Master teachers throughout history have repeatedly emphasized that part of our human experience is learning to live in alignment with our true, highest self while becoming mercifully aware of our false and limited separate self. This is the heroes journey and requires cultivating our ability to witness what is going on internally and externally without getting caught up in judgement and fear.
This type of journey has been confusing for me, as I thought it would be obvious and fixed as a fact with regards to what is the true and what is the false self. Then, it would just be a matter of choosing one and rejecting the other. In reality, this clinging and rejecting just creates more attachment which limits the ability to experience both the true and false self. Since no person in the infinity of existence has ever experienced either of these in the exact same way that I do, both have value as sources of inspiration, learning, opportunities for growth and forgiveness.
Poetry often gives me more of a feel than logical explanations. I wrote this poem entitled Finding the True Self. Enjoy.
Finding the True Self
I am nothing
I am no one
I am a shadow that moves in this world
defined by my contours
clinging to those edges I desire
pushing away those that I fear
all in a frenzied effort to stay alive.
Occasionally, I turn away from the safety
of my darkened image
toward the light that shines
upon the fortress of a solid self.
I am blinded
no longer able to discriminate anything
and turn quickly
in order to not dissolve.
Despite this discomfort
I feel the need to return more often to the blinding brightness
dying to the dark
throwing open wide the doors and windows of my fortress
allowing the light to shine through and all around me.
And in those moments
I am nothing and everything
no one and everyone
nowhere and everywhere
light and shadow and neither