On the Other Hand

September 11, 2008

Last week I participated in a discussion where one of the participants was struggling to accept the spiritual awakening they were experiencing.  Today we will look at some ideas that can help us to balance our spiritual awakening with our existing beliefs and behaviors.

 

Email distribution

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On the one hand

I was a part of a discussion last week where someone was struggling with some new understandings.  They were saying that they heard a lot of truth in what was being discussed and they were being drawn to that truth.

 

However, this individual was being torn by their current beliefs and behaviors.  Most of us experience the same conflict as we begin to travel our spiritual path.  We have an existing way of living that we think we know.  For some reason we have become unhappy with that life and are searching for something else.  When we find something that resonates with us we can get torn between the two.

 

Today we will look at an example of how to begin the resolution of this internal conflict.  An approach that I have used is to start by placing both hands in front of you.  Imagine one hand – let’s say the right hand – as holding the new understandings.  Imagine the left hand as grasping your current understandings and behaviors.

 

Let’s take a look at the left hand first.  In that hand you have your current understandings of spirituality, religion, your relationships, your family, and your possessions.  Whether you realize it or not, your unhappiness is also in your left hand. 

 

At one time we all thought that everything we ever need would be in this hand.  After all, what more do we need?  We are trained from birth that we do not need anything more than family, religion, possessions, and relationships.

 

Let’s look at the last item in our left hand – our unhappiness.  If everything we needed was in our left hand then unhappiness would not be there.  But because that unhappiness is there we have decided to look outside of that hand.

 

On the other hand

The reason that there is something in our right hand is because of the unhappiness we found in our left hand.  Somewhere we sensed that the unhappiness was strong enough to cause us to look for something else.  That something else became our newly found spiritual path.

 

We have begun to travel that path and have discovered a lot of things that will not fit in our left hand.  We put those discoveries in our right hand and start to ask ourselves what to do with them.  Many of these new understandings are clearly in conflict with what is in our left hand.

 

The problem is that these new understandings resonate very strongly with us.  That resonance is so strong that we know that we cannot drop these new understandings from our right hand.  Now we are being pulled very strongly by the attraction to our right hand.  Yet we are attached to the familiar and comfortable things in our left hand.  No wonder we feel torn between the two.

 

What to do, what to do

The resolution of this feeling of being torn can be a challenge.  There can be many steps, but we will start with the first step.  I am sure that this topic will come up again in future posts.  Anyone who wants to discuss this topic further can make a comment on this post and we can begin the discussion immediately.

 

Here is how I solved the internal conflict between my left and right hands.  It took awhile, but I eventually I came out the other side much more peaceful and happy.

 

My first step was to acknowledge and accept the situation.  In my left hand I had a bunch of stuff that was familiar, but that was causing unhappiness.  In my right hand I had other stuff that was pulling me very strongly.  The stuff in my right hand seemed so truthful, yet I could not let go of what was in my left.

 

Eventually I accepted that my unhappiness was in my left hand along with all the other stuff.  I realized that it was that stuff that was causing the unhappiness.  This did not mean that I could let go of it easily.  It was just a realization, but no action had been taken.

 

Likewise I realized that the stuff in my right was leading me towards my true happiness.  Even though I could not yet let go of the stuff in the left hand, I could try to utilize some of the things in my right hand.

 

At first it was simple things.  Like beginning to see that happiness comes from inside, not outside.  Then I learned more about the true self and the false self.  I looked at what spirituality really is and I even started to understand that fear is a behavior that we learn.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  All these investigations did not happen immediately.  I was very attached to my existing beliefs and behaviors in my left hand.  I would merely dabble my right hand in the water of my new understanding to see what it was like.

 

Gradually I began to see that the only thing in my right hand was my true happiness.  Every time I went back to my left hand the only thing I found was my unhappiness.

 

It took many years of dabbling to convince me to let go of what was in my left hand.  After that it took more years of changing my behavior so that I was no longer holding onto what was in my left hand.

 

Eventually my right hand won and I am much more able to notice when my left hand is holding on.  I am also much happier.

 

Trust yourself

To summarize how to resolve the internal conflict that usually comes when we start on our spiritual path – trust yourself.  Your true self is in your right hand.  Your false self is in your left hand.  Trust that your right hand will guide you towards your true happiness.  After all, your left hand has never given you any happiness.  Why would it start to do so now?

