There are two states of being that people tend to confuse. These are finding yourself, and losing yourself.
Most people who think they found themselves actually got further from who they really are. They surrendered their power to a cause, philosophy or religion that’s external, and thus disempowering and damaging in the long run.
They feel strong because of this external clutch, but what happens when this seemingly permanent power crumbles? They instantly become weak and personal crisis starts. Most would be in search for another clutch in no time.
Very religious folk, cult members, people who devote their lives to organisations and their causes, belong to this class. These people, if they are told something against the beliefs of their religion, organization or philosophy, become argumentative, combative and sometimes downright cruel.
They’re close-minded and protect their fragile egos by their aggressiveness. Their foundation is flawed (because it’s based on something external), so it gets shaky often and they feel they must protect it from breaking apart by being aggressive or cruel.
These people have very strong opinions which is sometimes mistakenly translated as self-confidence and being rooted in Self. They are hard to help because they think they don’t need help, and, in fact, they try to help others. Or, to say it more correctly, they try to “save” others from making “wrong choices”.
Giving up personal power seems to such people as a perfect solution to their hard and complicated lives. Someone or something can now tell them exactly how to live, no independent thought is required. The more rules the organisation has, the safer such individuals feel. They use these rules as weapons to deal with the cold and harsh world.
Diamonds in the rough
By hiding behind these rules and codes of conduct they appear as confident and loudly express their views closely aligned with organisational philosophies. What this constant hiding behind external rules does to them is it fails to polish them. They remain diamonds in the rough, insecure and close-minded, instead of revealing the light within which shines more powerfully the more person falls and gets up.
By hiding behind the principles that are not their own they fail to get to know their authentic selves and thus cannot understand what their real purpose is and how they should contribute to the good of the world. They convince themselves that their lives’ purpose is dedication to an external cause, and they completely shut themselves from their inner voice.
They feel too weak to deal with the world on their own. They surrender to something which appears stronger than them. They believe themselves to be powerful because of this external power and they think that’s a sign of finding their selves.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Finding yourself doesn’t come that easy. Finding yourself doesn’t come when you sign up for some membership or decide to belong to some institution. You must pay the price if you want to find yourself. The price is bruising your ego to the extent that it gives way to the light within.
Giving up your power grows the ego. Insecure people are scared of being bruised and so become aggressive and hurtful in their remarks to protect their egos at any cost.
Ego loves judging others when it hides behind something seemingly stronger than itself, like religion. It fears the truth, and shuts away from the truth in any way that it can. Anything that would cause the diamond in the rough to be at least slightly polished is avoided, as the dirt surrounding the diamond is the ego.
How would most people react if you would point out some unpleasant trait in them? Most would get insulted about it and attack you in response. Such reactions keep the ego firmly in place, without any opportunity for the light to shine fourth. Should the person think about the critique and accept and change if the critique is truthful, the ego would get cracked a bit, and the light within could be dimly seen.
It’s always painful at first to open up to how life really is. Yet that’s how you can reveal the diamond that’s inside. It’s good to fail and it’s good to be criticized. It’s not you that receives the blows, it’s the ego. Your Self grows stronger whenever your ego is beaten.
I wish I could remember the source I got the following teaching from, but no suggestion comes to my mind. It’s about why people experience difficulties and failures. They go through these experiences because they still have rough edges. These seemingly negative or even disturbing experiences polish their rough edges, making them into wholesome and pure beings.
Mistakes and failures also indicate that you’re still resisting laws of the universe, instead of flowing with them. It’s best not to resist difficulties, but accept them and understand their causes. Seeming hardships and cruelty of life should be seen as helpful tools to spot and transcend the ego.
Even the state of poverty can be used as a tool. It can teach you that within is lack (lack of connection to Self) and it will stay there as long as you lack this connection or as long as you refuse to give enough value to others, being a perfect measurement of your connection and sharing.
Although people who devote their lives to religions and organisations seem like they found inner purpose, nothing could be further from the truth. They’re the ones that are too weak to deal with their lives on their own. They find safety and easiness in following rules, but that causes them to remain diamonds in the rough and so they fail to understand the true gifts they hold within.
It can be hard to let go of external rules and codes of life, yet it’s crucial to craft your life with your own philosophy for your rough edges to be polished and for the light within to powerfully shine forth.
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