Beyond Identity:

Who and What are You and Me? 

Year 2017 began with a clatter, and I was dismayed to discover what was the matter. Personal and professional life transformed over the past several years, but old emotional patterns resurfaced. Neuroscientific positive thinking techniques and traditional psychological approaches failed to dissolve the heavy emotional themes. There had to be a more auspicious path towards freedom. 

 

In 2015, a series of synchronistic events led me to a teacher named Thotme. At first I wanted nothing to do with his wisdom because if any of it was true, I would have to admit that after years of dedicated personal development I was still a bound, afraid, and inauthentic human.  I rejected the wisdom Thotme shared, and left his house with an ego intact. Months later, a series of humbling synchronicities led me back to his doorstep.

 

"You were right. Now, what's the next step?" I asked. 

 

I began learning about how the subconscious mind governs our lives. This is wild because the subconscious mind is programmed by the age of seven. That means we humans are journeying through life perceiving situations through the lens of our inner children. This is a lot to wrap our heads around, so let's not even try. Instead, I've decided to share the following stories, which may assist some readers. 

 

 

I AM no thing

After thirty-two years of creating an identity, I decided to discover what exists beneath the identity. 

 

This journey began on February 14, 2017, when I took a student-in-residence opportunity in Thotme's Colorado home. 

 

Thotme's first suggestion was to take a two-week sabbatical from communicating with the outside world. 

 

"I can't do that! I'm a writer. It's my profession to communicate," I said. 

 

"You limit yourself. You are not a writer," Thotme said. 

 

I had no clue what he meant by this, but a sabbatical seemed like a good idea because my self-esteem fluctuated in accordance with the attention I received from the others. This attachment was exhausting. I became motivated by the possibility of feeling sovereign and complete. 

 

Would it be possible to love myself without an identity?

 

Who would love me if I no longer identified as a writer, teacher, researcher, humanitarian, spiritualist, sister, or daughter?

 

Why would anyone care about me if I am no thing? 

The Greatest Fear Was Being Invisible

The fear of being invisible had ruled my entire life. As a child, I watched my parents immersed in adult activities that had nothing to do with me. The question, "Why don't I matter?" often kept me awake at night.

 

I decided that I had to make myself matter. I observed the outside world, and took note of the personal attributes that gained the esteem of others. Little Amanda modeled herself after these ideas. This was the departure from innocence and entry into identity. 

 

Little did I know that the more I defined myself by experiences, labels, accolades, and relationships the less visible I became. I grew further away from my truth the more people recognized and responded to the person I had become. I was an actor on a stage in a life that was not real. 

 

When I was seen by the most, I was not seen at all. The ego had become a master of deception, convincing me that I had mastered self-love because I had learned how to mold myself into something others considered loveable. 

 

Deep within the delusion, something felt off. Something was missing. If I was so happy and free, then why did I need outside approval to feel complete? And why was no amount of praise and attention enough to make me feel complete? 

 

Feeling invisible was branded within my subconscious mind and had thus become the emotional blueprint which governed my life. There was no way of escaping the feeling. I had spent thirty-two years trying to escape it, to no avail. 

 

Thotme suggested, "The only way out is through."

Art by Tony Mazza

99% of Humans are living unconsciously - Even many who preach consciousness

After two weeks of silence, I began to enjoy the peace and stillness. I returned to writing as a profession but stayed out of the public eye otherwise. This provided a great deal of time to observe my emotions -  time I'd otherwise spent overthinking, working, and entertaining other people's ideas about who I was. 

 

Gradually, I gained more awareness about how the subconscious mind and unconscious behaviors ruled my life. My whole life had been motivated by subconscious needs, wants, and desires that were so deep that I did not know I had them. 

 

Even with years of practicing awareness, I was blind to the control of the subconscious mind. 

 

Ninety-nine percent of humans are doing the same thing - even many who preach and teach consciousness. 

