“To thine own self be true.” This is a line written by William Shakespeare in Hamlet. It implies that we have a dual nature. I only mention dual personas but there could be more sub-categories. The main distinctions are the inner and outer self. It could also be referred to as the authentic and the inauthentic self. Lately in my posted essays I have been switching from my more spiritual nature to my carnal nature. That is a battle between the mind and the spirit. In order to be at peace with myself it is important that I am truthful with myself. If I have thoughts I need to know where they are coming from and what they mean. For me the entire rationalization of God lies within this space; “to thine own self be true.” In order for you to know God you have to go through you (your mind).
This topic gets into psychological analysis so I must be careful to say that I am not a doctor. On the other hand since I do wrestle with myself I feel free to share my struggles with you. When it comes to belief in God it is imperative to be true to the self if belief is to be possible. If you are not true with the self then you are just trying to fool yourself into being something that you are not. You are trying to make yourself believe in things that you don’t. Again, this is my opinion and not scientific facts.
Belief is an odd thing. Most of what you think you believe was what others taught you. In essence you accepted someone else’s measure of truth. Since many people don’t question what they were taught until later in life… old thought patterns get to be like old habits. They exist in a comfortable space within the self like an old comfortable blanket. Rather than stirring up the waters to discover truth, we would rather stay in our comfort zones. The thought of unlearning something and starting over is not pleasant. However, unless you are willing to muddy up the waters you cannot be true to yourself.
All of this is very important because as we are trying to relate to spiritual matters you need something to rationalize… something to hold down your anchor. Part of that would be comprised of our basic morals and values. They make up our foundational building blocks, most of which were taught to us by our primary caretakers. Quite naturally most children accepted what they were taught until something else came along that oppose their beliefs. Some refuse change… even if it’s truth. They would rather hold on to lies because it is all they have even known. Well… God does not live in lies. To find God one must seek truth and be willing to toss out those old comfortable false doctrines that became habitual traditions.
As we were going through the developmental stages of life there were certain subjects that were too deep for young minds to understand. Though our primary guardians did what they thought was best at the time, there are certain life-lessons that require actual experience before the mind could objectify the subject. The notion of God is one such subject that can be quite difficult to explain… especially to a child’s mind because there is nothing tangible to for them to grasp. Rather than trying to explain inexplicable things most guardians prefer to paint a rosy fairytale version of God for the child to grasp. That was intended to be a temporary understanding until the child was matured enough to develop their own understanding about God. For some people that quandary never happens. Again, they are more comfortable with the old established tales.
Some people are very fortunate to have been taught the basic fundamentals about God through their guardians early in life. It could have been through organized religion, storytelling, nursery rhymes and the like. This does not mean that they know God but that they know about God. Knowing God requires something much deeper. Even matured believers may not really know God… they accepted the traditions that were taught to them. Knowing God requires having a relationship with Him, just as like one would have with a parent, friend or relative. It requires spending quality time getting to know Him and relating things about yourself. Such outpourings has to come from the authentic self. You might be able to fool people but there is no fooling God. Being true to the self is a good idea, but to be true to God is a requirement…if you want a relationship.
To rationalize God means to make Him valid, reasonable, or to remove doubt that keeps you from disbelieving. In order to do that one must embark upon a quest to find truth. It does not come by osmosis or just listening to others speak about Him. Yes… you can convince yourself to believe what you were taught but that does not develop what God desires from the ones He calls His children. A parent knows the child just as a child knows the parent. Without a relationship what do you really have?
We are not to rely upon others to mediate our relationship with God for us, but instead we must make our own connection. This link is made between the Maker and the ones that He made. Though I usually quote scripture to make my point… that measure does not works for everyone alike. I used to hate it when my Christian friends would attempt to beat me over the head with their bibles. It pushed me away more than attracted me. Since so much of our knowledge comes through the portal of the mind I think it is necessary to first wrangle the mind in order that it becomes submissive to knowledge, understanding and ultimately wisdom. This is how the authentic self is uncovered.
Yes the mind is hostile to the spirit but once you are true to yourself the spirit already knows its Maker. Your challenge is to convince the mind of what your authentic (spirit) self already knows. Once you open this door you will find that you are not alone. God, your Heavenly Father awaits you… Knock/knock! Selah!