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Learning to Be In the Moment

August 26, 2008

In the last few days one of our readers asked me to talk a bit more about being in the moment.  They wanted some suggestions about how to be in the moment.  So here is that explanation.  Let’s go!

 

True self is always in the moment

In the last few weeks we have discussed at length the ideas of true self and false self.  The link to being in the moment is whether or not we are acting from true self or accepting the unhappiness of false self.

 

When we are operating from true self we are in the moment.  You might ask “how will I know when that happens?”  Here are a few ways to recognize that you are in the moment.

 

The most important way to recognize that you are in the moment is that you are absolutely peaceful and calm.  You are so calm that you do not really care what happens.  Deep inside you know that whatever happens is just fine because you know that you can handle it.  You know that the choices you make are the correct choices and that all you need to do is take the appropriate steps and you will accomplish anything you choose to do.

 

Another way to recognize when you are in the moment is that you do not notice the passage of time.  Whatever you are doing, you have become so involved that you do not realize that several hours have passed.

 

I heard a good example of this recently.  Leonard Bernstein, the conductor and composer, was recounting a time when he was conducting a symphonic performance.  He said that he stepped on the podium and began conducting.  The next thing he remembered was the applause at the end of the event.  He had been in the moment so deeply that several hours had passed without him realizing that passage.

 

Have you ever noticed yourself watching your thoughts or actions?  Whether you realized it or not you were being the “observer”.  There are many spiritual and religious practices that discuss the idea of observation as a way to self mastery.

 

For me, observation is the key to really learning how to be in the moment.  We will discuss observation at greater length tomorrow.  For now just note that whenever you step outside of yourself for the shortest instant and see yourself from a different perspective you are in the moment.  When you catch that glimpse congratulate yourself for that achievement and begin to recognize the feeling, and then repeat this as often as possible.

 

False self is never in the moment

By definition, false self can never be in the moment.  That is why it is false self.  False self is the place where we experience all the things that we do not want to be.  Let’s take a look at a few characteristics of false self and why that is not being in the moment.

 

First of all, whenever we are not happy we are not in the moment.  False self has a myriad of excuses that it decides are reasons for not being happy.  It does not have the possessions that it wants so it is unhappy.  It was awakened in the middle of the night so it is upset that it did not get enough sleep.  And here is the big one.  Someone burned its toast this morning so it must be upset all day about that insult.

 

Why are these things not being in the moment?  Let’s take a closer look at a few of these examples.  See if you can spot the pattern.

 

When false self does not think that it has the possessions that it should have it is actually envisioning another time.  In that envisioned time period false self has the big house, the expensive car, the beautiful clothes that it thinks it should have now.  False self does not have those possessions at this moment and it senses a disconnect.  It also senses the possibility that it might never get those possessions.  False self becomes unhappy until it either finds something new about which to feel unhappy or we get back in the moment.

 

If false self is awakened and is upset because it did not get enough sleep it is actually envisioning a time when it should get the sleep it “needs.”  It is convinced that it needs eight hours of undisturbed sleep.  When it is disturbed it compares this vision of the current situation with the idealized time.  It wants to be in the idealized time and gets upset because the current time does not match it.

 

Once again false self decides that it needs to be upset.  That upset can last for a few minutes, hours, or days.  The upset will last until it finds something it views as more important to get upset with or true self takes over and we get back in the moment.

 

Finally, let’s look at what happens when someone burns the toast that false self had planned to eat for breakfast.  This egregious affront to false self causes it to think back on all the previous meals it enjoyed when the toast was prepared properly.  Once again, the envisioned time frame does not match the current experience.

 

For the rest of the day false self takes this perceived injury out on everyone it meets.  It yells at its fellow commuters.  It is sullen with its co-workers.  When it gets home it yells at the children.  It was unhappy all day because of some burned toast.

 

Did you see the pattern here?  It was the false self putting itself in another time period and comparing it to the current experience.  That is the definition of not being in the moment.  The idealized time period will never match the current experience, yet false self never ceases attempting to make it match.

 

When our concentration is not on the current experience, by definition we are not in the moment.  True self concentrates completely on the current experience and endeavors to understand that situation.  True self does not care about a future or past time period.  True self knows that when we concentrate completely on what is going on NOW everything else will take care of itself.

