Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Reframe Your SELF

For over two millennia at least, authentic ancient traditions have been telling us that as individuals we're frequently making a very subtle yet devastating mistake in our lives...

We're incorrectly identifying our SELF!  Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but in fact it's not.  In the modern Western world, especially, we're taught from infancy to identify our SELF with our brain, our thoughts and our emotions.  That's right, Descartes has won - we're all taught to believe his maxim, "I think, therefore I am".  

In fact, though, your true "self", your deepest "essence" is none of these things.  It's not your brain, nor is it the mindstream of endless thought running through your head, nor is it the emotions attached to those thoughts or welling up from deep within.  You HAVE a brain, thoughts and emotions, but you are not any one of them, nor any combination of them.

If you believe your brain, thoughts and emotions constitute your personal identity, then you automatically reduce your body to the role of a simple transportation system, a "biological golf cart" if you will.  And this unleashes a host of obstacles in your life and will suck your RESILIENCE dry:

  • You will live in your head
  • Therefore you will reduce the role of the body to that of a transportation system
  • This will induce a pattern of chest breathing, which in turn will push energy higher into your torso and head, leaving you increasingly vulnerable to negative emotional states
  • This disrupts the entire human energy system and leads to emotional imbalance
  • Chest breathing also has physical consequences, in that it fails to detoxify the major organs as abdominal breathing does 
  • It also leads to emotional incompetence - the tendency to either repress emotion or act it out.  Both tendencies leave you as the slave of your emotional world.
  • Until you "get back in your body", you'll never master your emotions 
The only way out of this sad state of affairs is to engage in a meditative process.  This allows you to observe the mindstream and realize by your own experience that neither your thoughts nor your emotions are the REAL you.  It also puts your consciousness back inside your body where it belongs instead of letting it wander aimlessly in the world of the senses looking for something to ease the pain.  And there is nothing more painful than repressing emotion.

If you're making this fundamental "anthropological" mistake of identifying your Self with your brain, what you're really doing is reducing who you are to a bunch of acquired, observable characteristics, to the conditioning you've inherited from your society.  You are SO much more than that.

Now here I could get all poetic on you and tell you you're in the image and likeness of God, you're the Buddha nature or you're a being of light.  All of these are true, in that your real capacities exceed anything you've likely experienced.  But in the end, you have to discover all this for yourself or it has no value, it's just more useless information.

So the first step to recovering your personal resilience is to take your consciousness within, where you'll discover the real YOU over time and free yourself from bondage to your mindstream and emotions.  You'll stop living in a past you can't change or a future that's not here yet and discover the joy of being "present" to the "now".

And once you've done that, you're ready for the next step in your healing...

~Dr. Symeon Rodger