Why do I think this article is so important? Because it explains in a condensed essay what the source of human difficulties is and what you can do about it.
There is a saying of Jesus that says, “blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God.” And then in another place, in John the 10th chapter, he says, “If you knew you were blind then you could see, but since you think you see, you are blind.” That isn’t double talk. The point being made is that there is an inner illumination, an awakening to clarity that enables a person to see beyond the false self that most people think is who they are. The blindness has to do with the limitations on clear seeing, clear perceiving, direct knowing, deep realizations of truth, and pure awareness. We must first peel back the veil causing that kind of blindness.
What creates the blindness is a false self that we so easily get trapped by, and that is what prevents us from seeing or connecting with the “true self.” It has been given many names by many people. It is also called the “essential self,” “authentic self,” “awakened self,” “divine or sacred essence,” “enlightened self,” “higher self,” or “the soul.” The false self is also known by other names such as the “small self,” “the persona,” “the impostor,” “the veiled self,” “the small mind,” “the illusion of self,” or the ego. Some also affectionately call it “Mini me,” Because it embodies the smallness and limited self of everything a person thinks and believes him or herself to be.
The important distinction is that the false self is not the true self, and the way to get to the true self is to dis-identify from all the characteristics of the false self. The important question to ask yourself is, “How do I do that?”
WHO ARE YOU?
If we ask people the fundamental question, “Who am I?” you might hear responses like they are a failure, a mistake, an artist, a musician, a Catholic, a liberal, a pacifist, a scientist, a son, a daughter, a teacher, a doctor, a parent, a person named John Smith, an alcoholic, an enlightened being. etc. These are all traits of the small self or false self.
The false self is constructed of many external identities. Much of them are defined by what a society or culture values or doesn’t value. Some things are thought to be good and some bad. The identities of the small self, or the ego, spring from what the small self believes it needs.
Here’s what I mean. First and foremost, the false self or ego is a survival mechanism, and so most of its needs are rooted in whatever supports its survival. That would include underlying fears and insecurity which lead one to seek safety and security, and which also can give rise to the need for control, or drive the quest for power. If all of these things are thought to be within acceptable parameters then the person will also likely pursue pleasure, affection, and recognition. If these needs are not met, then the other drives engage such as anger, hatred, depression, guilt, greed, pride, lust, apathy, and many others.
Everyone chooses to manifest these traits in unique ways creating their personality and stories of tragedy and conquest. Most all of these seem to arise automatically and spontaneously and a person feels caught and trapped by them. Furthermore, if these drives are not held in check they will progress and multiply.
IF I’M NOT THAT, THEN WHO AM I?
The true self on the other hand is a little difficult to put into words since those who developed the English language seemingly did not know their true selves very well and therefore never developed a language to describe it. In any case there do not seem to be adequate words to define or explain it so we grasp at other words in an attempt to do so.
However, one thing we can say is that the true self is connected with all creation; in fact, all existence, in a way most are unaware of. This is called unity consciousness and it creates a sense of being unified or one with all there is while transcending the pettiness of the false self. When you live in this state you tend to have less of the drives of the false self which are primarily about survival of the separate individual.
WHAT THE TRUE SELF (SOUL) IS LIKE
A person awakened to the true self also has a sense of deeper awareness and perception. Situations and people are seen without judgment or need to control. There is more of a broad-minded approach to everything, and there is a natural emergence of essential goodness in the forms of peace, love, patience, kindness, generosity, and other virtues. The other major area opened as the true self emerges is being a creative conduit for the higher expressions that can come through a person.
Certainly most people may have felt a connection with their True Self at times. It has always been with us and in those moments of inspiration, insight, and peak experiences we touch it; perhaps while observing a rainbow, or a sunset, or a butterfly, or watching your children or animals play, or while listening to music, or holding someone you love. These are the reminders of who we really are and they call to us to connect more.
When you are absorbed in a moving piece of music you are not thinking about survival or anger. You are not concerned about what others think of you or even what you think of yourself. You are enraptured in the flowing and unfolding of the sheer beauty of the music. When the music ends the false self gradually comes back into expression, but we have been changed in some ways. And we will seek that experience again through another piece of music or something else.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE EGO
So we have a false self that we must let go of in order to discover the treasures of the true self which are hidden under the many traits and layers of the false self. Despite its many qualities and mechanisms the false self (ego) has not been able to resolve its deepest concerns. However, if we come to the false self with compassion and a healing presence to address the pain, suffering, and struggling we find the identifications begin to melt away.
As we embrace ourselves with forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love the false self relaxes its grip of fear and allows itself to merge into the healing presence of the true self. This is what I call the soul merge process or the soul solution. There is a soul merge program at this link.
Gradually, we surrender our resistance and disengage from the relentless drives for survival of the ego, and it relaxes and melts into eternal completion in love and light.
Then, out of that process a new being emerges. This is sometimes called being born again, but not in the way today’s Christians usually think of that process. It is much more than an idea or a metaphor. It is a transformational process that is profound. It is an awakening to a new reality like the phoenix rising from the ashes of the dead-end ego-driven life to take flight into a new way of living free from the needs, projections, judgments, and reactions of the false self. The ego disappears and the true self emerges. The false self with all its identifications, beliefs, conclusions, and reactions merges into the pure light of truth and vanishes. The Eastern term is liberation. The ego is liberated and a person’s consciousness shifts into an enlightened state.
HOW DO YOU GET THERE?
Ultimately the way there is through surrender. Ultimately, it is the only way. Surrender in this context means to completely and totally let go of all thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have held on to. This process is addressed by other words in other philosophies and religions. To the Christians it is known as Kenosis which is a Greek word that means emptying of the self. The Buddhists say, “try but don’t try.” The Hindu’s say release attachments. Some just say, “Let go.”
You can acknowledge your willingness to let go at any time in any number of ways. For instance, one technique that will help you is holding a word or phrase on your lips that helps you connect with your true self and divine nature. This is perhaps one of the easier ways. The way this is done is through repeating your chosen word or phrase prayerfully many, many times. You can repeat words such as, “deep love,” “Peace,” “Stillness,” “Oneness,” or, one of the sacred names of God. One phrase I have used many times is “I feel the love and light of my soul deeply in my heart.” Each time you repeat the word or phrase you surrender more and more deeply into all that the words mean. It is better to pick one word or phrase that is meaningful to you and stick with it, rather than switching around.
Just remember no matter what the question or problem, the answer is always the same: surrender and let go. We offer many programs to help you on your life journey including private phone sessionsand all-meditation retreats.