Resolving The Inner Identity Crisis

At the present moment in human history, almost every individual has lost the awareness of its real or true self. This has happened very gradually as each individual has progressed in its journey of birth-rebirth and has kept on attaching itself to various different things and as a result losing its sense of self in things that it is not i.e. identifying with things that it is not. In a way it can be said that this took the self far away from itself. This personal, internal identity crisis has led to a universal, external identity crisis, which has resulted in an emotional crisis resulting in peacelessness and sorrow in our inner world as well as in the outer world. 

This inner identity crisis is the root cause of the multitude of deformed emotions that exist inside us like anger, ego, lust, fear, comparison with others, greed, hatred, low self esteem, dependencies etc. all of which have brought us and keep on bringing us pain. We explain this with an example – suppose you have just constructed a new apartment. While making it and once its ready and you are using it, you have become excessively attached to it i.e. you have started identifying with it. Due to this false identification, the first emotion that gets created inside you is ego. If someone were to criticize the apartment even slightly, you would react immediately with anger. You constantly fear any sort of harm to the apartment. You even compare it with apartments that others possess. You also start looking down at people whose apartment is not as good as yours i.e. you create emotions of hatred for them. If something negative were to happen it, it affects your mental state immediately i.e. your happiness has become dependent on the material possession. Your temporary success along with the recognition that it brings you from others leads to the desire of more success of a similar type i.e. possess some more things – bigger and better, which is nothing but greed etc. The seed of all these incorrect emotions is my over-identification with this newly acquired possession. All of these wouldn’t exist inside me, if my relationship with was one of detachment with it. In this way, we identify with various objects and people in the whole day, which leads to the creation of such emotions inside us.

The confusions, complications and problems that exist in our world today and the state of human relationships all over the world, are simply a reflection of our lack of inner clarity about who we are, what we are and where we are heading i.e. a lack of true self-identity. So how do we resolve this internal and external turmoil? There is an original, beautiful self, with characteristics of peace, love and happiness that exists within each one of us, the self from which we have been distanced since a very long time. This is a centre full of the spiritual resources of all virtues and powers. Reaching it is a journey of only one second and no distance. By identifying with this inner centre, a centre which is imperishable, unchangeable, constant and even eternal, my self identity becomes strong and stable, as compared to many false identities based on external realities like position, wealth and material possessions which are all perishable and subject to various ups and downs even in one single day, and if we over identify with them, we are bound to experience constant pain and discontentment.

This process of true self-identification is not a renunciation or avoidance of the way the outer world is but it is a healing process for your inner world. It is an internal correction process of identification, whereby you rediscover your true self as a complete being full of positive emotions that you always were and you start identifying with it, doing which very easily helps you let go of the wrong identifications. This process is commonly called meditation, the foundation of which is spiritual wisdom. Once this inner work is done, the outer world starts taking the shape of a reflection of that. Resolving the identity crisis first changes the way our internal and external world looks to us, as a result changing the way it works.

Spirituality In Practice (Introspection)

On the screen of your mind, make an appraisal (note) of what has happened throughout the past week…

Think about the awareness that you have had of yourself… think about the actions you have taken…Have they been based on a positive consciousness of yourself? Can you see the intentions behind your actions? Are they pure and positive?

Now, slowly and gently, I focus on my inner self… I observe myself… Does my life carry meaning and a purpose… Is there learning and growth at each step?

Do I possess inner strength… Am I able to use powers like the power to tolerate, power to co-operate, power to face in my everyday actions and experience success at every step… If so, do I feel strong and secure…

Do I remain in self-respect and as a result respect others… Do I love myself and have good wishes for each one that I interact with…

Do I feel calm and at peace… free to experience my inner qualities… Are my qualities visible through my actions…

And now, for a few moments, I am going to create feelings of peace and serenity for others… I am going to share thoughts and feelings of peace with others… this is practical spirituality…

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

The Mental Periscope

This is the ability of the intellect to come out, observe, understand and initiate appropriate action and, when necessary, go back inside and be calm and still. This act of taking the thoughts inside is called introspection and in this introspective state the self can re-energize, examine, reflect and refine, or just be completely still – whatever it may wish to do in that state of silence. When the intellect uses its capacity as a periscope, it is able to find a balance between the inside and outside worlds.

Effective meditation means to gather the positive resources of the inner self and then use them in the outer world.

