Guest Post: Where is your centre of self-identity? Brian Holley
Where is your centre of self-identity?
The key here is the question of where our sense of self-identity is centred: in the ego or in pure consciousness. When our self-identity is vested in our ego perception then our view of the world is inflected by our feelings, opinions, culture and familial background. As Paul said to the Corinthians, “Now we see as in a mirror obscurely.” In fact when we see things in a mirror we see them the wrong way round. Maybe that’s why Jesus so often said, “You have been told . . . But I tell you . . .”
It has been said that we are triune beings: gross (physical), subtle (mind, ego) and causal (pure consciousness, spirit). Some have taught that the flesh (gross) is evil and have focused on punishing it and subduing it. Others have taught that the ego (subtle) must be annihilated and even the mind. Yet all teachers communicate through their physical presence and continue to express themselves through their personas, which are only an outward expression of their egos. It seems to me more likely that we should focus our attention on pure consciousness and, in awareness of this, allow both the body and the ego to be brought into resonance with it. Perhaps this is something of the meaning of Jesus’ call to become ‘little children. ‘Not just children, but little children — children before the ego has begun to mature. Perhaps there is also something of this in the call to ‘change your mind’ (badly translated as repent) and to be ‘born again.’
We’ve grown to think that filling our minds with the right beliefs is going to bring us to an experience of whatever we think of as ‘God.’ Yet, to become as little children means emptying our minds of everything we think we know. That is surrender. As T.S. Eliot put it, “A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything)” Having a full mind is not different from having a full purse and we all know what Jesus said about the ability of rich people to enter the kingdom. What marks the kingdom is peace, love and joy. These are not intellectual properties.
So all our wrangling over doctrine and what to believe are of no account whatsoever in the kingdom. The kingdom is within each one of us as pure and unconditioned consciousness. We can only enter it (become aware of it) by stilling the mind. This act will naturally entrain the body to be at peace. The process by which this is enabled to happen within us may vary with individuals but ultimately we arrive at place of silence and stillness for that is the meaning of unconditioned. There is nothing here but pure awareness, for the self-identity is no longer centred in the ego but in the spirit. No longer mere thoughts, but unconditioned awareness that is palpable. This is the state in which our bodies and minds become transfigured and transformed because they are resonant with the one True Self of all. Over time, by regularly returning to this state it will become our new normal. Our bodies will be healthier our minds less distracted by fear and desire and we become an important influence on all those among whom we live and move and have our being. And that will happen simply from our being present.
Brian Holley is the author of ‘The God I Left Behind’, available as paperback or ebook from Amazon.