The title for this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post is ‘Intrinsic or Extrinsic?’ as it pertains to value. Although this question pertains to value as a whole, for the most part I’m looking at it from the perspective of self-value. After all, our views of our entire world are based on the ideas we hold about our own Being, the relationship we have with our Selves. At the same time, the very idea of valuing ourselves becomes extrinsic in a way because we break the Self into two halves – the one who is being valued and the one who is ascertaining the value of that which is being examined. Seth wrote:
“Let us consider the idea of original sin, all of the colorful forms it may take within your body of concepts, and the ways in which these will affect your behavior and experience.
“The concept itself existed long before Christianity’s initiation, and was told in various forms throughout the centuries and in all civilizations. On the side of consciousness, it is a tale symbolically representing the birth of the conscious mind in the species as a whole, and the emergence of self-responsibility. It also stands for the separation of the self who perceives – and therefore judges and values – from the object which is perceived and evaluated. It represents the emergence of the conscious mind and of the strongly oriented individual self from that ground of being from which all consciousness comes.
“It portrays the new consciousness seeing itself unique and separate, evolving from the tree of life and therefore able to examine its fruits, to see itself for the first time as different from others, like the serpent who crawled upon the surface of the earth. Man came forth as a creature of distinctions. In so doing he quite purposefully detached himself, in your terms now, from the body of his planet in a new way. A part of him very naturally yearned for that primeval knowing unknowingness that had to be abandoned, in which all things were given – no judgments or distinctions were necessary, and all responsibilities were biologically foreordained.
“He saw himself as rising above the serpent, which was a symbol of unconscious knowledge. Yet the serpent would always mystify and attract man, even though he must stand upon its head, symbolically speaking, and rise from its knowledge.
“With the birth of this consciousness came conscious responsibility for the fruits of the planet. Man became the caretaker.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 646.
“The inner ego …always identifies with its source-identity as a beloved, individualized portion of the universe. It is aware of the universal love that is its heritage.
“It is also aware of the infinite power and strength that composes the very fabric of its being. Through being made aware of these facts, the exterior ego can begin to feel a quicker sense of support and nourishment. The knowledge can let it relax, let go, so that it feels its life couched and safe, and know itself to be indeed a beloved child of the universe, both ancient and young at once, with an identity far beyond the annals of time.
“It is of great value, then, that each person remember this universal affiliation. Such a reminder can often allow the inner self to send needed messages of strength and love through various levels, appearing as inspiration, dreams, or simply bursts of feeling. The inner ego draws intent and continuous support from the universal consciousness, and the more the exterior ego keeps that fact in mind, the greater its own sense of stability, safety and self-esteem.” ~ The Way Toward Health, March 19, 1984.
Speaking for myself, for much of my life my sense of value was almost entirely extrinsic. When I was younger I was mostly praised for my intellect and so I actively developed that part of my self. At the same time, when I was growing up I couldn’t often afford to pay other people to do things for me so I learned how to do them myself. In time people became more and more amazed at all of the things I could ‘do’ and generally surprised when there was something I didn’t ‘know’. I didn’t overtly encourage this; I have always been adamant about keeping my ego in check, but at the same time, I learned to associated my knowledge and abilities with attention from others, and gained a sense of value from that. Of course, when one depends on others to find one’s own value, then one is also at the mercy of others when one’s accomplishments are found lacking. Seth again:
“You do not have all the facts, you see, at that intellectual level, so if you base all of your judgments – all of your judgments – at that level alone, then you can be quite shortsighted.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 2, session 922.
Now from Seth’s perspective, a sense of value is intrinsic to everything. That such could be in question is a ludicrous presumption. Value and the fulfillment of what one values is at the very heart of creation. Seth again:
“Value fulfillment itself is most difficult to describe, for it combines the nature of a loving presence – a presence with the innate knowledge of its own divine complexity – with a creative ability of infinite proportions that seeks to bring to fulfillment even the slightest, most distant portion of its own inverted complexity. Translated into simpler terms, each portion of energy is endowed with an inbuilt reach of creativity that seeks to fulfill its own potential in all possible variations – and in such a way that such a development also furthers the creative potentials of each other portion of reality.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1, session 884.
“Value fulfillment means that each individual, each entity, of whatever nature, spontaneously, automatically seeks those conditions that are suited to its own fulfillment, and to the fulfillment of others.
