Many believe that finding yourself means compiling a profile of your passions, interests, talents, skills, personality traits, style, appearance, opinions, history, plans for the future, etc.
There is nothing wrong with this, but this is your transitory identity as it can change at any time. This type of “self” is defined by the mind and is often influenced by family, society, and culture, for better or worse. It can be a source for unhappiness and suffering, and it can block your true potential, which likely goes well beyond this transitory identity.
There is a simple exercise that you can do right now that will show you very directly who and what you truly are – your true nature. Seeing your true nature and allowing it to take over as your seat of experience is the way to realizing your full potential. It gives you the foundation and clarity to be emotionally balanced for taking the best possible action, while being inclusive of your purest passions, interests talents, skills, etc.
Find Yourself In 3 Steps
The exercise is sort of a thought experiment with some actual experience involved. It may be underwhelming at first, but it’s actually the key to more beauty and happiness than you may have ever imagined possible. It is the little known common denominator of so many ancient and modern philosophies, religions, and psychological approaches.
Find a quiet spot and take a few minutes to try the following process, and then read on to see how it can impact your life so positively.
Imagine that you cannot see. There is nothing in your field of vision. It can help to imagine complete darkness, the absence of light, blackness, but ultimately it’s absolutely nothing.
While you’re imagining not being able to see anything, imagine that that you cannot hear. There is no sound.
Now also imagine that you cannot taste or smell anything. This may be a little easier than the first two. If you’re not eating or brushing teeth you may usually have a slight bitterness in your mouth, but it is often unnoticed, so pretend there is no taste there. Scents passing by your nose are probably even less common, so it should be easy to imagine having no sense of smell.
So, you have now turned off four of your five senses all at once: seeing, hearing, tasting and smelling – all gone.
Now let’s also turn off touch and feeling. You may or may not be aware of the many body sensations that are constantly happening in you. Sensations on the skin related to pressure and temperature. Sensations inside related to digestion, muscles, organs. Sensations related to emotions, both uncomfortable and comfortable feelings. There are lots of sensations going on in your body right now. Imagine that they aren’t there. It’s as if you’re completely numb to these body sensations.
At this point all of your senses are gone. What is left? If you have no senses, what is left? Think about it.
The previous sentence is the answer. Thought is left. You can still think even with all of your senses gone.
So now you’re in this world without any senses, but you just have your thoughts. However, is that the only thing left? If so, how do you know that your thoughts are still there? What is sensing your thoughts?
It’s as if you can hear them, but there is no sound, so your ears aren’t sensing them. While you might be able to imagine an image in your thought, there is no light coming through anything. There is no actual taste or smell with your thoughts. There is no temperature, physical pressure or feeling of your thoughts. Your thoughts aren’t sensing themselves. So what is sensing them?
Isn’t there something else that is present, sensing your thoughts? What is that presence that is aware of the thoughts you have? The easiest answer may be to say that it is consciousness. That’s a perfectly acceptable answer. That consciousness is aware of your thoughts and all of the sensations that came through the five senses we just removed. However, let’s try one more thing.
You should still be in a place where you have dropped all five of your senses, and now just thoughts and consciousness are there. If you drop consciousness, obviously there will be no thoughts, so we can’t really do anything with that. Instead, try dropping the thoughts.
The simple answer is consciousness, right?
Yes, that’s right, but don’t think about that. Instead, feel that answer for a little while. Directly experience what you call your consciousness.
After you dropped all of your senses and thought, you’re now left here with consciousness alone – with nothingness around it. That’s it. Feel it. Really allow yourself to feel it.
What is aware of that consciousness?
Consciousness is aware of itself.
What does that consciousness feel like? Does it feel like anything else you know of in the world? Does it feel completely unique? Does it feel like your actual existence itself? The feeling of “I am” or “I exist”?
The more you sit with it, as the seat of your perception, the more your experience of it grows within you as it naturally overtakes the impediments that keep you from experiencing it fully.
This “conscious presence” has been there in every moment you have experienced throughout your entire life. It hasn’t budged. It has been there all along, observing patiently, loving, non-judgmentally, confidently and with full acceptance no matter what was happening to you or within you.
Benefits Of True Self-Realization
The positive side effects that arise by realizing this as the seat of your experience are many. You will see improvements with:
- Stress Reduction
- Emotional Balance
- Concentration & Focus
- Relaxation (in the face of anything)
- Confidence (regardless of achievements or status)
That’s just the surface.
Why Is This Not Well Known?
You might ask why this is not well known. It is because it is so easy to miss or dismiss, and it’s very easy to block with everyday life, emotion, and habitual thoughts.
Very few philosophies and religions talk about it directly or teach you practical ways to access it, but just about all of them refer to it in different ways.
Approaches for psychological improvement usually unknowingly dance around the surface of it by trying to help you navigate through your emotional and psychological issues that block your ability to reside as this conscious presence consistently in your experience.
If you’ve ever meditated, you may have experienced it, but you many not really have thought much of it. You also may have experienced it if you have been involved in a shocking traumatic event.
For example, long before I realized this for myself, I experienced it during my wife’s very complicated c-section when I thought I was going to lose her and the baby. I felt like a ghost, as if the wind could pass through me. Everything seemed like a scripted act playing out and I was just an observer without any control at all. A similar experience is described by many people that have near death experiences. In times of shocking trauma, any identity that you have created for yourself with your mind falls away and you realize the pure consciousness that is your natural state.
This is the key to open up so many aspects of your life.
It may seem too simple and unrealistic, and I am not asking you to believe me. You must experience it to know it is true. It can’t be understood as truth conceptually. When you experience it, you will see. At that point, you decide what to call it. You decide whether or not you think it is divine. If you think it is divine, you decide how that reconciles with any religion you may have. Once you experience it fully, it’s not hard to make the connections.
Is there any harm in experiencing what sits behind all of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations? Is there any harm in fully experiencing what has been within you your entire life? If not, then why not give it a try occasionally? Why not notice it in your daily experience, and just be with it without expectation or desire for anything to come of it? Try this for awhile and see what happens.
About The Circle Of Self-Realization
The Circle of Self-Realization is meant to depict the layers of human experience in relation to our consciousness and the universe, which seem to be interconnected phenomena. The following are short descriptions of each layer.
- Grey – The natural matter humans have discovered or experienced.
- Violet – Human made creations out of matter.
- Blue – The relationships in our lives.
- Green – Our senses, including the senses of thought, inner feelings, and emotion.
- Yellow – Surface level emotions rooted in fear that often block us from conscious awareness.
- Orange – Mid-level fears that often block us from conscious awareness.
- Red – Root fears that often block us from conscious awareness.
- Light blue – Positive emotions and experiences that emanate from conscious awareness.
- Lightest blue – Conscious awareness, which goes by many names.
- White – The pure, universal experience of being you when you take the seat of conscious awareness.
Please ask any questions below as you will be sent answers, and this blog post will likely be updated to include the answer.