Self is the cause of suffering
You are not the self
The self can be transcended
In order to transcend the self, you must commit to do so and life live with the ‘always be transcending’ disposition
Happiness is the goal
The best things in life are arrived at through a process of self-transcendence. The self is at its core always afraid, and always inclined to act selfishly.
The degree to which you have transcended self determines your level of freedom from its fear and selfish drives. Your freedom from fear and selfishness is directly correlated to your ability to experience love, joy, beauty, enthusiasm, wonder, and bliss.
In this essay, I’m pointing to the core dynamic that degrades your quality of life and then suggesting a method by which this dynamic can be undermined.
Self is suffering
The self as we know it today is a pathetic psychological identity formed in ignorance and based upon cultural values that have degraded to the point of infantile tit seeking impulses. Fear rules the day every day for the modern self. Existential truths, death, suffering, and real love are all intentionally overlooked so as to placate the terrified baby within.
Our identities are based in and dominated by fear because at every moment we sense our inherent fragility and unreality. The self you take yourself to be is a concept. The bulk of which is composed of negative self-image and ideation. And that which is positive within this image is only so as a means to create something presentable for others. In the final analysis, life as a separate self is a drag. Fortunately, you are not a self. You are Consciousness, Being, Reality, Awareness, God. You’ve simply lost touch with that fact.
Because the self is inherently afraid, everything emanating from it (thought, emotion, action, etc.) is an attempt to resolve or avoid acknowledging that fear. Your relationships, habits, and lifestyle become the means by which you avoid the fear at the core of your experience of self.
Because the self feels perennially vulnerable and afraid, it assumes that it must act selfishly in order to procure the attention, resources, and comfort needed to avoid its imagined fate. This selfishness is the root of everything we know as bad behavior. Cruelty, unloving actions, lying, laziness, greed, and all the other sins arise because the self is afraid of confronting the fear that lies at its center.
I’m talking about the experience you are having right now. The internal dialogue and continuous flow of thought and feeling that constitutes your self experience is the source of all your suffering. This content is your active avoidance of existential fear and serves only to cut you off from an experience of life lived without anxiety, tension, and confusion.
Self is an illusion
By becoming aware of and actively confronting the internal dynamic that robs you of your inherent joy you are able to let it go. This is transcendence. You don’t need to be a suffering illusory self in order to survive. In fact, without this self, your life will automatically begin to unfold on behalf of more powerful principles and drives. Without the need to maintain a particular identity, the intelligence that you are is free to embody a much wider range of patterns, expressions, energies, forms, and ideas. This freedom comes only by way of transcendence.
Transcending self is counterintuitive because you think and feel it to be what you are. The mental-emotional agitation you experience day in day out has become ‘me’ and you’ve lost touch with the fact that the self-structure and process is simply not you! The self (your character) exists as accumulated ideas, impressions, feelings, self-concepts, family and cultural values, and automatic responses to suffering. None of this can be what you actually are because you are the one who experiences all of it. All that content has been accumulated, stored, maintained, and presented as if it were your very self. It is not.
It is the very maintenance and acting out of this content that causes all suffering and cuts you off from the unimaginable beauty that you are.
The craziest part of this dynamic is that you are the one doing it, albeit unconsciously. You are choosing to indulge the patterns that cause your suffering. Every moment you are participating in the very process that ruins your life.
Why would you do this? Because you feel like you must. You feel that if you were to stop pursuing and engaging the thoughts and feelings of self you would die or your life would fall apart. Implicit in the self content is a sense of urgency and a need to pursue its ends. Anxiety pulls your attention into the thoughts and feelings of self. Once you are embedded in the content it is experienced as “me” and cannot be seen for what it is.
You, consciousness, become identified and confused with the machinations and phenomena of self.
Everything the self is and does can be seen as an expression of the principle of survival (link to survival). None of it is concerned with beauty, love, joy, exploration, Truth, or freedom. As long as your life is run by self, it is about survival. And as long as you are dominated by the drive to survive as an identity, your time and energy is spent endlessly pursuing the promotion of an image and attainment of ideals. This is a fruitless endeavor that cannot lead to fulfilment. It is not the enactment of your highest potential.
The way out
Luckily for us, there is a way out.
