As a metaphysics teacher, i often am asked to speak about the question “Who am I?”. Especially by those who are in a kind of hurry to attain Nirvana or Enlightenment. Someone asked me few days back the same question in a chat conversation. So here is my perspective…
One of the biggest disillusionment one has to surface and go beyond is that we have one self.
We mostly believe we are one person inside with some set characteristics. We have this one mental self image of ourselves. Often we are taking our day to day action using that person as a reference point.
To my surprise i discovered, that’s what tricks us. We are not one person inside we are many. In olden times this was misrepresented by Multiple Personality Disorder. However, if you carefully observe you will find that you have different personalities that emerge in different situations.
Just because we haven’t acknowledged this, we get hassled with ourselves with certain behavior or habit. There is one persona which is dominant and keeps every other one in check. But sometimes when situation arises one of the “sleeping selves” (thats the only term i could think of :-)) wakes up and shows itself. After the moment gets over it goes back to sleep. And then comes back the dominant persona. And it just hates the action you just took or is very surprised what happened and how come you reacted in a particular way. Sometimes its this sleeping self which perpetuates particular self destructive habits like procrastination, uncontrolled urge to eat, insomnia and many other behaviors that we wish to heal but it just remains the same.
Just to make it simple, lets say many a times we get confused by some of our own behavior. For example, one day a friend of mine called an said ” I just made a fool of myself. I yelled at my boss and colleagues. I don’t know what took over me. Normally am a very sane guy and would also discourage people from expressing themselves inappropriately. I am just too shocked and surprised by my behavior.”
And he was occupied with that for many weeks. When one day we met and we explored what exactly happend, in a trance state he could wake up the sleeping self willfully. When we began to explore that part of his self, we both were surprised by the discovery. That self spoke like a different yet complete person by itself. And it also revealed why it showed up. And the intent was really very pure. When he woke up from trance and listened to his sharing, my friend was aghast. Was lill afraid to discover this side of himself as thats what he used to hate in his father. We both were just left speechless by the experience and the realization that how little do we know about our other side.
And just to set the perspective right, whats most needed on the journey to self realization is the first step of “integration”. Which is nothing but surfacing and discovering these hidden selves and integrating them with unconditional acceptance and love.
Often the biggest block to many seekers is when they get confronted with these sides, they begin to either hide it or suppress it or at the most pretend not to have it. When this happens what happens to their being and their conversation is very stunning. Suddenly their words loose the meaning. The power of their being gets shadowed and people near them begin to sense superficiality in their behavior.
All this happens due to innocent unawareness. But our fear of being perceived in X or Y way takes over and we once again get disconnected from our own genuine and powerful being.
What worked and still works for me is not being afraid of whatever shows up inside. And granting the otherside unconditional acceptance and healing.
You might find the work of Carl Jung on Photosynthesis and Integration very interesting in these areas. So next time you get surprised with your self, just know that a part of you just woke up. Before it sleeps again heal it and then put it to rest. My experience is it doesn’t show up again if it is fully integrated and healed.
Also please share if you have surfaced or dealt with it in any other ways that it got healed which could be helpful for all of us.