Really! Are you sure that’s what you saw? Did you see the real world or is your mind playing tricks?
The human mind is a very tricky organ. When we look at the world through our ego, what our brain “sees” is not the “what is” reality of the real world. What we “see” is what our mind expected to see. As a result, what our mind perceives is often a badly scrambled and distorted version of true reality.
To experience true reality requires opening our spiritual third eye; learning to “see” the world through the awareness of a spiritually awakened, fully present consciousness.
The great spiritual teachers and mystics described this as learning to see the world through a contemplative non-dual consciousness.
Let’s take a brief look at why this transformation and growth in consciousness is so important.
Seeing The Real World Through Our Ego
From birth on, our primitive ego squeezes reality through the unconscious “distortion filters” we call our beliefs, certainties, expectations, assumptions, biases, worldviews, childhood fears, and cultural conditioning.
Until we awaken to the presence of our ego’s “distortion filters” it will be all but impossible for us to “see” true reality. We will tend to ignore those things that conflict with our mental filters and “see” what we believe to be true; not what is actually real.
It is very rare person who has actually seen or experienced the “real” world.
Let me give you a couple of examples of what I’m talking about.
A Basic Reality: Understanding Others Requires Understanding Your Own Ego
Until you intentionally become self-aware and know who you are at a deep level of “self”-knowledge, reality will be distorted. For example, you will only see “yourself” when you look at others.
It’s actually worse than it sounds.
Not only will you see “yourself” when you look at others, you will tend to “see” in them the hidden, unconscious, shadowy parts that you don’t like or accept about yourself.
This happens because the shadow material that hides in the dark nature of our psyche; those things we don’t like about ourselves, will always seek an object.
Stated simply, we tend to “project” the stuff we don’t like about ourselves onto others.
Without deep “self”-awareness the other person will remain invisible and you will judge him or her through your own fears, beliefs, assumptions, expectations, bias’, and prejudices.
For example, if you don’t the prejudices that hide in your unconscious, you will see prejudice in others. If you don’t like your tendency to judge others, you will find yourself surrounded by judgmental people. If you don’t like your anger, you will find yourself continually dealing with angry aggressive people.
It will feel as if these prejudiced, judgmental, angry people seem to come out of the woodwork wherever you happen to be.
Conclusion… If you want to truly understand others, you first have to understand yourself.
A Basic Reality: Our Feelings, Attitudes, and Emotions Don’t Just “Happen”, We “Choose” Them
When we search for happiness out in the world; and most of us do, our ego is simply using unhappiness as an unconscious way of maintaining a solid sense of “self”.
In this case, our ego is choosing an unhappy “self”.
We could also use sadness, loneliness, impatience, discontent, irritation, or any of the other common negative emotions. But regardless of what emotion or feeling we unconsciously choose, it is simply our primitive ego struggling to maintain its “me/not me” “self” boundaries.
What the ego does not want us to know is that unhappiness, and all of our negative feelings, attitudes and emotions are being unconsciously “chosen”.
When we awaken through growth in self-awareness we could just as easily maintain our sense of “self” by choosing strong positive emotions and feelings. A happy self, or a cheerful self.
For example, you wake up to a chilly, gray, rainy summer day and your ego chooses unhappiness. You will “see” the wonderful picnic you had planned for the day simply ruined by the bad weather. You will resent being stuck inside the house. Nothing ever works out the way you plan. You head for the kitchen to feed the blues. Life is awful. Sigh.
Of course, your ego is happy—-life is good. Your “self” boundaries are solid and well defined. “You” are a very unhappy “self”.
Unfortunately, your unhappy self won’t “see” the awe and wonder of nature watering her plants and cleaning the air of pollutants. The thought of taking a magical walk in the rain, or settling in to read a good book won’t enter your consciousness. Those possibilities would have required choosing happiness.
Conclusion… Unhappiness is created in the mind… not the world.
Transformation Requires That We Awaken Our Consciousness
The transformation from our ego’s dualistic, either/or, black-and-white experience of reality, to that of a non-dual mystical seeing, requires that we learn to intentionally awaken our observing ego consciousness.
Until we intentionally begin to awaken our consciousness, our ego will unconsciously distort what we are seeing. We will continue to journey through life seeing the world through the unconscious primitive beliefs, expectations, assumptions, and illusions of our inner-child’s primitive ego.
Only intentional growth in self-awareness will awaken our consciousness and allow us to experience the true realities of the world around us.
Summary: “Seeing” Reality Requires “Seeing” The World through the Eyes of a Mystic, Not Your Ego
What I have offered are only two simple examples of how our ego distorts reality. There are many more.
Awakening from the unconscious primitive ego of your inner-child, and evolving your consciousness through intentional growth in self-awareness, will bring the light of your attention and awareness onto other ways your ego blinds you to the reality of “what is”.
As you find the courage to intentionally look into the shadows of your unconscious and accept what you find there, you will begin to awaken and “see” the true non-dual reality of the world around you… the unity, oneness, and the interconnectedness of all creation.
As you awaken the contemplative spiritual mystic that resides in all of us, your ability to “be” fully present and aware of “what is”, will begin to increase.
As you awaken to the pure observing consciousness of your true self, it will forever change the way you “see” the world.