If you have read my previous articles, you have already found out my interest in the concept and experience of self. What do we mean when we say self and how this can affect how we finally experience and act our lives?
Let us think of the conscious part of ourselves as the driver of a car. The car itself can be our body, our life and whatever we consider to be part of us and we can control it.
This car has a certain shape, colour, size, characteristics etc. and for what we know it is we have corresponding thoughts, emotions and judgements. In other words, the driver may like the car's colour and that it goes fast, but he may not like that it is making noise and requires frequent checks. He may like that it is small and elegant but may not to like that it does not accelerate fast enough and can not reach high speeds.
Imagine how emotions, thoughts and behaviours get complicated when the drivers start comparing themselves and their cars with each other. One goes faster than the other, one is prettier than the other, one is more powerful than the other etc, consequently one driver can go faster to overtake the other, he may feel that his car is less attractive from another, that it is more defective or, on the contrary, that he has got the most beautiful, the more functional etc.
The car allows the driver to go faraway places that might not have gone otherwise, to do new things, to see new landscapes, to have new experiences etc.
At the same time the car due to its specific form has limitations in size, colour, horsepower etc. which affect both the driver and his behaviour, he has specific space to move, specific maximum speed to reach etc.
If a driver thinks he has a 'jalopy' that is not beautiful, does not go fast, is not big enough and does not have much space to move himself in, then he will always go slowly, envy the other cars that go faster and would be upset that does not have the same beautiful car. Perhaps again he will not to do any of them and enjoy the slower journey and what he can see at a low speed, to use to the maximum of the space he has to move, rejoice that exists and moves etc.
Now think about the possibility of the driver getting out of the car and while the car continues moving on the auto pilot, to go and sit in a tree, walk in the woods, swim in the sea, climb a mountain. Imagine the difference in experience, sensations, abilities, images and contact with other stimuli.
That's the difference between who we think we are and who we truly are. We have learned to be the drivers of a particular car that takes one route, with specific speed, specific characteristics etc. and therefore the possibilities for another experience are being limited based on our specifications and perceptions of our car. As souls, however, we have greater possibilities of experience.
How many times have we not finally accomplished something that short before we thought we couldn't? How many times have we found (in meditation or elsewhere) a moment of inner peace when all around us was stress and pressure? How many times have we not cried from joy, we have not fought our joy and we have not enjoyed our sorrow?
If, even a little, it resonates with you that we are essentially intangible, then the forms that the soul can take are infinite within a finite body.
So what do we gain by staying at the wheel of a car that restricts us or is full of dirt or does not allow us to do what we want to do?
What is the attachment to the 'I am this', 'I do that', 'this is how I want things to be' versus the flow of 'I am this and the other', 'I do this and that', 'I was that and now I am different' ?
With love and appreciation,