Layers of false self. The self-image

During my meditations and self-inquiries last year I went through extremely different states of being and modes of perceiving reality. Here are what I gathered in some notes, trying to classify how what I think I am affects the way I perceive and interact with the reality around me, and it with me.

Note that doing this is actually counter-productive to fully embodying Truth! I only want to share this as a tool for anyone curious about finding out more about themselves. I don’t recommend keeping any of this model as an identity or a replacement for the actual Truth (which can never be written/modeled). But I can point out some pitfalls and traps I have fallen into, with the hope that you can more easily avoid them when they appear!

Outward:

  • Expected interaction-self.
    Entangled with:

    • State of being
    • Projections on others (has layers upon layers, which come and go)
    • Purpose/objectives @ the moment, trying to get something, go somewhere “in the future” (which does not exist)
  • Expressing self
    • Hindered by inward reflecting self (which is wrapped up in believing thoughts of the past).

Inward

  • Reflecting self:
    Assuming responsibility for past circumstances, accumulates guilt/shame/fear
  • Unconscious self, can be FULLY brought within your consciousness. Encompasses everything that you normally do not think is you!Β Everything you perceive! Here outward and inward is no longer becomes a relevant distinction. Trap: becoming obsessed with trying to get back into such a state, once it has passed, trying to evoke it by associated memories.
  • Emotional self: suffering, accustomed to accumulating guilt/shame/fear. The pitfall here is thinking that there is a valid reason for you to continue carrying these. You have to be very aware and identify the thoughts that you think are you that cause them, and then call them out.
  • Inquiring self. The pitfall here is assuming there is something actually wrong with your at a fundamental level. The truth is, that there is not! You want to unravel the self-image you have built, not add to it.
  • Prophetic self: Mind connecting all observations into future projections. Can easily go VERY far due to the infinite nature of reality. Some “risks” are following one of the paths, creating an egoic identity out of it, and then becoming afraid of oneself. or thinking that one path is a ‘must’ or ‘destiny’ (this makes you remove your own authority, takes you out of the present moment and can be very hurtful).
  • Synchronistic self: At high awareness, certain patterns which were before hidden surfaces. Also new patterns are much more easily created than before.Β  The risk is developing addictive/obsessive behaviors. Yes, you CAN create patterns out of connecting almost all observed phenomena, but it can easily overtake the cognitive abilities to focus on something else you want to accomplish. You can think of becoming enlightened as becoming more like a small child again, you are much more vulnerable to external energies and influences. Great discernment is required!

Observing, aware, neutral self. Unifying. Conscious, at various levels, the more conscious, the more free and happy

  • No purpose while still acting
  • Flowing, fully present

The path I followed to my first full enlightenment experience was about one year of highly mindful manual work with little talking (4 hours per day) in conjunction with daily meditation practice (around 20 minutes), physical workout (a combination of cardio, calisthenics, weight training and yoga) and self-directed online research and studies (mostly books, wikipedia and YouTube videos) into various philosophical and religious schools and teachings.

A big problem than can arise with enlightenment experiences is that they easily create new layers of false self-image, in the forms of memories, practices that you want to ‘get back’ to (just like good childhood memories). That is never possible! The Truth is always right now, never in the past or future!

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