Does your life feel out of alignment or disconnected?
Do you feel dissatisfied, frustrated, or depressed?
Such feelings should not go unwarranted. They are real and need to be dealt with like any illness, only in this case, we are dealing with the very core of our identity — self care.
However, before we venture into methods of self caring, we first need to establish what the true self is.
From our birth we are conditioned to think that our self is defined by our nationality, family, or profession, but these things do not define our true self. According to most spiritual traditions, the true self animates this physical form, much like a driver maneuvers a car, or an actor manipulates their body to create a fictional character. The real persona exists behind the mask of mundane personality. We are in fact, a soul, the seat of consciousness.
Every day we look in the mirror and our physical form looks back at us. Over time, we start to witness subtle changes of this physical form — wrinkles appears, grey hairs come in, our form starts to change before our eyes, but amazingly, the consciousness witnessing these changes, remains the same.
We can remember having a child’s body and yet our body has now aged. If you think deeply on this phenomena, what we are experiencing is in effect, reincarnation in this very life. We, the soul within, are changing form!
Just like a butterfly springs forth from a caterpillar, we change from an embryo, to a baby, child, youth, adult, and finally senior citizen. In order to function in this mundane world, we adopt a physical identity, get a passport and a national ID. All the while, our true self “sleeps” and “dreams” these physical experiences into existence. Much like the Matrix, where Neo and the gang navigate both realms, a self-realized soul understands the true nature of reality and is not bewildered by these mundane changes and experiences.
You might be asking, “How do we begin this process of awakening from this slumber of mundane conditioning?”
It begins by first understanding the nature of this material world.
In essence, everything we experience in this mundane world is made up of eight material energies: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. The first five makeup what we experience physically, whereas the last three energies, mind, intelligence and false ego are subtle but form the mechanics of how we navigate our way through the maya and interpret reality. So the search for self-realization must begin there.
We are not the mind and the mind does not define who we truly are. It is a tool for navigation, much like an explorer has tools like a map, magnifying glass, telescope and compass. The mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy but it is not us. According to many spiritual traditions, the mind is located around the heart and not in the head. It forms the basis of our subtle body that ventures into the astral worlds when we sleep. The mind never sleeps, because it has no physical need to sleep — it is constantly turned on, exploring, seeking answers, experiencing, learning, and gathering data. The intelligence, on the other hand, is akin to a computer, taking this data and analyzing it, making decisions and acting accordingly. It too is not us, but a form of energy or tool, that we the soul, uses to navigate this material realm. The final subtle energy is the false ego — the most subtle material layer that covers the true self, the soul. The false ego or “Ahankara” enables us to accept the illusion of physical form so that we can function. You could say it is like the “blue pill” of the Matrix.
The soul or true self, is above all these 8 material energies, and rides this illusion because of the false ego. If at some point, we take the “red pill,” we awaken from this dream state and realize we have been tricked by a false ego.
OK, enough with the Matrix analogies, but how do we take the “red pill” and awaken from this slumber of mundane consciousness?
It begins with cleansing the mind and senses that have been conditioned by mundane concepts. We have been conditioned since birth to believe we are something we are not. The mind is like the “king” of the sense, and the senses are like the “citizens.” If the citizens join forces and rise up, we can overpower the unruly king. Similarly, if we learn to master the senses, beginning with the tongue, we can gradually bring the mind under control.
The tongue is considered the most voracious of all the senses, and therefore, the most difficult to control. However, it can be mastered with patience and practice. The tongue has two functions: tasting and vibrating. So paying attention to what we eat and what we speak are the keys to mastering the tongue. Foods that are ladened with suffering, impurities, and inorganic matter will contaminate the tongue, whereas foods that are clean, devoid of violence and organic in nature, will cleanse the tongue.
The words we speak also have a powerful influence on our consciousness and the health of the mind. Words that are derogatory, offensive, and cruel will upset the mind; whereas, words that are truthful, uplifting and inspiring will enrich the mind.
Once we learn to bring the mind under control, we can gradually start to remove the layers of mundane conditioning that cover the truth of reality. In other words, when we look in the mirror, rather than seeing a physical form aging before our eyes, and believing that form represents us, we will see the true self looking through those eyes and understand that while the body changes, we — the true self — the driver of this “vehicle” remain the same.
That my friends, is the beginning of self-realization!
The quicker you can start this awakening, the faster you will get to a point in life where you feel connected and satisfied again. You will understand the nature of reality and your eternality as a soul, moving through space and time, experiencing various forms in an effort to evolve your consciousness.
You and I are sparks of God’s splendor.
So embrace your god-like nature and never feel discouraged or disconnected again. When you meet someone today, look through their eyes and speak to their soul. Go deep in your communication and start the process of shifting your perceptions, beginning with valuing your true self.