I have some good news for you! There Is Some Shit That Is Not Your Fault
There is a lot of shit that you came in with that is not your fault. You literally come into this world preloaded with behavioral patterns that influence you. This is before you are trained to process information in a certain way. It is literally woven into your DNA. But, there is good news. Just because you come in with it, does not mean you have to keep it. Here is a list of the shit that is not your fault:
- Ancestral imprints
- Social protocol
- Religious dogma
- Things people do to you
- Acts of God
Think About Influences On Your Behavior
In addition, think about cultural or social experiences that have a pre-disposition based on your ancestry. Also social, and religious upbringings; Even the upbringings of those who have come before you. This is a very unusual concept for most western thinkers. But hear me out.
I was talking through an interpreter to an elder of a tribe in West Africa. He began talking to me about “ancestral imprints.” This blew my mind! The thought that we are actually influenced by those who have created our DNA was something I had never thought about. In the viewpoint of the tribe, this was a very important concept. You see, sometimes you don’t understand why a person acts the way they do. But if you know their ancestors, their behavior takes on a whole new meaning.
It Is In Your History
I was working with a client who is getting her masters degree from a very cool place called Pacific Graduate Institute in California. One of her assignments was to track behavioral patterns, and family patterns looking back three generations. What she discovered was shocking. For three generations, a particular family pattern had occurred. It had reproduced itself without the knowledge of the ones who continued the behavior process. For example, her great- grandfather adopted a child that was the age of three. He married a woman who had been married before and came into the marriage with this child. Her grandfather had done the same thing, and her father had adopted her at age 3. Talk about a wild chess game that one could never have planned… unless there is something to this ancestral imprint thing.
There is also an aspect of my own life that makes this resonate very truthfully for me. In my mid 20’s, I had this urge to begin to smoke cigars. My father was a cigarette smoker but no one in our family that I knew of, smoked cigars. One day I was at my parent’s house sitting on the deck and I lit up a cigar. My father got a big smile on his face and asked, “When did you start smoking cigars?” I explained to him that I wasn’t really sure. I just started having this involuntary interest with wanting to smoke cigars. He got up from the table, went into the house and returned with a beautiful wooden box with a brass latch and brass hinges. He handed it to me. “This is your grandfather’s humidor, he was a big cigar smoker.”
Nothing in my awareness had influenced me towards this yet it was a behavior that my grandfather had. Another interesting factor is that I am named after my grandfather. He died when my father was a young teenager. So, of course, I have never met him or been around him to be consciously influenced by him.
The Patterns Are Everywhere
A few years later my dad called me on the phone. It was late in the evening and I was putting my stepson Adam to bed. Many evenings I would sit on the foot of his bed with my guitar and make up playful songs telling stories about the adventures of Adam meeting spacemen, and other mythological occurrences that made him laugh and fall asleep. When I answered the phone, my dad asked what I was doing and I told him about singing the songs to Adam. There was silence on the phone line. My father explained that when he was a little boy his father used to play the guitar for him and make up songs to help him fall asleep.
These are just a couple of synchronicities that are too unusual to be just happenstance. It shows me a strong possibility that there is information that we come in with that is preprogrammed by our ancestors. There is a lot of Shit That is not your fault.
More Shit That Is Not Your Fault
On one of my trips to Africa, there was a situation in the village. It was determined that a very special ritual was required to remedy a situation with one of the tribes’ members. When I asked about the ritual, they said the member needed a clearing ritual. Specifically, they needed to remove ancestral imprints from a tribe member so that he did not repeat the crimes and bad behavior of his ancestors. I found this fascinating.
In some cases, ancestral imprints can be very good for they help us bring forward honesty, integrity and the empowerment of those who have come before us. In other cases, it can be just the opposite. We can have tendencies towards behaviors, habits, and addictions that are carried on from those who come before us. I may touch on the DNA and ancestral imprints in later chapters, but will leave it for now. We have other things to cover.
