Monday, February 20, 2012

Being authentic

I'd like to continue on the theme raised in my previous post, that of my concern that I almost lost my true nature forever due to the conditioning I received growing up. Over the last few months, life has been revealing more and more to me the importance of being true to who I really am.  This need has taken on a much more powerful significance of late and has come to some kind of critical point today which is why I am writing this post.  The tension I am feeling, the frustration, is telling me that I have to commit to a radical change in the way I project myself to others, or the way I feel about myself when I am with others, to be more precise . Now it is time to be authentic and to show my true self fearlessly and make how I feel about myself more important to me than caring what others think about me. Writing this blog has been a part of that process.

You see, throughout my life I have known that I am different to others, that I did not fit in and this has been a source of pain for me for a very long time. At school I was always on the edge of the group.  I didn't understand the other kids or how to make conversation with them. Their topics of conversation always seemed so silly and trivial and they in turn couldn't relate to me. Of course I had friends but never felt really close to any of them because I felt there was a part of me that I couldn't express when I was with them.  This was the spiritual part of me which for me is the essential part.  I could never talk about it because either they would laugh at me or tell me I was too serious. I suppose for other kids I was. Who wants to talk about philosophy when you're twelve or thirteen?  But I was always thinking in this way, asking questions - why, why, why? But I had a profound awareness that the life we were living was not reality but like a play and that we were like actors playing parts. For example, in a conflict situation such as an argument, I would argue for a little while but then I would smile and maybe start laughing because I knew it was just a game and not to take it too seriously.  But the other person didn't seem to know that and consequently became even angrier.

That was an unhappy realisation for me that others didn't get it, didn't understand that it's just a game. But one night when this knowing served me well was when I was mugged in my hometown of Bristol.  A friend and I were taking a short cut through some garages when two young men with knives appeared and asked us for money. I remember this feeling of calm wash over me and, despite being a little drunk, I suddenly felt really lucid and clear-headed.  I knew that the money was not important but that our safety was.  I could see that the men were on drugs and really nervous so I spoke to the one who seemed to be in charge in a really soothing voice and asked him to stay calm. In fact, I spoke to him lovingly.  It was so strange because I would never have imagined behaving in that way but, in that moment, it was as though the veil lifted and I felt the deep connection that existed between me and this man. He visibly calmed, handed my purse back to me and asked me to give him the money inside it. He seemed almost ashamed. I gave him some and he and his accomplice disappeared. I wonder to this day that if I had gone into fear things might have gone differently. Later on that evening I got angry and indignant like anyone would but at the time it was like I was fully present in my body with absolutely no fear and instead this feeling of deep empathy for everyone including my attackers.

Growing up with this knowing and the fact that I couldn't speak to anyone about any of it meant that I was always looking out for something externally that would validate what I was feeling.  I was attracted to anything to do with the supernatural on the television but I was always left angry and frustrated when the "experts" gave their rational explanation for any kind of psychic phenomena because I felt we were being lied to.  I gravitated towards anything that would help me answer the hundreds of questions I had that were barely addressed by the archaic education system. Consequently, I was disengaged and somewhat rebellious when I was at school. I sincerely regret not choosing physics as one of my options at the age of twelve but on reflection all the physics textbooks needed rewriting even then (according to Amit Goswami, author of Quantum Mechanics). Later on, I became interested in astrology through a friend of my parents and psychology through our lodger and these provided some answers that gave my analytical side a framework for understanding other people.

As I said in my previous post, I have since read many books and seen on the internet that there are many people who think in a similar way to me and that makes me feel less alone and less weird than I used to. But I don't tend to meet them in my personal life. Perhaps we're a rare breed, although I'm sure that is changing.  Perhaps the other people I meet are pretending too.  The fear of rejection and ridicule is a powerful reason for staying inauthentic and hiding one's true nature. But a new realisation has come to me based upon the spiritual truth of as within so without.  That one's outer reality is a reflection of the inner landscape of their mind and their belief system. Perhaps it is me that is rejecting me. The rational, conservative side of my personality rejecting the emotional, intuitive side.  Perhaps if I balance and integrate the two I will find peace and my outer world will reflect that back to me. Only time will tell but I'm willing to give it try.