~ The Mind-Body-Self Deception
For the spiritual practitioner the goal is to separate the illusory from the real.
To ‘Know Thyself’ is the key to every mystical tradition and it’s called Realization or Enlightenment.
But first we should consider what the term ‘Thyself’ means here … don’t we already know ourselves?
Furthermore, we also have to consider why one would spend time on such an endeavor in the first place?
To quickly examine both questions; the ‘Thyself’ mentioned in this axiom is not the transient identity that you now use in everyday life.. And the purpose of making this discovery is to create a life of satisfaction, peace and blissfulness rather than suffering and torment and dissatisfaction.
So then, the next question should be how can we know for sure our current identity is not the real us? Is there really someone else behind the scenes that we haven’t met yet?
Well ask yourself this simple question, if every single memory you’ve every had was suddenly torn away, who would you be?
If you can’t answer that question then you can be certain you have not yet discovered your true self, your Essential Nature.
But first let’s discuss the subject of suffering.
All forms of suffering are caused by the mind and body. The body and mind each have their own form of memory or impressions.
Suffering is different from pain. Suffering is mind created. Suffering is caused by the anticipation or memories of pain or desire. Suffering is caused only by looking forward or looking backward, it is never about the present moment and therefore it is always illusory, it’s a creation of the mind. Suffering is a lacking, a wanting, a fear or a need created from this imagining of the mind.
For example, the mind creates an illusory projection of some future state that represents pain, like a bill that won’t get paid, physical damage from an illness not yet experienced, a spouse leaving you, etc.
As another example, the mind creates an illusory projection of some future state that represents pleasure, like a job promotion you haven’t been considered for, a marriage you wish happens, a lottery win, etc.
Both actually cause suffering and these examples can be made for past memories too. When you look back on a situation that has long passed and recall the pain or pleasure associated with it and identify with that memory – again this causes underlying suffering (lack, want, need, desire, dissatisfaction, etc)
this underlying program causes discomfort, lack of ease and the propensity to ‘take action’, ‘to move’, ‘to find comfort and safety’ – dissatisfaction with the present moment. This is a terrible way to live but most of us do it day in and day out – searching, longing, running around in a frantic pace in need, unconscious and unhappy.
This ego mind-program is in a constant state of reordering, of ‘selfing’ the identity in a process of boxing it in, the physiological body, from everything else. The mind tries to conclude ‘what am I compared to something else’ in a series of judgments through the constant, never-ending process of memory impressions and future projections influenced by the surrounding macro-cosmic environment and through it’s senses of cognition outwardly. The mind-machine is trying to assemble memories and projections to determine what it is.
Unfortunately, these memories, these projections and these senses are highly limited in accuracy and therefore the ego mind-machine instrument makes conclusions based on seriously limited (faulty) data. With this faulty data and erroneous conclusions, the ‘You’ is born which you then project out into the world. The ‘You’ is nothing more than a series of impressions, a program created by the system in which you live.
What we take in from the outside will never tell us who we really are on the inside.
Keep in mind, when you were born you had no residual influences in the body or the mind whatsoever. You were at ease, no stress, no problems, nonjudgmental, totally free from suffering in any form. As time went on, all of the societal influences that were passed into your mind-machine started to create conclusions called ‘the transient you identity’ – that person you project to the world and yourself.
But the descriptions of experiences and impression don’t really form the essence of something or someone, they’re simply desires and dislikes, experiences, etc. These are things that have happened or will happen, but they don’t form the real someone at all. The actual nature of someone is much deeper than just a series of experiences and memories, projections, desires and pains.
The essence or Essential Nature is outside of egoic mind-machine. It’s this Essential Nature, the true self, that spiritual practitioner is seeking to become aware of.
However, because the Essential Nature, that perfect observing consciousness, is sleeping or dormant, it gets entangled with this transient identity, the lower egoic mind-machine. Because of this entanglement, there’s a false belief that the experiences and influences that created these mind impressions are the real self. In other words, that the experiences are the real ‘You’ because they’re all you can identify with.
This is the true spiritual definition of an unaware or sleeping person. That they believe and associate totally with the transient identity which is completely temporal and vanishes at death. They invest in it, they cleave to it, they suffer through it.
This is why in our lifetimes we search for security, sex, money, power, control, fame, knowledge, etc and yet none of these things ever solve our problem of dissatisfaction no matter how great the mind projects that they will. Because of this outward mind created illusion we suffering intensely.
The Essential Nature is permanent, infinite and genuine. Although it can experience, no part of the experience (good or bad) sticks to it as It doesn’t rely on experience to determine what it is, it is the ‘I AM’ and eternally existent. Once realized, the Essential Nature sees through the transience of the ego mind-machine and realizes that just as it has been born it will also die. Here life become a game, not a trap. Life can be fun instead of cruel and scary.
The most important point is this: if we don’t discover this Essential Nature in this lifetime, then when death comes to take us away we’ll be lost as the mind and body dissolve and the essential nature is not recognized.
The world is only an incubation center for consciousness evolution. The only question you need to ask yourself is, is it time to finally evolve and ‘Know Thyself’ or continue to cleave to the illusory and transient?
– Raz Iyahu