“Like the idea of self, the self image is not an object. It is a highly charged and conditioned set of beliefs and attitudes with which we deeply, and mostly unconsciously, identify.” – Stephen Cope
For eons, people have grappled with the idea that human consciousness isn’t an object. It can’t be isolated, labeled or measured.
Think about that. The most fundamental thing that makes human beings human beings, is our consciousness (i.e sense of self). It is a complete and total mystery that is subjective and changing from one moment to the next ?.
So What Is Our Conciousness?
More recently, physics has revealed that all matter (including the 6 trillion cells in your body) is mostly made up of energy and empty space. Anatomy tells us that your brain is mostly made of fat and water. Moreover, neurology tells us that the synaptic connections between the neurons that make up your brain are plastic. They are capable of change throughout our life times. Therefore the self image is not an unchangeable object.
What does this mean?
It’s the truth (not opinion, not perspective, not “alternative fact”) of the impossible nature of our self and our identity. And it means that each and everyone one of us is capable of transformation. Therefore we can heal trauma, reprogram negative thought patterns and change unhelpful ways of being. Each and every one of us is capable of smashing to bits the statement of “this is just the way I am.” That statement is not only remarkably unhelpful but it’s also total bullshit because there is no “the way I am.”
As Stephen Cope says, there is just a “highly charged and conditioned set of beliefs and attitudes with which we deeply, and mostly unconsciously, identify.” Sages, philosophers, physicists, psychologists, anatomists and neurologists all agree – there is no object called the self. There is no permanence to it and whatever “it” is, is subject to change at any moment.
After all, “it” is made of mostly energy and empty space, fat and water, thoughts and memories. What could be easier to mold and shape than that? When you own this truth, you allow yourself to fully embrace it. Therefore it starts to shatter your own personal myth that you are a fixed thing. You are not created by your past, dominated by your default behaviors and destined to live out the rest of your days dealing with the way you are.
If you pair spirituality, neuroscience, psychology, mentorship and support from your community, then healing and shaping yourself is practically limitless. You can be pretty much whoever you want to be.
If you want more information you can also read WTF is Neuroplasticity?
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