Who were you before you were born? What was your face before your parents were born? Can you imagine yourself being a thousand years younger? Who will you be after you have died? In a thousand years from now? Who are you now…here. Deep down, really, truly, authentically, basically, simply.
--- Copyright © 2004 Simon Heighwaya
The answer to all these questions is the same, and once you know, you know. You remember…it is just a case of remembering. The way I see it is this: Virtually from the day we're born we begin to play roles. We start to adapt, to fit in, to conform. Throughout our lives we will play thousands of roles (Daughter, Son, Mother, Father, Friend, Grandparent, Stockbroker, Bus Driver etc.)
The problems come when we become too identified with these roles. We forget that we are the one who is playing the role. The word "personality" comes from the root word "persona", which means mask. We wear millions of different masks throughout our lives, changing them for every role, every occasion.
The trouble is we do this unconsciously and eventually begin to see ourselves as others see us. We start to look at ourselves through other people's eyes, from the outside in. We forget that we are the ones behind the mask, looking out. We allow ourselves to be pushed and pulled away from our true, real, authentic centre, our home.
We will have many, many different experiences, but we are none of them. We are the one who is having the experience, the experience-er. Life is a dream and we are the dream-er. The eye of the hurricane, the real centre.
If we begin to think of ourselves as the role, the mask, the dream or the experience, sooner or later these ideas will become more solid and they will become imaginary walls around us - separating us from each other and from existence itself. This is hell; this is illusion.
Basically it is essential to, at some point, witness all of this going on. Through meditating, spending time alone etc., you can gain a glimpse of your Real Self / True Nature / Original Face.
Once this has happened, it is so much easier to see all the layers of personality, conditioning and falsity. You can peel it away like peeling an onion or carve it away like Michelangelo releasing the 'angel' from the marble. But the trick is that once you can see it and feel how heavy it is, how constricting, what a burden… it is pretty easy to drop it, to surrender it, to just let it go
This is what it means to "Die before you die". To me this is the most essential thing in life, because by doing this you understand what is Love/Freedom/Peace/God/Reality/Oneness. You understand that all these words mean the same thing and it is the essence of Who You Are. In that moment, you have come back home.