The Search For Identity

AGDA_BeingAlive “People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about “

Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth

The Loss of Authenticity

In the earliest stages of childhood development, we learn that what we do and how well we do it, will define us in a favourable way. Praise became a way to know how special and wonderful we are. We learn that to perform and accomplish is rewarding, especially if I can do it better than others.

 Just one small example of this is quite evident within the educational system where we are presented with a number of gold stars according to how well we have done in our grades. To the recipients of those that have been granted the maximum amount of stars is that they feel good and the general message is that I must become competitive and stay in front to receive that praise. This appears to be a positive outcome but, in turn my self worth and sense of self becomes dependent on external conditions and circumstances.

 To the under achievers who fall short of receiving those stars for their grades, their interpretation of themselves may be that I am not enough and I have no value as I am. In turn, I am exposed to feeling inadequate and self-esteem has to some degree, taken a dive. From this position, loss of authenticity takes place and I have now also become dependent on external circumstances to secure some confirmation of self worth.

 

Our departure from childhood innocence and being whole and unique has now commenced at one minor level of many. What will grow in its place is to compare myself to others and formulate strategies and ideas to secure a sense of self worth.

 

“This is the danger of listening to the ego rather than our authentic self.

Every time we feel as though we’ve failed, we place our worth as a

human being in jeopardy”

W. Dywer

                                   The Shift

 

External Search

 The outcome of this early childhood process of reward and praise becomes evident as I grow older within society, as I am defined quite often by external values and this in turn, evaluates my success in life. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It also needs to be both defended and fed constantly from the external world to fend off any feelings associated with a loss of self worth.

 

” When we have a false sense of self  governing our lives, we allow external stimulus to validate who we are  and we place our sense of self at the mercy of the ever changing world.

S. Masters

                                                               Essence and Beyond

 

Relationships

 Also within this same framework lies dependency on others to prop up one’s ailing self worth.

 This also is placing needs externally into a world that is unpredictable and in constant change.

  There is absolutely no guarantee of what will come within the realm of relationships.

 

  The Situation

 Through the externalisation of our self worth, we have created a highly competitive society. We compete on a material level and this in turn has created a situation of fear and distrust of each other. To bring about a revolution of brotherhood under these circumstances would almost seemingly be impossible as all matters of the heart disappear under the weight of this system that we all breath life into.

 

 What if we spent our entire life by seeking assurance from others or chasing

  after these external symbols of success and aspiring to live up to ego’s mantra

that more is good to define our identity ?

How long will we look toward the external world for our salvation and abandon

our inner world to cope with the ever changing circumstances of life ?