Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Starving the psychic parasite - Part Two ...

Who ARE YOU??

"Unconscious people - and many who remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives - will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with. Others may appear to be more evolved because they think of themselves as an immortal soul or a divine spirit. But do they really know themselves, or have they just added some spiritual sounding concepts to the content of their minds? Knowing your self goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs ..." (Eckert Tolle - A New Earth pg. 186)

"Who are you??"

Yet, another ubiquitous question.

I "KNEW" the answer to that question, or so I thought ...

I could provide my name, my educational background, my role as husband, my role as father, my role as minister, highlights of my career and my volunteering, my place as friend, and my orientation as a rabble-rouser, a feather ruffler, a rule-bender and an iconoclast in the fullest sense of that term ... I knew myself ... or so I thought ... I could answer the question - "Who are you?" with a full and prolonged response ...

BUT ...

I've come to realize that ALL of those things that once defined my self understanding were transient and were the creation of an ego trapped in and fed by a story motivated by an enormous pain-body ... ALL of these things I understood myself to be, were not reflective of ME, but were the projection of my ego attempting to define me ...

Over the last three years, I have watched as each of these masks have been wrenched from my hands and I have been forced by their loss to look more deeply into myself and learn more about who I really am ...

Previously I used the roles I played and the positions I occupied to shield myself and allowed the negativity of my pain-body to feed a story that helped to define myself in a "safe" and "secure" place even if it was profoundly negative ...

Tolle observes a similar process in those who are defined by an illness or a chronic condition:
"You may think and speak of yourself as a "sufferer" of this or that chronic illness or disability. You receive a great deal of attention from doctors and others who constantly confirm to you your conceptual identity as a sufferer or a patient. You then unconsciously cling to the illness because it has become the most important part of who you perceive yourself to be." (pg 51)

My "illness" that defined me and justified a "pity party" approach to life that became self-justifying, and in itself a self-fulfilling prophecy was lived and expressed as a negative story that was expressed outwardly in negative energy ... I lived the negativity and the pain ... and as it flowed back upon itself, the story experienced a perverse "A-Ha!" moment where the story was justified by the outcome, which was first motivated by the negativity ... it was a catch-22 of negativity, pain and anger ... and it had to stop ...

"Who are you??"

Today, I can honestly answer - "I don't know ..."

I am alive ... I am a father and a friend ... I exist ... I have a job ... I have hobbies ... I have interests ... and I am still in ministry in some form ... But, beyond THIS MOMENT, I can't say more than: I'm a human being, and I'M ALIVE!!! (and maybe that is MORE than enough!?)

The challenge is to free oneself from the labels and the understandings that are transient and that serve only to feed the fragility of the ego ... Instead one needs to be fully present to the moment that says - "I exist. I'm alive. I AM." and silences the "woe is me" mantra that has been part of the story - the inner voice - the patterns - that have defined one's self ...

The challenge is to break free from these limiting things, and to fully embrace the present moment and all that it brings:

"You are never fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere." (pg 202)

"Who AM I?"

In this moment - I am simply ME.
I am alive.
I am intelligent.
I am well read.
I am enthusiastic.
I am passionate.
I am a father.
I am a friend.
I am a son.
I am a brother.
I am simply - ME.

In this moment, the ONLY thing I can say for certain is that I am ALIVE,
and I am in the midst of a life of great abundance.

Everything else - every label, every role, every understanding - that can be applied to me limits the ability to be fully present to THIS MOMENT, and to fully embrace the journey of life that I continue with each step, each breath, each moment ...

I am alive in this moment ... I am me.

That is the answer to WHO ARE YOU ... the rest I have to let go ...

As Tolle says - "the fullness of life is at every step ..."

May it be so ...

2 comments:

itzktb said...

Once I figured out that I will probably never know who I am, I gave up trying to figure out who other people were. There's freedom in both.

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

One thing is for sure Shawn, you are definitely going through some changes. I'm following along with your writings and your thoughts and insights into what you believe to be you. I'll admit, I'm raising an questioning eye, but that's ok... I enjoy thinking.