THE DIAGRAM Scan only; use it for reference while reading the discussion.
PRIMARY TRUTH: (Read this part, below diagram.)
Who you really are
A child, I am not
So that clearly leaves me being...
The incredibly capable "central unit" that can create my life.
VIEWING POINT 2:
Let's look at who I am, really
I am not my beliefs or stories (I added those into my brain box)
There is nothing to fix (for I am the "basic ability" to do it all, to learn what is needed)
I am not my body
I am not my past
I am not my awareness
I create my way of being newly in every moment
I am he who creates.
(See the diagram that follows this section.)
The Actual YOU
1. That which is aware, conscious; I am the experiencer via my consciousness
2. The basic ability to learn, think, decide, choose, create, add higher meaning to things/life/expereiences (and thus add on further abilities to do these).
That's all of the actual YOU.
Essentially the YOU is the functioning of the higher brain, which is also supported by the mechanism of the primitive brains, beside the mechanism of the higher brain. You are not the mechanical brain, you are the experiencer and director of it all, using the higher brain as your chief tool to do all of this. You are the creator, in essence, non-fixed, not stuck to being any particular way. You are not, even though very attached, the body that carries you nor the thoughts that stream through your "mind" nor even your beliefs...see what else you are not, below, so that you can clearly see that there is nothing to defend and virtually nothing to really worry about...
The "YOU PLUS"
I'll define this as YOU plus the machine that supports YOU plus what you have added. Some people would call this expanded definition your "essence". It includes the essential key decision about what your values are. In reality it has to be separated from the YOU since you cannot possibly "be" that which you have acquired/decided - you are the one who has done the acquiring, so you cannot be what you've acquired. It is hard to separate from the core you, so it is often included as "who you are". Although YOU don't change, sometimes some of your values change, especially if you become wiser, but the core, core values almost always don't.
Added Beliefs, Skills, Etc. - These are not you, but what you have acquired. To the extent the beliefs are incorrect or the skills inadequate, they need to be improved - but it is not about improving who YOU are, but it is about improving what you believe and do. People who think their beliefs "are" them will defend beliefs and competency to various degrees (all the way to extremes) only because they mistakenly believe the beliefs are a part of who they are, thinking they are defending themselves... This is a vital correction to make in knowing "who you are" - and making that correction will transform one's life. Consider getting this to be more clear by reading the materials at BarksdaleAboutLife.Com, as this is an essential, vital, essential, vital reality that will free you up once you understand it!
Others, Approval, Love, "Out There" - Those who think that happiness or the quality of life is about being an "effect" of other people and other things must correct this misperception, for it literally can ruin the chances of getting what one truly wants in life.
See the separate page on this, with comments that are from a different viewpoint of this, plus the back up of all of the great disciplines about "who" a person really is:
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
If YOU really think about it, YOU are that entity that does the thinking, that is conscious of what is going on. YOU are the one who experiences life. YOU are the creator of your life, through a superability of a human to learn and then apply the knowledge to create.
The thing that makes you YOU is the higher brain that humans developed, which adds the power of reasoning, the ability to make a choice, "consciousness", and the ability to create and add meaning to things. Without the higher brain, you would not have conceived a you, other than just being a surviving entity that had to eat.
As a child, you began to add some "human" capabilities in your brain, which was not fully developed until about 21 years old.
If you are over 21, I would suggest that you are not "under 21". (Duh!) A seemingly purposeless, inane statement for me to make, but one that hopefully will help you realize that you are not a child and that you are not an adolescent any more - that is all behind you, you cannot return to it, you cannot fit into it, because it, conceptually, is smaller than you.
And the importance of knowing that fact is that you don't have to suffer through the type of thinking that is involved at those levels (of being a child or adolescent) nor believe you are at "the effect" (mercy of) the erroneous beliefs of developing minds. You don't have to suffer from lack of approval, criticism, etc. That is all a thing of childhood, that is not permanent and that will evaporate into thin conceptual air as you see you are just a higher brain/consciousness.
I learned to be logical and to use reason to a beginning degree when I was about 7 to 9. I, however, did make a number of decisions about life and what to do in life, as my lower level thinking had me thinking and doing what I thought would cause me to survive (or survive better). But my decisions were not well-reasoned and not from very good knowledge and were mostly from assumptions and misperceptions. True, they did align me with some of what my parents told me (though I didn't have very deep insight into the basis for them) and I did learn a bit about what could be threatening to me and a bit how to cope. (Read The Child Persona.)
