18 January 2008

Who Am I? Who Has the Answer?

You can live a lifetime and, at the end of it, know more about other people than you know about yourself.” -- Beryl Markham

Who Am I? Who Has the Answer? A Question on the Spiritual Journey
Who am I? Who is the I who calls you home?
Most of us have a nodding acquaintance with the true self, the one who is hidden behind doors to which our ego has the key. The ego would like us believe that the hundreds of thousands of often critical thoughts it feeds us and the accompanying whirlwind of emotions are the true stuff of our being. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The ego keeps us prisoner of its neurotic habits
The ego keeps us stuck in patterns that do not serve our true self. Much if not all of the ego’s life is as unsubstantial as smoke.

Methinks the ego doth protest too much!
Consider this: it is a lovely day. You are on a walk. The sky is blue. The air is warm. A gentle breeze blows. Birds sing. Frogs croak. Your thoughts are happy, reflective of the beauty that surrounds you. There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with the moment.

Enemies mount an assault
Unbeknownst to you, enemies are mounting an assault, subtle at first. It begins this way. (Or some variation of what follows!) You think of another such day when you were out walking with your beloved. Which makes you think of the time you were sitting and sipping wine with said beloved and he/she said, as he/she always does. And God, that made you furious. He/she just loves to make little of things that are important to you. And you’re really sick of it. As if he/she is some beacon of goodness and light, not to mention intelligence. What are you doing with such a loser anyway? But then aren’t you always picking losers? It’s always been that way and it will always be that way. You’re the loser, actually. Your life is one dumb move after the other, just like the time when…………. says, __________________ (you fill in the blank).

You might as well be walking in the midst of a hurricane for all the Beauty Surrounding You Matters!

The gorgeous day has, for all intents and purposes, vanished. And you are feeling about as terrible as you’ve every felt. One bad memory after another starts cascading and, well, you’d be better off dead….

An Exercise
Thought patterns like this (although not always so extreme) make up a huge percentage of our inner reality. If you think that isn’t so, try this:

Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Just the in and out of your breath. Thoughts will come cascading in. Stories actually, that your mind, which is addicted to thinking, spins without hesitation. If you catch these stories and watch them – become the observer of your own thoughts – you will be shocked at the number of judgmental thoughts and negative jaunts your mind takes you on.

These negative thoughts have become your reality. But they are not who you are.
Observing your thoughts and not identifying with them, noticing them as a thought pattern that is taking away and belittling you, is a huge step toward opening the door of inner truth.
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