The great teachings of the world have told us over and over again that we are not who we think we are, but what does that mean?
We are not aware of our true identity.

Some people say that our consciousness has existed since the beginning of all time and that our self originates at the moment in which this concept called God decides to experience itself individually, creating different planes in which to express itself. This physical plane is one of them.

Others contend that everything is interconnected and that the world is an illusion. However, it has also been suggested that consciousness creates the world as a mirage. The thing we know for sure is that we are frequently unaware of our true identity.

From the moment we are born until we die, we experience constant change. This makes the mind absorb all those emotions we are experiencing in life, thus giving a host of qualities of permanence to that self. When we feel vulnerable, the mind instinctively acts to protect us by rejecting anything that threatens that self.

The ego is that identity that knows all this information we keep as we experience life. Everything that we are and everything that we identify with forms our ego, our nationality, our name, our beliefs, and also forms our identity. Buddhism says that this is not quite so. For Buddhism, the ego is the misconception of the self as an entity that exists by itself. This perception of the self is reinforced by this mind that has not understood the essential nature of things.

The identity we’ve created is an illusion.

The Buddha says that the material form is not the self. He never referred to humans as static entities; rather, he described us as a car: the sum of axle + wheels + box + support + reins is what we call a car. The car is just a name. If we remove these components, what do we have left? Do you still have a car? No, the car would cease to exist.

We are the ones who have given it existence by giving it that name. Our sense of self arises every time we become attached to the processes of the physical body, to our feelings, to our perceptions, etc. The more attached we are to these, the more we will feel the need to protect ourselves by constantly fighting not to lose them.  But this is not our true identity. The identity that we have created is an illusion that causes all our problems because any identity that we acquire is transitory.

When we statically perceive ourselves, we cling to our ego. So when we are afraid of suffering, death, and living, we hide inside the bubble of the ego to protect ourselves. We create that illusion of being separated from the world to avoid suffering. The opposite happens since the ego is a magnet that attracts suffering.

Ego and attachment go hand in hand. This makes us resist expanding our consciousness because we settle for saying, “I am like this,” leaving the mind anchored in that static identity that causes all the problems.

When the mind is freed from this illusion, the change comes, and the external circumstances also change, causing the suffering to decrease considerably. This phrase, “I am like this,” is always followed by, “and things should be as I think they should be,” thus giving rise to egocentrism because if things are not as I think they should be, I will suffer and get angry.

Freedom and Happiness.

When we meditate, we can feel how we don’t own anything in the world. Our relationship with material things: cars, houses, families, work, etc., is only for a limited time because everything changes, dies, or we lose them. The same thing happens when we focus our attention on an episode that we have experienced because we discover that it is not ours either.

We also find out that we don’t call our thoughts, nor are they ours, because they come and pass naturally. In the same way, it happens with our feelings. Feelings arise by themselves and change according to conditions. If we learn to silence the mind, we will begin to notice how the self dissolves.

The more we empty ourselves, the more we can experience the interconnection because we will realize that all things are united. This brings with it freedom and joy.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.Then the victory is yours – Buddha.

 

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