The Michael Motivation Cards

22 Self Destruction

22 Self Destruction
What this card means... Reckless with health or risk, this card calls you to notice dangerous extremes. What seems out of control? Will it crash?


Self Destruction as defined in the Michael Teaching

Card messages in the Illuminated position.

+ Sacrifice

(Altruism, reparation, oblation)

  1. Sacrifice for the benefit of someone else is often an act of true altruism. Give in the spirit of “what I preserve in someone else is more important to me than my direct well being.” Could more be gained if you sacrifice for someone else? Stop thinking of yourself first.
  2. Is someone asking you to sacrifice something for them? Make sure you know what is trying to be achieved? Don’t sell yourself out!
  3. If sacrifice brings you that bittersweet joy of having given something valuable to another, then it is a gift.”
Quotes signifying the Overleaf in this pole
  • “Nothing could be more grotesquely unjust than a code of morals, reinforced by laws, which relieves men from responsibility for irregular sexual acts, and for the same acts drives women to abortion, infanticide, prostitution, and self-destructionSuzanne LaFollette MD, Feminist
  • “I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.” Fire Chief Edward F. Croker 
  • “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” Oscar Wilde 
  • “The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy. The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him.” Mahatma Gandhi

Card messages associated with Shadow position.

– Suicide

(self-critical, extreme, deplorable, mutilation, immolation, self-hatred, perversion, forfeit, forego)

  1. Suicide is all too prevalent when life seems worthless. It may occur in a single act or a series of small ones, resulting in implosion. Is someone daring death to eek-out some value or aliveness?
  2. If you see a situation where someone is about to crash and burn, the best thing to do is get a fire extinguisher.
Quotes signifying the Overleaf in this pole
  • “Self-destruction is the effect of cowardice in the highest extreme.  Daniel Defoe
  • “In truth, you like the pain. You like it because you believe you deserve it, and the fact that you’re putting yourself through pain means you are doing what you, by all rights, ought to do. You’re doing something right. …Your ability to withstand pain is your claim to fame. It is ascetic, holy. It is self-control. It is masochism an masochism is pleasurable to many, but we don’t like to think about that. We don’t like to think that a person could have a twisted auto-erotic life going on, be both a top and a bottom, and experience both at once: the pleasure of beating the hell out of a body shackled at the wrists sand the pleasure of being the body and knowing we deserve each blow.”  Wasted by Marya Hornbacher 
  • “In rock stardom there’s an absolute economic upside to self-destruction.” Courtney Love

Relevance in the Michael Teaching

Edgar Allan Poe suffered from Self Destruction as defined in the Micheal Teaching

Edgar Allan Poe suffered from Self Destruction as defined in the Micheal Teaching

Pain of all types is the hallmark of Self Destruction. A fear not of pain, but as having been out-of-control to stop it, of having been too insignificant to be rescued from it, or actually being blame for it, foster feelings of self hate. No one who enjoys their lives wants to careen into continuous circumstances where they might die. But for the person, or the family or the nation suffering from decimation of some sort, then the resulting strategy employs harsh and even cruel behavior upon itself to scale the wall of unworthiness it perceives itself to be. Trauma is almost always the imprint which sways the personality into the grip of Chief Feature. Trauma brings on “negative attention” and as such the pattern is set to attract it by any number of demonstrative or so-called “anti-social” behaviors, The Pariah, the one who perceives himself as being bad, or as having bad luck suffers from a self critical and intense need to prove some kind of worth, while thinking themselves worthless. Somehow, their own failings and not the failings of others, are interpreted as the cause of their suffering.

Some might wonder why Essence might allow, let alone lead a personality to Self Destruction. The alienation to the Personality provides the Essence with a means of self punishment, a means of addressing feelings of guilt or shame from a prior past life event, as to make the struggle a crucible for restitution with self. Renouncing any belief in personal worth, this person might characterize the concept of “low havingness.” Whereas, it’s counterpart Greed, tends to perceive any lack as an appetite for more and therefore as a mindset it exhibits aspects of “high havingness” as seen by the tendency for acquisition and consumption. There of course are diametrically opposed to the rejection of things (or at least lack of satisfaction in) that the Self Destruction feels.

