The Inner Rabbit
by Michael Mamas
It’s healthy to take a look at your wounding, hurts, and biased conditioning. It’s also important to realize how your behavior is really a function of your level of consciousness. By behavior, I’m not referring to what people generally mean by behavior. For example, someone might believe that good behavior means to do the right thing, have proper manners, carry your share of the load, and be a good neighbor. I’m talking about behavior on a deeper level.
Though attending to the surface level is very important, let’s take a look at what is going on just beneath it. We all sense that level in other people. Yet, it often remains intangible. For example, some people might always be polite and smiling on the surface, though you can sense a degree of phoniness or anger buried just beneath that facade. Also, no matter how people behave on the surface, what is going on just beneath that is even more important. And it usually comes out in tricky ways. It reminds me of a cartoon I’ve seen. A rabbit is hiding underground. It peeks its head out and a man tries to smack it with a club. It ducks back into its rabbit hole only to peek out of another hole. No matter where the man tries to hit, the rabbit dodges underground to peek its head out somewhere else, leaving the man utterly frustrated.
Though it is very good to use the tools I give to work with your issues, those underlying twists and bends in the psyche can keep cropping up one way or another, just like the rabbit. Transference, negativity, childhood issues, passive-aggressive behavior, how we function, characterology, self-honesty—all of the tools I’ve given you sometimes feel to me like clubs in pursuit of that rabbit. I know that in reality such personal process works and is of great value. But I also think we would all do well to take it upon ourselves to diligently monitor how our underlying issues are like that rabbit. Continue to pursue it while appreciating just how tricky that rabbit is.
Another great example is gossiping about another person. For example, someone who is very dedicated to being proper oftentimes harbors a rabbit of resentment to those who are not the same. That rabbit can show its head as gossip about such people. How do you know when they are gossiping or just making a sincere attempt to improve the situation? You feel it. It’s often easier to observe this in others than in yourself, but striving for that level of self-honesty is essential. Perhaps the greatest power the rabbit has over you is your own aversion to looking in the mirror and seeing the rabbit.
When you explore how you behave, keep your finger on the pulse of that rabbit. What motivates the rabbit? What is the rabbit feeling? How does the rabbit go about showing its head? How does it hide? When it hides, notice that it’s still alive, still vital, still pulsing palpably, sending out its message to all around you. This is what I mean by behavior.
As valuable as the tools for exploration are, the biggest engine is meditation. Meditation purifies the stresses and strains inside that are the life-force of the rabbit. Human evolution requires tremendous diligence. Doing your best to behave properly on the surface is very important. Meditation and personal process are also important. They all must be pursued. However, watch out for that inner rabbit. It is very tricky indeed.
© Michael Mamas, 9/09