The next thing I want to talk about is social protocol. When it comes to social protocol, these are trained behaviors. What you struggle with is often based on your personality and the varying aspects of human nature that you were handed at birth. In my case, I was a very hyper, creative and expressive young man that drove my mother absolutely bonkers! I fidgeted around constantly at school and really did not understand why rules should apply to me. Life was supposed to be fun all the time, and if something wasn’t fun, I didn’t want to do it.
To be a ”good boy” by my mom’s definition did not have any particular meaning or value to me. It was very challenging for me to follow the proper social protocol. My parents, however, were both very rigid disciplinarians and the penalty for violation of social protocols, even if I thought they were unfair, was often quite severe.
Think about your own life and how you were trained to behave in a certain manner. What were the things you struggled with? How did you have to modify your behavior to fit in? How did you have to behave be accepted?
I’m not sure that you ever come to the end of learning social protocol. When you are a little kid it involves things such as, not interrupting people when they are talking, not pooping on the living room floor. Also, not playing drums with silverware on the wooden windowsills, not hitting your sister, etc. When you get a little older and start school, you are put into an entirely different social group, which requires different behavior. It also has a more complex social protocol.
Here are some of the things I remember when this happened to me. I was expected to sit at a desk without making a bunch of noise. Also, no squirming around, respecting the space of other people, sharing, listening to the teacher, and being accountable to the process of learning and education. What are some of the things you remember as you entered more complicated and sometimes restrictive social protocols?
As you get older, you still work and learned social protocol around being employed. Showing up for work on time, doing the jobs that you are required to do to receive the payment. Also, being responsible for how we act socially because it not only reflects on you but the company you work for. It goes on and on. When I worked in the corporate world I had a certain social protocol.
When I became an entrepreneur and owned my own coffee company, GreyHawk Coffee Company, Inc., I had a different social protocol. I had 23 employees. There was a certain social protocol on how to treat the employees. I leased space from property owners for my drive through espresso bars and my restaurant. This required a certain level of decorum that was not present when I was in the corporate world.
When I began to do metaphysical work and working one-on-one with clients it required other social protocol. This included strict confidentiality, being available for the needs of my client. This often superseded my own needs, so on and so forth. As you develop and increase your circle of influence there is a constant adjustment to social protocol.
Religious Dogma Is Shit That Is Not Your Fault
Another item on the list that is not your fault is religious dogma. Every culture has their spiritual beliefs and understandings. In our society, there is a tremendous influence of religion, particularly the religion of Christianity that dictates, judges, and evaluates whether the way you behave and function in society as right or wrong. This is not your fault.
A positive thing about religious dogma is that in some circumstances it can assist with the social order. In other words, it establishes a protocol of behavior that is beneficial to society and given by a higher power, higher source, often known as God. Which in most religious understanding is the highest source possible for moral guidance and direction. The rules set by a particular spiritual viewpoint can prevent utter chaos and mass disruption in society .
There are also times when religious dogma becomes problematic. The unhelpful side of religious dogma is that it applies a preconceived set of core values to your life that you may not agree with. One cause of wars, murder and much fighting in the past 2000 years has been a fight over religious and spiritual dogma.
The ancients had a polytheistic view of God. Some God controlled almost everything in their lives. Then the Roman Empire came along creating a monotheistic patriarchal system that required strict adherence to their laws with violation resulting in death. The ruling government and the religious leaders were one and the same. And just to make sure you follow the rules they created an understanding of a place called Hell. Which is where you would burn in misery for eternity for not obeying God’s rules, which happened to be the rules set by the church and the government as well.
Another interesting twist about these rules is that they were based on cultural protocols from the Roman Empire. They did not take into consideration other tribal and cultural norms that had been intact, and working well, for thousands of years.
One example of this is when missionaries would go into indigenous cultures particularly in the tropics. You see the natives did not wear clothes. Most of these ancient tribes did not even consider covering themselves up. Why would they? It was hot all the time! And they were not ashamed of their bodies nor did they think of nudity or sexuality for that matter as evil. But to the missionaries, their nudity evoked sexual feelings that were anti-God and thought to be evil. Therefore, the natives, to come into alliance with gods will were supposed to wear clothes. It goes on and on from there with untold rules and regulations that were required. These were often in conflict with tribal beliefs that had existed for thousands of years. Religious dogma is not your fault!