I Have Forgotten Who I Am

An excerpt from an article in Living Metaphysics: A practical spiritual guide, 'I have forgotten who I am'.

Has the picture of your true self faded or been lost by so many expectations, influences and roles you are called to play each day?

WHEN we look around us we find an increasing number of people who feel aimless and find little or no meaning in their lives. We have discovered that there is more to life than money and labour-saving devices. We long for something deeper but do not know where, or even how, to look for it. The crime rate, the drug problem, family breakdowns, the explosion of psychosomatic illnesses, the rising suicide rate, the proliferation of gambling in casinos and on the Internet, the unstable economy, the high unemployment rate, the pollution of the environment and the destruction of the great forests of the earth are all signs of our times.

These are symptoms of the one problem which we all face. One thing threatens the fabric of our society and our well-being as individuals, and that is that we have forgotten our true home and we have lost touch with our true nature.

For a very short period of time - perhaps seventy or eighty years - we make ourselves at home in this world as temporary residents. In our folly, however, we have assumed that this is all there is to life. We have forgotten that our home is in the heavens and therefore we tend to live as though there is no tomorrow or we are afraid of tomorrow and shrink back from living fully in the present...

How does this forgetfulness of self, this loss of our sense of spiritual identity, manifest itself? It can be seen in the fact that we have lost touch with the power of love at work in the universe and in our own lives, not necessarily the selfish love that exists in personal relationships but the deeper aspects of love which generate the cohesive forces holding the world together. We are essentially love beings but this love has been covered over and hidden by protective layers so that we make up excuses for not expressing the real content of our hearts. We allow the mind to rationalise situations, to create artificial difficulties and reasons why in this situation or that, we cannot love. By turning away from God's love we have shut ourselves off from a whole area of experience which affirms who we are and authenticates our place in the scheme of creation. Love is the greatest creative force in human existence, for it gives birth to many potent ideas and feelings which enable us to draw nearer to our innate potential.

We have chosen to shrink back from the challenge to love because of the difficulties and the reasons put forward by our minds. Instead of living in the light emanated by love, we tend to live out our existence in the shadowy world given form by fears and apprehensions. Because we do not love beyond our own needs and the rigid categories of the mind, we have not developed the attitude of faith which is so essential to living a spiritual life.

Faith is both a trust and an inner knowing that there is a higher good. It is an inner quality which is both a mental attitude and an impulse to action. Through faith we can stand firm and weather the storms which otherwise would destroy something in us. There is a great lack of faith in our society. This has greatly weakened the social fabric and contributed to the fragmentation of relationships and the disintegration of values which were taken for granted by previous generations. The "greed is good" mentality which came to the forefront in the 1980s typifies how much has been lost in spiritual terms over the last fifty years. Perhaps this has been necessary in the transition from an external morality, imposed by institutional forms of religion, to the development of an internal morality born from mystical experience of the reality of spirit.

Spirituality, rather than religion, is now the keynote for seekers of truth because spirit cannot be confined by an institution or structure and neither can truth be expressed through dogma.

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