It is important to remain neither too much inside, nor too much outside, but constantly to create a balance between the inner and outer realities. Meditation resembles the cyclic path of energy: going from the inside out and then from the outside in, gathering information, or experiences that we need to reflect on, or understand better. On other occasions, it may be a question of recharging our minds with positivity and peace: we go inside and, with the practice of silence, the battery becomes re-energized.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Seeing With Spiritual Eyes

My eyes are the most powerful medium through which I, the soul, not only absorb information from the outside to the inside but also express myself to others from the inside to outside. All that the soul possesses inside it or is made up of in the form of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, positive virtues, even weaknesses, in fact all personality traits, are expressed through my eyes to others and shared with others. As I look towards others, my eyes can be used to shower others with pure love, peace, joy, power etc. and the same eyes, if not used appropriately, can shower others with anger, jealousy, criticism, hatred etc. My eyes also express whatever wisdom or knowledge I possess inside.

When I stay in the awareness that I am a soul, a spiritual being of subtle light, situated at the center of my forehead, my eyes are used to see others in the same way with a spiritual vision. This leads to my spiritual upliftment. When I stay in the awareness that I am a body, my eyes are used to see others in the same way with a non-spiritual or a body-conscious vision. This brings me down on a spiritual level. A spiritual vision helps me see others with a sense of equality, instead of with feelings of comparison or competitiveness. Usually, on a physical level, I create all sorts of impressions of another person from just one glance through my eyes, about their age, gender, looks, position in society, job, how rich they are, their dressing sense, caste, nationality etc. and many a times, very commonly, I make various assumptions about their personality or behaviour. In the state of soul-consciousness, that changes. Looking out I see souls, and I see them as my brothers, on exactly the same level as me, neither higher, nor lower. A spiritual vision reminds me of the original, positive qualities of each soul, instead of their present personality. It also reminds me that each soul has incarnated from the soul world to play its various roles through different physical costumes in this unlimited drama on the world stage. Age, gender, appearances, status etc. which are visible to me today are just temporary ones. The same soul has been in the past and will be in the future in different physical costumes or roles, where all these have been and will be different and the same applies to me too. This makes me rise above comparisons and I am no longer judgmental about the other.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Listening To The Voice Of The Intellect

The subtle or non-physical sense organ of the non-physical soul which we use to judge something as right or wrong, good or bad and then make a choice or decision is the intellect. When we are body-conscious, we are attached to many things such as people, our role, objects, money, even our own ideas and beliefs, etc. Due to these attachments, we are constantly creating emotions of fear and anger in the energy of our consciousness. It is these two emotions which then overpower or influence our intellect and stop us from judging clearly and correctly between right and wrong. This constant inner emotional noise of worry and irritation (the seeds of fear and anger) do not allow us to hear the deepest part of our intellect, which is our intuition.

When we are soul-conscious, we are free from attachment and therefore fear and anger. Our consciousness is calm, focused and keenly aware of the quiet, but extremely wise voice of our intuition (inner wisdom).  Decision-making is easier and choices are made out of wisdom rather than fear.   Meditation is the method which helps us rise above our mental attachments and allow us to connect with the wisdom in our heart, our intuition, our inner voice, which suggests what the right response or action in any situation, is. A practical example of this is when, after being persuaded by your family members you decide not to smoke any more. You let go of the attachment to ‘my’ belief that there is nothing wrong with smoking, which then allows you to listen to the heart of the other (their feelings) and your own heart or intellect, which suggests to you the right action for your well-being in the long run.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Enjoying My Stay Inside The Physical Body

An interesting comparison to understand clearly the relationship between the soul and the body is that the soul is the resident of a house or an apartment which is the physical body. It’s the awareness of who is the resident living, which is separate from where he is living. I need to realize, that like a resident of a house cannot be the house; he does not and cannot identify with the place in which he resides; in much the same way, I am not my body, the place in which I reside, but I am a resident. A resident of a physical house may or may not stay in the house for 24 hours, depending on his/her role. But I, as a spiritual resident of this physical body spend all my time inside it, in fact a complete lifetime, then I move in to another house or apartment. Since I spend so much time inside it, I need to maintain the body, take care of its upkeep and the kind of physical and spiritual atmosphere that exists inside it. When I keep it clean, fresh and vibrant, only then can I live in it comfortably.

Do not forget, there’s plenty of rubbish and dirt waiting to enter the apartment. My apartment’s windows are my eyes and ears, through which rubbish can come in. This rubbish can be in the form of negative information, scenes, images and words. Rubbish dirties the resident, in this case my consciousness, taking me away from my true, positive, spiritual state. My nose, facing outwards, is like the front door of my apartment: it’s the first part of me that faces the world. If harsh winds of difficult circumstances blow, and I don’t know how to protect myself, I will catch a cold or fall sick i.e. my front door will be harmed and I’ll become vulnerable. The living room of the apartment is my tongue which makes the first impression on anyone, whether it be positive or negative.  There will be constant attacks on our windows, doors, living room, etc. But if I am aware and alert, I will keep my house in order. If any rubbish does get in, I need to soon clean it out again, so that the atmosphere inside the house remains positive and I, the resident can enjoy my stay in it.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