“In the most basic of terms, no one’s fulfillment can be achieved at the expense of another’s. Fulfillment does not happen that way. Your very lives seek the best direction for fulfillment. Our work seeks it own best direction for fulfillment.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 2, session 922.
“Individually and globe-wide, value fulfillment is in a fashion the purpose of all events. Value fulfillment, again, is the impetus that drives the wheels of nature, so to speak. As the origin of your world did indeed emerge from the ‘world of dreams,’ so the true root of all events lie in such subjective activities, and the answers to individual challenges and problems are always within your grasp, ready to appear in physical actuality.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 2, session 932.
The shift for me from finding my value extrinsically in others to finding it intrinsically has been a long one, but I get there more and more every day. As I shift and grow my world shifts and grows with me. There was a time when I felt that my ‘job’ was to get results for my boss, and it was something I did very, very well. It also meant that I regularly worked over a hundred hours a week. It was not unusual for me to accumulate five months of overtime within a five-month period, and that’s not including ‘time and a half’. I got results. I pushed my staff hard, but I pushed myself harder. I also paid for it, in several different ways.
Back in about 1990 I woke up one morning and my resting pulse had gone from 65 to 120, literally overnight. After undergoing a number of tests the doctors told me that I had contracted ‘Grave’s Disease’ – an overactive thyroid condition. My heart beat so strongly that if I lied down on my back and put a cup on my chest, the cup would rock back and forth. Now Grave’s Disease affects about 1/10th of 1% of people in North America and it’s about 8:1 female to male, so I felt really ‘special’. Personally I figured I was simply pushing myself so hard that my body got used to doing it all by itself. This isn’t a post about Grave’s Disease, but if you want more information on that you’re welcome to go to my old Grave’s Disease site, which my former ISP kindly left up. Still, when you can literally hear your own heart beat, it makes you more aware of your own body in a very tangible way. It also made me stop and take a hard look at many aspects of my life.
I first discovered Seth back in the 1980s or thereabouts, but I discovered Abraham much later. Abraham’s message is much simpler overall than Seth’s, but they do have some similar things to say. For example:
“Everything exists for joy. There is not one other reason for life than joy. We’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, because nobody other than All-That-Is is watching. In other words, we’re not trying to get brownie points from some other galaxy. We’re not trying to get someplace else; we’re not trying to get it done, because there is no ending–we cannot get it done. Everything exists for the purpose of joy in the moment.” – Abraham-Hicks
“Your Inner Being would want you to manifest everything that you decide that you want. Your Inner Being would want you to know that you have value and the ability to have or be or do anything. Your Inner Being would want you to fulfill every wish and whim that you could identify.” – Abraham-Hicks
This was a much different way of living than I knew; it had an elegant simplicity, and one that appealed to me. Still, as I began to discover more of a sense of intrinsic value for myself, I found myself drifting away from any measure of value that could be applied extrinsically. From our beginning post for this subject: “Work is, by many, considered to have extrinsic value. We work because we need money in order to survive.” That seems like a poor measure of value to me, but it’s the one on which much of our society is based. As I moved more toward an intrinsic sense of self-value, I moved further and further away from (what I believed to be) society’s estimation of my value. Still, I sometimes have a propensity for extremes, with the pendulum swinging from one side to the other. I was no longer as willing to accept the judgments that others may or may not have wished to place upon me, so I simply moved myself further from that possibility.That’s created its own set of difficulties over the years, albeit of a different nature.
With where I am now within myself, the pendulum seems to be swinging back more toward the center. It’s not so much that others are valuing me more than before as that I’m changing my perspective of what ‘value’ other people’s assessment of me really has. There’s a saying: “What you think of me is none of my business.”
So… I feel like I’ve waded out to the middle of the pond so to speak, with no clear idea of how to get this blog post back to shore! However you find your value for yourself, it is my wish for you that you come to see yourself as being valuable just because you’re uniquely ‘you’, just because you ARE. That is reason enough. I’ll leave the last word to Seth…
“You are born loving. You are born compassionate. You are born curious about yourself and your world. Those attributes also belong to natural law. You are born knowing that you possess a unique, intimate sense of being that is itself, and that seeks its own fulfillment and the fulfillment of others. You are born seeking the actualization of the ideal. You are born seeking to add value to the quality of life, to add characteristics, energies, abilities to life that only you can individually contribute to the world, and to attain state of being that is uniquely yours, while adding to the value fulfillment of the world.” ~ The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, session 862.
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.