The illusion of the separate self


The biggest obstruction to realising and becoming who we really are is our notion of the separate self. I am not saying anything new here. For centuries the most enlightened among us have pointed to the illusion of separateness, the cause of all suffering. And yet it is such a powerful illusion.

In evolutionary terms we have travelled a long way from our earliest origins. Perhaps it has taken this long for us to begin to get an inkling of what we could be capable of. Our minds are infinite, but we keep putting the cart before the horse, and limiting our minds to what our brains can register.

We have forgotten who we are. But of course this doesn’t mean anything much unless we realise it, and to realise it would be devastating for our egos. Our egos have got nicely used to the illusion of separateness and all that it entails.

The ego is the main modus operandi. Multitudes of vested interests have been vying for this status quo for thousands of years, and in this illusory state of affairs there is an inertia which makes it highly unlikely that anything will change. Like turkeys voting for Christmas our egos will hardly willingly vote for self-annihilation.

Bridging the gulf

It is the trauma stemming from this basic delusion of separateness that religions have attempted to counter in their attacks on human selfishness and greed. But in trying to solve one problem they have created another: the idea that we are “God’s creation”.

We need to bridge the gulf between ourselves and our notions of God, so that we may come to understand that we are one, and as one have access to everything. We are currently limited by how we use our brains. It is our undeveloped individual consciousness that is the central problem.

We have defined ourselves as limited mortal beings, either created by some greater force, which many call God, or just randomly brought into being by chance and evolution. Either way, what we imagine we are is what we have become. We have not dared to dream of anything greater.

Each of us has the capacity to be omniscient. But that does not mean that any of us will actually realise that potential. We need to find a way to bypass our brains. We could fly but right now we are choosing to crawl.


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