Everywhere we go, there we are. Yet, somehow, the west has adopted ludicrous phrases such as “I need to find myself” or “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” Is not the goal of “spiritual enlightenment,” let’s say, the removal of self? This being the case, is there anything more self-centered than a statement like “I love myself?” When you think about it for two seconds, an utterance to that tune is incredibly vain. However, with regard to “finding oneself,” you tell me – are you not right there, right where you stand at this moment? There you are! Congratulations! The game is over. You have successfully won the game of hide-and-seek with.. yourself.
It takes two to play hide-and-seek, whether we are seeking another person or an object. Sure, we understand the context in which someone might say they need to find themselves, but still, there remains no sense in it. What someone means when they say they need to find themselves is that once the conditions of their emotions or the mind improve, only then they have found themselves. They are laying down a pre-requisite to their peace and serenity. “Once X, Y, or Z happens, I will be at peace.” Well, what if X, Y, or Z does not happen – because the probability that something we wish to occur does indeed occur is negligible. It may; it may not. Now, we are playing a game of chance with existence itself. Existence (or Being) is not set up this way. Believe me; I have spent an extensive amount of time gambling to know this to be true. Aside from that, this pre-requisite we have set for our freedom has us living in the future, which, of course, does not exist. People go to therapy to find themselves, to carouse through their past so that they may have a better future. Another way of putting this might be, “venturing into two realms that exist not.”
When we are walking down the street, what is it that we see? Do we see ourselves, or do we see creation? The latter, obviously, as without a mirror or reflection, we could not see ourselves, thus, rendering a game of hide-and-seek with ourselves to be impossible. A definition of finding oneself might be “a continuation of staying unconscious of what already is.” The only thing that “is” – is now, and a refusal to be conscious of the present results in this feeling that we need to “find” something. There is nothing to find. A lot of the time, our car keys suddenly show up when we stop looking for them, don’t they? On a larger scale, that “special someone” appears to us when we have stopped desperately seeking companionship. Might I suggest ceasing the search to find something in particular. We do not need to find love, or ourselves, or even God, really. Love, God, and “ourselves” already are. Just pay attention to right now, for that is where we are and no place else.
These terms – self-respect, self-love, self-confidence – are all rubbish. I either have respect to give, or I don’t; I either have love to give, or I don’t. Respect and love are something one gives to another, ideally without the necessity of receiving it in return. They require the involvement of two people. If “I” need to find “myself,” I have now split “myself” in two and have become schizophrenic. This form that I have been given is not mine; I did not create it. Not even the mind is mine or “ours.” After all, if it did belong to me, I would be in full control of it and not simply have to watch it as if I were a bystander. The thing that I call “myself” is nothing more than a vehicle to experience existence as it is. An effort to use it to do anything else would be misusing it.
I suppose I should backtrack a bit. The seed of the true nature of Being already exists within us. Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment that “there is nothing to find.” There is something to find – the truth. This is what we are after, but discovering the truth is a far cry from “finding ourselves.” If and when we are paying enough attention, we may hear, read, or see the truth, and when we do, there is a certain serenity that falls among us. However, this truth cannot be discovered if we are wrapped up in ourselves, trying to find ourselves, or trying to gain self-respect or self-confidence. These ideas, along with any others, are fragile anyhow. When I get that lucrative job one day, well, now I have the illusion self-confidence and self-respect. Until the day comes when I get fired because somebody new is better than me at what I do, and now what? Confidence and respect fly out the window all because I created an image for myself. They are impermanent, just like all terms similar to them; however, there are constants – there are permanents that are built-in features of Being. Love, truth, and God will never die. We can “find” them so long as we are paying attention, so long as we are conscious of the present, the only realm that exists.
Let us remove “self” from our vocabulary, please? We don’t need self-love; we need to love – period. What does “self-love” even look like anyway? Are you touching yourself that often? As a matter of fact, there is enough evidence out there that habitually performing that act is detrimental to your well-being. So, stop “loving yourself,” literally and metaphorically. We don’t need self-respect; we need to respect. We don’t need to practice “self-care;” we need to care. We don’t need to find ourselves; instead, we need to find that which already is. We cannot play hide-and-seek with ourselves; we look like an animal chasing around its own tail when we do. It’s an impossible game. Everywhere we go, we are there.
You Cannot Play Hide-and-Seek with Yourself.
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