Self can be transcended. This means that all of the content you carry around and assume to be yourself can be let go. Every feeling and thought that signifies “I’m this person with these problems” can be seen as content, and not “I”. The experience you’re currently having of being an anxious and confused self can be seen through and let go. You can exist without identity, which is to say, without fear.
The more you let go of the contraction of self the more access you have to your true identity. This true identity is what remains when all self concepts and accumulated ideas are absent. The true self is not bound by the ego, mind, or identity. Your actual being is simply present and aware, without need or agenda.
The suffering of self has been realized by many who have gone on to suggest methods by which to transcend it. Here I will offer some of the best methods as well as a description of the ‘always be transcending’ disposition and lifestyle. These methods are only effective so long as they are practiced consistently and sincerely. Self is extremely persistent so its transcendence requires dedication.
The reason I suggest ‘always be transcending’ is because of self’s tenacious desire to stay the same- to suffer. Nothing less than a full commitment to transcendence will do the job.
So how do you realize and actualize this? how do you go from the experience of….
“I am this person with these problems that feels this way”
“I am untouchable infinite consciousness”
My answer is to live life with the disposition and intent to always be transcending.
Here are some definitions of transcendence to help paint a picture of the disposition and process I’m referring to.
-To be or go beyond
-to rise above or go beyond the limits of
-to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects of
-to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence)
-to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power
-to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits
Here are some of the practices that help facilitate the transcendence process…
Letting go– this is the primary method. All the content of self can simply be let go. Release your attachment to the content known as ‘me’. Let go of your addiction to familiar patterns of thought and perception. This is done intuitively and effortlessly. Check out the book letting go by David R Hawkins.
Insight into your true nature– by directly experiencing yourself to be beyond the self-concept you are creating the possibility of existing without self. The more you come to understand that you are not a limited identity the more likely you are to experience yourself as such on a regular basis. ‘Enlightenment’ experiences facilitate your ability to transcend the suffering and confusion brought on by the self process.
Healing and transforming– this is complimentary to letting go and insight. Much of that which you experience as self is simply a defense mechanism put in place to defend your wounded or seemingly incapable psyche. The work of healing allows you to let go of these defense patterns and begin to live life with a more open and inclusive identity. Transformation is the possibility of changing what you are as a person. This possibility facilitates transcendence because it gives you first-hand experiential contact with the fact that the self is malleable and so not absolute. “If it can change and I’m still here then it was not me.”
Practice– Mastering the mind through meditative disciplines is necessary to gain an advantage over your mind. The mind will run its familiar patterns until you decide to bring intent into the game. The self and its survival run automatically and will continue to do so until discipline is implemented. A steady daily practice allows you to gain control over your mind and cultivate the sensitivity necessary to see the truth.
Recreating your understanding of self and reality through questioning, contemplation, and research– your conceptual understanding of self and life is what creates your experience of reality. In order to have a truly transcendent point of view, you must continuously update this understanding to accommodate more true, free, and powerful perspectives.
Live life with the disposition ‘always be transcending’ by confronting the contraction at your core and intending to let it go– live life with the desire to be free from suffering and you will find your way to freedom from self. Realize the persistence of suffering and actively become more and more aware of it at its root. The more awareness you have of the situation the more likely you are to be able to do something about it. Be ready and willing to face the pain in your heart. This pain exists in the heart of every identity and is its first building block. Remember that is it only through awareness that your freedom is won. And that this awareness comes at a cost- you must honestly feel whatever is there regardless of how painful. Awareness first, then let go
Use suffering to propel you forward and out of self– The more aware you become of the amount of suffering that self causes the more inclined you will be to let it go. Stay in touch with your authentic experience and don’t escape into fantasy or distraction. If you are earnest you will find plenty of suffering to motivate your transcendence.
Use the joy of true freedom to motivate your transcendence– This is the feeling of being unencumbered by conceptual overlays. Use it to motivate you out of familiar patterns of suffering. Fall in love with the feeling of freedom throughout your consciousness. The more of this freedom you attain the more you will want
Realize directly– you are awareness. you are not a separate self. you do not need to play along with the ego’s agenda. be free now
Self is the cause of suffering
You are not the self
The self can be transcended
In order to transcend the self you must commit to do so and life live with the ‘always be transcending’ disposition
Happiness is the goal
Self Love is the cause