“You” are an illusion of relativity
by Brian Thompson, published on Zen Thinking, on April 5, 2016
“You” are an illusion of relativity.
I say this because everything that you believe yourself to be is relative to how you relate to the world that you perceive, as it appears through your hazy mix of personal opinions, thoughts, beliefs, concepts, knowledge, memories, preferences and emotions.
This sense of a “personal” self is continually changing and is relative to everything you interact with—especially your own body and mind, and how you believe they each compare with society’s expectations and whether or not you believe they conform with your culture’s ideals.
And so, who you believe yourself to be is relative to your opinion of everything you encounter. Your image of yourself is influenced and conditioned by everything you experience.
But this relative “self” is not really YOU—in actuality, it’s merely a mis-perceived identity caused by the heady mix of the ego’s ever-changing fears and desires. Your true Self however, is not relative to anything at all—it stands alone in its own illuminating essence. And yet to most people, their true nature remains unrealized, hidden underneath layers of personal belief, behavioural habit and conceptual thought.
And this is the flaw in your self-perceived identity—anything whose is-ness is defined entirely by that which surrounds it has no independent characteristics of its own. Therefore, you are not the independent entity you believe yourself to be, because how you define your “self” relies completely upon the whims of your emotional mind and how it relates to whatever the present moment contains.
When you believe that this idea of “me” is not only the centre of everything you perceive, but its “owner”, then you allow everything to define you. “Me” then becomes the bullseye at the centre of the personal target that needs to be continually defended from every possible perceived threat.
This “me” makes you selfish, because it posits you against the rest of the entire world—including your true Self nature.
In contrast to this false and imagined self however, is your true Self—the aware presence of consciousness which animates your body/mind. This is the true source of your being-ness—this is your I AM—and it alone is Absolute. It pervades everything that IS and is relative to no-thing. It is undivided, indivisible and eternal, conditioned by no-thing other than its own infinitely aware emptiness.
Your true Self is the unbound presence-of-inner-being, known only by its unconditional love, compassion and happiness, and its choiceless acceptance of all that is. Your Self enables everything to be, as YOU are beyond any possibly thought, as all thought exists within YOU, Awareness.
When this is fully realized, the dream of the relative self dissolves—along with all of the grossly material suffering and drama that it created in an effort to define itself.
Unfortunately however, the true Self is not how most people perceive themselves. Instead, they limit themselves inside a bundle of moody self-obsessed thoughts, shaped by their acceptance or resistance to the present moment.
As long as you consider yourself to be this false self who is relative to everything it perceives, then you will continue to be at the mercy of the world of happenings outside of you—none of which are in your control. You will be relative to everything’s false appearance, and in turn, your entire reality will be a dream inside of a dream.
As long as you are bound by your own subjective opinions of yourself, true happiness will continue to elude you.
Consider this for a moment: Do you honestly believe that you are what you think of yourself?
One day you think you’re at the top of the world, blessed with an abundance of skill, talent, brains and beauty, and the next day you think you’re to a worthless, talentless hack who nobody loves. Umm… so, which is the true you? Clearly, you have no idea whatsoever. Both versions of “you” are nothing more than an opinionated thought. Both are relative to your environment, your opinions thereof, and your emotions and mood.
And this is the very source of humanity’s endless emotional pain—we don’t know our true Self nature.
Underneath all of those confusing thoughts, you KNOW yourself to be so much more than the accumulated conditionings of your environment and circumstance—but you still can’t figure your “self” out. You KNOW yourself to be so much more than just your body and mind, and so much more than your physical appearance and mental intellect. You KNOW yourself to be more than whatever limitations were inherent within your birthright. You KNOW there is a presence deep within that cannot be named, that cannot be confined by any concept or opinion, that is immune to the happenings of the outside world—and yet, your true Self-Awareness escapes you.
Your relative self (the false self) will forever to be conditioned by whatever your identity yourself with, regardless of whether it’s family, culture, religion, beauty, intellect, style, skill, creativity, career, or level of material success—but that which can be conditioned, cannot be true. Truly, this is what it means to suffer—to have your entire sense of self swing back and forth like a pendulum, from one extreme to another, never knowing who you truly are. Bleh! Tolerate this no more.
