The benefits of living from the real self

LIVING FROM YOUR REAL SELF

NOT FROM YOUR INVENTED GRANDIOSE SELF

EQUALS PEACE OF MIND AND BODY

Ozodi Osuji

      Do you want to be at peace with yourself, with the people around you and the world? If the answer is yes, then live from your real self.

      What is your real self? The real self is part of life and life cannot be defined; the real self cannot be defined (you may call it part of life, or son of God or whatever, the fact is that it is undefinable).

     The real self is best approached by eliminating that which it is not. The individual, in the process of growing up, picks up ideas from his society that tells him the type of person he ought to become, the self that in Harry Stack Sullivan’s language (1996), his significant others (parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc.) would approve. Thus, he formulates what George Kelly (1955) calls the self-concept and self-image that is oriented to what society and other people would approve of.

     Thereafter, the child strives to be the type of person that he thinks that other people would approve. In the process he now has a false self that he is trying to become.

     He feels that unless he becomes that false, ideal self that society would disapprove of him and he feels anxious, fear of not attaining it.

     Thus, in his mind are now two selves, what R.D Laing (1960) called the divided self, one is the real self that he hardly knows who it is, and the other is the false, ideal self, the social mask that he is trying to become.

    The concept of social mask was elaborated on by Carl Jung (1953); Jung defined the human personality as a mask, the term derived from Latin Persona, the mask Greek actors used to wear to prevent their audience from knowing who they are. The idea is that the self each of us presents to other people to relate to is a persona, a social mask and not who one is. Who we are is beneath the social mask? But who is the real self? The honest answer is that we do not know. Some say that it is spirit.

      Now the task is for the individual to develop the courage to stop trying to be the false, ideal, social mask and keep quiet and from that quiet place live; living from the real self occurs when the individual lives from a quiet place, what Buddhists call living without self, having no defined ego self, living from a mind emptied of all conceptual self.  

      When you are living from your real self you have a sense of inner peace; your mind and body is calm and is not trying to become what Karen Horney (1950) called an ideal picture that you set up believing, falsely, that if you become it that you would be approved and accepted by other people.

     So, what is the real self? It cannot be defined but we can call it the life force in us (Osuji, 2009).

THE REAL SELF DOES NOT LIVE IN THE PAST BUT ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT

      The real self does not live in the past for the past is gone and in the present is merely remembered and remembrance of it clouds the present (Schucman, 1976); that is correct, your past is now in your memory and you remember it and try to become it but it is not you; you use your past to color your present and distort the present.

     If you let the past go you have an empty inner self which is part of life manifested in you.

THE EGO IS THE IDEA THAT ONE HAS A SEPARATED SELF, IT IS ALWAYS REMEMBERED AND NOT REAL

       The ego self is the idea that one has a separated self from the entirety of life. Life is a whole thing that has no beginning and no end; life is continuous but manifests in what seems units of life; each of us, and each animal and plant is a unit of life.

       In each person life manifests as an individual; that life is now in the human body; the individual equates his life as synonymous with his body and whatever threatens to harm or destroy his body is perceived with fear; the individual defends his self and body.

DEFENSE MAKES THE EGO SEPARATED SELF SEEM REAL, IF NOT DEFENDED THE EGO IS NOT REAL

       The separated self in the body that one calls oneself is defended and in defending it it seems real to one.

      If one did not defend what one calls oneself one would have a sense of being part of one whole life; the entirety of one unified life lives through one as an individual manifestation of it.

    One is not in charge of one’s life; all of life is in charge of one’s life. If you decide to give a name to all of life you can call it God; in which case, you can say that God manifests in you and oversees your life.

     However, one should not proceed to being afraid of that God (God is all life) and worship it as a father that will punish one if one offends it.

     God, life, manifests in all living things, in good or bad people and animals; so, it is beyond morality in the human construction of morality.

THE EGO IS ALWAYS A PAST SELF

       The ego is the past self that one formulated in childhood and if defended it seems real in one’s awareness; and if not defended it does not exist.

