Living from Within - Social Buddha

The closest we ever are to being who we truly are is the moment we are born. At that moment we are an empty, blank sheet of paper ready to get written on. We are just being but eventually, our true self starts to be covered up with layers and layers of conditioned thinking and reaction to experiences. It is a shocking moment to come out of our mother’s womb to a world of dependency. Inside we were just like grass, growing and being without any effort or strain, no conceptual image of anything until we are born and experience a world of needs and we start depending on someone to fulfill those needs.

This is where it all begins, becoming dependent on parents, society, religion, education systems, media, government, etc, and that’s only the beginning. More and more we are pushed away from who we really are, creating an experiential image of what we think we are that is created by the culture and the people around us. Eventually, we learn through conditioning, through pleasure and pain to react unconsciously towards situations, people and events without even knowing why we react to them as we do.

We were a blank sheet of paper learning from the external world and adapting to it, so we end up not fitting in and experiencing a life that we think we can’t change. We learn to separate ourselves from our inner self and learn to live a life completely governed by our external environment, situations, and conditions. We become curious about the world, wanting to know more about it with the idea that we are going to gain knowledge and figure out who we truly are. The reality is that we become more intrigued with the outer world and so lose ourselves in our thoughts, our experiences and float in the world controlled by it, in the direction others desire including institutions and the people that surround us.

Going without means fitting in, learning, adapting and becoming part of a bigger institution that has existed for longer than we can remember. It is the institution of society which is bigger than we think, but for the matter of keeping this short, I’ll only talk about the part of society that gives us our first concepts about the world, which is FAMILY. Family is defined by dictionaries as the unit of a group consisting of 2 adults and children. Like other mammals, we are pack animals, as we become dependent we also look for a place to fit into the family; provider, mother, offspring and nowadays even pets. Who decides where we fit in? How does it get decided and how is it decided how a family should work?

That’s where the bigger, much bigger picture of influence from society, culture, religion, and parents comes into play, especially our parents’ opinions about what a family should look like and who we should be.

Yes, we do have to learn to live in this life but we don’t have to get lost in the outer world. Everyone looks for answers and changes on the outside, but not many people take a look where the answers really lie: inside of us.

That is the place where you will truly find yourself and embody fulfillment.

Angelo

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