Whenever we identify with any label, even if it’s a spiritual one, we no longer are able to really see. Even if that label is a very positive one, like “meditator” or “yogi”, it still prevents us from “arriving”.
Yes, certain concepts definitely help us to find the way, but the problem is that most people mistake those pointers towards the final destination for the destination itself.
Even our personality can be an obstacle. It is just a construct to deal with the world. Our personality is not us – it’s simply a construct that was formed in this way due to our inherited genes and environment.
Yes, I believe that from past lives we added some talents and lessons to learn form our current personality, but even those talents and lessons are not us, but something that helps us to experience this existence in ever new ways.
The word “personality” comes from the Greek word “persona” which means “a mask” or “a role” that we play on this life stage. When Jim Carrey awakened, I remember watching a video of him at the awards. He told to a stunned journalist that their posh outfits were for nothing, and that the gathering was not important at all.
Many people judged him as being an eccentric. Some thought he spoke in such a weird way to gain attention. Some dismissed him as simply crazy. But we know that he didn’t go crazy, judging from his sane and logical reflections of how this transition took place.
What happened was that he woke up to see this world for what it really is – a stage, and therefore not real in its ultimate sense.
Most people are so identified with their roles on this life stage that they die thinking that the characters they played were them. I believe that this is what fuels reincarnation. The desire to live as a personality again, the lack of understanding about what this construct is, is what keeps us trapped in this illusion life after life.
In the past I considered Maya, the illusion, as completely negative, and this is the usual way Maya is understood in Hinduism as well. But now I see it as something that’s neither positive nor negative. It’s a play, and there’s nothing wrong with playing until we get bored. Once we want out for real, the exit will be provided.
A person cannot simply wake up from the role he is playing if he’s not ready. Either he would not understand this message at all, or may intellectually understand it, but the transformation hasn’t happened yet. And then, the time comes when the person ripens for this understanding, and the deceptive appearances dissolve for him to see that all is a show.
When the curtain of Maya falls and you see this show, you are likely to laugh. You finally realize that all this time you took this play as the ultimate reality. Instead of enjoying life and simply being, you took it so seriously that you drained all the joy out of it with your fears about the future and disappointments about the past. And because of this lack of understanding this reality started limiting you.
Once the curtain falls and you no longer identify with any label, you are free. You then realize that you are life itself, and that this world was lovingly created for you to enjoy it.
It’s impossible for someone who is not ready to understand this message, though mentally this concept is not difficult to grasp. As a flower blooms only at an appropriate season, so every individual matures at his own time. This realization, when it’s coming, influences you to stop taking this life so seriously and seeing beyond worldly appearances.
And when it arrives, you cannot believe how simple the awakening is, and yet all this time you sought for illumination in gurus, doctrines and concepts. That reality was always there, it just takes maturing to finally understand.