The phrase “it is better to give than receive” is an immutable core program in the positive pole. Giving becomes a mechanism for feeling like whatever worth you have is spent in a way that achieves some atonement within. Gestures or gifts that deplete ones own ability to live or reduce one’s material well being reveal a self destructive undercurrent in everyone.

Implosion happens to the negative poles of Suicide. For “it is all about me” in this polarity: painfully, miserably, worthlessly, and completely without comprehension or availability of love coming to them from others. Isolated by a constant struggle within, pain serves as a means for regulating power and control. Thus by all counts, while suicide is considered a “selfish” act, it might as well be thought of as the Ego trying desperately to finally locate a sense of a loving self in a see of self -loathing and hopelessness.

When a person is able to confront the fallacy of total separateness, and challenge the view that they themselves are paradoxically to blame for the situation, yet powerful enough to have manifested the situation to themselves; they can reach the understanding that worth does not depend upon who notices you or deems your worthy, but that within oneself is the power to forgive and deserve something better than pain.

Famous Persons

Vincent Van Gogh, Lady Gaga, Courtney Love, Sid Vicious, John Belushi, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Diana, Princess of Wales, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Christina Ricci, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Janis Joplin, Evel Kneval, John Lennon, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fiona Apple, Judy Garland, Lennie Bruce, Edgar Allan Poe

Cultural Relevance

Edouard_Manet_LeSuicideWhenever one finds themselves or life wanting, to the degree to which it might seem hateful, or in need of strict or rigid discipline, the degree to which that practice excludes any of life’s sweetness, will cause this pathology of Self Destruction to emerge. Most specifically, the Masochist who will internalize the suffering and hold themselves to blame for any perceived flaws. Or at the other extreme the Sadist; who sliding to the negative pole of Greed, takes a sort of fiendish delight in projecting and inflicting their pain outward onto others and relishing the identification. Like the Marquis de Sade, it gives them an experience of extreme power over another person and thus inflating their own. Jeffrey Dahmer’s murderous rituals exemplify this struggle turned upon others.

The array of self destructive behaviors or tendencies vary in social rejection or acceptance. One extreme outlet of self rejection, Anorexia Nervosa destroys the very sinew of the physical body but to the one starving themselves, the control exerted over themselves seems a fitting punishment for being “fat”. Yet, society not only accepts this waif like appearance but venerates it as a standard of beauty, but media and sexual selection rewards this affliction with inflated positive attention. The extreme work-a-holic sacrificer, the one who seems to be on a mission, held up as a model of selfless virtue, sacrifices their own life in the name of some dutifully owed perfection as if they were doing penance for some shortcoming or crime unnamed. Such behavior is lauded and encouraged by those who would mercilessly consume the life force of another and perpetuate the mindset that self sacrifice were virtuous, while the scientist and psychologist proclaim the total contradiction to the evolutionary instinct for survival.

Self Destruction Chief Feature - defined by The Michael TeachingThe daredevil takes risks so in the extreme as to create a feeling of aliveness that overcomes the moribund sense of life drudgery. While these seem dangerous or extreme they garner the title “crazy “, or are granted the status as model of fearlessness. When in fact, it is a model of a numbness to pain so conditioned, that to heighten any sensation is to make the person feel alive. And from that aliveness, significant and empowered. Self Immolation or “cutting” oneself is an inflicted form of suffering that bears scars that declare “see I can take it – I am worthy after all.” To a lesser degree, tattooing is a milder expression of this belief, as is piercing. The want to be noticed. They want to be identified. A certain kind of significance arises from being held up as a symbol. Fame is the most extreme form of this isolation.

Self Destruction haunts you as Chief Feature if…

  1. I secretly know I am unworthy and I hate that feeling and myself for having it.
  2. Because of some failing on my part or my body, I was somehow at fault for my childhood trauma.
  3. I’ll show them! I’ll do things that are so outrageous as to blast their stupid ideas and morals out the window.
  4. Pain, at least, reminds me that I am alive.
  5. If I gave my life to a noble cause or saving someone else, then my life would be worthwhile.
  6. Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll could be the motto for where I find the most exhilarating feeling of life.
by Stephen Cocconi © 2012

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