I was powerless and I was dependent, so my viewing point was that of trying to be fed and cared for, so that I would survive and not experience high anxiety. However, I no longer am powerless nor am I dependent nor do I need to be fed or cared for. To the extent I hold on to that, I am holding on to something that is false and outmoded.
Had I been able to apply full adult reasoning from an adult who had sufficient knowledge and wisdom, I would not believe any of those types of child beliefs.
How do I know when I am in a child belief that is invalid? I feel threatened by the future and by rejection. I am resisting (mostly a teenage trait). I am fighting where no fight is needed. I am applying anger randomly and inappropriately, because I do not know better than to use primitive strategies. There is no valid use for any of those. They are just untrue, primitive left overs.
But I (Keith) know the Law Of Cause And Effect now. Accordingly, I no longer believe in the magical thinking characteristic of an 8 year old, and I know that if I feel those fears and emotions above (which are 'the effect'), I can trace them to beliefs of being powerless, dependent, not self-sufficient.
None of those beliefs are true for me now, therefore I can not be the child of prior years. I am not powerless, dependent. I am capable of being fully self-sufficient. I am simply some new character with a memory of an old way of being. (And there is no such thing as "an inner child"!)
A FOOL I AM NOT NOR AM I DUMB AND DUMBER
Since each of the above is untrue, I am not a fool enough to believe them anymore (if I really think about).
My primitive brains send out electrical impulses and bits of "data" from my primitive "thought trees" (neurons, dendrites, etc.) that can be caused randomly, by misperceptions, and/or on the basis of promoting survival in some way. [Read and understand thoroughly the summary, and then the main piece: How The Brain Works - The Short Version.] As cavemen, it was true we had to more often react first and fast before thinking, since if we took time to think we might not have moved as fast and might have gotten eaten. These situations and that life are no longer present (that I might get eaten or attacked physically or starve), so I no longer need to operate based on them. And, being no fool, I use my higher brain to determine if my perceived threats are simply untrue in this day - and that therefore they should not be operated upon (see Managing Your Thoughts). So, using the logic of the Law Of Cause And Effect, if I have extreme emotions of such things as anger or rage, ongoing anxiety or panic, feeling threatened, despair and there is no tiger to be seen (no real, tangible danger), I am inappropriately reacting as if I was a pre-child, a totally dumb animal brain.
That is definitely not me, if I really think about it.
SO THAT CLEARLY LEAVES ME BEING...
So, the only thing I am left with is that the me of now is the higher thinking brain (consciousness and awareness). More exactly it's actually not the brain itself but the abilities I access in using the brain.
I am the ability to choose and create, at least until I die. Everything else is an attachment to who I am, but nothing else is me.
I am the one who sources (causes, creates) my life.
Some people may prefer to expand this beyond what is actually the fixed and unchanging part of me (while I am alive): the ability I have to create. Those people add what I acquired (which is, of course, not me) to me as if it were me. But those things that can change, whereas the actual ME is the permanent part of me - the rest is transitory and I can change it if I so choose. People who attach what they have acquired to their concept of who they are will add some meaning to that which is actually just attached. This sets them up to have to defend what one has acquired (beliefs, etc.) as if those beliefs were actually them and as if the threatening of those beliefs is a threatening of their own lives - it is pure nonsense to believe that.
Of course, it is your choice about what to believe. If you don't like the idea of just being an experiencing machine, then you could add some mystical spirit (or a "soul") to it and have both be part of you. Choose whatever works for you, but the truth is a better choice to use.
It is true that I have physical supporting units and some knowledge and beliefs acquired in my past, but I am not them, since I have them. In order to have something, there must be a separate I to have something, therefore I can't be that which I acquired nor that which I have. They are only flesh and blood, with recordings imbedded in them, but what makes me different than an animal is that ability to experience and reason at a much higher level.
We must realize that the child no longer existed, once the teenage mind added its judgment capability. And the teenage mind no longer existed, once we finished our brain development (and also acquired more knowledge.
It is through the thinking brain that I experience life, that I am able to create experiences in life and to create what I want. This is the ME that I am, for I would not have a ME as a human adult, if I were still just those earlier forms of life.
Make sense? (Email me if you think you can prove anything different.)
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMITMENT OF YOUR LIFE
From all my studies and from all the wrestling with the details of my life and of those who I contribute to, there is one overlying commitment that is the most important, and when it is made, all of the problems and struggles seem to melt away.
The commitment is to be who I really am.
Now that does sound idiotically simple and meaningless.
