This article was inspired by I Am, Therefore I Think: The Truth Of Who You Really Are
Understand that finding your true self is a lifelong quest, one that requires time and dedication. Learn who you really are, the truth about self and how you can transcend beyond your everyday challenges.
The process of involution is that of self-exploration, it is the first step leading towards the understanding of our own selves: self-inquiry.
Our desire to be authentic and be true to ourselves has an important requirement, that is, understanding what we truly mean when we utter the term self.
There are many versions of our true self: there is the one that is willing to bow down to their superiors at work, and there is one that gets impatient on the roads. There is yet another version, the one that is witnessed at home with the family, the loving and caring version, the protector and the provider.
With so many versions of our existence, it’s no wonder it’s difficult to determine who we really are. Are we the amalgamation of our several selves or none of them? Are these selves a manifestation of who we really are?
The first paragraph does more to provide ambiguity than anything else. The concept of true self is more elusive than most initially presume.
Hence, we shall explore the never ending panes allowing a different perspective on ourselves and reflect to see, which of them might be our true self – the one serving as the source, manifesting various variants based on stimuli, situation, and circumstance.
True Self – Who Are You? Who Am I?
Although, the epitome of simplicity, yet it lies at the core of everything related to understanding the true self.
Our external existence is just as profound as our internal one; their impact on our existence is similarly important and completely interwoven in the formation of the consciousness.
But are these two aspects of what make us who we are two different but connected entities? For example, who is the one who experiences an event, who is the one who hears the thoughts that are born of the experience, and who is the one feeling the resulting thoughts and experiences?
If I was to ask a person, “Who are you?” They might reply, “I’m Jonathan Jefferson.” A fair response, however, if I present the same name on a piece of paper, the person wouldn’t agree that they are those words.
No one would, because those words are simply a term used for recognition and in no way representative of who that person truly is.
Similarly, a person can be represented in many different ways, as the son of or part of a generation, but none are a representative of who they really are.
Almost all of us, who have given thought, would believe that the various versions or our self are the objective manifestations of who we really are – our true self.
However, these variants of our self could equally be the subjective manifestation of our true self, which is more likely, at least in my opinion.
What I mean is that the persona we put up for others to see doesn’t necessarily have to be a correct or absolute representation of who we are.
Many times you would have found yourself agreeing with other people’s beliefs and ideologies for the sake of a rudimentary conversation. We are forced to do this due to the narrator – narrator being anything that compels you to act in the way you do, despite being contrary or complementary to your actual self.
This narrator is the primary source for much of our dilution of our true self. After all, we all have to live in a society that is governed by social conformity, the major detriment to self.
The Echoing Inner Voice
There is a voice within our minds – a voice that perpetually talks to itself. The voice will ask itself a question and offer the answer by itself. The internal narrator despises silence and constantly directs our thoughts and actions.
Have you ever wondered about the voice and its influence on you and vice versa? It is ready on a whim to pass judgments on literally everything but, more importantly, how valid are these judgments of our external interactions and experiences?
This can be quite a startling realization for someone who becomes aware of this voice. Since we have significant conscious control or influence over this voice, it is quite easy to forget how often it acts completely autonomous to our influence — rather than serving as a tool for our thoughts, it actually directs our thoughts.
Imagine the lingering thoughts, preventing you from focusing or keeping your mind of something. I am certain everyone would be able to relate to the lagging echo in the back of our minds.
Most of the time, it simply fills our life with useless judgments. For instance, you look at a starry sky and fall in a trace: “Wow, look at all those stars, it’s incredibly beautiful.”
You made that assessment based on the impact it had on you. You are the only one listening to the assessment but you already know that you’ve experienced it and then thought about its magnificence.
However, when you verbalize the assessment in your mind, your focus on the object of beauty has shifted to the thought about something you have already felt.
So, the problem is that we end up wasting a huge part of our existence – precious and unrecoverable time, experiencing life through our thoughts, when we should be directly experiencing it through our emotions and feelings.
This is quite similar to how people are compelled to record their experiences by taking pictures of everything, rather than just experiencing it in the present moment.