The Mental Microscope

When the lens of the intellect becomes refined (clean), it is able to examine many things in detail and work like a microscope. In the same way that a microscope is able to detect bacteria and the types of germ that cause particular types of disease, so too the intellect is able to use its microscopic capacity to detect those germs that cause emotional and spiritual illness inside the soul. For example, it is able to examine and understand that the illness of anger comes from the germ of expectation; that the illness of possessiveness comes from the germ of insecurity; the illness of aggression, or forcefulness, comes from the germ of fear and that the illness of stress stems from the germs of worry, doubt and greed. If the germs are seen and understood, then the illness can be cured through the application of appropriate knowledge and meditation.

Meditation, in the form of focused silence, acts like a spiritual laser dissolving the acquired germs and emerging the original healing energies of the self, such as peace and self-respect.

Without this focused silence, it is difficult to remove the germs, even if they are seen and understood. The original innate energy of the soul (mentioned above) is needed for any permanent cure.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Going Beyond False Identifications

The more I identify with the physical factors of my life, the more I become a prisoner to my destiny or the various up and downs of my life. E.g. if my self-respect is attached to my beautiful new car, how will I feel about myself when the car becomes old and its beauty and shine reduce? Or if I my car is stolen or gets immensely damaged in a road accident? Then, I shall find myself in an identity crisis. The same will be true if my business or job is everything to me. If one day, I am in a good financial state and I enjoy a very respectable and dominant position, and the next day I find myself in a dispute in my profession and I suddenly lose all of that, and nobody wants to know me, I will feel as if I have lost my soul and have almost died. The problem is sometimes so great that people do, literally, lose their desire to live. It happens, too, in relationships, when your partner leaves you either due to a separation, a divorce or even death – a partner in whom you have invested all your love and emotions. Or if my identity is tied to my back balance or property, and suddenly I am broke.

All of these are actually false identifications, and the crazy part of living this way is that I can never be satisfied, even if I succeed in maintaining my false identity. These kind of false identifications do not keep me placed stably on my seat of self-respect and either bring about an inferiority complex or a superiority complex – both of which are false, so both bring insecurity. Even while I am externally successful, having my identity based on that success means I am a slave to them. I’ve handed over my self-esteem to them. I become addicted to it.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Self Responsibility

There are certain laws which are involved in our actions and interactions.   They are not human laws requiring lawyers to interpret or the police to enforce.   They are natural laws which are constantly operating in every relationship.   They are often called the Laws of Karma (action): briefly described by the saying,   “As you sow, so you shall reap”, described by Isaac Newton as the Laws of Motion i.e. for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.   The Laws of Karma remind us that whatever quality of energy we give out, we get back.   This might not be exactly an eye for an eye, but if we give happiness to someone, it will come back to us; if we give pain or sorrow, it will come back, perhaps not today or tomorrow, but at some time in the future.

Most of us are conditioned by the idea that we are responsible for some of our actions, but not all of them.   For example, we would consider ourselves responsible for the actions which bring our colleagues together for a task at work but would not consider ourselves responsible for the argument we have with a neighbour.   We would consider ourselves responsible for driving our family safely to their holiday destination, but if we nearly have an accident because we were trying to get there quickly we might consider the other driver responsible for nearly causing the accident.   If we sustain our family through our own enterprise and professional efforts we would take the credit, but if we turned to a life of crime to clothe and feed ourselves we might blame the inequalities of society or the years of a difficult childhood.

Through spirituality, we are reminded of the unchangeable laws of cause and effect, which awakens our awareness of our true responsibility for each and every action that we perform.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Churning Spiritual Knowledge (cont.)

We had discussed a few benefits of churning spiritual knowledge yesterday. Some more are as follows:

3. The knowledge that we have becomes more real: and so can give more effectively to others. We can use the jewels of knowledge in serving others. This knowledge will have much greater power and be of much greater help to others than any form of scholarly or bookish knowledge.

4. Our personality changes: Limited views and thought patterns which give birth to various obstacles can be finished by churning. Our outlook towards life becomes very broad and we become completely content internally so that name, fame, respect, insult, etc. don’t affect us, they seem totally insignificant.

5. Natural bliss: By churning, spiritual knowledge becomes a source of bliss. Because of the spiritual happiness and intoxication that comes from churning, our faces will become radiant and we become instruments to attract other people towards spirituality.

6. Our concentration power increases: By acknowledging and not suppressing impure thoughts we will easily clear negative thoughts within a short period of time. Our concentration power will increase. We will be able to clear and burn impure or waste thoughts, and easily become an embodiment of positivity.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.