     The ego separated self is a concept, concepts are not real; they seem real if desired and defended and if not defended they do not exist; if not wished and defended the ego does not exist.

     Do not defend the ego and it disappears from your awareness and you feel like you do not have a separated self; you just know you as part of one unified life and you live freely, defenselessly and peacefully.

FEAR PROTECTS THE EGO SELF CONCEPT AND ITS BODY

     When you live from your real self, your inner self, and is no longer trying to live up to the dictates of the external self (a socially constructed self) that you formulated for yourself in the process of growing up in society, you live fearlessly.

      Fear protects the false, ego self and holds one down, preventing one from being one’s real self and making one pretend that one is a false, ideal, powerful, wealthy and intelligent self.

THE DELUDED SELF IS BELIEF IN A FALSE SELF

    When you persist in trying to be the false, ideal self and believe that you are it, you become deluded. Delusion disorder is belief that you are who you are not, in fact; you are not your ideal, self-construct.

     Who you are, your real self cannot be defined, it is part of one unified life that manifests in you and all living things?

     The deluded person is a person who strives to be his self-construct, a made-up self, a make belief self that he, building from society and his body, conceptualized as who he is.

     Alfred Adler (1921) and Karen Horney (1950) called the deluded false, self the neurotic self or the false ideal self; it is a self that makes you feel fear of not living up to its imaginary picture of who you should be.

    Horney made the point that neurotics, read deluded persons, take pride in being their false, grandiose selves, Adler said that neurotics like their false, superior selves; these people take pride in that which causes them anxiety, for, if you identify with a false, big self you live in fear of not being it.

     Give up the desire for a false, big self and you live in peace.

     You are not the false, big self, it is a mere wished for self and not your real self; you do not know who your real self is, so find it and live from it.

    In Hindu and Buddhist meditation you deliberately deny that you are any ego-self that you can think of and empty your mind of all self-constructs and stay without ego and ego-based thinking and feel peace and happiness. They claim that you may escape to a different world and self, what Hinduism calls Samadhi, Buddhism calls Nirvana and Zen calls Satori; we are not going to go into that religious world here.

     You must let go of your wish for a grandiose, deluded self, the ideal self, of any self that you constructed for yourself and simply live from the life in you that has no definition.

    You are healthy when you feel peaceful and is not anxious, depressed, deluded and paranoid; you are healthy when you are just life manifesting through you, and you are not defending a particular picture of that life.

     When you live from your real self you do not put on airs of being who you are not; you are humble but not humiliated; you see yourself as the same and coequal with all people; you assert yourself and do not allow other people to impose on you.

REFERENCES

Adler, Alfred (1921). The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Moffat Yard and company.

Horney, Karen (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W.W. Norton.

Jung, Carl (1953). In The Collected works of C.G. Jung. Eds. Herbert Read et al. London: Routledge Kegan.

Kelly, George (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: Norton.

Laing, R.D (1960). The Divided Self. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Osuji, Ozodi (2009). Living from the real self. New York: iuniverse Inc.

Schucman, Helen (1976). A course in miracles. Mill Valley: Foundation for inner peace.

Sullivan, Harry Stack (1996). In Evans, Barton: Harry Stack Sullivan-Interpersonal Theory and Psychotherapy. New York: Routledge.

Ozodi Osuji

April 2, 2022

You can reach Dr Osuji at:

ozodiosuji@gmail.com 

 (907) 310-8176

SYNCHRONICITY

I had not seen a copy of my 2009 book, Living from the real self, in many years. Nor do I refer to it in my writings. I typed the above piece and referred to that book. I went searching for it to get the reference correct; it took me a while to see a copy of it. Thereafter, I noticed that the picture on the cover of that book is the same picture on my computer monitor’s screen (MSN generates the screen picture every morning). The two pictures are that of a Waterfall in a green pasture, connoting peace. Is that a coincidence or what Carl Jung would call synchronicity? You decide. There are many things that we do not understand.

Comments are closed.