Tuesday, June 24, 2014

God - an investigation - part 5 - The Self

The origin of the “Self” is shrouded in mystery. And Education has not helped in unearthing the beginnings of it. In fact, one of the most intriguing aspects of our upbringing is the subversive attitude to knowing ourselves. It is never made clear to us who we actually are. What is this substratum that we call “I” or “me”? In the ever-changing panorama of our personal lives, we adorn so many different roles, attach ourselves to a countless different persona’s, yet we are never allowed to get to the bottom of this distinct feeling of oneness that seems to be pervade our mutable organismic state. There is this thread of conscious continuity that weaves the multiple experiences together into a pattern of“self-hood” , that somehow remains distinct from the outwardly behavior and roles. What we call as character or personality has nothing to do with it, and are merely pieces of memory stitched together by education, imitation and indoctrination in society. The “I” that I am talking about is something totally different. It cannot be narrowed down to a specific point within me. It can only be deduced as a tingling sense of well-being that resonates when there is a harmony in the organism - A Holistic feeling of beatitude amidst chaos, a sense of balance and equilibrium in preserving itself.

It is very interesting to note that, even on a cursory investigation, one does not find any “I” that is rooted in the heart or the brain (depending on which religious background one comes from). Like a drop of dew that melts at the first touch of sunlight, the rock-solid “I” within us disappears without a trace when the light of attention is turned on it.  It is a fiction that has somehow convinced itself of its own reality.

One of the most convincing and spectacular reasoning to prove the illusory structure of our “self” – as we know and identify it, comes from our Upanishadic dialogues. The more I examine Eastern and western philosophies, the deeper am I convinced that for most part Humanity is barking up the wrong tree in the name of religion and God. There is perfect harmony in the universal wisdom of ages. It is just that we need touch the right source and drink deep from it.

In my next installment in this series, I wish to examine the principal thrust of the Upanishads, and the kind of questions that have been asked; and the answers begotten... It is a fascinating revelation….

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