The Self that I’m referring to in the title of this article, as you have probably noticed, is One with a capital “S.” It is the Self that is routinely overshadowed by the majority of persons, who–due to innocent ignorance–blindly accept that their identity is name and form…only. All of us are very familiar with the lowercase self; but most are unaware that it is a conceptual self only, that seems to reside within the head or behind the chest. It is illusory through and through; at best, a ghost seeking pleasure and the avoidance of pain; at worst, a thief that is robbing us of the true joy which is our birthright. It is my fervent desire to help you become knowingly acquainted with uppercase “Self” via the publishing of this article. Let’s begin with the following thought-provoking quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, from his spiritual classic I Am That:
“So, Mr. Russell (writer guy), what the heck are you talking about?” For many, the notion of investigating the nature of our Being may seem a very boring, and unnecessary, subject matter; but such is not the case. It is one of the most exciting journeys that we may ever undertake. There is good reason why the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, was inscribed with the words “Know Thyself.” That culture realized that recognition (to know again) of true Self was the way to transcend the slings and arrows (thanks, Shakespeare) that accompany the apparent daily life of a person. Most of us are very familiar with the polar swings between happiness and unhappiness. In spiritual terms, such is often referred to as a brittle happiness, for it is dependent on outer causes and, thus, easily broken. When we discover Self–capital “S,” we transcend our belief in the false self and, thus, are at peace.
Now it’s time for logic, which may ignite a spark of curiosity. Please contemplate this: Can you really–actually–be your name? Can you get burned from the word fire? Can you get wet from the word water? If you’ve been able to answer “no” to both of those questions, you’ve realized that the word is only a term by which we refer to the real items; in this case fire and water. Now, if you apply that very same logic to the case of your name (insert it here), you’ll realize that you cannot possibly be your name. Surely, then, this will naturally cause the question (“Who Am I?”) to arise within you.
Time for more logic: When persons clearly understand that they cannot possibly be their name, most will quite naturally assume that they must be their body. This assumption proves, once again, to relate to a fleeting ghost of a thing;” for the body is changing–literally–from one split trillionth of a second to the next. How can such a changeful thing (which is actually a functioning of Infinite Living Mind) be me? The answer: It cannot. “But,” you may claim, “I feel so real, within; then, I must be my mind.” This also proves to be a very fleeting identity; for our thoughts, which seem so personal, are changeful, too. The “personality” may seem stable, especially if we see evidence of such; but it’s actually fabricated by discrete flashes of intelligence, memory, and a repeated claiming of “i”. There’s no long-lasting person independent of mind. How could there be when mind is the creator of everything?
Doubt can be a powerful motivator to help lead us toward Truth. For as long as we stay stubbornly rooted in our opinions (which are highly subject to change from person, place, or time), we have not opened our minds to experiencing the Truth of our Being. Let doubt serve you in this article. Let doubt cast a shadow over the false self, which the majority believe themselves to be. By turning your attention from the apparent outer world, to the still world within, you’ll discover that there is a deeper dimension of “You” that has been awaiting recognition. That is the Changeless, the Eternal, the Immortal Self–capital “S.” We are Spirit. “O Death, where is thy sting?”
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏
2 thoughts on “Self–Capital “S””
Art, thank you for trying so continuously to articulate the ineffable! Never give up. Your humor and insight help those of us less talented. Aham Brahmasmi, baby!
Thank you very much, Linda. Life is such an amazing journey (and paradoxically, “nothing happens.”). I didn’t plan this, at least consciously. The articles “arrive,” so to speak. Sometimes, I am so very suprised, even at the titles, such as “Baby Jane,” recently, or “Entertaining the Beast.”
On a serious note, I am humbled and grateful (so grateful) to be pursuing this most wonderful and mysterious path.
Thank you for being a friend in this journey!