PRACTICAL WISDOM
By James Westly

Who Are You?

By James Westly


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Who am I? What am I doing here? What is the meaning of life? Philosophical questions? Not to one who seeks an escape from the Illusion. To such a one these questions have a deep practical significance. We search for our identity as if it were something we had lost or forgotten. In the process, we attach our identity to the myriad of things and roles of our external world. Thus who we are becomes what we do, how we earn our livihood, who we're connected to, what we own. There is much discussion in Metaphysical circles about personal power; how we have lost it, how we might regain it. This too is connected to who we are.

A practical way to begin dealing with this dilemma is to discover who we are by determining who we are not. Another one of the threads in the Veil of the Illusion is our automatic tendency to place our identity in places it does not truly belong. We live in a world of distraction. We give our "power" away to each new distraction that enters our sphere of attention.

The distractions, or false identities, come in an infinite range of shapes, sizes and dimensions. They range from major ones, like our "profession", to minor incidents, like how the stranger we've just met perceives us. We give our "power" away to each new stimulus. When someone dents the fender of our car, we become the car; when our child enters the room, we become the parent; we feel good when given praise and bad when criticized; we are literally puppets controlled by the strings of external stimulation.

To become more Enlightened one needs to acknowledge the human tendency to identify. To master oneself is to begin to recognize our mechanical inclination to give away our "power" to false identities. This can only come about through the development of an ability to observe this trait as it occurs in the moment.

Denial of a weakness does not eliminate it existence, but rather gives it permission to exist. Thus one who is on the road to self mastery needs to recognize and embrace each weakness as it is revealed. This process can be painful at times as we are frequently unwilling to release our identifications. Pain is the result of resistance and is a great teacher.

The ability to "Be Here, Now" is conditioned by our ability to not identify. In each moment we carry with us expectations which are simply our identification with events. We construct pictures of events in our imagination and identify with these pictures to form expectations. It is rare that these expectations are met. They rather stand as obstacles to a truer perception of what is occurring in the moment. We resist accepting occurrences in the moment when expectations are not being met, thus passing by the miracle the moment contains. How can the miraculous reach through our resistance when we are refusing to see? Perception of the miraculous is reserved for those who "Have eyes to see and ears to hear". To the degree that we resist, to that degree we are deaf and blind.

To discover who we are, what we're doing here, what life's meaning is for us, requires Presence. We create Presence through the recogition and removal of the inner barriers we have constructed that hinder us from Remembering who we truly are, from Remembering our Self. When the Self Remembers all our petty identifications fall into dust at our feet. We experience true connection, and with it the realization of who we are.


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Practical Wisdom © James Westly, All Rights Reserved

 

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