Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Among masters of the material world, among those who may control the world at will with the touch of a button, there are few questions that are ever asked; among Gods who hold all the answers, there seems little tolerance for those with enough wonder to ask things that none but themselves can answer. To assume that one knows is the greatest impediment to meaning, for having the arrogance to be unquestioning in the face of mystery is not knowledge, but the most disguised form of fear, sublimated by the deceptive notion that if one is wrong they are also weak. Perhaps this fear is warranted, perhaps the avoidance of transformation is a reasonable one; as the avoidance of pain is a fundamental part of life. To truly transform, one must die partly in some sense whether large or small. And so we go without asking questions, choosing ignorance over the emotion of sacrifice. And yet, if one allows themselves to sacrifice, and feel what it is to be human, then they are able to be truly wise. Wisdom is not a random happening, it is not a gathering of resources or value like money or food, wisdom is a choice. A choice of how to react in the face of life, and the choice to allow life to be lived, and all the pain that comes along with its living. The assumptive thinking of modern man is a result of our unconscious functions run rampant, which only does so BECAUSE they remain unconscious. Our outright rejection of the occult, and the fear of that which we do not know; including ourselves, prevents us from moving unlocking the chains of uncertainty. I often ask the question, what is it that separates us from other species? The answer is hidden in the deeper question of "who am I?" This question is, despite its initial appearances, an individual one; for it is in the nature of human beings to be both individual, and a component of the cultural identity. The proverbial "they", the "most people", the collective mirror in which the individual sees themselves is the cultural base from which the individual stems. Within the context of the collective, the individual narrative and myth of one's life is played out, bounded with the eternal system which moves all things. So who are WE, is perhaps a better question to ask first. If one is to understand himself, he must first understand the context in which he lives and acts out his life.
In this way, man is both culture and individual, both inside and outside, both himself and not himself. In fact we MUST be, in order to be man at all. But it is not culture that defines man, for there is still individual component which makes up any given culture; the nature of which is sacred and transcendental. Who WE are is the first step; first discovering the cultural context. The WE is then reduced in scale to the close community, then soon after it is reduced to the family, until finally the last bit of conditioning is that which is self made, the defining traits of the individual. These layers are slowly peeled away to reveal the seed of the individual, which once finally revealed, is shown to be truly transcendental. So once the layers of one's conditioning have been peeled away, and the past which looms over our shoulders has been showered with light and revealed to be just past, and the anxieties of the future are dealt with through the shouldering of responsibility, it is possible to sacrifice both attachment to the past and the future so that one may be truly individual. This is the process of individuation, and the process which allows one to transcend death. It is the process of the prophet and guru, the process of one who may redeem the world.
So in order to answer the question of "who am I?", one must look not only within, and allow the ego to not only function on its own behalf, but look to the other individuals around them so that one can look in a true mirror. A mirror; not just to look into one's own eyes but to see what one projects upon the world. This, as well as the internet, is the greatest mirror we have ever crafted, and the greatest means of learning about oneself.
Many have tried to pinpoint what it is to be human; philosophers and artists the world over have tried to catch that which by nature is truly formless, and by its own will is undiscoverable. But at every attempt of cornering the small voice, at every attempt of surrounding the the speaker within, we lose ourselves entirely. Why is this? Because it is the true nature of man; not to discover, or to question, not to explore or doubt or sacrifice or heal- it is the true seed at the heart of man that knows. And perhaps beyond the ability to know; and far more importantly the ability to know that one feels. This is the greatest gift, and the ultimate sacrifice of humanity. To allow oneself to sacrifice what they know and feel to the vestigial passage of time, and to have faith-without fear- that the next thought and feeling will follow; is the truest sign of transcendence of the ego and its small nature. If the ego may be expanded to encompass the entirety of its larger parts, it becomes whole-in the plainest sense-it becomes both the inner and the outer world. When this happens, the individual is molded by the mysterious movements of a self pervading system which underlies the conscious universe, and all things; for that individual, are united.
The fall from the grace which the ego creates for itself, the small garden from which it is born; is actually its original intention and function. In this way, "the fall"; which is at its core the making of consciousness-the awareness of being aware-I thought at first that this was the curse of man, for it is the origin of his ability to suffer. But the truth of it is, that it is simultaneously a gift and a curse, for it is that which creates the possibility of there being gifts or curses at all. To be truly human then, that which makes us human, is not what I have originally proposed. It is not consciousness which is our trademark, but the ability to sacrifice our own consciousness' ability to choose a comfortable and self-driven life which is what remains at the heart of a human being. The Art of Sacrifice is what may allow someone to conjure meaning from the deepest holes of hell, and to melt the ice that remains locked around modern man's heart. Sacrificing even the self to the ether of the world's ability to guide us into true wisdom is a human hearted man's calling; whatever that wisdom may mean for him.
So in the end, the oldest and simplest teachings are truest-
Have faith, not in anything, but in everything.
Practice balance of all opposites, and you will find yourself free of all chains.
And finally and most importantly- Follow feel with the heart, think with the head, and live in accordance with what you feel to be natural. In this there can be no shame.