Development of the "I"
By Deepak Lodhia
Last week I noticed my brother trying to teach my three year old niece to say "I" - "I would like an apple..., I would like some grapes..." But she insisted that it should be said, "Vaishali wants an apple, Vaishali wants some grapes...!" Have you ever tried arguing with a three year old? And what is more, she was right. Because right now at the age of three, she has not started to create her identity.
When you are born, you are whole, complete and perfect. Then what happens? The illusions of life begin to shroud your vision of reality as you begin to create your own map of the world. In fact, the creation of the identity occurs because of the basic principle that we are "meaning making machines." Something happens in our life and we pass the information about the situation through the filters of deletion, distortion and generalization before the information is then represented to our conscious and unconscious mind. So we have added a meaning or further interpretation to what happened, without asking if this is a true representation of the situation.
- Between the Ages of 1 to 5
A situation occurs such that you think something is wrong. The meaning that you add to it is ,"I failed to be...." , so you decide to be "X". This is the first layer of your identity.
- Between the Ages of 5 to 15
A situation occurs such that you think that you don't belong to a particular group. The meaning that you add is, "I am different and I am not meant to be here", and so you decide to be "Y", such that you can "fit in"! This is the second layer of your identity.
- Beyond the Ages of 15
A situation occurs such that you think you are on your own. The meaning that you add to it is, "I am alone", and so you decide to be "Z", such that you can say you are unique and separate from everyone. This is the third layer of your identity. So in basic maths form, your identity I= X+Y+Z.
Actually you discover that it's all a great big lie you have been telling yourself. When you walk the path of awareness and spirituality you will come to the point of asking the question "WHO AM I?" because consciously, deep down in your unconscious, and in your higher self, you know that the above formula is not true.
Nothing is wrong, everything is perfect and is the way it is. It was just the meaning YOU attached to it. You do fit in and you are meant to be here, because here you are. You are not alone, in fact you are connected to the infinite energy which is everywhere and everywhen. This energy is conscious and blissful, and this energy is who you are. So you are connected to everyone and everything.
The truth is You are still whole and complete and as beautiful as the day you were born, and you are at choice. The choice is you can be whoever you chose to be in each moment. All you have to do is be honest about the "I" and give it up.
What would life be like if you were to redefine your own foundation? Because when you made those decisions you did not have enough life experiences to make the choices that would serve you in the future. You make decisions that will serve you in that instant because you did not know any better and some of those decisions may be holding you back from you experiencing your true nature.
You are the director, creator, editor and actor of your own reality. You are at choice in every moment. SO who do you want to be?
One question I am asked is that with this knowledge, could this whole process be avoided? The answer is no, because of the very way we are designed as meaning making machines, which is perfect, just like you. That just leaves me to conclude that there is so much we can learn from the honesty of a child. Namaste.