Reasonably, we attempt what we think possible within the limits of our comprehension. The problem with this sort of reasonableness is what we think possible is conditioned by our self-image or self-definition. In other words, we progress only so far as we believe we can – given who we think we are. It turns out our greatest limits are those we impose upon ourselves.
Your self-image is the most crucial component of how you actualize yourself throughout life. But most – if not all – of your self-image is a socio-cultural construct.
All our lives we have been told in very direct, indirect, and subtle ways who exactly we are. We experience ourselves defined within specific families, tribes, religions, ethnic groups, cultures, geographical locations, and political entities. These realities form components of identity – but they are in no deep way “who we are.”
We are ancient. The very material of our bodies was created deep in the interior of stars – supernovae exploded billions of years ago. Interstellar material coalesced into the proto-planetary disc of the Solar System. Assembled over millennia with the evolutionary intelligence of DNA, the energetic elements of stardust that formed the Earth moved through generations of earthly creatures and still maintain the automatic self-regulating processes of our bodies. Myriad forms of intelligence pulsate within us. Our neurological intelligence shines like a beacon above the evolutionary heights and connects us consciously to the entire cosmic vista. When we gaze into the universe, in a very real way we see ourselves.
As preparatory to creative work, I urge artists and students to consider themselves within this cosmic context. Typically, we walk through our lives defining ourselves by mundane measurements of identity – wealth, status, power. By considering the miraculous processes within us and pondering the infinite cosmos surrounding us we feel our connection to all the power and intelligence of the universe. In these moments our identity expands to fill the entirety of space and time and we experience unlimited potential.
This is who you are!
Video: Deepak Chopra, The Wonder of You