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We are not meant to live in time. When we think about ourselves, when we think about things we want – what we call that which will fulfill us — even when we imagine something we think we’ve never had, we are still looking at images that our mind has picked up from TV, or a book, or from someone else. We have simply ascribed ourselves to what we imagine it would be like to have that. We imagine the pleasure and we experience the pleasure as we have stored in those images. As we live that pleasure, we think: “This is what I have to have to be my True Self, because now I feel confident. Now I feel strong.”
Any time a person goes into thought in order to define themselves in any way, they have confined themselves. This is the golden rule relative to our True Nature: As we define ourselves, we confine ourselves. All of those things that we define ourselves by are things in the world that are transitory. They pass, and so they are not a lasting treasure. Yes, those things appear out in the world. There is that fine automobile. There is that beautiful home. There is that job where we are recognized as an authority of some kind. There are those places and positions, but they only exist out there as an important thing to us because of the idea that we hold of them in our mind.
The idea of the possession, the idea of the position gives me a sense of myself, of being real and secure, having a bright future, and being worthwhile. But because this image is connected to conditions outside of myself, as soon as any of that even starts to change, the whole way in which I’ve known myself starts to rattle and roll, and now I’ve become afraid… because unless I can keep the world the way I want it to be – controlling people and positions – I’m going to lose who I have taken myself to be. Our True Self cannot get lost that way because it never finds itself in anything that it defines itself by.