We Are Not Our Thoughts: Identity and a Life of Exploring Consciousness

We Are Not Our Thoughts: Identity and a Life of Exploring Consciousness

It’s been 20 years now since I had my first earth shattering consciousness-expanding experience, and 17 years since my second one. The first one was positive, but the second one scared the crap out of me.

In my experience 17 years ago, my ego identity/sense of self began to become uprooted, and quickly. I was doing intensive amounts of meditation. While on some level I was ready (intellectually for sure) to loosen the attachment I had to what I thought my identity was — an attachment we all have — I was not ready for it at that speed and to that depth.

When you feel like your identity is being uprooted, you feel like what you know of as “you” is dying. This is a massive shift to undertake. And if this is not done at the proper time/circumstance, it can lead to massive confusion and even potentially psychosis.

At some point I started experiencing intense fear and like I was “going too far,” so I retreated. I figuratively “packed up” and quickly fit myself back into the current identity box that I identify with in my everyday, normal awareness. Because the level of anxiety I was dealing with by the time I stopped meditating, rendered me nonfunctional. I couldn’t sleep or eat. I thought for sure I was on the brink of insanity.

No amount of spiritual/consciousness development mattered anymore. All that mattered was that I returned to “sanity” and properly dealt with my anxiety.

Ever since then I’ve been living in and interacting with my “identity box” while knowing that I’m more than that. We are more than that. We are so much more massive than we can comprehend, until we have experienced it in some form, whether it be through drugs, meditation, near death experiences, or some spontaneous experience.

Just recently, I’ve felt little nudges around me reminding me in a sense that maybe it’s time to remember. To remember what it felt to be more massive. That I am not this body. I am not my thoughts. And to really remember the gift I received of something so important and not commonly understood. The gift of meeting my “higher self” at the young age of 18, when I didn’t even know what any of that meant. I know things now I never thought could be possible, and when I experienced them it simply felt like remembering something I had forgotten.

But I’ve not been directly living in that reality, all due to my body’s overactive fight or flight response. Our egos are designed to keep us grounded and engaged in this human reality. It’s a survival mechanism. But we are not just our egos.

I’m reminded just how much I’ve brushed aside all that I experienced, all for trying to “survive.” And it reminded me what incredible insight you gain when you can explore higher consciousness in a safe way.

While I don’t intend on rushing back into meditation in the way I did in the past, maybe little by little I can embrace my own true nature behind it all once again.

Allowing Others to Make Their Own Mistakes

Allowing Others to Make Their Own Mistakes

I’ve noticed a pattern in that the more I gain life experiences, the more I understand and experience the nature of selflessness and real love, the more capability I have emotionally to simply give to others out of genuine care and not expecting anything back. Not only am I capable of it, it is essentially my default mode of operating. I no longer think about it; because operating from a small, conditional love or care is no longer part of my experience of reality. I’ve had too many experiences that expanded that. In doing this however, I have also increasingly noticed that there are people who are not capable of receiving that without interpreting it as some kind of expectation I am setting. It shows me how truly few people are accustomed to genuine care and depth, and are instead too accustomed to toxic dynamics, or at least dynamics lacking in awareness, that they can’t help but interpret my actions that way and fit me in that box.

I told my friend tonight that I feel as though on this Earth everything is a warped version of what it should be. You see something with so much potential and you focus on the good, but you realize that it can’t live up to its potential at least anytime soon due to strong barriers holding it back. And you see these barriers and you want to help lift them, it feels so easy to try to just simply lift them when you are seeing them so clearly, but then you realize that you are essentially powerless, that you only can do what you can do.

You might be able to point things in the right direction, you might be able to be an example of something different and hope that makes a difference, but you cannot do the work for another. The answer might be right behind them and you can point in that direction and only hope that they look. In the end you have to let go of control and let the situation or the person work themselves out in their own time.

As someone who is finally in a position where I have taken care of myself mentally and have garnered enough varied life experiences to potentially help others in some way, it is even more difficult for me to let go of control in this particular way, and can at times even be heartbreaking.

Learning To Do Nothing

Learning To Do Nothing

“If you can do nothing, that is the best.

One needs much courage to do nothing. To do does not need much courage, because the mind is a doer. The ego always hankers to do something — worldly or otherworldly, the ego always wants to do something. If you are doing something, the ego feels perfectly right, healthy, moving, enjoying itself.

Nothing is the most difficult thing in the world, and if you can do that, that’s the best. The very idea that we have to do something is basically wrong. We have to be, not to do. All that I suggest to people that they do is just to come to know the futility of doing, so that one day out of sheer tiredness they flop on the ground and they say, “Now it is enough! We don’t want to do anything.” And then the real work starts.
The real work is just to be, because all that you need is already given, and all that you can be you are. You don’t know yet, that’s true. So all that is needed is to be in such a silent space that you can fall into yourself and see what you are.”
— Osho

I thought this was a great quote because indeed in this modern day and age we don’t have true silence and stillness, hardly ever.

I experienced this when I went to Silver Falls State Park and stayed in a cabin overnight — I immediately noticed how STILL it was, and how quiet, from the lack of people and technology buzzing all around.

It immediately made me more relaxed without having to try.

Everything about our environment and our goals make our mind noisy all of the time. I always feel satisfied when I meet as many of my daily goals as possible and I am always going…going…going.

But I am hardly EVER deeply relaxed.

This quote is a nice reminder for us to prioritize our relaxation and take the opportunity to consistently sit in silence and quieten the mind. Maybe go out into nature more often, change the environment, and try to let go of all of our goals and stresses just for a little while.

We need to spend more time reflecting and just “being”. In the end we will be able to go deeper within ourselves and reach a new level of understanding of who we are.

Q&A: What is the difference between clinical anxiety and apprehensiveness?

Q&A: What is the difference between clinical anxiety and apprehensiveness?

Question: What is the difference between clinical anxiety and apprehensiveness?

Answer: There’s a few different classifications we can look at:

For apprehensiveness, this can come from a number of different things such as a personality trait or a bad experience. It can cause just an overall timid attitude, paranoia, or it could potentially lead to anxiety, but generally, the difference between anxiety and apprehensiveness would lie in the degree of intensity.

With anxiety itself I would classify it in a couple of different ways:

There is anxiety that is caused by the environment in one way or another. So this could also be a bad experience that causes a certain trigger for anxiety, or it could be childhood upbringing that didn’t allow the person to develop a strong sense of self or perhaps instilled fears toward certain things, and so anxiety developed as a result of that.

Then there is anxiety that comes from a biological/biochemical cause (which is what I have). In this case there are no specific situational elements that have caused anxiety to develop, but rather the brain maybe generally has an overactive fight or flight response to anything that your mind wants to perceive as a threat. In this case, the mind tends to easily lean towards an anxious worldview, and so even if anxiety symptoms aren’t manifesting, the person will notice that their mind’s activity tends to go that way and it can be controlled from there before it spirals.

Of course then someone can have a mix of both causes of anxiety which only amplifies it more.

In another case, apprehensiveness could be a personality trait that comes as a result of someone with anxiety (with a biological cause for anxiety especially).

Overall, apprehensiveness and anxiety can be related or cause each other. But it could be looked at as though apprehensiveness is maybe suspecting a potential threat while anxiety is actually directly perceiving a threat in one way or another.

Skip to content
This Website is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilitiesWe are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.
Conformance status