In my previous article, I mentioned that self-trust is unconditional reliance on oneself, and that it is cultivated through the accumulation of self-congruence in “perceiving oneself as one is.”
In this article, I would like to explain the mechanism that creates self-trust, utilizing the 3+1 Consciousness Model.
Perceive oneself as one is, in all three levels of consciousness
The key to “seeing ourselves as we are” is to manage our consciousness. This is where the 3+1 Consciousness Model, which has appeared several times, comes into play.
In the 3+1 Consciousness Model, I believe that becoming aware of all areas of consciousness, without being biased toward any particular area, leads to “perceiving ourselves as we are.”
Education, work history, current title, and evaluations from others are all based on concrete facts, and evaluated based on some kind of criteria, which means that they are perceived from our thinking consciousness.
On the other hand, what we want to be, what we wish from the bottom of our heart, and subjective truths are like intuitive intentions that we have, and we can say that they are perceived from our intuitive consciousness.
▼ “Although I am making steady progress in my career, I feel unfulfilled.”
▼ “I feel anxious when I am not working intensely.”
▼ “If I don’t continue to receive positive comments and evaluations about myself, I feel anxious.”
▼Satisfied with having received some sort of recognition or title, one becomes indifferent to the value and significance of one’s work.
These are all examples of a state of mind that is overly focused on thinking consciousness and less connected to intuitive consciousness. If we ignore what we really want to do and focus only on our titles and what others think of us, we will move away from who we really are.
On the other hand, it does not mean that we can ignore our thinking consciousness. There is no need to deny or ignore what we are thinking or the values that underlie it. It is important to accept that there is a part of us that thinks that way. Neglecting our thinking consciousness is also a way to move away from who we really are.
It is also important to perceive the bodily consciousness that manages emotions, physical sensations and actions.
We can get an idea of how we are feeling right now from sensations such as a beating heart or sweating, or from various emotions. Tension, anger, anxiety, sadness, or a sense of relief and relaxation are some of the many things we can get from our senses.
▼ I felt somewhat uncomfortable with what my boss said at the meeting, but since it was logically consistent, I didn’t pay any particular attention to it.
▼ I had a gut feeling that it would be better to seize the opportunity in front of me, so I suppressed the feeling of anxiety deep inside me and tried to ignore it as much as possible.
If we ignore these bodily sensations and feelings and focus only on logical rightness (thinking consciousness) or intuition that comes down to us, we may end up making decisions that are not like us. It is fair to say that bodily awareness gives us important clues to know what our “true self” is feeling.
Also, bodily awareness influences action. We all have experienced the situation where we only think about things in our head and cannot put them into action. When we know what we want to do in our head, but can’t put it into action, it is often because we don’t understand our physical sensations properly. For example, we may have emotions such as fear or anxiety, but because we are not able to perceive them, unconscious resistance occurs within us and we are unable to take action.
Utilize meta-consciousness to become self-congruent
I have mentioned that we often fail to perceive the three consciousnesses (especially the intuitive and bodily consciousnesses), but what is difficult is that most of the time, we do so unconsciously.
Whether a person is agonizing over not being able to recognize a message from their intuitive consciousness, or not being able to pay attention to what they are feeling in their bodily consciousness, it is often the case that they are not recognizing it, rather than deliberately ignoring it.
That’s why it’s so important to become aware of our consciousness. Try to perceive our intuition, our thinking, and our bodily consciousness as they are, consciously checking to see whether we are biased toward any of the three consciousnesses, or whether we are ignoring what all three are perceiving.
The following is an explanation of how concretely we can do this, using the 3+1 Consciousness Model. In order to perceive all three consciousnesses without bias, we can use meta-consciousness.
Meta-consciousness is defined as “the consciousness that captures the three consciousnesses of Self and the scope of these consciousnesses,” or in layman’s terms, “the other self that captures oneself.”
The specific image of meta-consciousness differs from person to person, but in my case, it is the image of another self looking over my head. When I look at myself from my meta-consciousness, I feel like I can see my head and back.
Recently, in online meetings, the faces of the participants, including myself, are often displayed in a list, and I feel that myself looking at it (myself looking at myself participating in the meeting) is also close to meta-consciousness.
Or, think of something around you that you think represents you well. It could be a computer, a notebook, a musical instrument, or a piece of sports equipment. When you think of that object as yourself, you can say that the self that is looking at the object is close to the meta-consciousness.
