“Now is always the time, and the fruit is always ripe. You just need to gather courage to enter into your inner forest.” ~ Osho
As it becomes clearer that the true identity of each human being on this planet is entirely unique and authentic and perfect the way it is, so it becomes clear how false those identity cards – or false layers if we are to be like onions, peeling away ingenuity within the self – really are, and how the realization of this eternal truth might lead us closer to uncovering the seed that contains our true selves.
Society teaches us not to wade through the falsehoods in order to discover this seed, but off load trucks of crap onto it; constantly dumping more spade-fulls of ego-centric candy over it to obscure it from the light and stunt its growth.
Following on from my article; Lifting the burden, where I mention how alarming it can be when we discover that we no longer need to take responsibility for others only to discover that the very foundations of our identities has been built on doing exactly that.
Identity can often seem like a mirage in the desert, and for those who have never been taught how to properly and authentically connect with ourselves, it can seem like trying to view a fresco in a window-less church… We are constantly kept in the dark.
Building an identity where we feel we have none can be a confusing business. For while it’s clearly not the television programs, football teams or songs that we enjoy – not abstract things that we like, or material possessions… it is also not how we might struggle to, or excel in communicating with our fellow man.
It’s not the food we eat, the work we do, or the area we live in; the cultural identity we often hold so dearly onto, nor the religious or gender-specific one.
It’s not our spiritual rituals, our strict raw diets or our recent awakening. Nor is it our knowledge; carefully accumulated, and if we were born in the west, then probably carefully sculpted to resemble something that looks remarkably like a personality; in our opinions and rejections of ideas; our complaints and curiosities.
It’s also not the one our parents handed down to us or the invisible threads of subconscious desires and urges that might lace our dreams from our childhoods or, who knows, even hundreds of years ago, before the conscious mind can remember and rationally link this seemingly random stream of thoughts to.
So what is it then?
It is inexplicable. It is no solid entity but an impermanent one, and so impossible to pin down and label. It is on the opposite polarity to the ego. And how might we connect with it and view it in all its rich and awesome glory; like looking at a perfectly clear lake and seeing right to the bottom even when it’s hundreds of meters deep?
Through shedding those layers in every waking moment we own. Masters talk of letting go; constantly letting go; of thoughts, of the past, of our fears. But we must also let go of our manufactured identities. That which does not truly belong to us. It has been given, handed down and packaged without our permission. And to let go of this takes great, great courage.
As Osho says, “One thing is certain: the very search will help you to grow… Danger will be there, sacrifice will be there; you will be moving every day into the unknown, into the uncharted, and there will be no map to follow, no guide to follow. Yes, there are millions of dangers and you can go astray and you can get lost, but that is the only way one grows.”
It’s no wonder that not many people opt to take this path. The built identity is comfortable, and not knowing what will come out of your mouth, how you might express yourself in that moment can be quite a scary thing. As well as with courage it takes a huge amount of trust.
And that is what’s been taken away from us when we were young. We learnt not to trust. To always second guess things. The fear of getting it wrong, doing it wrong and appearing foolish turned the mirror on ourselves and the lake began to dry up.
We lost connection with the very essence of being; that which is potent with life and also merely the potentiality of it.
Like a blossom that blooms at every step we take, these metaphors provide the closest medium in which words might hope to encapsulate such self expression.
Because words are like the ego; matrix-less and brittle. You have to know your true identity, and in knowing it you experience true bliss, or the whispers of the legendary nirvana; enlightenment in the garden of paradise.
So before we get too poetic, let’s remind ourselves why we might desire to connect to such a scary and uncharted part of our-selves. The rewards seem obvious, so why do we keep on stalling?
Perhaps it’s because we know that, eventually, one day we’ll inevitably get there, and that we might as well enjoy the ride on the side of ego-candy while it keeps on feeding us the good stuff. Let’s enjoy making mistakes and pretending to be imperfect while we still can.
Like a game, life is eternally evolving, and that authentic part of us secretly knows it’s all a charade. In the meantime, in branching out on new paths and deepening the experience of our true identities, we can learn what is false and what is not through trial and error; constantly seeking out new ways of being and expressing what it is to be human.