WHO AM I?
For the past two decades I have been on a quest to discover an answer to life beyond my own experience. In 2020 the lightning bolt hit me that there had to be more, although I had no idea what more would look like. For 20 years I had invested in spiritual-themed courses on-line, and personally in locations around the world, with many best-selling authors and spiritual luminaries.
Afterwards, I knew one thing was certain: there are dimensions of reality beyond our five senses. I had experienced such things even at age seven, so I knew they existed, but that information alone was not enough to help me change course. And I was fully aware that in order to have the elusive (“illusive”) “more,” I would have to change course. But, as we know, change does not happen overnight.
Even when I experienced increments of change, they never had lasting results. Oh, there was increased depth of knowing, but always a recurring element that kept pulling me backward.
For hours, days, weeks, and months I listened to their words and participated in rituals, ceremonies, retreats, and classes with these well-known men and women who in their own ways channelled centuries-old wisdom from many cultures.
And yet, ultimately, as I would meander back to my regular life, whose voice did I listen to the most? This answer is tied solidly to the whole struggle of why we cannot see ourselves as spiritual beings.
Stop for a moment and think about it. Throughout any given day, whose voice do you listen to the most? The answer is quite simple: your own. In fact, it is always talking to us, is never at a loss for words (or pictures), and won’t even shut up when we want it to. It expresses an endless supply of opinions, judgements, directives, and ideas about what we like and don’t like, what we want and don’t want, and what should be and shouldn’t be in our personal lives and in our world at large.
But note I said, “it is talking to us!” If it is talking to us, then who is the “us” that is listening? Getting to the root of this question is the main thrust of understanding oneself as a spiritual being.
We don’t have to be very clever to know it is our mind that is talking. But the rub is many of us believe we are our minds — and what our minds think defines who we are. Yet, the mind can have conflicting opinions. If you are in a hurry your mind might tell you to run across the street even though there is traffic. After all, it is not steady traffic and although the cars are going fast you’re in good shape and can easily scoot across the road. Then, another voice says, don’t take this risk for crying out loud, you’re only 20 meters from the corner, head down there and push the crosswalk button.
Well, that’s nothing out of the ordinary, you say. We are just using our minds to reason because that is who I am, a person who can reason.
Absolutely, you can use your mind to reason, but is that who you really are? Or do you simply have an ability to use your mind for such things. You may be able to ride a bicycle for 20 kilometres. Is that who you are, a cyclist, or do you just have a body that is capable of doing that?
That is no different than saying I’m a mother or father, or a farmer, teacher, student, or an only child — or a con artist. You might have a child you are parenting, or have a profession, legal or illegal, but that is not who you are. You cannot be defined by what you do, what you think or even how you feel. If you lose the ability to use your body, are you still in there? If you answered yes, then who is that? Even if you lose major parts of your body, are you still in there? Yes, of course you are.
If you were having surgery and under anesthetic, are you still there? Your mind is not thinking. So, who is it that is undergoing the operation?
It can’t be the body because the body doesn’t even know what is going on, much less have feelings of any description. But you certainly won’t deny you are in there! So, if you can’t think, and your body can’t move and you are not feeling, who is it that is having the operation?
These are just examples to point to the fact we are not who we think we are — we are not how we frequently define ourselves.
THE POWER WITHIN
Outside of reducing ourselves to atoms and molecules, we are, as the great spiritual masters have shown us, capable of emitting light energy that projects love and compassion. Every single one of us can do this, regardless of who we think we are, where we came from, what our beliefs are or what we have done with our lives.
How can that be, you might ask?
All the words we normally use to describe ourselves are made up simply of what we have done or what has been done to us, in essence, our experiences. These experiences then formed our beliefs. And everyone has different beliefs, even if they have had the same experience because no two experiences are exactly identical.
Once we have an experience, it is stored in our mind. When the voice speaks to us, it gets filtered through these experiences. If you were fortunate enough to have a lot of good experiences, then your voice will speak mostly positive things. If, like most people, you have experienced sorrow, pain, frustration, heartbreak, fear, and shame, then your voice will be filtered through these experiences. Unless you did enough work on yourself, these experiences will cloud everything you see, think and feel. It will be impossible to “Be the Light” or “Be the Change,” as spiritual masters suggest.
So, what’s the point?
If we don’t learn to move beyond the limitations of our mind, then there isn’t much hope for any of us. It really is the end of the story, for humanity at least, and a good chance for just about everything else. This is not news or some cutting-edge idea. We are at a moment in time where we are standing at the road divided. Many of us already know this. And many of us before, as predicted by petroglyphs drawn years ago by Native Americans.
It is not difficult to see who runs the world today. The ones with the most weapons, the most money, and the most resources. Not hard to name who they are.
There was a time when we believed that at least our own democratic world would save us, that those in power were intelligent and sensible; that no matter on what side of the fence politically, they did care about humanity and our environment on some level.
However, we don’t have to look far to see how shaky that belief is, and increasingly so. It may be “the end,” but not quite THE END, at least not yet. So back to spirituality and what this has to do with anything.
Recognizing our spiritual nature is the only option we have. Many of us think if we hear the word “spiritual,” it must be about God or religion or believing in some sort of dogma, when in fact it has nothing to do with any of that. You can be a full-blown atheist and understand you are living a spiritual life.
This is the roadblock.
Moreover, most people do not believe that even if we could connect with our spiritual selves, this would still not be enough to alter the current global crisis.
BE HERE NOW
One third of the world is incapable of concern about our global fate because they are either struggling to survive due to poverty or war, or because of some trauma physical, emotional or mental.
Another third is trying to live a life that is personal and mostly directed by their feelings and thoughts which in turn are filtered by their beliefs, which we already know are defined by their experiences.
The remaining third is an interesting mix. They can range across a wide spectrum from our most enlightened or conscious beings to those whose thoughts and feelings are mostly filtered by their beliefs. They do not necessarily think much about their spiritual selves, but they still have a desire to try to make things better for humanity and the world at large.
It is this last group who are the ones called to “be here now.” These are the ones who must take maximum action if we are to escape what is unfolding before us.
I will close not with a quote from a spiritual master but from the seminal theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavsky who said, “There are no small parts, only small actors.”
In today’s world, every single thought, word and deed matters.
In my next article, I will write about how we can get across the bridge from focusing on just our “perceived selves” to being the Light that will help prevent our extinction.
Author: Lynda Casey holds a master’s degree in Wisdom Studies.
A cultural evolutionary, public speaker and playwright, she is creating a theatrical production called Feminine Rising.
If you enjoyed this article, check out Lynda’s article on The western shift in spirituality next.