 

Eckhart Tolle has done some excellent work with teaching people to be in the moment.  That work might help you as it has helped me.  Please check our resource page for more information.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at a few tips for learning to be in the moment.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Examining a Grudge

August 25, 2008

Welcome Back

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  The weather in this part of the northeastern US remained great.  I wish the best to all those who have experienced hardships from Tropical Storm Fay.  I hope to take a little time later this week to explain a perspective of what was going on there.  That storm appeared to be an indication that the planetary rebalancing is getting closer.

 

Also this week we will take a closer look at how we can learn to stay in the moment.  I received an inquiry from a reader who asked if we could go into further depth about how to stay in the moment.  We will take a bit of time this week to do just that.

 

Today we will take a look at an example of how the false self holds a grudge.  The lesson to take from this is how unhappy this can make us for many years.

 

Are you ready to look at how silly a grudge can be?  Let’s go!

 

An Old Grudge

Many people know that I am a cineaste, a person who is a fan of movies.  My preference is classic movies from all over the world.  Pursuing this interest allows me to watch the false self in action from many perspectives.  Sometimes it is the way the plot is written and the characters act out their parts.  When researching the history of the movies one encounters many stories where actors lived their real lives deeply enmeshed in their false self illusions and fears.

 

This weekend I was watching an interview with a very famous director.  The interview was recorded several years ago when the director was over eighty years old.  The director has since passed.

 

During the interview the discussion turned to an incident many years ago when the director had punched a critic.  When asked about the incident the director readily admitted to having attacked the critic.

 

Evidently the reason the director physically attacked the critic was that the critic had written reviews of the director’s work that the director did not like.  The director said that he thought that by punching the critic he would intimidate the critic so that the critic would no longer write about him.

 

The part of the interview that I found extremely sad was that the director said “I hated that man then, and I hate him now.  Even though he is now dead I will always hate him.”

 

Carrying Great Pain

What I found so sad about this interview was that this world acclaimed man had chosen to bring himself so much pain.  This deep seated hate of the critic had caused him to act in a very painful manner and attack the man.  Then he chose to cause continuing pain by nurturing a deep and hateful grudge for the critic.

 

How many of us carry similar pain?  False self decided that some incident in the past was so hurtful that we were going to punish the one(s) who caused the hurt by hating them for the rest of our lives.

 

I have an acquaintance that has carried the same type of hurt for over thirty five years.  He was in combat in the Viet Nam war and has yet to release his hate of the ones he fought.  Just like the director, the object of his hate is dead, yet he continues to hurt himself by continuing to hate.

 

Why Does False Self Hate?

There are many reasons that false self hates, but they all come down to either perceiving that it has been hurt or anticipating that it might be hurt.  In the case of our director, his false self perceived that it had been hurt.  Let’s step through this based on what we have learned in the last few weeks.

 

This all starts with the director’s false self identification with his work.  As we have seen, this identification causes false self to think that the film is part of itself.  Now that the film is part of itself any remark (true or not) that false self chooses not to like will be viewed as an attack on false self.  An attack on the film is the same as an attack on false self.

 

In order to “defend” itself false self determined that the best course of action would be to attack the critic.  The stated reason was to keep the critic from writing about the director’s work.  This means that the false self attacked the critic so that the critic would not continue to hurt the false self by writing about the director’s work.  In other words, the critic could not hurt the false self if he no longer wrote about the director.

 

In this case the director first perceived an attack on false self through the unflattering writings of the critic.  Hurt number one for the false self.  The false self attacked the critic to keep him from hurting false self again.  Hurt number two for the false self.  This attack hurt false self much more than it hurt the critic.

 

In order to “prove” that false self was “right” when it attacked the critic the false self then chose to hate the critic.  The false self “logic” here was that if we could always view the critic with hate then we would not have to look at the possibility that we might have been wrong to attack the critic.

 

This became hurt number three for the false self. And it became the hurt that it nurtured for the rest of its life.  It is so sad to see people hurt themselves in this manner.  When we really understand how the false self is controlling our lives through fears and illusions we wonder why people choose to hurt themselves so deeply.  At least I wonder about that.

 

That’s all for today.  I am very interested in hearing your insights regarding the example we looked at today.  A discussion about this type of situation is always thought provoking for everyone involved.  Please share your thoughts with our other readers.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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Email

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© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Summarizing the False Self

August 22, 2008

Thankful Friday

As always, we will take a moment and thank those around us for their work and assistance.  Our first thank you goes out to the imsezha who have provided such wonderful weather for the last two weeks.  The weather this month in this area of the northeast US has been close to perfect.  (If you want to know who the imsezha are post a comment asking the question.)

