The Path to Self-Realization: Part II
By Karin Friedemann, TMO
Why Canâ€™t We Find Ourselves?
If Psyche, or our true, inner self, resides within each one of us, WHY do we still feel unsure, afraid, incomplete? All the secrets of the universe lie in our unconscious, so why donâ€™t we know all the answers? Only by breaking through the false ego can we liberate Psyche and awaken dormant truths.
People think they want to know the Truth, but they are (with good reason) terrified of letting go of their preconceived notions and their ideas of self-worth. Because to show Psyche to our consciousness is to shed light on all our imperfections. It would force us to see how small we really are in comparison to the universe. It would destroy our sense of security based on the world as we perceive it to be. We would profoundly have to realize that all we trust to be fact, and all that we hold to be true is changeable as the weather. We would either have to seek life on a spiritual plane (and that means giving up a lot of things!), or be driven over the brink of insanity.
Most people would rather not be inconvenienced by these realizations. They prefer to live and not be bothered by divine truths and ideas incomprehensible to normal thought and understanding. Some people can live quite happily without discovering â€œthe meaning of life.â€ That is fine for them. But others struggle in despair, longing and clutching at air, lost in dreams because they need so much to be fulfilled, but they are unable to find what they are in search of. These are the people for whom this essay is written. This essay is a meant as a guide for those who sincerely want to find themselves; to set Psyche free from the darkness which envelopes her.
You must be prepared to delve deep into the unconscious, and to go through a great deal of suffering, due not only to the realizations you make, but other people who do not understand what you are going through. People who you thought of as friends may reject you, but perhaps this is just as well. You will find out who your true friends are, because they will love you in spite of the changes you are going through, and they will give you strength and support.
Maybe you will find that you have no true friends at all. Now is your chance to find the strength to stand on your own; to quote Buddha: â€œBe ye a lamp unto thyself.â€ Once you have this light, you will be able to relate to others on a non-superficial basis. Youâ€™ll be able to give and receive honest love, and not feel as if you are losing something when you share yourself with others.
Where is Psyche Hiding?
The first thing you have to do is realize that no one is keeping the truth from you but yourself. Psyche is the perfection within all the imperfections. She is the motivating force which guides all our actions. Once in a while we feel her, when we let go of ourselves enough to be moved by a scriptural passage, a beautiful song, or gaze in pure bliss at the rising sun.
Psyche is always there, yet in order to protect ourselves from the terror and chaos a sudden revelation would bring, we cover her up with all sorts of natural defenses – unconscious drives and reactions, emotions which blind us to the true cause of our emotions (example: getting angry at your sister because your fiancÃ© hung up on you), intellect which causes us to rationalize and project the blame for our unhappiness (example: thinking youâ€™d be truly happy if only you didnâ€™t live in a capitalistic society, or if only Amy would fall in love with you, etc.).
Rational thought is a great wall which you must find your way around. The intellect is very useful in this world, but in order to realize universal truths, you must open your heart and mind to feelings and profound knowledge which are beyond intellectual grasp, simply because they deal with that which cannot be seen with the eyes or heard with the ears.
â€œI Am a Seekerâ€
After you realize that itâ€™s your own defenses keeping you from the perfect fulfillment you seek, itâ€™s time to take the first step on to the path towards finding your true self. That means admitting to yourself and to God that you are a seeker. Everybody is searching for happiness, but most people arenâ€™t admitting it, and that is why they arenâ€™t finding it!
Instead of saying, â€œI am searching for my soul,â€ they say, â€œIf I can live in New York, I will be happy,â€ or â€œIf I am rich,â€ or â€œIf I fall in love with the perfect mate, I will be fulfilled.â€ But it never works out that way! Maybe they will have a decent life. Maybe theyâ€™ll get to own a DVD player and have a nice husband and three kids, but there will always be something missing, until they find unity and peace within themselves.
When a person has peace within himself, he is not bothered by the fact that he isnâ€™t rich, or he hasnâ€™t accomplished anything that people have taken great notice of. Such a person has accomplished more than any of his peers who have big cars and fancy houses because he has the courage to look at himself and accept his faults or change them, instead of trying to hide them by putting down others, or having lots of friends to build up the ego (which usually just makes it more obvious that the person is insecure).
A person who knows and respects his true self has nothing to prove. A person who has found the true worth inside him knows that it has nothing to do with ego. A person who is at peace with himself loves and respects himself, and such a person loves and respects others also, because he knows that they are fundamentally no different than himself.
Such a person can love others without clinging to them. He doesnâ€™t need othersâ€™ attention in order to feel good about himself. But at the same time, he doesnâ€™t push away those who need him and cling to him because they sense his honesty and integrity, his love of all life. Such a person tries to help others find themselves, and encourages them to stand on their own two feet.
You want to be such a person, but you hold back. Why? In order to find yourself, to â€œset Psyche free,â€ you have to really want to. It is never easy, in fact it is a terrifyingly lonely task to undertake, because the journey must be made alone. There can be people who give you support and encouragement, they can point to the road and tell you where to go, but YOU must do the walking. YOU must make the commitment.
It is a hard journey no matter how long or short it takes, but you will find that, after you overcome your fears, the joy and bliss and the multitudes of treasures you find are infinite and precious. Once you find your true self, you never have to be miserable again, no matter what the circumstances! Enlightenment is not a one-time occurrence, but a constant process of growth and evolution, which goes on within you as long as you live, and beyond.
Inside you will blossom wisdom, compassion, joy – a pure radiance and immense love for the universe and the universal spirit, which guides and protects you along every step of the journey. You will discover and develop an inner strength, which cannot be destroyed; it will help you overcome every hardship and light up the darkness. You will find that nothing is impossible, that every dream can be realized.