– An Inner-view with Swami
The difference between the personality and the inner being
How would you describe the difference between the personality and the inner being?
The human consciousness consists of two general layers: the personality, the psychological I, and the inner being, the authentic self. The personality is the surface of our total consciousness and the inner being is the depth of our consciousness. It is like the relationship between the waves on the surface of the sea and the depth and silence at the bottom of the sea. The personality is the created sense of “I”, which consists of all our accumulated experiences of the past. The personality consists of 3 layers: thoughts, feelings and the physical body. The personality consists of all ideas, feelings, and learned concepts, which we have been taught by parents, by teachers and by society.
The personality is also a defense and a separation from life. The personality is an “no”-attitude towards life though our separate ideas, desires, ambitions and concepts. The inner being, the authentic self, is a “yes”-attitude towards life. The inner being is the door to oneness with life. In the inner being, we begin to experience the original life source beyond the layers of personality. The inner being is the inner place, which is beyond conflict and duality. In the inner being, we can rest in ourselves. We can rest in a presence, in a silence and emptiness, without fighting, without trying. In this presence, there is no sense of “I”. Just a presence, a light, a joy and a truth in the moment. The personality gives us the feeling that we are somebody special, but in reality we are no one at all.
The inner being, the authentic self
How can we develop the inner being?
Meditation is the way to awaken and develop the inner being. Meditation is about finding that which is already perfect within ourselves. The process to develop the inner being can be described as the process of step by step emptying a room from furniture until the room is completely empty and only a silence, a space and an emptiness, remains. Meditation can be described as 4 qualities: a watchful awareness, an accepting attitude, a non-judgmental attitude and relaxation.
Awareness is another word for meditation. Awareness is the single factor, which can transform our whole life. Awareness is about discovering the beautiful being we already are. In the light of awareness, everything that is authentic and real grows and expands — and everything that is false falls away by itself like dead leaves from a tree during the autumn.
Meditation also includes an accepting attitude. An accepting attitude means to learn to say “yes” to all that arises in our consciousness without evaluation and judgement. It means to include and embrace both the “yes” and the “no”, both the light and the darkness and both the love and the fear, that we find within ourselves. An accepting attitude means to lovingly embrace everything we find within ourselves – like a mother embraces her child. An accepting attitude means that the moment is perfect exactly as we find the moment within ourselves. An accepting attitude means to not have a desire or wish that the moment should be different than it is. It is to embrace the moment exactly as we find it within ourselves with a love and acceptance for how the moment is. This accepting attitude teaches us to love and accept ourselves as we are in the moment. This accepting attitude develops our inner being and creates a freedom and relaxation within ourselves.
A non-judgmental attitude means to learn to love the imperfect within ourselves. Normally we judge and evaluate our behavior, rather than simply be aware of our behavior. Since early we have been taught to judge ourselves, so that it is even easier to not judge others than ourselves. A non-judgmental attitude means to learn to say “yes” to and accept even that which we say “no” to and judge in ourselves. This watchful awareness, accepting attitude and non-judgmental attitude leads to a deep sense of relaxation. It leads to a rest in ourselves together with a feeling that it is OK to love and accept ourselves as we are.
This relaxation makes us appreciate the beautiful being we already are. We can rest in that which is already perfect within ourselves.
I was tired in the evening yesterday. I felt drained by the last days outer conflicts. I felt separated from life. Suddenly I heard the wind blowing through the trees outside my open window, whispering a silent and playful invitation: “Do you want to play? Do you want to join the dance?” This playful invitation again joined my heart and being with the Existential dance. I was again in a silent prayer and oneness with life.
Yes and no to life
Can you say something more about the “yes” and “no”-attitude towards life?
Imagine life as a fast flowing river. In this flowing river we have two possibilities. We can either chose to swim upwards in opposition to the current of the river or we can simply chose to let go and allow ourselves to float with the river.
The first choice is a “no”-attitude towards life and the second choice is a “yes”-attitude towards life. The “no”-attitude means to relate to life through our ego, through our separate ideas, desires, ambitions and preconceived conceptions of how life should be. The “no”-attitude means that we separate ourselves from the continuous flow and change of life. The “no”-attitude is a defense and a separation from life.
When we did some practical exercises in a course about the “no”-attitude towards life, one of the participants exclaimed surprised: “This is exactly how I have always reacted to people and situations”. She had not been aware before that this was her automatic way of reacting to life.
