With the greatest respect: Who do you think you are?
You're so much more than you (probably) realise. Deeper levels of being, consciousness and joy are present within all of us.
Usually, when we think of our self - 'who we are' - we believe we're our 'identity', our personality. But this is not who we really are.
Take a moment, now. Reflect on what happens to your sense of identity when you're deeply absorbed in something that you really enjoy. At times like this, you're no longer aware of your identity. Your 'self' is absent. Your identity is therefore transient. It disappears too when you're asleep. How can something transient be who you really are?
Try something else. Consider the times when you've been aware of an 'inner observer' watching you. Perhaps this 'observer' is apparent when you're angry or distressed. Or maybe the inner observer is experienced as an inner voice that tells you what to do when you're otherwise unsure. Its very existence is evidence that you're much more than you think you are.
The identity-self is also known as the ego. It's concerned with your survival, and the gratification of its needs and desires. Its indispensable function is to keep you safe, but it exacts a high price. This price can sometimes be felt as a gnawing anxiety deep within (although many of us have become so accustomed to this that we no longer notice it). In seeking safety, the ego tries to manage the interpersonal environment by maintaining a sense of separateness - a separate 'self'. This so-called place of safety is actually a prison that keeps you from living fully.
This could be the most important realisation of your life. Further, it helps address perhaps the most important of the existential questions, how should I live?
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