‘You can’t fix something until you know it’s broken’. And before one can fix it, one must know why, where and how it broke in order to fix it, or determine if it needs to be discarded and acquire a replacement.
One’s greatest strength is to know one’s weakness and one’s greatest weakness is to believe lies. The best lies always include a little truth, so one must find the lie in the truth and expose it if one wants to live in happiness. Ethic 7, Reflect on Yourself, when done in all circumstances, will be a valuable guide.
People are ultimately interested in only one thing; one’s own personal happiness through unity, never mind with God, it’s enough to be with other human beings. If one looks at the things one does, even to acquire a nice house, car or clothing, everything is based on looking good to other people so we will not be alone.
The need of companionship and unity with other people is really the bottom line for almost all our material desires. Certainly, one will enjoy a nice house and car, but if one is totally alone, there is very little lasting joy.
Be it a nice possession or holiday, or walk enjoying the sunset, it’s always enjoyed more in the companionship of someone we love and are emotionally connected to. True happiness is found in a way to bring us unity with other people. In order to find that way, we must remove all beliefs that are actually separating us from other people.
Religions are the biggest causes of war, hatred and separation of people, even within families. Many families have been torn apart because one person became super religious or changed religions, or wanted to marry outside their faith, or tried to ‘save’ the rest of the family members, drawing some to their side and others to oppose. Ironically, religions are meant to bring unity to all the people, but clearly they cannot achieve that end.
You may say politics does the same thing, but that is mainly a more modern phenomena, whereas religion is global and ancient as a source of separation.
What separates us from God – if one believe in God, or one’s soul or even simply peace of mind, or a true friend, someone who will really trust and be close to us – is our ego, our individuality, which is self-centred and opinionated. It is this ego which separates us from each other.
To remove this obstacle, we must examine anything that we believe in which creates a feeling of separation, inner confusion and self-doubt. These result in a lower self-esteem and fear of being exposed, thus hiding ourself from others.
Many religions teach concepts which destroy one’s self-esteem by preaching human inferiority to the Divine. Granted we may not be Divine creatures, but the repercussions of this teaching on a human level are subtly devastating. Low self-esteem makes one feel unworthy of unity with the divine, and in fact, with any other human being.
These religions have created a wall which separates humans from the one thing they need the most, total unity and open loving companionship with other people.
Examine all your personal beliefs and see if you think you are not good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, anything that you are being guided to believe is an inadequacy within your self that you will never be able to change.
Do you believe in anything that is contradictory to your common sense? Cannot most things be changed with enough effort? The contradictions will create confusion and inner conflict which will always separate you from unity with anyone, because you always feel inadequate due to the confusions and unresolvable conflicts.
If there is any sense of inadequacy, the subconscious will prevent you from opening up and letting anyone see you for who you imagine you are. Thus, you will live always hiding yourself in some way, and that means no one will ever trust you and open up to you because no one can trust someone who is hiding something.
As long as you live with certain beliefs that enforce the feeling that you have to hide any part of yourself in any way from anyone, you have guaranteed that you will never have a feeling of true unity with anyone in your life.
For most people, the fact is that they are flawed and lost in many ways, and so there is a little truth to the feeling of inadequacy. That is what makes the lie of one being totally inadequate believable, because it is partly true. We are all partly inadequate.
If the subconscious enforces the feeling of inadequacy, it will be aware of the fact and become despondent because it knows that its deepest need of unity with other people and ultimately with God, if you believe in God, has become hopeless.
This creates a mild to deep depression and lack of motivation. As the years pass, one’s whole spark for life dies off.
The mind abhors a vacuum. One cannot give up any fixed opinion or belief without replacing it with something else, that is just how the mind works. Thoughts cannot be removed, they can only be replaced with new thoughts.
By following a simple path of good conduct, common sense ethics and morals, one can be proud to be oneself and no longer need to hide. Humans are not perfect and thus there will be flaws in skills and appearance, which can all be accepted but one’s conduct is the real test of value.
Letting go of any self-destructive beliefs or bodies of teaching which encourage, openly or subtly, self-deprecation – for an ultimately loving, open, trusting relationship that every human being is looking for – is imperative.
The problem is that it is not possible for one to just do this by deciding to alone. Humans need a guide, a set of rules and instructions to follow, and a method to apply and cultivate these instructions. This is why religions attracted so many followers, they provided this needed structure.
The growing movement of Ethicalism has no leader or religion, but simply presents a list of ethics and methods to help one apply them in their day to day life, giving a framework to live by, such that one’s personal sense of pride can overcome the inhibiting sense of fear and doubt.
We all just need to have a map to guide us through the confusion of human life. Find a map that is not distorted and is simple to follow.