“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin
Finding Your True Self
“Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” – Albert Einstein
Today I would like to talk about our inner struggle, a struggle that is between the identity we privately feel as being ourselves and the identity we present to the world. This can be a daily tug of war for many of us.
When you are more inwardly integrated, when you understand yourself at a deep level, you live your life more through intuition. Which is to say, you feel life out, as life unfolds you respond to it in the best way you can, as opposed to constantly calculating your actions through compulsive thinking. This type of thinking is always based on fear and greed. What is in it “for me” thinking. It is not really thinking, but a mechanical reaction to all our mental associations. Fear and greed control us. As many of us know this is no way to live life.
From the eastern perspective, when someone lives through intuition it means that their third-eye has awakened and is functioning. The third eye, correlates with the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain. This is our connection to our higher-self. This is how we by-pass the neo cortex, which is always calculating each moment. Yoga is the science of awakening and managing our inner energies that awaken our brains to be able to rise above our unconscious tendencies to operate with an alert and heightened sense of self-awareness.
The pituitary gland is called the “seat of the mind” with the frontal lobe regulating emotional thoughts such as poetry and music, and the anterior lobe regulating concrete thought and intellectual concepts. On the other hand, the pineal gland is known as the “seat of illumination, intuition and cosmic consciousness”.
If your inner identity and outer identity are aligned and in harmony with each other it means your third-eye is active. When it’s active a high energy flows through you, your brain feels much more alert and active. You may even feel tingly or itching sensations on the brow of your eyes. You possess insight. In-sight, meaning you no longer only use your body’s physical senses to perceive the world, but are developing your inward psychic senses. You go beyond mere appearances. Life’s mysteries are always hidden in the subtle realms, and insight is the way to discover them.
When your inner and outer identities are in conflict, your third-eye closes up and doesn’t function. Science shows us that for most of us the pineal gland becomes calcified with age.
Ok, so why do our identities come in conflict, and what does that mean to our day to day lives?
Look deeply and sincerely within yourself and let me know if this statement is true. Inside, in your inner world you always project yourself “lower” than what you think you are, and outside what you present to the world you always project your self “higher” than what you actually inwardly feel yourself as.
This mismatch between our identities causes all our failures, it is the source of all the different ways we sabotage and rationalize with ourselves. This was the source for all my failed business attempts and romantic relationships. Outside I projected myself as a business savvy person, but inwardly I felt I had no idea what I was doing. The truth was somewhere more in the middle. Not having an accurate view of myself I didn’t act from a natural place.
If we truly want to achieve our dreams we must get our identities in alignment. This is when things really get accomplished in our lives and gain deep fulfillment.
We need to use this constant inner friction for our own good. Through this inner friction once we see how it operates we can transform and use that same energy to integrate ourselves, and dissolve what doesn’t serve us.
Being Your True Self
When you live through your ego, your self-image, you’re always thinking of how each moment you need to be projecting yourself. This is incredibly draining. It is like being a Politician and being on the campaign trail everyday of your life.When you align what you feel inside as being you with the identity you present to the outside world, you will no longer need to constantly “remember” what you need to project to the world. You are no longer cunning and calculating. This is living authentically in the moment. You unload a huge weight off your shoulders. Being comfortable in your own skin you live an easy going life wherever you go.
In order to align your identity you need to deeply understand both aspects. You need to understand how they are connected or lack thereof.
How you align and bridge the disparity between your two identities as we are speaking of them here, is that you just need to decide and commit to not live in the “dramas” that arise from the battle between the inner and outer. This is something I am working on as I try to transition into being a fulltime blogger.
This also does not mean that we need to only show what we feel inside as ourselves, because what we feel as us on the inside is mixed with many illusions. Many times people advise us to “just be yourself,” well, which self are you talking about? We don’t have an accurate picture and understanding of ourselves. We are muddled. Because we are not every alert, very conscious, these two identities mix into each other and we can’t distinguish what qualities really belong to us anymore.
So how do we consolidate and align both? We need to remove the illusions from both. Don’t try to make your outer identity just like your inner identity and vice versa.
Positive thinking is common advice, but usually doesn’t amount to much without the right understanding of our psyche. For example, let’s say your external identity displays great courage, so you say inwardly I will also be courageous (usually not going to work). In my college years of reading self-improvement material, this was basically their advice. Sounds good in theory, but it is not looking at the cause of the dysfunction. It is only a band-aid and on the surface looks like it did the job. But if you look deeply within yourself, you will see that you can’t fool yourself. It doesn’t quite feel right.
We need to align what you feel as truly you inside and outside….how do you know?…The reality is, is that certain qualities that we display to the world and that we feel within us do genuinely belong to us, and vice versa there are things that we display outwardly and feel inwardly that are not true, but for various reasons due to life experiences, societal pressure, we try to force it into our sense of self.
Positive thinking is simply trying to force the external identities lies – what we deep down know doesn’t intrinsically belong to us – onto the inner identity, our inner world.
Many times the lies from the outside identity, which was rejected by your inner identity, you think that those are the very things that should be infused into your inner identity. You try to force yourself to change.
“‘Know thyself?’ If I knew myself, I’d run away.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever your inner identity rejects you need to let go of. Whatever your outer identity rejects from your inner identity let it go, they are both lies that keep you from being authentically you.
Also, be careful, because you may also think and feel tempted that whatever you feel as you and telling others about it is being authentic. This may not be true, because whatever you “think” as “you” is not really you. We hurt other people and rationalize by saying, “I was just being honest…I was just being myself.”
To know how you can reconcile both identities you need to understand why it’s not happening in the first place. And you can’t make it happen by pushing the outer into the inner, and the inner into the outer with positive thinking. When we understand something we not only know it in our heads, but feel it in our hearts simultaneously.
When you get a more accurate glimpse of who you really are, you need to commit that you will not express any words, or thoughts, that empower the lies from both of these identities. You need to learn to act with an absolute consciousness.
Exercise To Awaken Your True Self
As an exercise for five minutes write an essay of your inner identity, what you feel as you. Don’t show anyone, this is only for your own eyes. Be completely honest. Try to be an impartial observer. Whatever you feel as your outer identity will then immediately see many things it wants’ to reject. Describe all the qualities of your outer identity on one side, and the same for the inner on the other side. Then have a fight between the two, eliminating what each side doesn’t want. Find the qualities that both want in each other. When you align, “identity” in the sense that you knew will disappear. Now just live those few qualities with complete conviction and self-awareness.
Dissolving this battle leads to ‘no’ identity. Drop any complaints that both identities have of each other.
Living and expressing these few qualities through your being, you will have an easy going life, because you won’t feel the usual inner struggle as you live your day to day life.
If fear, anxiety, worry, is not there, then “who” is left there?
“Becoming conscious is of course a sacrilege against nature; it is as though you had robbed the unconscious of something.” – Carl G. Jung
Much of your identity was derived from the very things that made your life miserable. This is a hard thing to see and admit, we think that money and power rule the world, but it is actually negative energy. Most people are not willing to give up their suffering because they will be lost without it, it has become their identity. My mother worries constantly, if one day all of a sudden all her worries dropped, she would feel like a new person.
Will power is needed to align your identities. This “will” power will come as a result of gaining a deep insight into your true nature. Not so-so “will” power that is one sided and incomplete. Real “will” power will come from transforming the energy that was wasted from the constant battle between the inner and outer identities. This alignment will transform into increased self-knowledge, consciousness, and clarity. Living through your intuition your heart is free to feel, it is free to be itself. Follow your heart my friend. Peace.
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