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.

Self Realization

The soul, originally a star-like living energy point of perfect peace and purity, twinkling in the soul world is fully charged with spiritual energy, which it naturally displays as love, joy, peace and purity in its actions when it first comes into this physical world. Gradually by taking many births, it becomes attached to the sense organs and the various physical objects and it forgets its original values. Then it becomes a slave to five basic negative forces; anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment. These forces have their roots in body-consciousness, or the false belief that existence is entirely physical. Any time it suffers disappointment, worry or anxiety, it is due to the effect of anyone of these negative influences.

The soul forgets the heights of spiritual attainment and the delights of super-sensuous joy (joy which is not experienced through the sense organs) thinking itself to be a body and it searches for peace and happiness through the sense organs. It mistakenly pursues worldly pleasures in an effort to regain its former state. It forgets its true identity, nature, home and Supreme Father.

While controlled by these negative forces, the soul cannot come back to its normal state of peace, happiness and bliss.

These vices are unwelcome intruders (entrants) into the soul’s original texture of purity. Until the vices have control over the soul, it will never restore its original qualities of peace, bliss, love, purity and knowledge.

People affected by anger lose their temper and become excited at the slightest provocation. Yet, when the event is over they find peace in going back to their normal nature. The same applies to all the other vices (greed, ego, lust and attachment), which are at the root of all emotional disturbances, strains, tensions and imbalances. This indicates that the vices are not the original nature of the soul.

If the soul thinks about its original nature and does everything with the realization “I am a soul, not a body” its original qualities reappear naturally. They are its basic values. It is worthless seeking them externally. It is like the musk deer running after the sweet smell of musk, unaware that it is coming from its own navel. Peace of mind is the soul’s property. It automatically flows from within it once it is soul-conscious.

The soul only has to let its original sanskaras become thoughts and keep them flowing. Whatever thoughts are in its mind that is the state it experiences. Soul-conscious thoughts bring peace of mind. Body-conscious thoughts disturb the soul. It is the soul who decides what state of mind to experience. It can either be peaceful, or in peacelessness. It is the soul who has the power of decision. The situation should not dictate to the soul.

The Car-Driver Comparison To Aid Self Realization

One of the comparisons which help in self realization i.e. in strengthening the awareness that I, the soul, a non-physical energy am different from this physical body is that of the driver and the car, where the driver represents the spiritual energy and the car represents the body which is controlled by the spiritual energy.  The biggest reason why I do not have the desired control over my physical body, my vehicle, my sense organs today is that I lost the consciousness of being a driver which could control and rule the vehicle. Instead I developed the consciousness that I am this vehicle, this physical body. This consciousness disconnected me from the ability and the power I possessed inside me to control the vehicle.  If I want to achieve the desired control, I need to be in a driver consciousness i.e. in the awareness that I am a soul and my body is a vehicle, through which I experience life. Being in this awareness, in this consciousness awakens me and empowers me to regain the much required control over my body.

The car controls are the gears, brakes, accelerator and steering wheel which can be compared to the sense organs of the soul which are the mind, intellect and sanskars and those of the body which are the eyes, ears, nose, hands and tongue. A good driver is one who remains extremely alert and is able to use the gears, brakes, accelerator and steering wheel effectively and efficiently, in order to be fully in control of the vehicle and avoid any accidents. In the same way, as I move on the road of life, I need to keep my mental and physical sense organs (mentioned above) in complete control. If I do that, they will keep my journey enjoyable and take me to my desired destination of mental peace and happiness safely and successfully. If I don’t do that and let them overpower me, accidents will definitely occur, making me peaceless and sorrowful.