Who Are You?
You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.
– Alan Watts
Who we are is generally a product of who we think we are. The ego is a conditioned construct of the mind. It has been conditioned by our parents, families, teachers, peers, religious institutions, mass media and so on. As young children we absorb the messages given us uncritically. We accept them as the truth, even though we are sometimes caught in a double-bind by contradictory messages.
If we are raised in a secure and nurturing environment we tend to have a healthy, confident, optimistic sense of self. Raised in a chaotic, critical or abusive environment, our self is wounded, doubting, distrusting and prone to anxiety and depression. However, even the sane and secure ego is a limited self-definition. Our true self is beyond thoughts, beliefs or definitions.
It is pure awareness; pure luminescence. You are the embodiment of unconditional love. You are never separate from that source of love. In fact, you are it and it is you. To know this is what is meant by enlightenment. This isn’t some exalted state or status but the awareness of one’s innermost connection to the universe. One’s connection with the power of love.
In The Universe Has Your Back, Gabrielle Bernstein writes, “Your purpose is to be joyful. Your purpose is to live with ease. Your purpose is to surrender to the love of the Universe so you can live a happy life. Accept the purpose of love, and your life will radically change this instant.” I think this is what we all long for. In our heart’s we remember our connection to this Cosmic love and power, however, often our deep mental conditioning keeps us trapped in the ego’s clutches.
The ego is based in fear. Despite intelligence, socialization, education, etc. our ego-consciousness is rooted in the amygdala; the primitive part of our brain devoted to survival. It can easily hijack the higher functions of the brain when there is perceived threat. It sees anything unfamiliar as a potential threat.
Thus, it is hard to change, hard to let go of outmoded ways of being in the world. They seem safe and secure even though they might be destroying us. Our subconscious conditioning is meant to protect us but might end up killing us.