 

Our second thanks goes to our readers.  Thank you for taking the time to read this site on a regular basis.  Our final thanks goes to WordPress and FeedBurner for providing the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

What is the false self?

For the past few weeks we have taken a very detailed look at the concepts of true self and false self.  Today we are going to summarize the major characteristic of the false self and how it functions.  Our hope is that the more we recognize false self the more we will recognize the pain that comes from living in the false self identity.

 

We have learned that false self begins to be created as soon as we are born.  It knows it is supposed to be trained by true self.  True self is our nonphysical self that is the repository for everything we have ever learned.  At the beginning of each lifetime it is supposed to take charge and train false self to be the eyes and ears for true self during the lifetime.  True self is supposed to make all the decisions, not false self.

 

On this planet we do not do this with our infants.  The parents do not understand what true self is, so they allow the false self to take charge.  False self knows that it is not supposed to be in charge and begins to form its identity based on this fear of being alone and being in charge.

 

False Self Forms Attachments

False self in an infant is supposed to look to true self for guidance and its identity.  Because we do not train our infants to listen to true self our infants begin to take their false self identity from the physical objects around them.

 

The initial attachments that an infant forms are to their body and to those people around it.  Gradually the infant begins to form attachments to their thoughts and ideas.

 

By the time the child is about seven years old these initial attachments are set strongly enough that they will govern the child’s behavior for the rest of their life – or until they learn to retrain the false self.  There are times when true self steps in and says that we can rid ourselves of an attachment or a fear, and we do so.  However these times are relatively few and far between.

 

A Tangled Web of Fears and Attachments

As we have just seen, false self begins to form its identity from the fear that it knows that it is not supposed to be in charge of the lifetime.  It has not understood that true self is supposed to make the decisions.  It has also not been trained to listen to true self for guidance.  It becomes very fearful when it comes to the conclusion that it will have to operate alone for the lifetime.

 

In order to quell that base fear false self begins to create an identity based on attachments to the things around it.  As the child gets older these attachments become the source of the false self identity.

 

The false self identity is now made of such attachments as its clothing, its automobile, its body, its nationality, its religion, and many more.  Because the false self has yet to understand that true self is always available it believes that it is actually all these attachments.

 

The additional fears come from the perceived questioning or injuring of any of the attachments.  False self identifies with its automobile.  If someone scratches that automobile, then false self perceives that it has been scratched.  False self identifies with its religious beliefs.  If someone appears to question those religious beliefs, false self views this as its identity being questioned.

 

Frequently when the false self identity is injured or questioned false self thinks it has to defend or attack in order to protect that identity.  If someone questions its political views, false self thinks it has to lash out at that someone to defend its identity.  If false self thinks someone is going to take its possessions, it attacks in order to protect those possessions and therefore its identity.

 

The Difficulty of Retraining False Self

Ok – so we are starting to see where our unhappiness comes from.  Our false self is attached to all kinds of objects, people, and thoughts that it thinks create its identity.  We spend most of our lives acting out the fears that false self experiences because it is protecting its false self identity.  We know we are unhappy.  Why can’t we learn to become happy?

 

The reason why it takes awhile to learn to be happy is that false self is resisting us at every turn.  As we start to listen to and understand our true self we also start to question the false self identity.  We start to see the fears and attachments for what they are – our source of unhappiness.

 

Initially false self does not know whether or not it can trust true self.  False self has been running things for many years and has become quite afraid of anyone or anything questioning its fears and attachments.  It has spent the entire lifetime defending those fears and attachments.  It does not like true self questioning its identity.

 

We retrain false self by continuously facing its fears and attachments.  We learn to listen to true self and the quiet little voice that will not submit to those fears and attachments.  That quiet little voice eventually convinces false self that true self understands what is going on and can be trusted.

 

Although we can have great insights and make large advancements in a single step, the typical path is one of small but frequent steps.  We see a small fear and conquer it.  We see a small attachment and let it go.  We make the small steps as we see them, but do not wait for the big steps.  Those will happen, but they will happen in their own time when we least expect them.  The gradual daily progress is what will bring us closer to our true happiness.

 

That is all for today.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Understanding More of the False Self Identity

August 21, 2008

Recap

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.

 

Discuss & Comment

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Understanding the False Self Identity – part 1

August 20, 2008

Housekeeping

My apologies that yesterdays post went out late.  When I uploaded the post I filed it as a draft.  I should have published it.  I will endeavor to publish correctly in the future.  Also, I am still resolving the issue with the daily update emails that shows each paragraph as one long line.  I will keep looking into that issue until I get it resolved.

