Yesterday we started to get a sense for how the false self builds its identity. We discussed how this identity is built from attachments. Finally we touched on a few of the external things that false self uses to create its false identity.
Today we will continue the list of things false self thinks we are but true self knows that we are not. Let’s go!
The List Continues
Yesterday we ended the daily post with a few of the external situations that false self uses to construct its false identity. Here are a few more things that you are not:
You are not your car. Yesterday we discussed the idea of you are not your possessions. We also looked at the idea that you are not your clothes. Another common thing that we think we are is our car.
We do not literally think we are something with four wheels and an engine. We are attached to the image that the car gives us. If you think about the example from yesterday about clothes, many of us approach our automobiles in the same manner.
A car is something that is external that can project an image. Like becoming attached to the image clothing gives us, we become attached to the image the car gives us. Then we transfer that attachment from the image to the car and we start to create a false identity based on our car. As with any attachment this will eventually lead to unhappiness.
You are not your political party. This one is an example of being attached to our thoughts. We have discussed the general idea of attachment to thoughts elsewhere on this site. Now it is time to take a closer look at some specific thoughts and ideas to which we develop attachments.
Many of us choose a political party that we feel represents our view point. That is as it should be. When we develop an attachment to that party and incorporate that attachment as a part of our identity we have doomed ourselves to unhappiness.
When we say “I am a Republican”, or “I am a Democrat” we are most likely showing an attachment to our political party. We can be just as attached to being an independent. Once again it is not the favoring of a political party; it is creating an attachment to the idea of being a member of that party and incorporating that attachment into our false identity.
You are not your religious beliefs. Just like the example of attaching to a political affiliation, we do the same thing with our religious beliefs. We determine which religion we agree with and then attach to that religion. Next we view that attachment as part of our false self identity.
It is not the decision to choose a religion that creates the false self identity. It is the choice to create an attachment that creates the false self identity.
Like other attachments, false self feels it is being threatened when anyone questions the object of the attachment. In this case, when false self is questioned about its religious beliefs it feels the need to defend or attack the source of the question.
When we think about this last statement it explains the source of most of the conflict in the world for most of known history. One group is threatened because another group either questions or will not accept their religious beliefs. The attachment to those beliefs causes them to attack those who don’t share the same belief. And on it goes.
You are not your age. Another common attachment is to our age. This one is a combination of attachment to our body and attachment to our thoughts.
We have preconceived ideas of how we are supposed to behave, look, and feel when we are certain ages. We turn those preconceived ideas into attachments. Those attachments become a part of our false self identity and we become trapped by our preconceived ideas of what being a certain age means.
You are not who people tell you to be. All of our lives we are told by the people around us who or what we should be. Our parents tell us to be a doctor, lawyer, etc. Our siblings tell us who we should be. Our spouse tells us who we should be. Our co-workers tell us who we should be. After we receive all this input is it any wonder we have no idea who we are?
Along the way we attempt to be what other people tell us we should be. Sometime we do this to make them happy. Last month we learned that we can never make someone happy. After awhile many of us quit trying to be what others tell us to be.
However, many times we do not release the attachments that we developed while we were trying to be what others wanted us to be. Please review what others have told you to be and see if that is who you really want to be. Don’t worry; you won’t lose anything except your false identity.
You are not your child or spouse. Many of us develop a false sense of identity from our attachments to our spouse or children. This can come out in many different ways. Let’s take a look at two examples.
We all know about parents who get overly involved in the sport activities of their children. We have all heard of or witnessed parents who behave very aggressively towards coaches or referees who “are not treating their child properly”.
All that is happening here is that the parent is so attached to the behavior of the child that they view the child as themselves. Their false self perceives anything that happens to the child as happening to itself and must defend or attack any hurt to the child as if false self were being hurt.
We have all heard of or experienced someone who will not let their spouse say or do something “because it embarrasses me.” This behavior comes from an attachment to the spouse where the spouse’s behavior is viewed as part of the false self identity. Just like the previous example, the false self identity is defending itself from a perceived injury.
You are not your job. Finally, we are not our job. How many of us have created a false self identity surrounding our job. I am truck driver so I must do the following things. I am a doctor so I must have a certain type of house or car.
Hopefully after all these examples we are starting to see through some of these false self identities. A doctor can have any car or house that that fits the way they want to live. A truck driver can behave in many ways that their fellow truck drivers might not understand.
Our job is just what we are doing right now. For some of us it may be part of what our true self wants to accomplish during this lifetime. For most of us it is what we are doing to make money. Either way, it is not part of our identity. It is just what we do with our time.
If we really are accomplishing goals determined by true self and lost our job, true self would not care. We know that we can find another way to accomplish those goals. We know that by losing one job we might very well find a better way to accomplish those goals.
That’s all for today. Please start to look at your false self identity and begin to see how living in that false identity has been painful. There is no reason to live an unhappy life. Please choose to live a happy life.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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