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FROM A SITE VISITOR: Any tips for somebody who is pretty new to Advaita Vedanta? Trying to wrap my mind around the idea of dissolving that some of you are talking about is boggling Thank you Kent
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F.: (Continued from yesterday) As the body is being assumed to be “you,” and as the “mind” is being filled with concepts, another process is going on simultaneously, specifically, the development of personality.
The basic personality type is formed early on in response to challenges that a child faces in the family of origin (or in whatever environment she/he is exposed to early on). The most typical trait of all those environments is a characteristic that the egotistical cannot admit, namely, dysfunctionalism.
The formation of a personality is a response on the part of a child to adapt to the challenges of the domestication and acculturation process whereby everything that is natural is systematically removed by “the system” as unnatural and supernatural ways are taught. The farther removed persons are from that which is natural (nisarga), the more frustrated and miserable they will become.
As soon as language development allows programming to begin, then the assignment by adults of a variety of personas begins. “Persona” literally meant “mask” in Latin but is now a reference to the false identities and fictional roles played by the non-Realized.
Later, the assumption of roles during your adult years (selected from the overall list of identities that your culture believes to be real) will add to the list of identities assigned by adults when you were a child or teen, the result being that a cataloging of the phony roles being played—and believed to be real—can reach double-digit and even triple-digit numbers.
Early on, you were taught that you were “a boy” but others were “a girl” or “other boys.” Soon, you would be reminded constantly that sometimes you were a “good boy,” but you were also informed when you were a “bad boy” (the latter report absent only in the case of the most arrogant and indulgent parents who believe that any product of their loins must also be perfect).
Later, the overwhelming odds are (at 91 out of a 100) that you were told that you are either a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim. You were also likely told that you are a student, a friend, an enemy, a neighbor, a relative, etc. In later years, most will be told that they are a lover, a fiancé or fiancée, or a wife or husband.
The odds are (at 50 to 60 out of 100) that you were told—or will be told—that you are an ex-wife or ex-husband. You’ll be told you’re an employee or you’ll proclaim that you are the boss. Most who sit with a pen and paper and some objectivity can list hundreds of false identities that have been assigned or assumed.
Is it any wonder, then, that the “human condition” is marked with evidence of the sickness for which Realization is often the treatment? And what is that malady? The malady of duality which leaves persons feeling anything but at one. Consider the verbal evidence:
“I feel as if I’m going to shatter into a million pieces.”
“I don’t even know who I am.”
“I am going in a hundred different directions.”
“It’s like a have a thousand voices inside my head.”
“I have to wear many hats on any given day.”
“I feel torn” (as in “pieces”).
“My heart is broken (again implying, “pieces”).
Is it any wonder that the assumed multiplicity—rather than the unicity—is what is taken by the non-Realized to be truth?
When identified with body and “mind” and post programming and conditioning and acculturation and domestication, then the “mind” will begin to accept all sorts of personas (false identities) as real. The more personas that are assumed, the greater the sense of being not-at-one so that the belief becomes, “I am all these things, playing so many different roles, and all of the responsibilities that go with all of my roles are a burden.”
And the more personas that are assumed, the greater the sense of being not-at-one, of feeling “in pieces,” of feeling "not whole" and "not in one piece" but feeling instead as if one is "broken" and "shattered" and "going in many directions" and "hearing many voices" (all of which are lying).
And that is why, eventually, one will be left in a condition whereby the one voice of truth cannot be heard when the Pure Consciousness speaks. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
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