Our heart is the door to surrender to life. Our heart is the door to a “yes”-attitude to life. Our heart is the door to learn to say “yes” and to allow life to guide us. The “yes”-attitude means to relate to life through our inner being, through the meditative quality within, through the inner silence and emptiness, through the capacity to surrender to life. The human heart is a healer, which heals both others and ourselves. The inner being is an openness and availability to life.
The “yes”-attitude is a deep acceptance of the reality of the moment without any desire or wish that the moment should be different than it is. It is to move with life in a deep harmony without expecting life to fit with our ideas and expectations.
Meditation, relationships and creativity
Can you say something more about the relationship between meditation, relationships and creativity?
Meditation, relationships and creativity are the three life areas. These life areas describes the three areas in life, which creates a rich, creative and satisfying life when all three areas are developed and functions in balance and harmony. The three life areas also describes a balance between the inner and outer world, which simultaneously relates to and enrich each other.
The first life area is meditation, which is about creating a conscious relationship to oneself. This life area is about discovering the authentic inner being, the authentic self, the meditative quality within.
The second life area is relationships, which is about creating a conscious relationship to other people. The second life area is about learning to relate to other people from the inner being, from the authentic self. This life area is about learning to relate to other people in love, joy, trust, acceptance, friendship, playfulness, sincerity, truth, silence and freedom. It is about learning that relationships are not a chain, but an invitation to follow the silent whisperings of our heart. When we stop judging others and ourselves, our heart begins to open. Often we can be when we are alone, but we reduce ourselves together with others. We have forgotten the true nature of love.
Our outer relationships are a mirror of the relationship and communication between our own inner male and female sides. Our outer relationships with a man or a woman are a possibility to understand our own inner man or woman.
Our male and femine sides express themselves in the form of outer relationships. The second life area also includes developing and embracing both our male and female sides. It is then that the spark of love is lit naturally within ourselves.
It is when we develop both our inner man and woman that we find a new harmony and wholeness within ourselves. Healing means to develop and integrate our inner man and woman so that love can flow between them.
When we embrace the opposites within ourselves and understand that inner harmony arises when they mature, we find the love, joy, silence and freedom that are hidden in every moment. It is my experience that it is through the inner female side that we find the depth within ourselves – independent of if we are a man or a woman. It is through the female side that we find the inner source of love and truth. It is through the female side that we lit the light of our own consciousness. The more we learn to know the inner man and woman and the more we accept their different visions of life, the more a meeting happens between them that makes us happy and satisfied. Through embracing both these sides in ourselves, we realize that we really lack nothing – but that we already are love. When both the male and female side is capable of living in trust, a love begins to flow between them – a love that was always possible, but not realized. The inner woman is the meditative quality within ourselves. The inner woman is the source of love and truth. The inner woman is the capacity to surrender to life. It is through the inner woman that we are in contact with life. It is the inner woman that is the door to belongingness with the Whole.
The criteria for how our meditation is growing in our life are that it begins to enrich both our relationships and our creativity. It also means that we develop a balance and harmony between all the three life areas. It is to understand that meditation is not a phenomenon, which is separate from life. It is when the meditative presence and quality begins to overflow from our inner being, from our inner life source, that we understand that meditation and life are not two separate things. It is then that we understand that meditation and life are one.
I have always been comfortable with my own aloneness as an inner source of love, joy, truth, silence and wholeness.
When we depend on other people, it becomes a bondage – instead of a freedom. I took a sunday as a meditation to be consciously alone, and to accept all feelings of pain, of not being loved and the fear of being nobody that would come up during the meditation. This meditation goes up and down during the day: at certain moments, I can totally accept my aloneness. It feels fine to accept that I am alone and that I am nobody. At other moments, I feel the pain of not being loved, when the meditation brings up how dependence on other people is a barrier to totally accept my aloneness.
I took a coffee at a restaurant. I am the only person that sits alone in the restaurant, while the other guests are couples and families eating Sunday dinner. It brings up painful feelings of not being loved and wanting to be needed by other people, when I see how much people cling to each other in the couples and the families.
Escaping your aloneness through relationships and needing other people’s attention through being a teacher, a politician or by being rich or famous, are ways of escaping the pain of aloneness. But then the relationships are not really love. Only when you are capable of being alone, you can really love.
When we can be alone, we discover the inner source of love, which is our true nature. When we can be alone, it open the door to be one with the Whole.