But it is the whole ballgame, the whole of what makes life work.
Of course, you must clearly know and then state who you are, in order to be able to commit to choosing to be that way instead of the way you are used to being.
I am an "adult" capable of thinking and reasoning and experiencing and doing.
I have a set of files (recordings in my brain) that contain old actions, feelings, pictures, etc. It is I who have them, not they which have me! They are not permanent.
I have a body that supplies energy for my thinking and doing. Even it will change totally every 7 years, per the scientists. So even my body is not permanent during my life. It simply recreates from the old patterns and functions as well as it can, though I can influence it to a degree. I accept that limitation.
However, having a prefrontal cortex designed for this function, I am totally in charge of running the show with regard to the files I choose to use. Pretending otherwise is what gets us into trouble.
If I choose to "be" a child, though I'm an adult, life will not work well. As a child, I developed the file system and the procedures and ways of being that are related to the overall way of being in the role of being a child. But those were relevant to being a child (powerless, dependent), which you no longer are. And, because of our lack of knowledge and reasoning, we created many errors in that system. Because of these two reasons, I must "re-build" and "re-vamp" and "re-form" the parts that are erroneous, by looking for what doesn't work and then correcting it using my current reasoning power and increased knowledge.
If I choose not to do the "re-form" and if I choose to hold onto being a child, then I am perpetrating a racket that will do much damage. As a believed-to-be-child you will often be living in crisis, which, of course, is a sign of erroneously operating (dysfunctionality). I can hold onto being a child, so that I can get the "payoffs" of hoping I will get rescued and hoping that the "wounds" of childhood will be healed by someone else, or I can recognize the crisis that I have lived in and choose to not continue it.
Interestingly enough, most people are not aware that much of what they are doing is operating from the viewpoint of being a child. The temper tantrum of a (so-called) powerful executive. The need for approval. Seeking perfection. Unrealistic expectations. Feeling hurt. Etc. and etc. - all are signs of being a child at the time.
People however may protest, "I am not being a child, though I do have an inner child" (which is not true, incidentally). Well, isn't that keeping a child viewpoint? It might be useful as a metaphorical tool, but you should never believe that you actually have an "inner child" - you merely have some old recordings left over from childhood.
How do we know that someone is operating as if a child?
In the law of cause and effect, if there is an effect then there is a cause and we can trace our way back along the set path from one to the other (in either direction).
If you are experiencing struggle and "bad" feelings (the effects) in your life, then you are operating from things that aren't true (the cause), as things that are true do not cause suffering and struggle. Those symptoms (effects) are an absolutely sure sign of having erroneous beliefs. AND, obviously, you should not continue to operate from erroneous beliefs - yet, amazingly enough, there are many people who choose not to change them - and that is the same as choosing those erroneous beliefs again, AND choosing the bad effects!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE SECOND LEVEL OF "WHO I AM"
As part of creating your foundation for life, I will be asking you to identify "who you are", so that you can have something to be integrous with, to be authentic around, to operate from.
In a way, the center of the concentric circles is the real YOU, as discussed above, since everything else that you have, think, etc., is impermanent and not YOU.
But there are some things that you will choose, on purpose, to keep "re-upping" - those are your values, which you are choosing - and those are the components of the next concentric circle out, the second one. Somewhat close to that is traits and strengths, so we'll include that next concentric circle out in the discussion of who you are, while keeping in mind that those are simply things you've added to the real core of you, but they are things that tend to stick around, things we can count on as having and not losing .
So, when I ask you to identify who you are, a "jerk" is not an appropriate answer, as that is a way of behaving, one that disappears the minisecond after you do it. It's not permanent nor a condition of being.
Who you are is not something you aren't, like not smart or not educated.
If you write out the next circle out from the core you, you'd write:
Who you want to be
Your strengths and capabilities
Your philosophy of life and your core beliefs
To do this, simply write each of the above at the top of a sheet of paper and then keep writing until you feel each is reasonably complete. And you'd put them in an organized, retrievable place, such as your Reminders Notebook, reviewing and revising them once a year when you are doing your planning and thinking about your life and where you want to go.
The following is another piece, in a sense. It was written earlier and is also true, and it contains alot more explanation, which you may want to read...or not...or later.
VIEWING POINT 2
LET'S LOOK AT WHO I AM, REALLY
I am THE SOURCE. That's it. (Source also means "cause", as I cause things to happen or cause my beliefs or cause my emotions. I have the choice of what to do and what not to do, therefore I am responsible for where I am and what happens to me as I run into phenomena out there that I didn't create myself. ) I am the Creator of my world and all my experiences. I am the Experiencer. I am the Awareness, the observer, the one who is conscious.
