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Discovering the Real Identity

Pujyashri Gurudev expresses that the cause of all your miseries is the false belief regarding your identity. Understand your real nature from the Enlightened Ones, correct your belief, and come to revel in the infinite bliss of your true Self

The biggest difficulty, the biggest mistake, the biggest sin of the soul, is that it derives its identity through others, from others. Who am I? What am I? This identity is obtained by peeping into the other, using others like a mirror. Just as when you stand in front of the mirror, you decide how you look based on the reflection you see. Similarly, you derive your identity and determine your personality based on what opinion or impression others have about you, and not independently. The Enlightened Ones say that this is not how you determine your identity. Identity acquired from others will be incorrect, uncertain, and inconsistent. While one person says you are very intelligent, the other ridicules you as a complete fool; while one person praises you to be courageous, another considers you a coward. Whom will you believe?

Have you ever seen Japanese mirrors? When you pass by them, suddenly you appear thin, fat, tall or short. In the Japanese mirrors, you don’t appear the way you are, but bizarre images are reflected in them. In reality these mirrors reveal nothing about you, they only speak about themselves. So too, in people’s opinions, varied images are reflected, the opinions that people express about you, do not reveal your identity but in reality, reveal theirs. When someone says you sing well, that statement does not speak about your singing; but it expresses his understanding of ‘good singing’. However, you accept it right away and conclude that you sing well.

Buying Identity From Others

The first tragedy is that you do not derive your identity by yourself, from yourself, but conclude who you are from others’ opinions. However, the second tragedy is an even greater one. Here, you first create a false impression about yourself in the eyes of others and then, based on that impression you start evaluating yourself. If you stand in front of the mirror and smile, even though you are not truly happy within, what will be reflected in the mirror? A smile! Similarly, in a sad event, you may say to others that you are not affected and you have gladly accepted all. Hearing you, an image of you is reflected in their mind. Based on that image they praise you for your glad acceptance. Upon hearing this, you are delighted to see how people appreciate you for your glad acceptance. And in due course, you too start believing that you have glad acceptance while you have none. An oft-repeated lie creates the illusion of truth! Do you realise this game? This is a greater tragedy, because in deriving your identity like this, you are wasting your time in entertaining people and pleasing them, so that they form a good opinion of you. In this way, you do not earn your identity; you buy it!

How Does One Attain the Real Identity?

Gurdjieff often told his disciples, “If you want to know yourself, you will have to leave the people aside; meaning you will have to lessen the importance of people’s opinions and stop looking at yourself through the eyes of others.” Real identity cannot be known by increasing one’s acquaintance with people. In fact, it will be truly known only when people’s opinions hold no importance for you. You will not find your own identity by searching into others’ eyes, but you will do so by closing your eyes, by turning within and introspecting.

What is your real identity? You are the Self different from the body. You are neither the doer nor the enjoyer; you are merely a witness. This is the identity given by the Enlightened Ones. You were, you are, and you shall always remain the supreme light of Consciousness. This is your real identity but you believe that ‘I am the body’. You experience sorrow, agitation and misery, only because you identify yourself as the body.

The Strength of Belief

The Enlightened Ones therefore say that right efforts for correcting the belief need to be made. Renounce your false beliefs and establish the right belief. . The moment the wrong belief is renounced there will be an instantaneous transformation. The whole thing is about belief.

A professor at Harvard University was engaged in research in human psychology. As a part of an experiment, he once brought a sealed bottle into one of his classes, placed it on the table and said, “This bottle contains ammonia gas. When I open this bottle, the gas will start spreading. The aim of the experiment is to find out how much time it takes to reach the end of the room. So, as soon as you can smell it, please raise your hands.” The students were all attentive and eager. The professor broke open the seal, lifted the lid of the bottle and immediately pinched his nose shut. Two seconds later, the students in the first row raised their hands, one after the other; and then the students of the second row… and so on. Within fifteen seconds, the entire class had raised their hands. Finally, half a minute later, the professor announced, “There was no ammonia gas in this bottle. It was empty!”

The Belief is False, the Fruits are Real

How could that happen? Belief! The strength of belief is such that it creates an illusion of reality. It was not the ammonia, which smelt, but their belief, which had created it. Thus, the result was according to the belief, and it is surprising that though the belief may be an illusion the result is real.

One’s belief can be wrong, but the passions resulting from it are not unreal, the resultant happiness and sorrow too, are experienced by him. No external object is capable of giving you either happiness or sorrow. Happiness and sorrow emerge from your beliefs. Like the smell of ammonia, they have grown to be so strong that you are not ready to accept that there is actually nothing in the bottle of this world!

Thus your beliefs are unreal, but the miseries arising from them are real. Because of your false belief that ‘I am the body’, you feel that ‘I am sick’, ‘I am unhappy’ and so on. It is you alone who has to discard this belief of being the body. To liberate yourself from the chain of sorrow, you need not change anything externally, you have merely to get rid of the belief that ‘I am the body.’

It is to break this false belief that the Enlightened Ones say, turn within and remain steadfast there, and you shall come to discover your true identity. With unflinching wakefulness when you withdraw your attention from the world and constantly focus on the true nature of the Self, it will become more and more familiar. As your acquaintance grows deeper, the awareness that ‘I am the soul, I am consciousness, I am only the observer’ will develop and get strengthened. As you focus more and more within, a moment will come when your attention will get fixed within, and transcending all thoughts, you will experience the wondrous Self which is a storehouse of endless virtues



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#SadguruWhispers The disciple loves the Guru,seeing His spiritual height. The Guru loves the disciple, seeing his yearning for it.