 

Today we are going to start to look at how false self develops its identity.  Are you ready?  Here we go!

 

False Self Should Not Have an Identity

As we have discussed this idea of false self, we have gotten a feeling for the nature of the false self.  In our discussion on the origin of false self we talked about how we are supposed to train our false self to listen to true self.  False self is designed to be the physical interface for true self and nothing more.

 

Because we do not train false self properly it begins to take on an identity from its surroundings.  By the time it is about age seven it has developed a very clearly defined idea of who it thinks it is supposed to be.  It is also very attached to that self created identity.

 

Unless we learn to see through this false self identity as we grow older we continue to accept the identity and the attachments.  As we grow older we continue to add items to that identity.  Because we have not learned better, we also continue to create attachments to the new additions to our identity.  Of itself, the identity is not that much of a problem.  The real problem is the attachments.  Without the attachments the false self identity gradually fades away.  In fact that is how we eventually rid ourselves of it – we let go of the attachments.

 

None of this should happen.  False self should be trained to look to true self for identity.  Some of us start to look for a better way because our false self identity has finally become so painful that we cannot live in it any longer.  During the next few days we will look at how to identify the false self identity and gradually ease our pain and unhappiness.

 

How False Self Constructs Its Identity

When we talked about how fear comes from false self, we also mentioned how false self begins to develop it false identity.  As a young and improperly trained mind false self creates attachments to the items it finds around it.  It attaches to its body, its thoughts and the people around it.  It begins to weave these attachments into the beginning of its false identity.

 

As it grows older it begins to find other external things that it can weave into its false identity.  It might pick a political party to identify with.  It might pick a religion or ethnic group to identify with.  It might view its job as a part of its identity.  Pick an external situation or object and some false self probably views it as part of its identity.

 

Elsewhere on this site we have heard about how false self views any challenge to its attachments as a challenge to itself.  Think about this for a minute.  If false self thinks that it really is all these situations to which it is attached, then it has no choice but to defend itself when those situations or attachments are questioned.

 

By questioning the situations or attachments you are questioning the identity of false self.  It thinks that it has to defend or even attack when questioned or else it will lose its identity.  It does not see that the identity is based on improper understanding.  All it knows is that it is being questioned and must defend or attack.

 

This is the source of the pain that comes when we live within this false self identity.  We are always defending or attacking in order to protect our false identity.  After awhile this becomes wearisome and many of us seek a better way to live.

 

A Few Things You Are Not

False self probably has hundreds of external situations that it thinks collectively create its identity.  I would be writing for years if I tried to list them all.  Instead we will start with a few today and continue the list tomorrow.

 

You are not our body.  True self knows that this body is only temporary and will exist only for the current lifetime.  False self is encouraged by those around it to view its body as an integral part of its identity.  Any injury to the body becomes an injury to false self which causes continuous pain and suffering.

 

You are not your opinions.  False self is constantly looking for something to help create its false identity.  Thoughts are very handy because they are always close at hand.  False self creates opinions on everything and then attaches to those opinions.  False self takes those attachments and adds them to the false identity.

 

You are not your possessions.  False self takes anything close at hand and attaches to it and then adds those attachments to its false identity.  Possessions are always nearby so they are easily added to the false self.  Like any other attachment false self sees loss of or damage to a possession as damage to itself.  Once again we see another continuous source of pain caused by false self.

 

You are not your clothes.  This is a variation on the idea of you are not your possessions.  I will mention it because many of us acquire clothes for the purpose of creating an “image”.  That “image” usually originates from false self looking to create or project its false identity.  We become unhappy if we do not have the right clothes to project this “image”.  We also become unhappy if this “image” does not make us happy.  That is a bit of circular logic, but false self does not care about logic.  It just goes and acquires some new clothes which it will use to project its “new image”.  And of course it will become unhappy with this “new image” and will have to create another “new image”.  And on it goes until we become tired of the pain.

 

That’s it for today.  Tomorrow we will look at more things that false thinks we are and true self knows we are not.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Email

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© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

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How True Self Uses Possessions

August 19, 2008

How True Self Uses Possessions

 

Recap

Yesterday we looked at how false self attaches itself to possessions.  We heard about the way false self feels hurt when one of our possessions is damaged.  We also started to get a feeling for the idea that we should view possessions as tools that we use while we are learning and growing.

