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In Search of Your True Self

Updated on May 18, 2012

Trying to Find Your True Self in Nature

Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls: Brazil/Argentina (from Brazil side)
Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls: Brazil/Argentina (from Brazil side) | Source
Iguazu Falls: Brazil/Argentina
Iguazu Falls: Brazil/Argentina | Source

Finding Your True Self or Original Self

Everyone is searching for something. But what is it that people are searching for? Instead of approaching this from different belief systems, I will approach this from just using common sense. Though common sense may not be so common. This was written in May of 2012.

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There is a big difference in knowing and believing. With believing something you may be wrong or mistaken. So we can start out with what we know. There is one thing that every person wll find, without exception, whether he looks for it or not. That is death! Being born is a death sentence. This is the one thing that you can be sure of in your future. There is an Indian story about this.

A king was exploring his country. He came across a fortune teller and asked the fortune teller his future. The fortune teller said that the king was going to die in 2 months. So the king became very sad. He asked his spiritual advisor about this, since he did not want to be very sad. (Even kings want to be happy).

The advisor asked the fortune teller about his own future. The fortune teller said that he was going to live for many more years. So the adviser took his sword and killed the fortune teller. Then the adviser said to the king that apparently the fortune teller did not know what he was taking about so "Don't worry, be happy."

In the movie, The Trial of Billy Jack, Billy Jack (BJ) says "He is my constant companion." The judge asked "Who is your constant companion?" BJ explains that death is his constant companion. Because BJ knows that he may die tomorrow, he does not take anything too seriously since-- how important would it be if he dies tomorrow. Also he does not treat his life like a joke today since he may die tomorrow so he does not want to just waste his time.

In certain beliefs and religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism and yoga, they talk about a true self or original self. In our society some people have trouble getting along with their kids or children. Now adults can have many issues and be very different depending on beliefs. But children that have not gotten into this, appear to be very similar. Adults can be very complex while children are very simple. So if there is a true self, then maybe the child is closer to that true self than the adult.

In fact the further away from that original self that one becomes, the more trouble parents will have getting along with their children. Generally children want to feel loved and they want to feel good. They may have little to no responsibilies but they are putting a lot of effort into having fun and feeling good. As far as what Eckhart Tolle teaches about being in the present, these children are not worrying about the future. They are just trying to feel good now.

Since children are like this but get further from this as they get older, this is a clue as to what the true self is like. This is not a religious or philsophical thing but common sense. Jesus does not say in the Bible that if you want to enter heaven then talk to a wise, old man. Now Christians do not say that in their religion, they are searching for the true or original self. Never the less, the Bible (New Internation Verison 1984) says (Matthew 18:1-4):

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Buddha lived 500 years before Jesus. If you look at their lives and actions, it would be hard to pick out who did what if you did not know about it. Maybe both of them had become one with their true self. Animals follow instincts for survival of the self and survival of the speces. But people are different. People want to be happy. People want to feel good. Why? Maybe because this is the nature of the true self.

Now if they are not feeling feeling good or happy, they may kill themselves or kill a bunch of other people. This goes against the instinct for survival of self and species that animals have. In the U.S. there is a big problem with people taking illegal drugs. People are doing this because they want to feel good.

But drugs do not work since the body fights against the effect of the drug. So whatever the short term effect of the drug is, the body produces an opposite effect in the long term. In fact say that you want to slow down your resting heart rate so your heart beats at a slower rate. How do you do that? You exercise and make your heart beat at a much faster rate. As time goes on and you continue to do this, your heart rate slows down.

A few hundred years before Jesus lived, there was Socrates. He taught that the most important thing in life was the immortal soul, not the body. He was executed for teaching this. But this is what he was reffering to when he said "Know thyself!" If the true self or original self is this immortal soul, then even though your body dies, you never die. Maybe this soul that you really are, is in a state of perfect peace, endless love and unending happiness and that is what you are searching for.

Time for a break. Watch this very short video about a guy who learned that he was not going to be happy counting on his body!

Watch This 4 Minute Video to See More About Your True Self

The False Self

So with this way of looking at life, the true self or original self is what we are seeking to feel since this is what we really are. This is why we do not like to feel bad. The false self is the body and the mind that thinks about the body and all the problems that it has in this world. Some people even argue how can we be happy when there is so much suffering in the world.

But this is not our true home. Our true home is beyond time and space. People feel many things in life. But the feeling of being home where we belong is way beyond anything else. The message of Buddha is that everyone can go home and be in total peace and tranquility and be beyond all suffering. I have an article about What is Yoga. It says that yoga is not really a type of exercise or a religion but a science of raising conscioousness.

So here is a free online book for you that is ancient and all about your true self. Note that it refers to yoga and people who do it as yogis. The Ashtavakra Gita is a scripture which documents a dialogue between the Perfect Master Ashtavakra and Janaka, the King of Mithila. You should look up words that you are not familiar with. Some include samsara (physical world) and Brahma (God). It takes about an hour to read and maybe a lifetime to understand. Here are some quotes from it:

Alternatively, I am in all beings, and all beings are in me. To know this is knowledge, and then there is neither renunciation, acceptance, or cessation of it. 6.4

I am pure consciousness, and the world is like a magician's show. How could I imagine there is anything there to take up or reject? 7.5

Realising, "I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am awareness," one attains the supreme state and no longer remembers things done or undone. 11.6

You are not the body, nor is the body yours, nor are you the doer of actions or the reaper of their consequences. You are eternally pure consciousness, the witness, in need of nothing -- so live happily. 15.4

Desire and anger are objects of the mind, but the mind is not yours, nor ever has been. You are choiceless awareness itself and unchanging -- so live happily. 15.5

Recognising oneself in all beings, and all beings in oneself, be happy, free from the sense of responsibility and free from preoccupation with "me." 15.6

The above also mentions meditation that is part of yoga. I also have an article about 29 Celebrities That Do Meditation. It includes Dr Oz with a video of him talking about the meditation that he does, Al Gore, Oprah with video, Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood and mnay more.


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    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 5 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Well done! You've made some excellent points here. I especially like the reminder of living in the moment, not taking anything too seriously, but not wasting any time either. Great hub!