From this meta-consciousness, the state of being able to perceive intuition, thinking, and bodily awareness as they are is called “self-congruence.”
Definition of self-congruence (Ochiai’s idea):
To capture intuition, thinking, and bodily awareness as they are from meta-consciousness.
To perceive things as they are means to feel them as they are without evaluation or judgment. Even if our intuition, thinking, or feeling is not generally considered desirable, there is no need to judge it as “bad.” Just accept them as they are, saying, “Oh, that’s how I intuit, think, or feel.”
There are also times when what we perceive in our thinking consciousness contradicts what we perceive in our bodily consciousness. Many of you may have experienced that what you think in your head is different from what you feel in your heart. Even in such cases, there is no need to judge inconsistency as a bad thing. Just think of it as, “Oh, there are so many thoughts and feelings inside of me.”
Self-congruence brings a sense of relief and stability
When we activate our meta-consciousness in this way, and capture each of the three types of consciousness (intuition, thinking, and body) as they are, I recommend that we ask ourselves, “What is my feeling when I am in my meta-consciousness?”
It is expressed differently by individuals, but in my case, I have a sense of image like “ relief and stability. Relief is the image of a sense of comfort in knowing that there is a meta-conscious self watching over me in any situation of anxiety or fear. A sense of stability means that it can be felt at all times and in all places, if I want to feel it.
Let me tell you about one of my own stories: the pandemic of 2020 hit our training business ( Alue Corporation) hard. Training is one of the so-called “three densities” of business, and since it coincided with our busy months of April and May, we were forced to deal with a rash of cancellations. We are forced to deal with a variety of issues, such as dealing with customers who were canceling their orders, dealing with the shift to online services, and reviewing cost structures and organizational structures in response to declining sales.
Even in such an environment, as the CEO, I thought it was necessary to think and act positively, and I struggled every day to show a positive vision by communicating cheerfully and without showing any signs of weakness.
However, I can’t deny that I was feeling uneasy in my heart. To use an analogy, I felt as if I was in an elevator and a giant Godzilla was shaking the elevator. I felt as if my fate was in the hands of something big that I couldn’t control, and my mind and body were being moved left and right.
At that time, I started practicing daily to perceive myself as I am from the meta-consciousness. At first, I started by closing my eyes like in meditation and trying to perceive each of the three consciousnesses from the perspective of looking at myself from above, but as I got used to it, I found that even without meditation, my meta-consciousness was activated and I could have the feeling of being connected to my intuition, thinking, and bodily consciousness.
In the process of implementing such a practice, I came up with a metaphor. It is the metaphor of the movie actor and the movie director. The film actor is the main character who is living one’ s own life story. And the film director is the one who watches over one’ s life story to assure that it realizes in a good way.
In relation to the 3+1 consciousness model, the film actor is the self with intuition, thinking, and bodily consciousness, and the film director is the self with meta-consciousness.
In my case mentioned earlier, it was me as a movie actor who was greatly negatively affected by the external environment of the pandemic. In that scene, like the main character in the movie who is about to be defeated by adversity, I am struggling and suffering day by day. However, I noticed myself as a film director watching over the scene from outside the stage. The film director sips his coffee and says, “Yes, that’ s quite a great performance,” sitting back and taking things easy.
I remember as if it were only yesterday that I felt a sudden lightness in my heart when I saw myself in such a metaphor. I thought to myself, “Well, I guess this is an essential scene in my life story, as well as in the story of Alue Corporation. In every movie story, there is a scene where the main character falls into adversity.” If I can think that it is the same as the adversity scene in a movie, I don’t have to worry so much about it. All I have to do is to play the role of the main character in that adversity scene.
What if we could keep both our perspectives as a film actor and as a film director at all times, not just in these scenes of adversity? As a film actor, we can feel the joy, anger, pleasure, and grief of the events in front of us, while at the same time, we can watch them with the calmness, relief, and stability of a film director.
When we become convinced that we can feel such things anytime and anywhere, you will understand that we are approaching self-trust.
Here are the quests of the day. (If you’d like, please share your thoughts in the comments.)
・Think of something around you that you think represents you well and look at it. What would you like to say to it when you see it as your “recent self”?
・In the above, what are your sensations or feelings when you are in the meta-consciousness?
・What good would come to you if you could keep both your perspective as a film actor and as a film director?