How to Become Self-Realized in a World Full of Phonies
Can I be honest with you for a moment?
Not the thank-God-he-told-me honesty, where I point out you have spinach on your teeth. No, I’m talking about the in-your-face type of honesty.
It’s brutal. It’s ugly. But it needs to be said.
And I can almost guarantee you will NOT enjoy it.
In fact, I’ve been holding off saying this for years, hoping that you would realize the truth of things yourself. But still you are in denial. So, out of respect, I want to tell you the truth.
So here it is.
You know how you’ve been struggling to understand who you are and what is real, and which path you should take? You’ve tried everything, and it’s just not happening right?
Well, it’s not because you haven’t been studying hard, or haven’t had enough faith. It’s not because the Gods have turned against you and cursed you to wander lost and afraid forever.
It’s because you’re a phony.
And if you ever want a chance in hell of understand who you are, what is real? Or of taking that essential step towards Self-Realization and Awakening the Enlightened Being Within, you had better start being honest.
Did I really just call you “a Phony?”
Yes, I did. Sorry.
Granted, you might be part of the minority who have looked deeply into their own hearts and that is truly brilliant. If that’s the case, consider yourself excused from this “Let’s be Honest” meeting.
The rest of you though?
This is not a ruse where PHONY turns out to be a clever acronym for something far less offensive. The truth is, I’m calling you out, and I’m doing it out of respect.
You see, we all lie to ourselves.
We spend money on self-improvement courses, where we learn strategies for better social skills, better business strategies, how to change our habits. We lap up quotes and feel good tips. Watch YouTube pep talks that make us believe you really can become the 8th wonder of the world.
There’s only one really big thing you’ve been avoiding. Here it is:
You already believe you are perfect
Why? Because you only look at external improvement, what is the next feel good social media product that will make you forget yourself?
“Think about it”, most self-help programs are just fluff, a distraction to entertainment the mind, to make you feel like you’re fulfilled, but its ultimately unfulfilling.
And there are any number of phony’s that claim to teach self-improvement, and you can do everything all these phony experts tell you to do, and you can do it absolutely correctly, and you’ll still be ignorant of who and why you are. I guarantee it.
So, does that mean that “Self-Realization” is impossible?
Not necessarily. Here’s why.
Because to become “Self-Realized” isn’t about education and it isn’t about inborn holiness or mindless faith, and it isn’t about taking the next self-improvement class.
The self-help methodology is a one size fits all approach, an out would looking method that embraces a socially acceptable hive mentality, it does not enlighten or lead to self-realization.
Now this does not mean that self-development will not get you a better job or more income, because educating yourself can be very profitable and will defiantly improve your finances and social standing.
So this is where the phony comes in, you already have a general understanding of who you are. You know what you really want, but sometimes you hide from this truth, sometimes you lie to yourself because you’re trying to please someone else or trying to conform to what is expected socially, or maybe your confused because you are always doing that other people are telling you is right or best for you.
So if you want to become “Self-Realized” then really you only need stop doing what everyone has been telling you, you should do. You need to stop listening to what others think you should do, and most importantly you need to stop listening to yourself.
And here is the twist, your own mind does not have your best interest at heart, the mind is only following its biological programing and not because it wants you to prosper, but because it has a simple feed and breed mentality, and is actually designed to lie to itself.
That’s why it’s divided into a conscious and subconscious, the mind uses a social feedback loop to help keep you under control and distracted from your true self.
To “know thyself”
So what does the Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” have to do with Self-Realization, I mean its old news, inscribed on the pronaos at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias, maybe even as far back as the 7th centry. B.C.
The irony here is that self-realization is nothing new, even the philosopher Socrates taught the same basic concept, that… “The unexamined life is not worth living.” the broad nature of the saying suggests that the objective of a worthy life is through self-reflection.
So this is what Self-Realization is all about, it’s about knowing your true self and awakening the soul within, it’s about being who you really are.
To “know thyself” is called an aphorism because it is a general truth, principle or an astute observation. And this is why self-improvement courses, daily quotes, feel good tips and pep talks, are phony, they teach you nothing about who you really are.
