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King of his universe
Every now and then Rascal goes to the market to live out his inmost desire: hoarding valuables. At first sight you could call him a kleptomaniac. However, Rascal doesn’t consider himself as suffering from a condition. In fact he thinks he’s incredibly smart and more witty than any other regular person he meets.
Rascal's limited perspective is his ego: a personal concept that separates itself from the rest of the surroundings.
His egoistic life view derives from his own experiences that deposit layers of memories around his ego, thus creating an inner colouring for his perception of himself and the world.
Everything in daily life appears subordinate to his unbelievably important little self. His self-created kingdom of desires is the whole universe to him. Whatever happens to him becomes an object of his self-imposed tragedy in which he plays the role of a drama king around whom the whole world revolves.
The Rascal's kleptomania appears rational and ethically right to him. He wants to score for the “little man” against big corporations, to prove himself, to punish the cheaters, not even admitting his own double standard: he himself is a cheater. In this way he can justify any irrationality with a rational cover-up.
Falling in love
Leaving the comfort zone of your daily life is often a life-enriching experience and hardly anything can take you more drastically out of your routine than falling in love. The emotional attraction fills your mental vision with that special person.
When Rascal catches a glimpse of the beautiful stranger on the street, his mind gets instantly flooded with feelings of joy and excitement. Her image imprints on his mind like a strong mysterious enchantment, mesmerising his senses with a magnetic force.
In this moment Rascal loses himself in the moment and it’s the other person that only matters to him. His emotions run higher and his excitement blinds his reason - it feels great.
Rascal starts following the beautiful girl, gravitating towards her as if bound by an invisible magnetic connection. Rascal is overwhelmed by the strong rush of feelings in an attempt to get hold of the mysterious beauty.
The stranger and the girl end up on a bench in a park. Both of them connect in an intimate way, forgetting their surrounding and embracing the moment. While enjoying each other’s company blissful peace pours down on them, making the moment a magical experience for one another.
Wish for change
Rascal discovers a new and more profound reality by meeting the girl. He starts longing after the experience which puts his current life into perspective. His habits are no more that important to him and he wishes to take his life into a new direction. That’s the point where his own nature double-crosses him.
Automatization of habits
All life long Rascal has unwittingly been cultivating his negative desires until the urges became automatised in their expression and strong enough to appear as if they developed their own life. His habits have been established this way, including his desire to steal.
Now Rascal realises he has to pay the price. He is not the king of his world. In fact, he has never been. It’s that until now he didn’t have any motive to change his habits, so he let the routine play out its dynamics.
After developing a wish to change Rascal is confronted with the full spectrum of his habits that added up over the years. The king’s treasure turns out to be a burden, a pile of garbage made of bad habits.
Mechanicality of habits
The mechanical impulses constantly feed back to Rascal, and they demand a repeated expression, growing stronger every time he yields to them. Rascal’s new decision, his new life-changing intention, is too faint to stand ground against those powerful habits he submitted himself to for so long. That’s why he can’t resist the kleptomaniac impulse and steals again. This time he clearly realises it goes against his own will and he's not happy about that.
Suppression & defense mechanisms
Perhaps the most brutal realisation Rascal has to make is the admission that he has been deceiving himself for so long. He lied to himself by providing seemingly rational explanations for emotional impulses and habits that aren’t rationally driven but occur as automatic reactions to outer circumstances.
The suppression can become extreme to an extent that you have to find an outlet for the expression of your impulses. This results in distorted, grotesque forms of behaviour, such as kleptomania.
It is clearly a mechanism to protect yourself from the negative habits and from the inner wounds that you caused to yourself by developing, strengthening and expressing those negative habits in the first place.
Bruised and enslaved
Inner wounds & coping structures
An emotional complex is the result of inner wounds from the past. This forces you to compensate for the inner emptiness and to create coping structures and defence mechanisms protecting you from experiencing even more harm. It turns out that the ego isn’t the king of his universe but a string puppet of its own creations which are in fact emotional wounds and coping structures.
Bad tendencies are based on false beliefs - illusions in your mind wrapped in emotional complexes. Beliefs about yourself and the world are the basis of your behaviour. Rascal's most striking ones are the illusions of neediness and insatiability.
If your desired object or person is taken away from you, you lose the cause that has given you emotional-mental stimulation. In other words you yielded and gave your power away to an external object in the hope of becoming happy as a result. And you believe that those external concrete objects are worth striving for because they imagine them making you happy at the end.
Such a life is a constant fear of losing what seemingly gives you comfort. Despite this fact Rascal bends to the illusionary attraction of neediness as a result of his lack of understanding and poor life experience.
If you make your happiness and inner sovereignty dependent on external physical objects, persons or circumstances, then you will never be happy. Life is a changing mosaic and things that you strive for today lose their power of attraction tomorrow. You remain with unfulfilled desires, feeling drained, trying to grab something that just slips out of your reach.
HAppiness from within
However, what you really strive after is not happiness derived from external objects, but happiness coming from within your self-initiated physical, emotional and mental activities. High feelings and inner richness are a result of active inner life, not of desperate grabbing after outward appearances.
Projection of desires
You strive for the compensation of your inner emptiness. As a result of feeling inadequate and deriving no values from within yourself you become hungry for outer satisfaction.
Rascal’s ignorance of true inner values makes him search for stimulation in the outside world. He wants to hold on to objects, own them as otherwise the stimulated high would pass away very quickly. Insatiability is a distorted longing for a lacking inner character quality that he tries to account for by hoarding and consuming.
Stealing and cheating helps Rascal suppress the inner emptiness and gain a temporary, artificial stimulation that overrides the existing inner hole and the emotional complex of inadequacy.
Suppression and defence mechanisms are quite common human features. The expression of a habit means a rising inner tension which if discharged outwardly gives a sense of relief.
Maintaining the struggle
If you wish to change a bad habit, you shouldn't strive to express it in the most obvious way. This requires a strong will that manages to endure the inner tension without really doing anything about that. This is true strength.
Ideals & idols
Rascal needs to free himself from his emotional prison by training the self-determination of his will. He achieves this by striving after an ideal. He uses his acquaintance with the beautiful girl and the wonderful experience in the park as a focal point for his mind from which he derives the necessary strength to stand ground against the unwelcome emotional habits.
By becoming more aware Rascal is less exposed to the mechanical workings of his habitual nature, and can take conscious decisions on what to focus his attention from moment to moment. His egoistic structures and defence mechanisms are still operating, but they have lost their initial power over him and will eventually weaken and dissolve over time.
The key is the constant repetition of new intentions and their eventual translation into action to change bad habits.