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.
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.