Only you can become Self-Realized, but luckily this process had been studied and refined for thousands of years and distilled down into three main process, “silencing the mind”, “correct associations” and “becoming an empty cup”.
Silencing the mind
How many hours per day do you spend thinking?
And no, I don’t necessarily mean sitting in a chair, lost in thought. You can include time when your body is on autopilot too, like when you’re driving to work, doing the dishes, taking a shower, etc.
For most people, it’s all most nonstop. Now, here’s the follow-up question that really brings things into perspective:
Of those hours, are spent thinking about why you do things, why you behaves in such and such a way?
Uh oh. Now you’re in trouble, right?
This overload of thoughts and noise can seem impossible to stop, and even when you try to stop thinking you are thinking of trying to stop.
Maybe you think that silencing the mind sounds nearly impossible, and while you can’t check out of life and avoid yourself, you can approach things in a gentler way.
Mindfulness is one of the quickest tools for finding inner peace and quiet, but being mindful doesn’t mean quieting your mind in the way most people expect.
Being mindful means being present, once you are present and centered, your mind will naturally quiet down, and even just ten-minutes meditation daily can quieten the mind.
Here’s some more brutal honesty:
If you want to grow, you almost always have to replace your associations. No, you don’t have to insult them or drive them away, but simply stop spending as much time associating with them as you used to.
As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support this idea, but pretty much any successful person will tell you it’s true.
When I first heard this, I knew it was true. Because I have tired for years to help my friends and take them with me.
But I couldn’t. Not because I had to “take care of myself” or anything narcissistic like that, but because they simply didn’t want to grow. They were happy with what society offered them, and they didn’t have any desire to change.
So I left them behind and I’ve never regretted it. If you want to grow, you have to become someone new, changing the way you think, how you talk, and yes, the people you associate with.
If you want to know who you are?
Then find others a little better than you are, online, in real life, wherever, and become friends with them. Exchange work, give each other feedback, and also find ways to hang out.
If you know them in real life, go to a movie, a coffee shop, whatever. Talk to them. If they’re online, share resources with them, follow and comment on their content, or just ask about their day.
At first, talking to them might be hard. You’ll feel like an idiot. Eventually though, you’ll become more self-aware, just by hanging around with better people. You won’t be able to help yourself.
That’s what good associations do: they help us to become better.
Become an Empty Cup
This is a very powerful idea:
If you add up all the time you spend doing the things you think are important, you will find that you don’t have time to learn anything new, you actually don’t have time to become self-realized.
The truth is, the vast majority of the stuff we think is important, is either worthless or just downright stupid. Whether we realize it or not most us are full, full to the brim with commitment, loves, hates, desires, hobbies, etc. that we don’t have the time or commitment to change.
Now, you might be thinking, “Well, I have a job, kids, and a social life. That’s why I’m so busy.” And you’re right. You are too busy. That’s the problem. If you want to become self-realized, you need to become empty. Not just for a few minutes here and there, but to really give up something in your life so that you have the time and space to grow.
That means doing less of something. As painful as it may be, you’re going to have to cut some things out of your life to give yourself time to do this right.
Maybe it’s reducing your time in front of the television. Maybe its scaling back your hours at work. Maybe it’s spending less time with your friends.
Regardless, you have to cut something. Otherwise, you’ll never have time to change.
The bottom line
Self-realization is about you.
More than likely, the person you are right now is not capable of being self-realized. Your environment, your habits, and your schedule are sucking all the promise right out of you.
If you want to grow, you have to change. Surround yourself with better people, bury yourself in meditation, and cut all the crap out of your life that’s distracting you.
In the beginning you may not feel the change happening, but it will change you. Drastically. You’ll still be you, but you’ll be a better version of you.
And you’ll see the results.
It’ll happen because you’re <i>worthy</i>. Slowly and painfully, you’ll have transformed into someone new, someone self-realized.
Are you ready to be that person?
Or are you going to be just another phony?
The choice is yours.
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