Meeting Your Real Self

by Deepak Chopra -

Words can say a great deal about the real self but it takes an actual meeting to realize what it is. Your real self has qualities you are already experiencing every day: Intelligence, alertness, being tuned in, knowingness – whenever any of these qualities comes into play, you are living closer to your real self.

On the other hand, when you feel distracted, lost, confused, fearful, scattered or trapped inside ego boundaries, you are not.

Experience seesaws between these two poles; therefore, one way to meet your real self is to push away from the opposite pole whenever you notice that you are there. Try to catch yourself in such a moment and pull away from it.

Pick a strongly negative experience of the following kind:

(if possible, choose a repetitive one that has cropped up several times)
  • road rage
  • arguing with your spouse
  • resenting authority at work
  • losing control over your children
  • feeling cheated in a deal or transaction
  • feeling betrayed by a close friend
Put yourself back in the situation and feel what you felt then. 

Do what it takes to make the situation vivid in your mind. When you feel that stab of anger, hurt, mistrust, suspicion, or betrayal, say to yourself, “That’s how my ego feels. I can see why. I’m very used to it. I will go along as long as it lasts.”

Now let the feeling run. 

Get as worked up as your ego wants; envision fantasies of revenge or self-pity or whatever your ego thinks is appropriate. Imagine that you are swelling up with your feeling; it spreads out from you like the shock wave from a slow-motion explosion.

Follow this wave as far as it wants to go, watching it grow fainter and fainter as it spreads to infinity, filling the whole universe if it wants to. 

Take deep breaths if you need to in order to get the wave of feeling to depart from you and travel outward. Don’t time yourself.

Now, just as you see the wave disappearing into infinity... look at yourself and see if any of the following feelings are present: 
  • a giggle
  • the desire to laugh at it all
  • a shrug, as if the whole thing is no big deal
  • a sense of calmness or peace
  • looking at yourself as if at another person
  • a deep sigh of relief or exhaustion
  • a feeling of release or letting go
  • a sudden realization that the other person may be right.
These are the telltale feelings that arise in us when we are crossing the invisible boundary between ego and the real self. If you follow any emotion far enough, it will end in silence.

Adapted from 'The Book of Secrets' (Harmony Books)

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