Be yourself. It’s quite an unassuming little statement, wouldn’t you agree? The kind of phrase I used to see written on tacky posters plastered to the walls of my elementary schoolroom. I understand that, now, “be yourself” is perhaps an almost imperceptively daunting command, or at least that’s what I’ve come to notice in regards to many of the people who pass by in my daily life.
Think about it for a moment. What would you have to sacrifice, right now, to truly “be yourself”? Are you at a stage in your life where you are completely and utterly comfortable with who you’ve become, where you’ve progressed and what you’ve accomplished as a human being on this planet? If so, then good for you – you are a rare person of character in an immense sea of mediocrity, apathy, and general ignorance.
I spent most of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. School, especially elementary and middle, fucked me up so much that by the time I was a teenager I was practically incapable of feelings of spirituality or awareness of consciousness. I was constantly surrounded by individuals who seemed to view the world in a skewed perpective from my own; of course I understand now that my perception was the one a little off.
All of which I guess is a rather analytical way of saying that I didn’t learn to appreciate my own existence to the level at which I currently reside (and still going!) until very, very recently. Once you realize that your experience of your life is both uniquely your own vision as well as just another manifestation of a collective consciousness, you begin to become utterly aware of the miracle of your existence.
And yet, “being yourself” in such a poisoned, oppressive community such as the modern, industrial West is something preached almost subversively. “Be yourself,” but don’t question, “be yourself” but never stray from this path that’s been preordained for you, “be yourself” but don’t really give into your desires and dreams at all. It’s becoming increasingly difficult in today’s society to forge your own path and your own destiny. In the end, when my life is almost over, I’d like to look back and see what an extraordinary and unique perspective I’d had, rather than accepting how I sacrificed so much of my spirit to “fit in” with what the world shoved down my throat.
As Eamonn Healy eloquently presents in “Waking Life,” the evolution of the human species is beginning to occur on an individual level, and we could very likely experience a mass alteration of the nature of consciousness within our lifetime. Additionally, scientists such as Stanislov Grof have dedicated their lives to the development and understanding of psychadelic research, attempting to breach the gap between science and spirituality and proving that one needn’t exist without the other, though he makes it very clear that by “spirituality” we refer in these discussions to “direct authentic spirituality based on personal experience and not to the ideology and dogmas of organized religions” (I urge every reader of this to read his essay “A New Understanding of the Psyche).
I’ll save my diatribe on modern capitalism’s imprisonment of much of the human race for another time, though suffice it to say I have a hard time believing many of the corporate execs and governmental types can look their own children in the eyes and pretend to be anything more than a piece of manipulative shit. To think that as a species the most reverred expression of the potentials of the human spirit is in money and power! We’re not alone in the universe, it’s just that every intelligent form of life who’s ever discovered Earth couldn’t bare to comprehend exactly what happened the poison the planet so terribly. We’re nothing more than a disease.
The atmopshere that we exist in is not conducive to the evolution of the human spirit, so we must be the ones to break free and declare our devotion to the achievement of our ultimate expression, both individual and collective, instead of bending backwards to the “powers that be” and accepting that this preordained life is really the best the human race has to offer us.
So just be yourself.
much more to say, more things to come ...
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