Whether our values line up with natural law or principles such as fairness, respect, kindness, integrity and honesty, we nevertheless find ourselves at odds with one another and the world at large. Do we change our core values to adapt with the shifting culture and popular opinion? Our decision to do so rests on our goals, meeting our needs and obtaining what we want. So where do we draw the line between what we value and what we are willing to allow others to dictate for us? What is the base of our personal authority? Have we taken the cumbersome journey of discovering ourselves through an honest & dialectical interchange with another human being? Do we grow hot under the collar when someone points out our shortcomings? How frail is our sense of self if we fall apart over the exchange of a few words?
In my view, to remove the debris from our soul is to lessen the intensity of those psychological fibers that bind us into an artificial or egotistic sense of self. Our attachment or addiction to the notion of a ‘me’ is a powerful force, one in which keeps the world churning and out of sorts. However, I believe there is something happening at a much deeper level that is causing the individualistic ‘me’ to become dismantled and free from its strictures of confinement. The ‘me’ is becoming a ‘we’. But who are ‘we’?
“Who are ‘we’? … As pure souls, we were Spirit…. We were a part of the spiritual world, neither circumscribed nor cut off from it. Even now, we are still not cut off from it. Now, however, another person, who wanted to exist and who has found us … has added himself on to the original person…. Then we became both: now we are no longer only the one we were, and at times, when the spiritual person is idle and in a certain sense stops being present, we are only the person we have added on to ourselves.” – Plotinus, Ennead VI-4-14
Regardless of how alien we have become or unnatural or to what degree of a stranger or personality we have accrued, if ‘we’ are on some conscious level being brought back into a spiritual alignment of sorts, then it would make good sense that our identity ought to be challenged and shaken to its very ground of being. In this view the question comes down to this: Do we consciously participate in the process of letting go of our hold over this earthly life, which in essence is to lose our way of life, or do we continue to define our lives by building sand castles along the beach oblivious to the tide; what good is it to gain the whole world and lose your own soul for the lust of dust which speedily turns to rust…
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.…” A letter to the Romans by Paul