Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Who’s In There With You?

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When you’re alone—and I mean really alone—you may discover there’s another “person” inside yourself besides you. For me, that was one of the most interesting, somewhat scary discoveries I made as a Zen practitioner.

This is actually a very simple and basic discovery of inner development. When you are practicing meditation, the chief object (especially while you are first learning) is to quiet the conscious mind. As I’ve already told you at least a hundred times in this blog, you must stop the flow of thoughts in order to reach the Zen state.

So what you learn how to do is tell the conscious thinking mind to be quiet and stop thinking. Right? Let me say that again with different words. “You” must stop your thinking machine and make it be still.

So, who is “you,” and who is the thinking machine?

The answer is this: There are two entities, two parts of you working with each other (or perhaps working against each other). Down through thousands of years, teachers and gurus have called them by so many different names that I can’t recall them all. My preference is to just call them the conscious mind and the higher self—chiefly because that is how I’ve experienced them.

In an untrained person the conscious mind is always in control. In a somewhat successful Zen practitioner the higher self of that person is often in control, and the higher self often directs or leads the conscious mind.

Thus when you’re practicing, what’s really happening is the higher self is training the conscious mind to behave. And the more you practice, the more you realize these are two separate beings inside you, each having different attitudes, values, and goals. You’re also likely to learn the higher self is wiser in many respects than the lowly conscious mind. The chief reason is the higher self is close to and part of the human spirit, which contains a higher form of knowledge than your conscious mind has ever known.

When you are able—after much consistent, faithful practice—your higher self will influence your conscious mind more and more. Voila! You are beginning to receive true spiritual wisdom and it is becoming a part of your life. Soon you’ll be experiencing life on a higher plane than you did before.

Okay, you won’t be able to walk on water yet. But you’ll surely live in a way that brings you more peace, joy, and satisfaction than before.

I guarantee it.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

November 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

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