Over the ages, human have always questioned our identity and origin. The ancient Greek aphorism goes, “Know Thyself” and indeed over centuries we have attempted to do so.
We have dissected the human body and investigated every organ, took apart each cell and investigated our molecular structure. We have discovered the Higgs boson, nicknamed ‘God’s particle’ which raises more questions than it can answer.
After all that examination, do humans know ourselves? Have we come close? If not, are we even looking in the right places?
The Great Misinterpretation
Search the internet “Why should one know thyself” and there are scores of articles to that effect. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching said “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
Yet in all our efforts over the centuries, the human race is not any wiser (Trump is an obvious example) nor happier. We have progressed in many aspects of life, yet we frequently comment that life in the past was simpler and happier.
We humans are great at misinterpreting the simplest messages. We take a simple message such as “Know thyself” and run with it, not realizing we are heading to the entirely opposite direction.
Most of our efforts have been driven to understand ourselves on the visible plane. All the visible world is sustained by the invisible world. We have failed to give importance inwards.
Let’s talk about You
We always like to talk about ourselves, don’t we?
Do you know what makes you a unique individual? Is it the way you look? Or perhaps a particular characteristic or trait?
When you know what makes your individual, take a moment to consider again – If you identify yourself with the way you look, understand that looks are never permanent. If you identify yourself with your body, understand that your cells constantly undergo bouts of death and regeneration. If you identify with a trait e.g. ‘a happy person’, if you are no longer happy are you still the same person?
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
If the above is a bothersome fact, you are not alone. Buddha was also bothered by the same questions and he began some inward examination. Through careful examination and questioning, he asked himself ‘Am I this body?’, ‘If not, am I this mind?’, ‘But if I can observe my thoughts, I must not be this mind for the object cannot observe itself’. And step by step, he went on with this thinking process.
In the end, he decided to sit and stop the fluctuations of his mind to experience his True Self. Thoughts are merely mental fluctuations, they cloud the person from fully experiencing and realizing his true nature.
Our breath is one gift, that’s an excellent tool for us to quiet our mind. When the outer world no longer engages us, our inner world opens to reveal its beauty. Working with the truth (our breath), and not other fictitious or imaginary object, we can traverse beyond the gross body and mind.
When you know, you start to understand.
When you understand, you start to accept.
When you accept, you start to love.
If the article sets you thinking, or if you are ready to start your personal introspection, send me a message. We will be conducting bi weekly meditation sessions.
May all be happy.