Identifying with the self

What makes us who we are? How do we determine our personalities ? Does the self even exist ?

Identifying with the “self” is what determines our feelings and perceptions. If I identify with the concept of being a “husband” , and my wife leaves me, then I would feel distraught..   If I identify with the concept of being a “professional” -and somehow I lose my professional license , I would feel ashamed and sad.  If I identify with the idea of being an “American citizen” and a terrorist attach occurs in my country, I would feel anger and rebellious.  But only if I choose to identify myself with these entities.  But do these entities really exist ?

It’s like living a comic strip where the bubbles above our heads are our thoughts and perceptions which we believe to be true … and which we choose to identify with.  

I read a quote the other day that said:

“As soon as we are born, we are assigned a name , a nationality, a religion, a race , a sports team. We will spend the rest of our lives defending a false identity.”

This is so true.  We are given several identities , simply because we feel that we need to belong to a certain organization or group so that we don’t feel vulnerable .  We need to think that we are part of a whole so that we are not alone. So that we can distract ourselves from the inevitable destiny we call “death.” We decide to continue to live an illusion that keeps us in a dream like state and prevents us from experiencing confusion and chaos.

But we can’t escape it forever. We will eventually realize and accept the fact that our various identities ; our numerous fictitious entities that we desperately try to defend and justify, are meaningless and useless when we are facing our final days.

It bothers us when things end because  we don’t like to admit our mortality.  We feel  sad  when a vacation ends … We feel disappointed  when our favorite sport team loses.  We often experience sadness when a loved one moves away or decides not to be our friend anymore.  We rather want  the pleasurable experience to go on.  It is like going to the theatre and enjoying a movie even if it’s fictitious, and we don’t want the movie to end because that would mean exiting  the theatre and facing reality again.  We rather stay inside and continue to enjoy the fictitious movie. We prefer  to pretend to be immortal and prevent having to face the reality of our existence.

We prefer to stay inside the “womb” which keeps us warm and comfortable.

But the closer we get to our inevitable death, the more meaningless all the fictitious fabricated identities become.  And the more we are forced to accept our true identities.

Going back to the “bubbles” above our heads, which represents our thoughts, can illustrate how we live our lives. We mostly live inside our heads.  Inside our thoughts and perceptions. We rarely get out of our thoughts and face reality.  We don’t usually live in the present moment.

But we need to, if we want to live this life more fully.

And the question remains : what is outside of our heads? What is this so called “reality”? What would we be facing when we live in the present moment ?

Peace.  Serenity.   Freedom.  Acceptance.

I will continue on this topic at a later post .

Dissecting reality

dissection_tools1

We create our own worlds in our minds… We create images and ideas in our minds, which creates our realities.   .. When we like someone, it is not the person itself but the idea that we have of the person that we like. When we go through some difficult situation, it is the interpretation or the idea of the situation that we dislike. Everything we experience is through our interpretations, our ideas.  So I have learned to break down my ideas and images. So I have started to dissect what we call “reality.”

I see people driving down the road in high speed, and my first instinct reaction is to get mad at them.   But then I ask, why am I choosing to be mad?  What thoughts and perceptions do I have about people driving fast that are triggering the anger?  Then I find no good reason to feel anything, except to be cautious.

Then I have a disagreement with my spouse, and she withdraws.  I also isolate myself in rebellion.   I automatically feel upset and nervous, but then I question the reason why I feel so anxious.  What am I afraid of?   Argument?  Separation?  Being alone?

The next day I may be at work and trying to meet a deadline.  I feel anxious that I may not do the job on time.  Then I stop myself and rethink.  I take a deep breath.  I dispute the reason why I may be feeling anxious.  What is the worst that could happen?  Is there a need to feel this anxious?

I look back at all the things I have learned to take for granted.  I have taken a second look at all the things I thought were simply “normal” and “acceptable”.  And I start questioning them.

Assumptions.  Beliefs.  Customs.  Expectations.  Discriminations.   Family traditions.  Habits.  Ideologies.  Myths.  Obsessions.  Religions.   Social rituals.  Values.  World views.

They all can be taken apart… dissected.   They all can be questioned and dismissed.  We don’t have to adopt any of them if we don’t really want to.

They are all in our minds.

They all can be dissected.

 

I Hate those Circles

I have gone through this experience for way too many times, I had to write about it.

How many times has this happened to you?  You are  driving down the road, calm and collected.   Suddenly you arrive at one of those circled round about where two roads meet in an intersection.   Ok, so my understanding is that the first person to arrive has the right of way.  Or the car that is already in the circle  has the right of way.  Right?  Not exactly.  People continue to enter the circle even if they are the second, third, or fourth car in line.  This really pisses me off to be honest with you.

If I approach the circle and someone arrives first or is already in it, I will certainly let them continue to enter and drive away.  But if I am the first one to arrive, why do other cars continue to enter the circle, and drive around the circle and continue their merry ways?  Why can’t people obey traffic rules, and avoid causing an accident?

