What will become of me, I who cannot stop sinning? Surely, I have striven to be freed from so much of this bondage. Is today a better day, when I am aware of every aching muscle, joint and bone? Was yesterday a better day, when all of my awareness of unique ego was smoothed over by drugs? Is there even such a thing as an authentic path for me to be on?
Do I dare return to childhood again, while typing these words? I wasn’t the same person I am today, not by a long shot. Who will I be tomorrow? Surely not the mess that still brings great unease to me.
Do I dare mix in the problems of the world with my own state of malaise? Are the two inextricably linked, or completely unrelated to each other?
All of the people that I meet in the future will love or hate someone that surely isn’t me. It isn’t a matter of me keeping my true self hidden from them, but a case where I am unsure of whether or not I even have a true self to present or hide to anyone: God, myself, others.
Surely we all took artificial, arbitrary marks when we came alive on this earth. We accepted the brand of name and baptism. We became aware of our personalities and let our parents dictate who we were–so, naturally, we acted out in ways that conformed to these personalities. A hopeless feedback loop rose up and defined us before we even spoke a single word.
Every attempt to alter these personalities or rebel against them seemed to result in us becoming even more ensnared in them. For, such rebelling can’t be constantly taking place, and there are times where rest is required. Inside that rest, we fall back upon the autopilot maneuvering of our pre-conceived personalities. What’s more, our peers, classmates, coworkers, etc. did everything they could to brand and define us upon a first encounter. The shy one is hopelessly shy, and all presenting of fearless, outward social engagement is conveniently ignored as being anomalous to what all have come to accept as the shy personality.
The point is that we are more plastic in our identities, but we do little to encourage this plasticity, instead, opting to reinforce whatever we initially wanted to believe about ourselves and others.
I personally believe that reincarnation also contributes to the reinforcement of the illusion of the unchangeable self. I believe that the only way you can be any different than who you have come to be across many lifetimes is to take a sure and certain stand against that past persona, and refuse to give ground to others who would attempt to keep you in a singular mold.
There is no such thing as: “I am intrinsically female, male, gay, straight, smart, dumb, violent, peaceful, active, passive, introverted, extroverted.” The identities and traits run deep, for sure, and almost no individual in our present culture is equipped with the right tools to change you if you are sick and tired of being a certain way, and are ready to be someone completely different. I believe that the guides or angels in the bardo do attempt to help us change, by giving perennial males next lives in female bodies. So many of these efforts to help us change fail because we are stuck in societies that refuse to believe in such things like reincarnation, and both progressive and conservative minds would seek to peg you as being “born that way.”
You can change, though, to be whomever you want to be. But, ultimately, if you are seeking a divine post in Heaven, Nirvana, Buddhahood, etc., you should be indifferent to who you are in the present time and place. You shouldn’t see yourself as ultimately becoming a male or female entity, gay or straight–but, abandon attachments to these local, earthly characteristics in favor of timeless, ineffable ways of being. Are the Elohim a plural set of deities, a hermaphroditic deity, or perhaps a singular God who is beyond the simple gender and sexual orientation characteristics we feel so strongly about here on earth.
Do I think that I will obtain the kind of freedom from common ego labels in this lifetime? I am not sure. I am confident that I have improved characteristics that were deeply troubling and crippling–but what are these–are they astral fragments, hangers on from a previous life? What is the way of being I should be ultimately aspiring to? I think Jesus Christ is as good of a role model as any, and in many ways even better, because he didn’t attempt to deny or short change his human aspect. However, the maleness of his human self seems to be hardly approaching the kind of ubermale that our more macho veins of cultures hold up in high regard. Jesus was a man, but he was not in any way an inauthentic caricature of manhood, like so many men aspire to become.