We have a higher self that’s always been there and is there right now, but it is easy to lose sight of this and be overwhelmed by current events and feelings, and go through life that seems to be run by our past experiences, and not even have an awareness of this higher self.
I think my current job in life is to become aware of my “nature”; this nature that was there before I acquired any human experience. It will always be there. My job seems to be to learn about this nature (my true/higher self), and to identify with this nature, rather than identifying with my human experiences (experential self ? ). There has been much in the 20th century that said we are the product of our experiences, but I’m challenging this.
Take an experience where you felt care-free or spontaneous as a child, and/or did things that were fun and joyful. And then over time, life happened. But even after life’s crises, you may have had moments, as an adult, where you felt for brief moments that child-like nature. Perhaps that is a manifestation of my timeless nature. My real self. It’s always been there.
It’s very easy for me to have my life controlled by my past experiences, if I let it. And I think I seem very willing to let it. I used to have conversations with total strangers, and within three minutes, they would hear something about the wrongs that were done to me in the past. Obviously, I was re-living these experiences again and again, and they became so deeply rooted in me, they took over my identity, with no hope whatsoever of seeing any future with anything new or changeable.
There’s a perverse pleasure from identifying with our past pain. It’s similar to the perverse pleasure I get from self-pity. Both of these, in addition, free me from the need to take responsibility for my life and take steps to effect changes.
Here’s a quote from my video of the week by Eckhart Tolle.
[There are] two things getting together. Old pain, that wants more pain, and and the mind made self that needs to be right, and therefore needs to make somebody else wrong. “He did something to me”. […] We miss the simplicity of things [such as a typical daily event that just happened,] that is there without the story. [The story is the drama we add to day-to-day events by adding in our past pain, and making the innocuous event more personalized (ie, more about me), and explaining the event in terms of our past painful experiences].
So Tolle’s suggestion was to just witness the pain we are feeling, not even need to label it, certainly don’t analyze it or add stories to it. Just witness it.
Current pains relate to this blog post because we so easily identify with our pain. This means that our real selves are once again obscured by the pain we are in right now. And for the moments of the pain, we are overwhelmed with our past experiences, including fears and hurts, and create much more misery by adding in those elements. It’s easier to just experience the pain, no need for the drama. No need to say thing like “This always happens to me”, or “well I expected as much”.
My last blog post was about living in faith, regardless of what my past experiences are leading me to believe. That is, despite me thinking certain current events are explainable because of my past (painful) experiences, and I have expectations that the future will bring certain outcomes because I’ve learned to expect these outcomes, I can choose to not let these thoughts dominate my life. And I can live without acting in ways that are controlled by my experiences. That is, I can choose to live in faith, and do things, despite what my mind is trying to tell me, and be able to do that because of a faith that things will be OK. It opens up the world for new and wonderful possibilities.
P.S. [from my bathtub reading today, just an interesting tidbit, Jan 25th]:
The ego wants to be right, but in the dynamics of life and art we are never right, we are always changing and cycling. [Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art, Stephen Nachmanovitch].
My recent blog posts:
Depression, Procrastination and Putting One Foot in Front of Another
High Expectations of Admired Friends
Depression Paradoxes: Isolation
Afternoon Forest Walk