 

Today we will take a closer look at how true self uses possessions.  Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

True Self for Our Learning

We have seen how false self wants to attach to many things, especially possessions.  True self is happy and self contained.  When we are being our true self we realize that objects and possessions are temporary.  They come into our lives when we need them and we should not get upset when they leave our lives.

 

True self views all objects as tools which it needs to do its job.  What is that job?  As we have stated many times on this site – we exist to learn and grow and share that learning and growth with each other.  So the job of our true self is to continue to learn and grow.

 

True self evaluates all objects and possessions in the light of what it needs to learn and grow.  When an object is no longer needed for our learning true self does not care if it leaves our life – true self just allows that object to leave.  We will not hang on to the object because of attachment.  We will maintain possession only if we anticipate needing that object.

 

True self does not care if an unneeded object leaves our possession.  True self views this as one less thing we have to look after.  True self also knows that if an object leaves our possession and we need it again – then we will acquire it again.

 

At first this might seem like a lot of work.  First we acquire something and then we let it go.  Then we acquire it again.  However, once the object has ceased to be useful, how can we know if we are going to ever need it again?  I view that the work required to maintain the object “just in case” is usually far more work than letting it go and then getting it back again.  If we let it go and then get it back we might get a better one back or one that is more suited for the task.

 

Also, the fewer possessions we have the more simple our life becomes.  The more simple our life becomes the more time we have to concentrate on our real job of learning and sharing that learning.

 

True Self and Status Symbols

Status symbols are just another way to describe attachments.  A status symbol is supposed to convey a certain image about the person who possesses the status symbol.  False self is concerned about identity so it seeks status symbols and other methods of conspicuous consumption.  We will discuss false self and identity later this week.  For now, let’s just accept that anytime we seek to purchase a status symbol we are acting from false self.

 

True self can purchase a status symbol and not do so from an attachment.  Let’s take a look at the example of buying a watch.  True self realizes that we need a watch in order to keep track of time.  It is important that when we make a commitment to be somewhere on time that we honor that commitment.

 

So we need a watch – which one should we buy?  If we look at simple functionality an inexpensive watch could be all that we need.  However, an inexpensive watch may not be durable enough.  True self recognizes that we will need to keep track of time for the rest of our lifetime.  Now we consider a more expensive and more durable watch.

 

Next, true self looks at the social situations that it will be in while wearing the watch.  If we will be in very formal situations then we will need a watch that is appropriate for those situations.  That would mean we now need a durable and handsomely decorated watch.

 

True self is also able to afford an upscale watch without financial hardship.  We have now worked ourselves into the territory of some watches that many people would consider as status symbols.  However, true self is viewing this in a pragmatic manner.  We need a watch.  The correct watch for our needs is considered a status symbol.  True self does not care about status symbols – it only cares about acquiring the correct watch.  If the correct watch had been a $10 throw away watch, that is what true self would have acquired, even if we could have afforded a $100 watch.

 

It is all about acquiring the correct tool for the job.  That is all true self cares about.  It has much more important things to be doing than caring about a bunch of attachments to physical objects.

 

We Do Not Have to Renounce Possessions

Many spiritual and religious disciplines teach that we should renounce or severely limit our physical possessions.  I do not see it that way.

 

My viewpoint is that we need to renounce our attachments to physical possessions and material things.  There is a big difference between renouncing having the objects and renouncing the attachments to the objects.

 

When we renounce possessing physical objects we do not address the underlying attachments.  We may renounce possessions except for just those few things we perceive that we need to live our life.  Two things happen because of this.

 

First, we may pass up some very important learning opportunities because we have renounced possessions.  If those learning opportunities require us to acquire some possessions then we will not be able to learn those lessons.

 

Second, we can still become very attached to the few objects remaining in our life.  Renouncing possessions has not worked because we still have false self attachments.

 

To me, the better approach is to learn to approach possessions and physical objects as true self.  We renounce our attachments, but recognize the importance that possessions and objects can have on the lessons we choose to learn.

 

Because we are not attached to the objects we do not care as the objects enter and leave our lives.  We are concentrating on our learning and the appropriate objects are always there.  Part of that learning is to know when and how to acquire the appropriate objects.

 

Well, that is all for today.  We will see you again tomorrow when we will start to take a look at some of the facets of false self identity.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

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This email list is maintained by Feedburner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com