A vital distinction has to be made if you are going to succeed at creating a powerful life of freedom and full Self-expression.
You must distinguish between your Self and your Identity. Without getting to the heart of this you are far more likely to continue in patterns of failure, discontent, and frustration.
Your Self is your universal, powerful, limitless Being that you were born with. When you were a newborn infant you had no identity but you were your Self. You had no fears, no stories to tell, no memories of pains, failures, or successes. You were simply a Being of pure possibility.
Your Identity is the person you became, molded by experiences, conditioned by teachings and ideas transmitted to you by others, and influenced by peers, events, and trends and how they occur to you.
How we progress in life, then, depends on which ‘self’ we identify with, a choice that never makes it to most people’s awareness, and thus, is never made.
However, once this distinction is made you reach a fork in the road – one path is of the Self and all that comes with it and the other is the path of identity.
The path of the Self is the path of possibilities, power, energy, creation, authenticity, and heaven. The Self is the Christ, the Buddha, the Acorn of living power residing within each one of us, as each one of us. The Self is Universal among all of Humanity, yet with a distinctness to its expression within each Human. It has a view to the future. We are born as Self and continue as Self beyond the shadow of death.
The path of Identity is the path of limitation, powerlessness, (only) matter, imitation, inauthenticity, and hell. Identity is represented as Satan and the Weed that chokes off the growth and expression of the Acorn. It is the covering of artificiality that cloaks the Self. It is the fracturing of Humanity into categories, sub-categories, races, parties; it filters the expressive potential and power of Self through innumerable, unimaginative imitations with lenses through which it maintains a view itself as the past, as apart, and as inconsequential. We acquire Identity and Identity ceases at death.
Another important distinction must be made here – in spite of my positioning Identity as the antithesis of the Self, it is not. It is only when we confuse and identify our Self as our Identity that it becomes debilitating and dangerous.
Identity, properly viewed and applied, is a servant of the Self, it does not supplant the Self. In the world of things, the Identity is the end all and be all and the effect is harm. In the world of Being, Self is All, All is Self and the result is harmony.
A simple illustration is the world of tribalism, in which the members of one tribe or ‘race’ act aggressively against the members of the ‘other tribe’ or ‘another race’; or the religious world in which religious zealots wage war against people of other religious faiths; or patriarchal minds downgrading the perceived value of Women and acting out it out in acts of oppression and marginalization.
Yet, the very differences over which we war offer fertile ground for the planting and harvesting of ideas, possibilities, wisdom, and free, powerful Self-expression.
It is only as people occur to us that determines our regard and treatment of them. If other Humans occur to us as things – physical only, separate, different, and incomplete – then our judgments follow in alignment and the consequences manifest accordingly.
If, however, other Humans occur to us as Human – first and last – as expressions of the Universal Self without differentiation or separation, as expressions of ourselves, then there is no judgment, no aggression, no diminishing of any.
If you see others as your Self, your Self in others, whom can you harm?