My new year’s resolution

The teachers tell us that the identity we consider real is a distortion and an illusion. For that reason working to “fix” it simply makes things worse. This passage from Yoga and Psychology, The Evolution of Consciousness, is representative:

In the first place, the frantic struggle to improve one’s self must stop. One must admit defeat and “give up.” For the struggle is framed in terms of the present I-ness and it is these terms and this notion of oneself which must be relinquished. The grand plan for progress must be abandoned.

I have owned this book for many years. It is heavily highlighted and underlined. None of my study of it has helped, so far as I know. I do acknowledge that my notion of myself is a mirage, so tinkering with it just reinforces the deception I have maintained since I was very young.

Life was once simple, and sweet.

Life was once simple–and very sweet.

I have been extremely unkind to my present “I-ness.” I told myself I would have my act together by now, and I become frantic that it is not together as I define together.

The teachers say if I can abandon my obsession with fixing things a larger world view will emerge, seemingly on its own. That larger view includes a more competent version of “me”, and I am in favor of that.

Our society is about fixing things, and especially about fixing ourselves. 2016 politics is all about fixing things. My view on this aligns more with the Dalai Lama: be kind, and things will work themselves out.

I am endeavoring to apply that advice to myself by ending my work on self-improvement and enjoying whatever I discover from that.

Your thoughts?


3 thoughts on “My new year’s resolution

  1. A great read:
    Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
    – Book by Richard Rohr

    “The soul has many secrets. They are only revealed to those who want them, and are never completely forced upon us. One of the best-kept secrets, and yet one hidden in plain sight, is that the way up is the way down. Or, if you prefer, the way down is the way up.”
    “The supposed achievements of the first half of life have to fall apart and show themselves to be wanting in some way, or we will not move further.”

  2. Be kind and things will work themselves out seems to be a fairly naive view of life. I guess if abandoning self improvement really means to be more accepting of who you are I can agree with that. But if it’s more literal, I’m afraid you lose me on that too.

  3. I am naive, John, and I thank you for noting that. Being naive is how I got myself into my current mess. I don’t think we have ever given kindness a real opportunity to prove itself. Thanks for commenting. I hope you will stay with me!

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