 

How Relationships and Professions Enslave Us Within Subconscious, Unconscious Programs

Romantic relationships are just one example. We also choose professions and colleagues based on our subconscious needs to experience the emotional patterns we experienced as children. Some of my most
"successful" friends are simply playing out a subconscious program within their jobs. They work ungodly hours and always have a new project to consume their time and energy so that they can remain on the hamster wheel of needing to prove how good they are to their bosses (i.e. daddy, mommy, the world). 

 

Carl Jung observed eight types of subconscious programs, or "life strategies" which are most commonly used by 99% of the population. Within each of these programs are myriad emotional needs, wants, and desires.  These wants, needs, and desires skew our perceptions of life. You experience this every day. Have you ever wanted something so badly that you missed out on other opportunities available to you at the time? Our subconscious and unconscious minds are so fixed on experiencing life in a specific way that we become blind to the vast experiences available to us. 

 

By softening our focus we welcome in more of our truth and open ourselves up to greater potentials. We become less attached to specific outcomes so that we may discover higher possibilities, of which we were previously unaware. 

 

Many people hire professional coaches to help them discover their purpose and increase "success." These coaches may assist you in achieving some goals. However, how many goals have you achieved only to find that you feel the same old emotions you've had for a lifetime? This happens when we fail to dissolve our programmed needs, wants, and desires. Until this happens, we will not know freedom. We will remain bound, afraid, and inauthentic humans striving to fill a cup that cannot be filled. 

 

Even the majority of life coaches and gurus are working from some type of subconscious or unconscious program. Ever wonder why the gurus use mass marketing, create a brand image, and charge so much for their retreats and "exclusive" offers? It is rare to find a truly authentic teacher who does not need or want anything from you except to see you master yourself. Mastering yourself would mean that you eventually need and want nothing from the guru, your boss, your mother, father, or lover.

Who might we be, and what might we do if we were not controlled by the needs, wants, and fears that have been programmed within our subconscious? 

 

How might our relationships change if we could accept people and situations, allowing ourselves to learn through them, rather than trying to control their outcomes?  

Finding YOUR Path to Freedom

Living outside of our subconscious and unconscious programs is totally possible. Many have confused living consciously with positive thinking. Breaking free from the program is a much deeper process than positive thinking. However, the deeper process cannot be defined for you. 

 

Every human has created a unique set of circumstances and perspectives for themselves. Each of us processes information differently. As such, there is no one path to freedom.

 

The path to freedom is a destructive one, however. By embarking on such a journey, you are choosing to set aflame all the beliefs, ideas, stories, and identities that are covering up who and what you truly are. There will growing pains and implosions, but you will survive them and reap the benefits of such dedicated work. 

 

Compassion and unconditional love replace the old energy you release by letting go of your program. As such, all of humanity benefits from your personal walk.
 

Art by Tony Mazza

While there is no one path, some practices that will take you far include:

 

1. Observe your emotions. Don't try to change them. Do not judge them. Allow them, and observe their patterning. Get to know your triggers, and what lies beneath irritation, frustration, and anger. Ask yourself often, "What is my fear in this situation?"

 

2. Look at your life as an allegory. For example: Your frustrations with your lover are probably not about your lover. Instead these frustrations are probably familiar feelings stemming from your early life and childhood. The lover is someone you've attracted into your life so that your programmed emotions and needs are sustained. If you want things to change, don't waste time trying to change the lover. Spend time trying to change your internal pattern and programs. 

 

3. Use pure intent to discover your own path. With pure intent, you will attract authentic gurus and effective methods that help you evolve. You will also come to know your own inner wisdom and higher self, which is your best resource. Steer clear of self-proclaimed gurus who need something from you or who are exclusive with their assistance. Chances are they are working from a program, and therefore they cannot assist you because they have yet to master themselves. The same goes for asking friends or family for advice. Chances are their programs are answering your questions. You are trying to move away from the programmed living, not into someone else's programmed living. 

 

4. Avoid overthinking. Your patterns and programs are created by the mind. Therefore they cannot be solved by the mind. You don't fight cancer with cancer, and you don't put out fire with fire. Your solutions are waiting to be discovered deep within your vulnerability and humility.