Rama teaches that we’re born as luminous beings. Yet, from birth, we become molded – away from our true luminous nature. We’re taught to look at ourselves in certain ways, to respond as we’re taught. Even if we rebel, we’re rebelling with a set of reactions that become our conditioned behavior. Then our lives turn into a series of patterns of reaction. And we see ourselves based on ideas we formulate internally about who we are. This is ego, and it’s strengthened by our desires. We want things, we feel a sense of entitlement – self-importance – that we deserve to get what we want. Then when we don’t, or we do but it ends, or it didn’t work out as we wanted it to, or we become satiated and bored, then we feel self-pity because we didn’t get it or it ended.
Rama says there are three impediments to enlightenment: ego, illusions and attachment. Ego – a fixed, conditioned sense of who we are. Illusions – entitlement and a sense of self-importance. Attachment – the ensuing sense of self pity that comes when we don’t get what we want. Humanity is caught in the wheel of birth and death – the misery and suffering that comes from attachment to desire. In the Carlos Castaneda book – The Power Of Silence, Don Juan, Carlos’ teacher, suggests that self importance and self pity are what lead humankind away from their true selves, their true nature.
How to get back to that true nature is the process of self-discovery that Rama taught. We’re learning about our true essence, and coming to understand what blocks us from connecting to the higher awareness that existence comes from, that we come from, that is at the core of who we are. One thing is for sure – if we can get to that true essence, then the possibility of magic opens up to us – the pure magic that makes life, that creates this Disneyland world we live in, that brings greater awareness and depth in each moment of life. It’s magic. And yet to live beyond the dense, warped human condition, to live in the magic of life, there’s no way around it – we’ve got to bring a ruthless self-honesty to our self-discovery process; Being willing to see what comes between us and awareness of the eternal. This means looking at the illusions we embrace, the conditioning we’ve been molded with, the thoughts and ideas that keep our minds fixed and that warp our perceptions.
This may not be an easy task, but when we’re ruthlessly honest with ourselves, we can see what’s real, we can see where we are. We can see what holds us back, what keeps us in cloudy, heavy states of mind. And each thing we see brings with it the possibility of a mini-liberation. The adage is, recognition is liberation. So if we’re willing to look and then to see, then we’ll start to recognize the inner obstacles and hindrances that keep us from the infinite light within ourselves. But then, what to do with these hindrances?
All of us have had moments of power in life – moments where a pure, crystalline understanding of life shot through us. In self discovery we seek those moments – in meditation, at power spots, having adventures, experiencing the sublime. And throughout our lives, there are moments where something in us stops – our minds stop, our thoughts stop, and there’s pure perception, there’s a powerful liftoff into a new state of mind. These moments move us, and if we let them, they can shift us forever. How? By seeing them as an arsenal of selves – higher selves, that when we invoke them and access them, they can bring us back to those pure, powerful moments of truth and clarity. And wherever we are, whatever we’re going through, we can use our arsenal of higher selves to lift out of whatever hindrance we find ourselves entangled in.