Eckhart Tolle quote for this talk: “The more limited, the more narrowly ego your view of yourself is, the more you will see, focus on, and react to the egoic limitations, the unconsciousness in others. Their “faults” or what you perceive as their faults become to you their identity. This means you will see only the ego in them and thus strengthen the ego in yourself.”
Using your camera bag with a narrow focus and a wide angle lens as a metaphor in your tool box, you can see how your mind when it just focuses on the irritation you feel about another cannot see the wide angle view of the other person. When using the telephoto lens, the background, which is the rest of the person is blurred. All you see is the Fault Bird, nothing else. The irritation increases. Dissonance has occurred and we all want to get rid of the irritation which increases as the fault persists. In trying to rid ourselves of the irritation of the fault that creates dissonance between our Ideal of the person and a particular behavior of the person, we just double-down on the narrow focus. We can’t let go of it. The telephoto lens can’t zoom out to a wider angle. Why is that?
The fault in in the other becomes the whole person because there is no wider person in sight. Only that single flaw that you have magnified by the lens is visible. As dissonance grows, irritation becomes obsessive, and we feel our sense of indignation (this should not be happening to me because I’m a wide angle person), and that feeling of being out of harmony with the other—because of their fault—becomes our identity. Each of us, me and the other, are now narrowly defined. I am now the Unique One who is upset by you as the Unique One who is upsetting me. What is Ego but the feeling that I am the Unique One that has no second.
The narrow focused lens, the telephoto lens without the wide angle is the Ego’s primary lens. When the real background or whole person is blurred, the Ego supplies its own background story. “That person is absolutely terrible. That person is a hawk and will always bite me.”
So why is it so hard to pick up a wide angle lens? The foreground object we are focusing on is given meaning by the background. Is that hawk in the wild or is that hawk on a city street looking for pigeons. Is that hawk in a zoo and it’s lonely, suffering having been separated from its environment, from the context that gives it life? Since you have a telephoto lens on, there has to be a background story board, and without the wide angle, you have to supply your own. Now the background for the Hawk that tells its story is supply by you like the green screen behind the weatherman. You story is the story that defines the hawk, the rest of the Hawks story.
But that projection of the background behind the hawk is unconscious because….you are only conscious of the foreground, the hawk that is going to bite you. That’s all you see, but the meaning of the Hawk in its relationship to you is being supplied by you.
Now this unconscious background must come from somewhere. Well, it comes from your own unconscious background. When we see only the foreground object of another, we are also seeing only the foreground object of ourselves. Your background, your wide angel, your true self is also being referenced to a projected story of Me as a victim of the Hawk. The two foreground objects, you and the Hawk, are given meaning by the same green screen background.