What Is True Authenticity?

If you can actually answer that spiritual question posed here of “What is TRUE authenticity?” then the next question would be “Then how do you define SELF-realization?”  (Wow, shades of Paramahansa Yogananda’s revelations on SELF-REALIZATION)—which is from the same ‘self-awareness era’ that A.H. Almaas reminds me of when I first read his “Diamond Approach” book a few years ago.  He was an early pioneer of self/TRUE SELF-realization back in the 70’s-80’s, when Yogananda’s epic Hindu philosophy was fairly popular.

The analysis of TRUE AUTHENTICITY all comes back to answering the basic questions of whoamihand (1).jpgWho am I?  What is my TRUE identity? Am I strictly a physical being ruled by my biology and pathology? Or am I an elusive spiritual entity seemingly trapped in an earth-bound physical body—constantly yearning to return to my True Higher Source from which I came?

These are all good questions, and ones I’ve certainly been asking myself for the last 30 years.

These old gems are surfacing again now because I’m currently understandingnarcissismst.jpglistening to A. H. Almaas (founder of the Diamond Approach®), on “how narcissism became an impediment to spiritual awakening”. (It’s Day 7 of the same “Understanding Narcissism” series from Sounds True, like the Caroline Myss presentation from a few days ago.)  According to Almaas,

“when you move from simply experiencing your spiritual nature, to BEING it—meaning, when you move from somebody who is experiencing the spiritual experience to BEING the spiritual experience itself—THAT is self-realization. …

…The Self here is NOT defined by the MIND in your self-identity—meaning: You are NOT who you erroneously delude yourself that you are—your self-identity may not be a pure representation of WHO you really are, but may instead be an aggregation of who you have been told that you are, who you wish that you were, and who you often act like in actual daily life.  It’s your self-representation—NOT your true self-identity.

Tami Simon pins him down pretty well here trying to sharpen his focus: “OK, and what you’re saying is this constellation of self-representations, self-images, self-identification with my body, with my name, with my place in the world, that this is all inherently narcissistic, because it’s not actually essential, stripped down, not what I actually AM in this moment without referencing memories and self-representations.”

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Almaas responds with “That is TRUE.  There is another way of looking at it,….it has nothing to do with instability and insecurity in the sense of self—a sense of false  identity. …now in spiritual work, the EGO is ultimately unstable and insecure because it is NOT who we really are.  So true challenges to our experience will show it (the EGO) to be fragile.  It may not be obvious in our experience, but when we come to something extraordinary or profound, the EGO is shaken. …because it’s NOT who we really are. …We are more than that.” …

…”In your old age, when you’ve lived your life and all that, when you come to the end of your accomplishments, where does your VALUE come from?  When you’re forgotten about, when you come to the end of what other people think of you, when you come to your actual self—where does your TRUE value come from?

For spiritually-realized people, value gushes out from inside.  It is inherent to the TRUE Self—that is SELF-REALIZATION.  The TRUE SELF is pure sense of preciousness, goodness, and beauty.  So its value is intrinsic and inherent. It does not need accomplishments.

…But in a realized person, those things are an expression of something deeper. And because of that, their actions and activities have a lot to do with benefiting others instead of simply benefiting oneself. ..So Ego is inherently self-centered. …But a realized person doesn’t think of others as different than oneself—they are naturally loving and caring, …not self-centered—self-focused.  …How do I feel? …I feel like my heart is full of some kind of richness, a richness, a fullness, a sort of sweetness, a kind of love, …a love that is an inherent higher value.  I, being ME, is PURE VALUE.  I don’t need others to see that value. I feel it—I am IT—which is a far cry from somebody who wants their value to be seen and acknowledged by others to feel a sense of value within themselves. … 

We are the SELF that is not created by the actions of time…. It simply IS—it infinitely exists as the ‘I AM’. THAT is SELF-REALIZATION—the direct recognition that I am the ‘I AM’. “

***

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Thoughts on Our Mortality

Seeing the image below this morning and the Paramahansa Yogananda quote accompanying it brought my circling-hawk thoughts into sharper focus.

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Our Earth

“There are thoughts in the temple of silence too great for our hearts to speak.”

― Paramahansa Yogananda
Photo: Beautiful Night Sky (Aaron Jenkin)

I love PY.  I loved “Autobiography of a Yogi”. It is still one of my favorite books.

I think I even cried at the end of the book, fully realizing that he was no longer with us and how amazingly loving his presence and energy must have been—if now felt only through the words he left behind for us to savor.

There aren’t many authors who can do that to me.

This contemplation of our legacy—what we leave behind for others still existing beyond our limited timeframes—this is an integral component of what I’ve been referring to as the Collective Consciousness of our time. These energies that we hold individually and then collectively together are the sprouting seeds of increased awareness that we use to shift those doings and beings of our world into a higher existence and a higher earthciceroconnected65understanding of how ultimately interconnected we all are.

How each of us conduct ourselves and how we affect others during our finite timelines, are the important legacies that we offer humanity as a whole.

Personally, I exist—I interact—I comprehend—I emote—and if I am at all self-aware, I attempt to understand the entirety of my experience.  Sometimes my existence makes a type of sense to me—and sometimes it doesn’t.  But again, we tend to see what we want to see and believe what we feel the need to believe for our psychological well-being at the time.

Those perceiving and believing abilities are how we are programmed to operate right out of the box—from our earliest point of comprehension onward.  These are the survival tools we use to EXPERIENCE life on this planet.

Throughout my years of survival-existence here, I have lived and loved and interacted with many creatures of this world, as well as minutely contributed to life’s energetic signature for this particular time period.  So in my own teeny, tiny way, I have contributed to the greater collective consciousness by sharing my being (the energies that I personally hold) and my thoughts—which are my personal perceptions and interpretations of this life experience.

That’s what we ALL do. We share our energies and our perceptions with each other because we are co-participants in the collective consciousness of this time.   However, as PY explains…

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“There are thoughts in the temple of silence too great for our hearts to speak.”

 

So when we are unable to verbally describe our shared experience, we simply hold the energy of that deeply connected silence for each other.

This represents the love that we all share, for LOVE is the frequency of PURE existence best felt by the heart.