with so much emotional energy to literally force the person who is experiencing it to act in order to manifest it. The circle closes. The thought/image is manifested into reality.

This is the simple, linear way in which the Opponent manipulates us like puppets. This is the way in which, more or less consciously, we destroy our existence.

But beware! This is also the simple, linear way in which we can build an extraordinary life. The only difference is the choice of the thought/image to trigger. Either we choose it, or the Opponent will. The consequent process is the same, but if the thoughts/image are our free and conscious visions, the Disempowering Spiral becomes the Spiral of Power.
It takes courage, a lot of courage,
to get begin deliberately
eliminating beliefs
that make us suffer.
Maybe you don’t believe you have the power
to create your own reality,
but if you accept this premise
you can truly create a different reality
from the one that you’re suffering.

Don Miguel Ruiz
To make this process clearer, here is an example of how it works in a real life situation that, unfortunately, many of us face daily. It’s an example situation, like many others we could find and see at work in the lives of human beings. A situation that shows us, sometimes ruthlessly, an abstract underlying principle:
Any human activity that is filled
with emotional energy of attachment
to its satisfaction
is driven by the Opponent
to its exclusive advantage.
The situation of life that we examine is that of drinking excessively.

Here we are immersed in our daily activities, relatively calm and without any worries. Suddenly, without warning and without reason, a thought/image arises inside our Field of Consciousness. A thought/image related to drinking an alcoholic beverage.

The Surface Mind snaps and captures this thought. Our conditioned inner dialogue, out of control, in which we trust as if we were those voices, begins to repeat phrases like "I have half a mind to have a quick drink", "Yes, I would say I deserve just a quick drink" "Well, it would take just a quick drink", agreeing with itself that yes, it's exactly as it is repeating to itself.

This conditioned inner dialogue quickly generates an emotion, a sort of anticipation of the alcohol that we will drink, and how good we will feel after this drink. From the standpoint of mere perception, this emotion is nothing but a widespread sensation in our body, like an itch, a current, but when the Surface Mind intercepts it, is transformed into emotional energy, for the use and sustenance of the Opponent; an emotional energy, that is a sensation to which has been assigned a label, that does nothing more than further feed our inner dialogue with our "hypothetical" need to have a drink.

At some point, the emotional charge hooked to the thought/image of drinking alcohol will be so great that we cannot help but pour us something to drink, relieving this emotional current and feeling ourselves relieved and in peace. But it will not pass a long time, and it will pass less and less time, before this state of calm is disturbed again by a new emotional necessity generated from an unconscious thought/image, and so on, in days, months, years of wasted energy in vain.
Then we shall endeavor to procure goods,
money, success, power, recognition,
or a special loving relationship,
essentially to feel
better about ourselves,
to feel more complete.
But also when you achieve
all these things,
we soon discover that the void is still there,
that is bottomless.
Then we're really in trouble,
because we can no longer deceive ourselves.
Well, we can and we do,
but it becomes more difficult ...

Eckhart Tolle
Emotional addictions like this exist in enormous quantities, without having the need to report them here. They can be very hard to overcome, because the amount of emotional involvement in them is so great to deeply obscure the mind of their victims, especially once they’re triggered. Moreover, the prolonged satisfaction of these addictions will inevitably alter also the balance of the physical body, which will progressively develop more receptors of the substances it receives into its circulation, to the detriment of others, which receives less or by no means, and instead should receive almost daily for its vitality and wellbeing.

Thus, emotional addiction becomes physical too, and at that point can be really hard to get rid of it. In quiet moments, it seems to us to be able to cope with it without any problems, it appears like an illusory and evanescent ghost. When triggered, it becomes a demon, who wants all our attention, all our energy. And then leaves us exhausted and drawn, only to return some time later to ask for another tribute to our energy.

A demon. Working for the Opponent.
There is nothing you or I can do,
but exercise self-discipline
up to make ourselves

John Michael Abelar
But then should we deprive ourselves of all, so as not to fall into the trap of the Opponent? Not on your life! The world is wonderful and full of experiences to live. What we should do is cut off, or stop creating the emotional attachment to their satisfaction that we put in our actions, whatever they are. Deprived of emotional attachment to their satisfaction, the actions will not generate addictions, and the Opponent will be cut off by the main, if not the sole, source of energy support that it uses to perpetuate itself against us like a parasite.

When an action is deprived of emotional attachment to its satisfaction, the experience is transcended. It is no longer important when, how or why you do it. It can pass years before do it again, or a few minutes. You don't feel any void in its absence, nor you feel any need to do it again. If it’s possible, you can do it. If it’s not possible, simply you can't. There is no more yearning for its satisfaction; there is no more obsession, nor suffering for its lack.

Yet, it is precisely at this point that you get the most enjoyment of the experience itself. It's only at this point that we can clearly determine whether the experience is really good for us or not. Without the emotional flow that had the sole purpose to give power to the Opponent and disempower ourselves, we fully enjoy the experience every time that we will relive it again, just because we appreciate its impermanence, its quality, its real intake of energy, with serene and clear eyes.

The state of mind which arises from the process of transcending an experience is one of the pillars of our integrity; to this state of mind, many traditions of inner research give the name of detachment.
is subtle and conscious balance
not denying yourself anything
and not indulging yourself in anything.