One Jackal Finger to Three Giraffe Fingers
Much of the time we all find ourselves living in judgmental, “jackal” consciousness. That is, we point the one finger outward at other people as we judge and criticize how stupid they are. How inconsiderate. How mean-spirited! We think they should be more kind. They should be more spiritually evolved. They should be more understanding, caring and sensitive.
You’ve Heard the Old Saying
When we point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at us. Did you notice they are usually pointing right back at your heart? The four fingers (one outward; three inward) give us a general idea of how to balance the time and energy between looking outward and inward. To strike a balance between jackal and giraffe consciousness. If one finger represents about 25% of the time we spend in judgmental, jackal consciousness, then the other three fingers represent about 75% of the time and energy.
Welcome to the Jackal Theater
So in this example, one finger is pointing out to judge and criticize others for not being as evolved or compassionate as we think they should be. We might spend 15 minutes thinking that way, enjoying the jackal theater show. The jackal theater is where we let the mind vent all its hurt, fear, anger, rage and judgment outward toward the bad guys. We usually do this privately, to ourselves, and maybe to a trusted friend.
A Simple Jackal & Giraffe Ratio
For every minute we spend in the jackal theater, it would take three minutes in the inward mode to balance it out. That’s because there are three fingers pointing inward to our heart, reminding us to observe what is really going on with us. This observation process leads to awareness of our heart and then our soul’s consciousness. So, that’s 25% of our time pointing a finger, and then about 75% of our time and energy devoted to the introspective, inner processes. It’s no wonder that part takes 75% of the time and energy. It is sometimes much harder to fully accept responsibility for meeting our own needs, to find inner peace, than it is to point a finger outward.
So Easy to Get Stuck
The jackal thoughts of the mind tend to keep us mired in the one-finger-outward mode. Our jackal thoughts will howl away and keep us caught up in the judgmental loop, until we start to look at our deeper feelings and needs. That’s why the jackal thoughts repeat over and over, louder and louder. They are saying we have unfulfilled needs that desperately want some attention.
Sadly, the jackals seem to forget that repetitive judgment mode is painful and toxic to our well-being. This is especially true when they howl for weeks, months or years about the same painful episode. Ultimately it is up to us to remember to focus on our feelings and needs. In this way we can shift or pivot out of the one-finger mode.
Avoid Judging All the Jackal Thoughts
The one-finger mode is just a first step. It is not necessarily wrong or bad, as it does serve its purpose. It reminds us we do have a reactive mind that needs some attention and empathy. Giving deep self-empathy for the pain actually helps us shift out of the pain more quickly. Seeking empathy from a trusted source (a friend or counselor) can also help us shift out of the pain. Being in a state of reflective meditation can also help to move us out of one-finger mode, too.
If we stay in that painful mode indefinitely, it digs us a deep pit which gets harder and harder to climb out of. The jackal thoughts repeat in a vicious loop, louder and louder. The jackal consciousness becomes more and more toxic and even results in our becoming bitter.
Once we shift our attention inward, we then have more time and energy to devote to the three-finger mode. Remember, the three fingers are pointing back at your own heart. It’s a much happier place to focus when you get tired of the jackal theater show in your mind. (Or when your friends and supporters get tired of hearing your jackal comments.)
You can always choose to walk out of a movie theater if the film is repetitive or boring or not in harmony with your needs. Likewise, if your own self-created jackal theater is painfully repetitive and not in harmony with your deeper needs…you always have the choice to leave the theater. Follow the three fingers. They will always take you back to observation, and eventually back to your own heart.