This is not to mention when pedestrians also cross the road without looking, either because they are texting or simply day dreaming, as if they own the road.  And also the motorcyclists who cut me off without making the turn signal and driving off in extreme high speed.

Didn’t mean to sound negative or nagging.  Just needed to get if off my chest.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

Things that should’ve been obsolete by now…

I have concluded in this life that there are various things that we use on a regular basis which, in my opinion, should be abolished once and for all. We are evolving beings who have developed a greater degree of intelligence and have scientifically discovered a lot of things that we did not know when they were first introduced.  The following are a short list of things that should only be found in our history books:

Gasoline: because it simply pollutes our environment.  There are definitely more healthy and environment friendly kinds of energy that will help of do the same things we do with petroleum.

Tobacco (of any kind): well, because it is simply a killer; one of the hardest addictions to get rid of.  And because it makes people smell bad. 

Soda drinks:  because there are around 6 spoons of sugar in every can of soda.   Plus you can clean a car battery by simply pouring some of this drink on its terminals.  (imagine what it does to our bodies)

Organized religion:  This is one of my favorite ones because religion is a big, old lie.  It is an organization based on human’s attempt to understand and manipulate the “unknown” by controlling other people’s lives.  It is not the same as spirituality. It is not a way to know the real God.  It is strictly man-made and self-destructive.

Nationalism/patriotism:  This is another ideology which helps to manifest people’s desire to belong to a group.  Identifying ourselves with a particular nation, culture, race, or ethnicity simply separates us as human beings.  It creates hatred, discrimination, segregation, and wars.  It is often used to justify our perceived “superiority” over other nations.  It is time to simply unite more as one group of people to help prevent all the catastrophes that we create by simply separating each other by our identified nationalism.

Can you  name other areas in our society that should have been obsolete by now?

We are dying.

This blog was originally intended to be about being frank… being honest with each other.
So I am adding this brief post about an ultimate truth…
We are dying.
Yep, all of us, in case you did not know.
If this sounds depressing and discouraging, that is not my intention.
I understand this may not be uplifting or inspirational to some readers.
But the reality is … we are all dying.
For those of us who complain about the weather, whine about the food we eat, criticize our neighbor for playing music too loud… the truth is, in a hundred year it will not matter at all…. because we will all be dead.
It is a reality.
I read a poem one time that said “Life asked death: ‘why do people love me, but despise you so much?’ and death answered ‘because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a hard, cold truth.'”
Life is not necessarily a lie, but we fill our minds with so many fantasies and illusions, that we tend to forget the truth about our deaths.
Life is short.  Life is precious. Life is a gift. 
So let us live life to its fullest.
Let us live each moment, as it is our last.
Let us laugh, forgive, love, give, and share.
Until we die.

The Ego is a Dangerous Thing

The Ego is a dangerous thing.  It inflates us to the point of admiring ourselves.  It elevates us so that we can admire our own skills and characteristics.  The Ego puts us on a pedestal to glorify ourselves.  It magnifies our abilities and successes.  It also keeps us deceive us so that we live in a fantasy of self-admiration and self-adoration.  The Ego is a illusion that  maintains us living in a fabricated world of invisibility and immortality.  It gives us a senses of limitlessness and security.

But the reality is that we are truly insecure.  We dread having to die one day.  We hate admitting our faults and limitations.  We are scared to face the insignificance of our existence.  We despise facing our fears.   So we hide behind the facade of security and certainty.  We disguise ourselves with success and comfort.  We overemphasize our images so that we can feel better about ourselves.

But it is a lie.  We deceive ourselves.  We intoxicate ourselves with self-righteousness and pride. We love to live a dream where we are kings and queens of our own lives.  We enjoy being the center of our existence.  We adore the images we create in our minds.  We simply feed the ego.

And the Ego is a dangerous thing.  Beware of the Ego.

We are all Delusional

We look at a map, and believe what we see.  We believe in the imaginary lines we have created in our heads which we think separate us from other countries, states, and nations.  The different cultures and countries are found within these lines which we call borders.  We go as far as creating wars because some people from the other side of the imaginary lines dare to cross it and “invade” us.

We also create imaginary roles and identities which are not real.  We call ourselves citizens, conservatives, idealist, experts, and other  terms which simply helps us to  feed our fabricated egos.  We choose to feel offended when others call us  names that are contrary to what our delusions have been, such as ignorant, hater, stupid, and “bad person”.

We enjoy our delusional personalities when we identify with our favorite sports team, political parties, religion, and profession. We act as if we really are who we erroneously believe we are.  We believe our favorite football team is the best, that our chosen political candidate should win the  next election, that our religion is the one true religion, and our profession is who we are.

We like to believe we are in control of our lives by pretending we are strong and untouchable.  We tend to say “fine” when people ask us how we are doing, even if the contrary is true.  We act like nothing is happening when everything is happening.  Days and months go by and we still act like the status quo is what really is.

Marriage should always succeed, jobs should never be lost, children should always learn what we have learned, wars are justifiable, drugs are bad, our fashion is the best one, and government takes good care of us.  All of these are delusions.