When you are little your parents won’t let
you be yourself. They have different ideas
about eating the whole chocolate cake or
drawing on the walls with crayons.
Later on teachers keep you from being yourself.
Then teenage peer pressure takes over, and
finally, once society has imposed its demands,
freedom is more restricted still.
Alone on a desert island you might be able
to be yourself, only guilt and shame would
pursue you even there. The inheritance of
repression is inescapable.
The whole problem is one of boundaries and
resistance. Someone imposes a limit on you,
and you resist it in order to break free.
Thus “being myself” becomes a relative thing.
Unless someone tells me what I can’t do,
I have nothing to push against.
By implication, my life would be shapeless.
I would follow one whim after another, which
itself is a kind of prison. To have a hundred
wives and a feast on the table isn’t being
yourself, it is being your desires.
When boundaries and resistance both melt
the problem comes to an end. To be in unity,
you cannot have limitations.
You are wholeness; that is what fills your
Choice A and choice B are equal in your eyes.
When this is true, desire can flow where
it will. You are not your desires. Being
yourself no longer has the slightest
Doesn’t this deprive you of choice? Both yes
and no. A person will want to dress and talk
a certain way; there may even be decided
likes and dislikes. Yet these are karmic
holdovers from the past. All and Nothing
doesn’t erase the necessities of this world,
and in fact the great mystics do preserve
the trappings of ordinary life.
To be really free, there is no option except
to be yourself. By being yourself you open
the door to what is, the never-ending play
of cosmic intelligence curving back to know
itself again and again.
ಸ Adapted from How To Know God, by Deepak Chopra