Assistance: Clarification Task and Consolation Task
How do you feel about helping others? Is it something that you do regularly? Have you ever experienced the effects and benefits of helping others?
We all lead busy lives, some of us are extremely busy and we barely have time to think about ourselves and our own needs. On this planet, and in the non-physical reality called multidimensionality, we coexist with other people, and most of the people surrounding us need help.
People need different types of help, ranging from help with homework, getting dressed, opening doors, waiting for someone to cross the street, give directions to a tourist, giving advice to a colleague or talking to your friend who is making the same mistake over and over again. The list is endless as there are infinite ways in which we interact with others, help them and receive their help in return. Whether we reflect over it and whether we have time, we are helping people.
Assistance is an integral part of our busy lives. As we stated above, there are several types of assistance and when studying the evolution of consciousness we could classify two types of assistance that encompass most of the assistantial actions that we experience: The assistance is classified in Clarification Task (CLARITASK) and Consolation Task (CONSOLTASK).
Clarification Task is any kind of assistance where information, or explanation is the basis of the assistantial actions whereas Consolation Task is based on an immediate relief, or comfort, rather than an explanation.
So, let’s look at some examples:
Example 1: friends and politics
You have a friend who is very concerned about politics and reacts in ways that are not helpful to him or anyone around him. He doesn’t like the current political situation, but he’s not doing anything to change it. The only thing he does is instigate discussions with his friends that in the end annoys everyone. Nothing of great value comes out of these discussions.
Well, after you have witnessed the same situation happening over 10 times in the last 3 months, you decide to talk to him and to use Clarification Task. What could you say? You tell the truth. You advise him to be more hands-on, more involved with his local community, to try to make a real change. You explain to him what happens after every discussion, how others are annoyed and how he risks losing his friends if he continues as before.
So, you clearly state what is happening, and you suggest solutions that might be a bit uncomfortable for him, but that can ultimately have the potential to truly change things.
Example 2: weight loss
Your friend has been trying to lose weight for a long time. He has looked at many different types of diet programs, fitness groups, bought several DVDs with exercises, and only talks about gluten free, vegan, fruitarian, Jenny Craig diets, and more.
This friend is doing all these things because he needs to lose weight. But your friend talks about and buys things related to diet only because it makes him feel better, and he thinks that people’s perception will be that he’s doing something about his situation. We could call this a type of behavior a self-defense mechanism. But since you want to help your friend to lose weight, you decide to have a talk with him.
So you think: “Should I continue to listen to these activities and diets or should I just tell him the truth?” You decide to tell the truth. But what is the truth in this case? It’s to explain your friend that, even though he’s putting a lot of effort in preparing to start his diet or exercise regimen, you still see him eating French fries, sugar, chips, and all sorts of junk food and drinks on a daily basis.
You would say to your friend that in the past year he hasn’t lost 1 pound but he actually gained 10. You clarify that the ways in which he is trying to lose weight aren’t working. The only thing he’s doing is making the diet and exercises industry richer! So you tell your friend that you can start to train together and that you will pick him up and go for a walk tomorrow.
Example 3: Financial Dependence
You have a family member who is 40 years old and still depends financially on his family. In theory, this is not necessarily problematic, but if we frame this a bit more it might present a more serious case. If a 40 year-old man isn’t working somebody else must be paying his expenses, so who is paying? If it’s you, maybe a clarification task is in order.
A healthy, intelligent, capable and yet financially dependent 40 year-old man is a problem. Not necessarily for you who is paying for his life, but for himself! Pity doesn’t belong in the world of the Clarification Task! The blame-game, pity, manipulation, moral intrusion and the likes are most likely psychological weapons used by him in order for you to keep paying for him.
Well, if you decide to use clarification, how could that work? You can simply say: “I will pay for another 3 months of your life, so that you can find a job, but after that you are on your own.” This is clarification, pure and simple. Do you think that you need to explain anything to him anything? Well, if you do, you might still be a victim of his manipulation.
Allow him to stand on his own two feet. It will probably not be easy to see him struggle, but it will be necessary. What you are really saying is: “I believe in you, I know you can make it, I cannot keep paying for you because I know you can do better than this.” This is respect. It’s consciential respect towards other people’s skills, intelligence and attributes.
Example 1: Grief and pain
You have a colleague whose father has just passed away. It has been over 30 days but he can’t stop crying. You are working in a cubicle next to her and you can hear him crying. One day you approach him and you give him a hug.
The other day a colleague suggested that you all buy him some flowers, and the boss suggested that he leaves early every day to be with his family. Consolation here consists in supporting his emotions e.g. not giving him a book on how to deal with a loved one’s passing. Consolation is maintaining the current situation, there’s no solution. It’s simply supporting him in his pain.
Example 2: Homeless and money
There’s a homeless person living on the streets near you. You encounter this person every day on your way to work. One day you approach him and tell him that you can find an organization to get him off the streets. He says: No thank you, I’m ok here.
But he asks for money, and you kindly give some to him. Did you improve his life by giving him money? I am afraid you did not. You tried to help him solve his situation but he didn’t want to.
Most likely he knows that he can leave the streets and find a place to live, but he chooses to stay where he is. What else can you do? Maybe prepare an extra portion for lunch and give it to him on your way to work. Consolation helps, but it also maintains the status quo. It doesn’t offer any real change, but it does feel good to do.
Example 3: Appearance and dating
A friend of yours is single. She is such a nice, beautiful person inside and out, but she doesn’t take care of her appearance. She doesn’t take care of her physical appearance, hair, clothing etc.
Her friends say nothing about it, instead they say things like: “If he didn’t appreciate you for you, he is not worthy of you”, “You are a beautiful soul, the right person will come along”. They could all be right, but that’s not the point. The point is that consolation doesn’t encourage improvement, reflection, change or transformation.
Consolation encourages people to conform with the current reality and to think that there’s nothing else that they can do to change it. If you decide to use consolation, in this case, you will not have the strength to suggest any major changes or explanations as to why men are not looking at her with interest.
Instead you go with the flow, maybe you give her a new shirt as a nice gesture but she never wears it. Consolation is related to the fear of suggesting new idea, fear of offending, or fear of being different.
Two approaches for helping others
Claritask (clarification) and consoltask (consolation) are ways of helping, assisting, or communicating assistantial thoughts, emotions and energies towards other people.
Clarification targets thoughts and reasoning, it works with the mentalsoma, our body of discernment. It is a direct, to the point kind of communication. It instigates change, real transformation, and ultimately lucidity, so that the person can turn his or her life around.
Consolation is psychosomatic, it speaks to the emotions, and even though it gives energy, it’s only a temporary solution or a mild relief.
Choosing one or the other very much depends on the needs of the assisted, the circumstances, your level of lucidity, your availability, and resources.
The most important decision we can take though is to start helping others!
Most of our articles are intended to encourage self-reflection. These articles and information are prepared in order to assist you in improving your life. We aim to provide interesting, intriguing and challenging ideas that will unequivocally improve your level of happiness and self-fulfillment.
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Article by Patricia Sousa, in collaboration with Evelyn Malzani.
Photo by Cristian Newman