The “I”llusion of self esteem…


All psychology, spirituality and religion is based on the belief in the existence of a subject “I”.  The agenda is to improve, transform, save or reframe how we feel about this “I”.  We do affirmations, go to therapy, chant our mantras and pray to our god, gods or goddesses with the hope it will make us “feel” better, be saved, go to heaven or become enlightened as an “I”.While these tools CAN be helpful, providing some comfort in life, inevitably these methods are only a band aid to the ongoing suffering we experience.  They unfortunately reinforce not only the existence of an “I” (me, mine, you, us, them) but also the source of our personal and worldly suffering in the first place ~ not knowing the true Self which is beyond the “I”. 

When we focus and identifying with the false self, the “I” that has a body, a past, an imagined future, a story of pleasure and pain, suffering and joy, we perpetuate the lie of the “I”.  To focus only on making a better or more improved “I”, will not eliminate the suffering and pain you experience in life because you will always be caught up in the swing of a pendulum.  For every positive thought there is always a negative thought. 

To eliminate suffering you need to move beyond the swing of the pendulum, beyond the duality, beyond the perception of seeing your self and others as separate, individual things or “I”s.  Extra stress, confusion and denial will occur in your life if you think you always have to have positive thoughts.  It’s fine to have positive thoughts when you’re having them, but you may have noticed they are never permanent.  There will always be another thought and at some point it will become a “negative” thought.  One day you will have high esteem, the next day you will feel like you have no esteem.  You end up getting stuck in tape loop process, fixated on the kinds of thoughts you are having or not having. 

Psychology, Spirituality and religion place an added detriment by labeling and suggesting positive thoughts are  “saintly”, “good” and “righteous”, while negative thoughts are correspondingly “bad”, “evil” and wrong, which only further perpetuates the feeling  “there is something’s wrong with me”… eliminating any gained esteem.  The only way out of this dilemma is to acknowledge a deeper truth that exists.  That at the deepest level it does no matter whether you have esteem or not, that it does not really matter if you are having positive or negative thoughts because they ultimately come from the same place as does everything else that exists.  Everything arises and subsides “too and from the same place”.  To know this experientially, to be vigilant in recognizing this, to come to terms with this allows you to move beyond the swing of pendulum and the trance of duality that the majority of the population lives in.  

You can spend the rest of your life trying to improve your self esteem, trying to deal with the memories, emotions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes that perpetuate the illusion of an “I” that has esteem, or not.  Or you can awaken the observer/witness within you and learn to watch all of it arise and subside without judgment, evaluation, assessment or significance. 

 With practice, it is possible experience a level of detachment that provides you with a taste of freedom.  You notice things appear to exist as an expression of duality, but you become less distracted and disturbed by them.  You begin to accept the co-existence of opposites in life, but you are no longer caught up in the hysteria and drama because you are no longer identified too and as them.  You know experientially those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, memories and body are not who you are.  

Ironically the mind can become more and more settled.  You begin to notice that the mind is silent while you are thinking, because you are no longer identifying with the thought and its drama, but instead, you identify with the timeless source from where all thought emerges from.  There is a time when a thought that is needed will arise spontaneously, effortlessly, and it will be the “perfect” thought for the moment, it will be the right response or thought for that moment.  Your esteem has become a non issue, the psychology that was the “I” has become a non issue. 

There are many people in life who have practiced meditation, spirituality, religion and therapy and are still stuck because they still perceive reality through the perception of the “I” that needs to be managed, an “I” that will always have limits. They still believe in the lie of the “I”. 

Say by to the “I”     

One Response

  1. “There (will be) a time when a thought that is needed spontaneously arises effortlessly, and it will be the “perfect” thought for the moment, it will be the right response or thought for that moment. Your esteem has become a non issue, the psychology that was the “I” has become a non issue.”

    This paragraph clarified for me a depth of spirituality few come to recognize. How and what we THINK ourselves to be in the body of belief called “the esteem” is extremely egocentric in nature. I have come to understand our body’s are but an expression of what we THINK. Once we set aside those long held unstable curricullums of life we will notice the esteem fade like the morning fog beneath the early morning sun.

    Thank you…..Holy One!

    Author of IM with God

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