by John Weddepohl
Could ignoring our true selves be costing us the future?
The creation we find ourselves in is always absolutely peaceful.
Never in conflict, not a day goes by in the creation that is not absolutely perfect.
So why do we human beings still keep struggling, getting conflicted?
As our forebears have come and gone, left with a common legacy; individuality, humanity ends up enjoying a cocktail of conflict and crisis. First, because we take our individuality so literally we take it to mean the absolute truth of who we are and second, because we have no choice,
Fucked either way, whether we take it or leave it – these are the terms, and these are the conditions.
Left with no other option, individuality soaks up all our human bandwidth and uses up all our resources. Stuck on repeat, repeat, repeat, the more sick on our obsession with individuality we get, the more at odds we are with ourselves and each other and the more we end up fighting over a common cause. Finding little in common, faced with unavoidable conflict, the human crisis is inevitable. While the volume on our individuality is turned up so loud, drowning everything else, struggling to find common ground, a peaceful, sustainable future remains a moving target.
Because we all use the word ‘self’ like a mantra, doesn’t mean we know its meaning.
Humanity uses the word ‘I’ too in one form or other all the time. But without knowing what its meaning is, militarised or used against us it can be used as weapon for no good.
Thinking our individuality completes and makes us whole human beings and helps us to survive – does it really?
Only when we rise above and beyond our ideas of who we are, (individuality) in sports, sciences, medicine and in the arts, in the community of human endeavour, in spite of our ideas, despite our differences, leaving them all behind, does the magic of humanity work and humanity shine.
Individuality is like a hot air balloon. Without you it means nothing. Filled with hot air, even a tiny little thought can burst our bubble. Depending on it for everything in our lives, when our individuality gets challenged and our ideas are threatened, bursting our bubble, the balloon falls out the sky and turning everything to absolute shit in an instant takes our lives down with it.
The ongoing crisis we call being human is the stuff movies are made of, thrillers are written about, villains thrive on and generations needlessly keep trying to survive.
Notice I used the word ‘needlessly’ not ‘helplessly’.
Because we are not helpless. Far from it.
Do we need to keep trying to survive something that doesn’t ostensibly exist?
Only you exist. Without you individuality means nothing.
So what of the future? What if there is an alternative?
What if there’s already a solution to individuality ‘overload’?
What if we’re all participating in the solution already, but because we can only see through the lens of our individuality, we don’t see it?
What if humanity is already the solution?
What if anti-depressants don’t work!
Our virtue and our vice, only when we fall from grace, getting pushed to the ground onto our knees does individuality ever get questioned. Questioning what we value the most, seeking some viable alternative, where do we go?
From the sublime to the ridiculous, if anything can prick your idea of your own immortality it’s your individuality.
Thus the story of the human being and conversation so far: forced to take refuge in a limited idea of ourselves, once our idea comes unstuck and proves unstable, the crisis that consumes us is unstoppable.
Yet our individuality is our GPS; the compass we use to navigate society and negotiate and transact with each other. Not its fault that we keep getting in a mess because of it. Its just doing its job.
Taken out of context, anything gets messy. Making identity and individuality the meaning of our existence, mixes up our brains and messes with the whole society.
Rising suicide rates and growing social disorder and conflict are the inevitable result.
So what’s the alternative?
Give it all up? Trade our old individuality in for a new one?
Relying on individuality is for cavemen. Living in a prehistoric shadow, only when the anthem, “In individuality we trust” sounds like some ancient abandoned motto from the stone age, will humanity be free.
How do we step out of the pathetic shadow of the past and rather than live in hope, dreaming of some future destiny, stop – and – be that destiny?
Behind every human shadow, already implicit in every human being is the power of pure intelligence, potentiality and abundance. Lighting up the world like the light of the sun is the light of the true Self. Everything else is its reflection – a fiction.
Limited to an idea of perfection; a shadow; when that perfection already exists as ourselves, just means we never find it and never tire of looking.
Because everything is happening in our presence, knowing yourself as the nature and meaning of presence solves the problem.
But not individuality. Because individuality doesn’t need solving. Individuality is never the problem. Only our reliance and dependence on it is. Once you know your true Self individuality comes into its own. No longer building and then tearing down societies and civilisations and destroying our relationships, used meaningfully, individual skills and ability are the gift society gives to the world. Therefore ignorance – ignoring our true Self – is the real problem.
Finding the solution was always none other than yourself, you see right through every problem and realise that there are only solutions and that other than human ignorance, no problems exist.
Humanity has always been in a crisis. We are not the first generation to lock horns with reality and look it in the eyes seeking answers.
When the crisis no longer relative is ourselves, when we are the crisis, the question being asked is absolute. Wanting the absolute answer where do we go?
India. Because India has such a rich history of treating the crisis of the human being as sacred, India traditionally has always provided the answer.
But it’s no good going to India if you don’t speak Sanskrit.
Because up until now the answer to who you are has only ever been available in Sanskrit.
Anyone fortunate enough to get in a crisis in the past and question the truth of themselves (Yes! Crisis has always been a blessing!) could at least, if they were in India, find someone who having faced similar odds, questioned the truth and got their questions answered. If the person couldn’t teach you, at least they could point you in the right direction.
Luckily this tradition of learning from a living teacher – who having learned the truth from their teacher, who lost in crisis had similarly questioned and got the truth from their teacher, is an unbroken chain that has survived unchanged for countless generations.
We are not the first generations to want an upgrade and want to know the truth about our existence. Nor will we be the last.
Fortunately, Upanishadic wisdom and in particular Self-knowledge, because it has always answered all our questions, survives.
Treated as sacred, Self-knowledge got locked in a legacy of secrecy and taboo. After being hidden in religious orthodoxy, Self-knowledge and more importantly the methodology of teaching has only just survived.
Revived in the past few decades and translated into English from Sanskrit by India’s modern revivalist monks, the teaching has been brought back into society where it belongs.
Because the quest of humanity today, especially faced with Climate Crisis and Global Warming and its denial, is the search for meaning and a way to survive and secure our future – that survival needs to start with Self-knowledge.
It’s no good going to Mars. When the problem arises right here, the solution must also arise right here.
Getting over depending on our individually is our first priority.
All it takes to dissolve all our differences and difficulties in the world is to know the truth of the human being. Knowing the meaning of one word: ‘I’ solves the problem.
To enjoy the jewel of creation and the teaching of the Upanishads, you don’t even have to go as far as India anymore.
You don’t even need Sanskrit. Using as little Sanskrit as possible, because Self-knowledge has been translated into english, in India, a generation of children are being taught to know themselves right now in primary school.
As the teaching of Self-knowledge gains momentum in the west, not knowing your true nature as a human being will soon be the exception.
The world we live in already perfect, doesn’t need to be made a better place.
Besides it’s the only world we’ve got, plus it’s the only one with chocolate.
P.S. Already present, only one thought is making us absent; ‘I’. Creating all our human difficulties and misunderstandings, to save ourselves the hardship, knowing the meaning of one word ‘I’ gets rid of the hardship and clears suffering in an instant.
Before the meaning of our journey can be complete, all we have to answer is one simple question – Who is this ‘I’ that is asking the questions?
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