Coming back to the question of self, one of the primary realizations in the quest for self-growth is the disassociation with the voice, in the sense that we aren’t the voice itself but the one who experiences that voice.
Interestingly, the voice can be seen to have some form of purpose as it provides us with a level of comfort and a sense of control. However, in the process it creates many problems too.
The truth regarding our problems or the things we perceive as problematic has no real relation with our life, but rather with our minds.
The inner voice is a result of our need to feel safe and secure. The voice is a mechanism that allows us to feel in control.
As we walk down a street, our mind narrates the world around us, commenting on everything and giving it a sense of familiarity, making it known and safe.
So, in the process of attempting to control the environment surrounding us, the voice in our head goes further than making assessments — it creates possible outcomes, expectations and desires.
During this process, many of our expectations and desire are left unfulfilled. It also creates worries and fears about the uncertain nature of our realities, though mostly these are incorrect assumptions based on our perceptions and attachments from the past, such as a trauma that can have a lasting impact on our future.
The biggest problem with the inner voice is that it prevents us from living in the present moment and, instead, creates an internal world within the mind, which is an exact replication, the difference being the false sense of control and expectations.
However, eventually, all false realities fall apart and we discover that our reality doesn’t abide by the laws of our perception and this becomes a huge source of suffering, as our perceptions from our internal world get encroached by reality.
Transcending Beyond the Echo
To grow beyond our need to feel in control and resist the world in its purest form, mostly depends upon the level of conditioning or the influence of the voice.
Just the fact that you are aware of this voice and its impact on your daily life represents your inner maturity and understanding of self.
Before we can proceed any further, I need you to think for a moment: when was the last time you felt content with your life and how long did the feeling last?
The problem is that we all believe that life is a series of hurdles and challenges that need to be solved. When one problem is solved, another lies just beyond the horizon.
Consequently, in the quest of attaining the ultimate form of bliss, we never feel that the final destination is in sight, hence, the continuous struggle.
So, how can you use these insights to facilitate self-growth and self-awareness?
Almost all solutions lie in thought and my primary goal for writing is to facilitate thought, not only for the readers but also for me, as the writer. The same philosophy can be applied in this case.
The next time you perceive something as a problem, don’t try to find a solution in the next moment. Instead, think of the problem as an opportunity and use it in relation to yourself, for self-exploration purposes.
Investigate the reason why you perceive it as a problem, the reason you resist it or find it undesirable and feel the need to change. Try to understand your reasons for feeling the way you do.
Once you have understood the part that is responsible for resisting the situation, delve even deeper and inquire who the source of this dissonance is.
As we discussed earlier, we are not the voice but rather the ones who experience the voice.
If and when you believe yourself to be a separate entity from the voice, only then will you be able to investigate the source of the problem.
Understanding or creating distance between who you really are and who you perceive yourself to be is essential to experience freedom in the truest sense. The reality is that we have no control whatsoever on the external world. It is driven by many different forces, including our own influence.
However, we have absolute control over the internal world, even though it seems like you have no control and feel compulsive as a result.
Never ever forget this simple reality: you are more than your thoughts, feeling and judgments. You are limitless in every sense of the word but prone to become dependent. Experience control over your own life and you shall never feel dependent on anything.
In the end, remember that you are simply the one experiencing the journey.
Once you manage to develop your ability to be aware of your own presence, you can gain objective distance that is crucial for preventing unnecessary reliance and dependence. You will be able to see yourself as an independent entity, that is not associated with anything, neither subject to anything, including your own thoughts.
But remember that we, humans, are creatures of habit and conditioning on a physiological level leads to the creation of fallacies as a form of justification, in order to explain our behaviors — whether functional or dysfunctional.
In this regard it is important for us to constantly exercise our true self.
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This article was inspired by I Am, Therefore I Think: The Truth Of Who You Really Are, which was written by Don Mateo Sol. He is the author and co-founder of popular spiritual website LonerWolf.com. As a shamanic practitioner, teacher and soul guide, Sol has helped to lead thousands of people throughout the world on their journeys of self-discovery, healing and wholeness. You can follow Sol’s work on Facebook.