Shedding the false image
Most of us walk through life never realising our true potential, what we are really capable of or seeing who we truly are and can be. The only time this changes is when we realise some truths about life, some principles and laws, when we might give ourselves the chance to live. It is as if we experience a rebirth in this life. We are reborn.
We suddenly realise that things are not as we were told they were, that we have a greater control over our life than we have been led to believe. Initially we lack belief in what we have suddenly discovered, but with time, more knowledge and better understanding, we begin to see that these laws and principles are true.
What I begun to see was that we build for ourselves an image, made up of our ego and our self image, holding onto it because we had been told what to be, how to be and what is expected of us.
It’s a realisation that this image is like a cloak that we wear, never really getting down to the bare truth of who we really are – who we want to be in this life.
At some point I was listening to an Alan Watts lecture, during which he said, “Try and imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up”. This is soon followed by, “What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep”. As I was writing this post, this lecture came to mind, reminding me of what it must be like for some of us who suddenly realise who we truly are. It is as if we are reborn into this life.
Shedding the cloak
In my previous post I ended with a quote from Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations”:
Imagine you were now dead or had not lived before this moment. Now view the rest of your life as a bonus and live it as nature directs.
Initially it may seem a morbid statement. But a further study and a bit more thought, you realise that he was referring to a rebirth.
Now, imagine that tomorrow morning you woke up, having no attachment to your ego and self image, but instead you start off, again, with a blank slate.
There is no fear, no doubt, only life ahead and endless opportunities. All that you have is love for the whole world and you know that you can achieve everything you put your mind and heart into. There is no question of lack of confidence, lack of belief or faith that all will be as you want it to be or that serendipity will play it’s part and direct you to something better and more fulfilling.
All limitations no longer exist and all that is left is the realisation of who you truly are – you.
Had you not experienced the previous life then you would have nothing to compare the change with and so, being grateful, you accept what was for what it was and begin a renewed life.
In truth, most of us don’t want to shed that cloak, because we feel comfortable being wrapped in it. It keeps us warm in our own delusion that it is to our benefit and that it protects us. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As Wayne Dyer pointed out in “The Shift”, when you shed the ego you are more likely to achieve more, because the ego itself is a limitation.
So how do we move ahead, if we want to? You have to want to make this transition to be able to make it. Any half hearted attempts will prove to be futile – if your heart is not in it then you don’t really want it.
We start by working on our self image by deciding who and what we want to be. Then we start to recreate ourselves into that person. There may be people in history, people we know or know off that have characteristics we admire. So, we decide to take on those characteristics. We don’t try to be that person – we only want to take away that part of the character they possess that we want to create in ourselves.
If you lack confidence, then you want to gain confidence and belief in yourself and your own abilities. By thinking of someone that has those qualities you can imagine what it is like, you can feel it and you can take that characteristic on, that personality.
It’s not an “overnight success” move, it needs constant and consistent work, just like the “28 day” plans you see advertised, but this is a lifelong plan.
When you work on your self image you are automatically working on your ego, since the self image forms part of the ego (read this article on the ego and the self image).
Shedding the ego is not easy, because we have got so used to it. It’s like when we dislike something that we see happening daily, that goes against our beliefs, we always react to it the same way. But what if we chose to not let it bother us anymore, if it’s something we cannot do anything about.
I’m not talking about things that we can do something about, but things out of our control, such as other peoples driving, beliefs, ideals and so on. These are things we can do nothing about. We can choose not to let them affect us, since we have no control over them. Instead we choose to control the way we think and feel about that thing.
The hardest part is the letting go of all control of outside circumstances, because we want to feel that we have full control of our destiny, even though we know that it’s not true. We actually gaslight ourselves about this.
But what if our fear of heights, our fear of spiders, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing love or never getting it, just faded out of existence? What if we just let go of those fears and said, “You are no longer part of me” and metaphorically burned those ideas out of our mind.
What could you achieve then?
Dig within. Within is the spring of good and it will spring strongly, if you will dig.