Today’s lesson is about Self-inquiry, ‘Who am I?’ And then it is about taking Self-inquiry one-step further by living from the answer.
Today’s lesson tells us that we use many forms of defense to try to protect who we think we are, and in so doing we hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves. We try to protect the body, because we think we are the body. We try to protect the psyche, because we think we are the psyche. Yet we are neither.
One form of defense that today’s lesson talks about is health. All of us take some steps each day to protect the health of the body, such as eating food, drinking water, possibly taking vitamins, etc. Is this wrong? I think not. We also take care of our homes, our yards, our automobiles, etc. Basic actions that come naturally are not the problem. Obsessive thinking about health & attempts to CONTROL health are the problems.
A question we can ask ourselves is, “Do I think excessively about the health (or safety or appearance) of the body?” If so, attachment to the body is a block to truth for you.
Today’s lesson tells us that the body “need merely be perceived as quite apart from you.” — Practice Self-inquiry. Ask, “Who am I?” and look to discover the truest answer to that question. “This is the body’s only real defense. Yet is this where you look for its defense?”
Another form of defense that today’s lesson talks about is planning. We may plan for the protection of the body or we may plan for the protection of the psyche. Either way, the “mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up CONTROL of future happenings.”
Does this mean it is wrong to plan a lunch date with a friend or plan to go to a retreat or on vacation? I think not. This is not referring to practical planning that is naturally a part of a human life. Obsessive thinking about the future and attempts to CONTROL future outcomes are the problem.
A question we can ask ourselves is, “Do I think I need some things to go a certain way in order for me to be safe/happy?” If so, you have become attached to the psyche’s idea of itself, and that is a block to truth for you.
Today’s lesson tells us that “self-initiated plans … are the means by which a frightened mind would undertake its own protection, at the cost of truth.” — Practice Self-inquiry. Ask, “Who am I?” and look to discover the truest answer to that question.
Today’s lesson recommends that we live from the answer to our Self-inquiry. Instead of falling back into ways of being that are intended to protect the body or psyche as who I am, the lesson suggests, “Let no defenses but your PRESENT TRUST direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth…”
There is a difference between trying to control things and living from present trust. There is a difference in how they feel. This difference in feeling gives us the opportunity to be honest with ourselves, if we pay attention.
Will we accept whatever experiences come in this lifetime, whether they are what we would have preferred or not, and use them to further our awareness of truth?
Whether I am sick or healthy, I can ask, “Who am I?” and see the answer. Whether I am rich or poor, I can ask, “Who am I?” and see the answer. Whether I live in one place or another, am married or single, have this or that, I can ask, “Who am I?” and see the answer.
What if we live our lives in this way?: Although some basic planning and taking care of one’s body will occur, the attitude is one of openness, allowance and trust with only the purpose of truth realization. For example, what if I plan for a vacation, pay for a vacation and then something occurs. I cannot go and I lose the money paid. Can I live with that as happily as I would have lived with the vacation? After all, going or not going can both be a distraction from Self-inquiry, and Self-inquiry can occur whether I go or don’t go, so has anything really changed at all?
Instead of living from our beliefs about who we think we are, let’s begin to live from Self-inquiry with self-honestly.
Pay attention to yourself. What beliefs about yourself are you living from?