Your true Self however, is impervious to conditioning, for it is what allows all conditionings to be perceived and to become known.
Know yourself to be the knowing that knows—not that which is known. Your true Self is independent—it depends on no-thing. It is conditioned by and is relative to no-thing. It alone, is Absolute.
No longer believe the egoic voice that echoes inside your head, for it alone is the creator of your false self—no longer give attention to any I-thought, me-thought, or mine-making belief that the mind tries to attach onto your present moment experiencing. Ignore any thought that tries to self-indentify with what it perceives. You are not that. Mindfully abide in your present moment perception of the here and now, free of any egoic influence. Surrender yourself into your presence of awareness, where no false thought can survive, where no untruth can remain.
Ask yourself this:
Who would I be if no fear or desire remained?
Who would I be if I no longer took anything personally?
Who would I be if every opinion I have of myself was wiped clear?
Who would I be if I no longer compared myself to my perceptions of the outside world?
Who would I be if I was no longer concerned about maintaining or defending my self-image?
No longer identify yourself with any self-reflecting thought—they are all false.
Realize that YOU are beyond anything you could possibly think.
Quieten your mind. Observe your thoughts and inquire into their source, seek your true self-nature by repeatedly asking, “Who Am I?”. Allow the question to stop thinking its self-obsessed tracks. Your true Self will become quite clear—your true nature is the presence of consciousness that permeates your every experience. YOU are the the awareness in which all experience becomes known.
YOU are not a man or a woman, a mother or a father, an entrepreneur or an employee, an artist or a designer, a doctor or a clerk. You are not beautiful or ugly, successful or not, talented or otherwise—you are the unchanging continuity of consciousness that perceives everything “you” have ever done. It has always been with you, because it IS you. There is no other attribute of your personhood that can make such a claim. YOU are who YOU have always been, despite the changes of every other aspect of your body/mind form.
Your body/mind organism deceives you. YOU are not a thought of relativity. YOU are consciousness, animating an object of human form, who is witness to the world that your senses perceive, but is not conditioned by any of them. Your presence of consciousness is relative to no-thing. It alone, IS.
Realize that the false personal self is nothing more than a psychological structure.
It is a construct of mind, not unlike a dream. Your true Self however, is impersonal. It claims ownership of no-thing. It is empty of any preference, loving everything as it IS. The Self is Universal, as it is the same shared beingness of all apparent things, and is empty of any relative subjectivity from the egoic mind.
Alas, this is what humanity suffers from, a crisis of mistaken identity—and this is our collective existential crisis. But this is also our greatest purpose, to awaken to our consciousness, to become aware of our own awareness, to perceive our own perceiving, and to realize that as consciousness, we are the very energy-of-being that flows through all apparent things.
We unknowingly obscure our true Self nature underneath an ego that believes itself to be a separate individual who stands apart from the rest of the world—and yet, this very notion of our self is defined by nothing other than the world that we believe we are independent from. It’s an incredibly flawed concept of mind, one we have invested all of our emotional energy in.
Imagine what you could do, what you could accomplish, what you could create, and how you would feel after being liberated from the forever-shifting winds of the relative false-self. You would be happy and free.
Your true Self is not relative to the whims of its environment, it is not relative to the fears and fancies of egoic mind, and it is not subject to the mind’s ever-changing opinions of personal subjectivity. When you no longer believe in the personalized thoughts of “me”, you liberate yourself from virtual bondage.
Realize your Universal Self and break out of your egoic personal shell.
Realize your true Self by perceiving your false self. Understand that YOU are not it.
YOU are the all-pervading sense of I AM that is the undercurrent of your every experience. YOU are your continuity of consciousness, your unbound presence of awareness—and not any of the sense perceptions that appear within it.
There is no “me”, there is only the all-knowing presence of, I AM.
Liberate yourself from your own false relativity.