The idea that the personality is really a false self is certainly not new. However, the notion that we should practice “dis-identifying” with the personality may be a new concept to many people. We will be exploring this idea and many more related to the Personality in coming months. To start, let’s plunge into that idea that we are more than just our personality, a catchall term for the totality of who we believe ourselves to be: our mannerisms, temperament, likes and dislikes, fears, and our internal motivations, as well as the result of genetics, our life events, and maybe even our karma. What else could there be?
Well, try this. Stop thinking for a moment and sit quietly, sensing into your body and listening to the inner quiet. Do that and come back here in a minute or two…
…Okay, now did you notice that your mind is not alone? As you attempted to find that quiet place, your mind, if you are like most people, was still chattering along with random thoughts darting around like flies over a frog pond. Yet you have set your intentions on quiet. Hmm. What’s going on here? Why all this incessant mind activity?
As frustrating as it can be, this is typical for the busy mind. But you may notice that part of your mind was actually quiet, maybe even calm and serene. Perhaps there was a still, quiet voice. Or possibly an inner abiding presence, detached from but observing all that was going on. Chances are the chattering kept going anyway, either in the foreground or in the background of your mind. The most interesting part of this whole experiment is that this calm and serene aspect of your mind is always there. Check it out for yourself. Every time you go within, it’s there. It never goes away. This is the part of you that is connected to something greater.
If your mind was so busy that you couldn’t find calm or sense the inner observer, don’t worry. When you start to self observe more, you will. If observing the inner observer is not a new experience for you, this can still be a useful exercise for you, serving as a touchstone to remind you that you are never alone. There is Presence behind the Personality, and whenever we find it, we can find peace and calm.