I have always been The Source/Creator/Experiencer/Awareness.
Everything else is just something I attached to myself, like barnacles to a ship. The barnacles aren't the ship and surely the ship doesn't consider the barnacles as part of the ship. Yet we seem to fail to realize the equivalent.
If you look at this logically, this is what you'd say:
If you are THE ONE who thinks, you, then, can't logically also be your thinking! Correct?
If you are THE ONE who does something, you are not that something, you are not that action, you are the one who acts.
If you caused something or created something, you cannot be those somethings! Therefore, you've got to be separate from what you've caused!!!!!
Ways of Being Material items
Data (correct and incorrect)
None of the things around you are you. And none are permanently attached to you.
You do not need any of those to survive, as you are now powerful and capable enough to survive - and, though this often takes some convincing, you are able to learn to and to actually produce happiness and to not buy into the thinking that makes people unhappy.
I AM NOT MY BELIEFS
I have beliefs, therefore I am not my beliefs. I have created stories, therefore they are not me.
Therefore, it makes no sense to identify with my beliefs or viewpoints, for both of those are merely "taken on".
It certainly makes no sense to defend them as if they were part of me. If we are offended or defending, then we have attached ourselves to there as if they were a survival issue - which we know is a complete fiction!!!
Since I am not my beliefs but the creator of my beliefs or at least he who believes them, then the choice between the following two is obvious;
I now choose to spend energy on only one of these:
Defending my beliefs or my pride
Creating more workable beliefs
"I am the Source. I am the creator."
"I am not that which I create, for how can the two be the same. I create beliefs and therefore I am not my beliefs, but I am the one who believes."
THERE IS NOTHING TO FIX
Since my beliefs are not me, and since they determine what I do, period, then I am also not my actions, as I am the one who merely does them.
Since I have all the basic capabilities plus the ability to choose, I am ok and there is nothing to fix. I have sufficient capabilities to live life well - and I need not be as good as or better than others, as I am already sufficient. Yes, there are things to learn that will create more and better desired results, but the basic mechanism and given abilities are great as they are.
I can see my blindspots once they are revealed to me, but they are not me. They are just something to learn from. I have the ability to see the fakeness of my fears.
I am as I am. If I want to get more of what I want, then I'll need to be on a trip of discovery and install more empowering beliefs. Note that the underlying machinery is more than adequate and that I am only using that machinery to develop better beliefs that work - but there is nothing to fix as far as the basic me is concerned.
I already have enough and am enough, unless I make up that that isn't true. I have the ability to produce enough to meet my basic needs (and I need not set any artificial "needs" for "more").
I am merely a basic being. I have the ability to think, I am intelligent, I have the ability to eat and walk and do many physical things. I have the ability to learn.
I am without limit. (This is a "relative" phrase, not a literal one since we have time and physical limits. But we are not even close to expanding to fill all the possibilities that we have the ability to achieve. It's like we occupy a small corner of a huge box that we can access much more of if we choose to.)
I AM NOT MY BODY
And I can sure choose to manage it to carry me forward. It is only my vehicle. It does not determine me; I determine to a great degree how well it carries out the purpose of being my vehicle for life.
I AM NOT MY PAST
My past is what got me here. I started with basic abilities, luckily, and I learned what there was to learn and made the best conclusions I could at the time so I could not have followed some theoretical "should" path. My past is now only a concept. I am not a concept, as I am a thinking and doing being in the here and now, experiencing life as well as I can at the current limits of my awareness. I can choose to increase that awareness and enhance life so that in the future I can experience life at an even higher level of being.
I AM NOT MY AWARENESS
Studying Barksdale's materials on awareness and reality helps lead one to seeing that one is not his/her awareness (the contents), but the one who is aware (the capability).
"I am not my awareness. I am that which is aware."
I CREATE MY WAY OF BEING, NEWLY IN EVERY MOMENT
I have the choice to be any way I want to be to achieve whatever feeling or goal I want. I am no fixed way of being and I am not who I was as a child or who I used to be at all. I am only he who chooses, the creator, the source.
I am simply what I choose and say I am in the moment. I create that way of being and it is not fixed. It is gone in a moment and replaced by what I am in the next moment. I am no particular way. I am just the creator of it all, choosing what and who to be in the moment.
BACK UP READING TO "WHO I AM"