You wake up and you don’t have a solid lock on any particular identity.

You wake up and you don’t have a solid lock on any particular identity. Every time you try to land on a solid patch of ground, the ground moves. In spite of all this, you are convinced that there is a solid reality out there–that the world is not an illusion. None of your arguments for why this is would hold up if you were confronted by some mindfuck philosopher-wannabe type, but you have your set of things that you know, your things that you hang onto by faith alone, and all the other unexamined beliefs that you actually probably be convinced to let go.

You sit on a couch typing this with your young son. This alone is an area worthy of exploration. You can say things that every parent says about a child who is loved more than the child will ever know. Indeed, the parent himself had no idea how much he would love his son until his son came along. Then, there is the whole matter of being 41 with a 3 year old son. For sure, you live in a culture where parents are having kids at older ages, and your own father and grandfather did not produce their first biological male offspring until the respective ancestors were almost in their 40s.

Then, there is the old and lingering ache for your first nuclear family. Your older, adopted brothers abandoned you. Your little, biological brother, whom you spend ten years tormenting and ignoring in emulation of your older brothers, died in a car wreck at the age of 16. Your mom left the world at 61 after fighting cancer since her 40s. Your dad is more interested in hanging out with old ladies he meets online than talking to you or his grandson. Your surviving older brother is all but completely estranged from you and your father. When you see your little boy, you see the tiny start of a new, precious flame that requires constant monitoring so that it isn’t snuffed out.

You aren’t even sure what the flame consists of. You have this sense of there being something important about retaining your humanity and dignity as it is connected to the earth. How disconnected are you today? You abandoned the seminary to return to the world of the office, technology, and people who are happy to avoid nature as much as possible. But, the flame is more about something else than becoming a tree hugger or a luddite.

Is the flame about retaining and maintaining a belief in the Christian God, in spite of how little you are like a true disciple of Christ, and how little most Christians really are, either? Perhaps, but it’s not completely a religious thing.

Is the flame your very soul? Are you, at the end of the day, hoping to build up some good karma by raising a child as well as you can? Are you considered about the corporate world and the suburban life consuming you to the point where your entire identity is swallowed up in the same bullshit preoccupations of most everyone else your generation seems happy to obsess over?

Is the flame the dreams that your parents had for you, that you had for yourself, that you now must pass on with the desperate hope that your own son won’t much up his adolescence and early adulthood the way that you did? But then–what are these dreams? A better life? Becoming famous, rich, etc.? Those are shallow dreams to have, and you know that this isn’t quite it, either.

Whatever the case may be, the fight every single day is against becoming so lacking in any hope that your professional life will get any better, will amount to anything more than just being a random office schlub of no account–one that nobody ever sees as being worthy of anything other than taking orders and carrying out their orders. Surely, there is still the grand possibility of waking up one morning and realizing that you are part of something much grander than an average career.

What are we talking about? Can we get more specific than: you’ll know it when you see it? Are all these human attempts at fame and fortune nothing but striving to keep a flame alive, as misguided as most of them appear to be?

The flame is the burning quest to know the Truth, and to know it with all bullshit pretension removed. You know in your heart of hearts that there is some type of objective reality that is more than what is out there or in here, but you aren’t sure of what it is. You know that most people give up, cash out, and gladly accept flame substitutes for the rest of their lives. Maybe the reason the movie the Secret has its appeal is that you know there must be a Secret of some kind, though you are yet left with skepticism that some kind of Law of Attraction is the ultimate Truth of what the Universe has to offer. After all, what if everyone woke up and started living according to the principles of the Law of Attraction? Would the Universe melt away into nothing at all? Would we all get to be billionaires? Or, would we all be billionaires, except, people like Gates and Buffet get to be worth a hundred billion times more than us, just like they are today?

The problem starts with expecting Truth to align with your own expectations of who you are. Truth is Truth, no matter what. How, who or what you identify with is part of a process you have started, and may or may not have much to do with who you ultimately are. To negate yourself, and say, “I’m enlightened because there really is no ego after all,” is merely another choice you have made to identify yourself with non-identity.

First, you have to clear any and all pieces of yourself which were made throughout this life in an effort to discover and/or form your true identity. You can’t declare, “I’m going to stop trying to force myself to be this or that, and just be,” only to find yourself just being someone or something you had previously tried to force yourself to be.

To declare “I am really and truly a woman” because there are so many culturally-defined stereotypes of who or what a man should be is to simply declare that you favor experience a series of culturally-defined stereotypes of who and what a woman should be. The same mistake is made with any other binary sort of approach to identity, where you declare that the only ways of being are this vs. that and you must be that since you don’t fit in with this. But, there may be binary realities or archetypes around the feminine and masculine, the materialistic and the spiritual, the lover of good vs. the lover of evil–however, when you try to impose poorly-formed culturally identities on top of these binary archetypes, you are simply shoehorning something that can never perfectly fit, and you end up never perfectly happy.

Of course, you could simply declare that you believe reality to be simply whatever you make of it…or, if it is actually more, then let reality show its True Self, and if it won’t, then why bother pursuing it? Why not simply declare who or what you shall be the rest of your life, and force yourself to be that individual no matter what? After all, what feels right may again be simply an older, learned pattern of behavior and no more “you” than some new “you” that you could strive to be.

We all know that you have attempted these things. You have tried to force yourself into a hippie-liberal box and a manly man box and an uber geek box. We know how far this has gotten you. You wake up one morning realizing that if you were going to live in one of these boxes, you should have started your box life a long time ago.

…and you are above all other things, a man.

What is this constant urge to utterly be the thing that you do? Why do you possess such angst over the fact that who you are is so disconnected from what you do for a living?

You have forgotten that at the end of the day you are but a man. The President is but a man. Every police officer, soldier, bank vice president, movie star and pop singer who bears a phallus and claims a male gender identity is but a man. At the end of the day, none of them hold any power other than the power that comes with being a man.

You want to believe that the echelons of power in this world are transmittable into the next existence. Even if you lean toward the atheistic in your thinking, you sense the need to live on through what you did, and what you did in this life determines how much power the artifacts of your work will hold over others after you are gone.

Except, you know that this isn’t true at all.

In this 3D + Time reality, all of those men mentioned in the second paragraph will at best be remembered well by the next generation or two, and then they will be nothing but Wikipedia entries and leave artifacts that nobody bothers to watch, listen to or read, because those artifacts say little about the times of the present.

In the higher planes of consciousness, almost everything a man achieves here on earth is utterly worthless and unimpressive. No accumulation of knowledge can match what a timeless being of perfect memory can know. No amount of physical power or psychical power held over others on this earth can match the spiritual power exuded by the deities of the Afterlife.

It is time to stop striving to be more than a man on this earth. It is time to stop stretching and reaching for the day in which you discover that your so-called calling is to be something other than a male human being.

…and you want to talk to someone about the gap.

Mention all of the blockage inside of you that prevents your energies from coming forth. Some of it consists of good filters, some bad, and these filters were placed there haphazardly by a scattershot childhood. Talk about how you need the feedback that never comes. Discuss the overabundance of the energies that simply have nowhere to go and get frustrated when they are blocked, or they get slapped down by a non-responsive world when they do come out.

You have a lot more control over the energies than you think you do, and you have access to quite a few more entities in the true Universe than you think you do.

The expectation when we made you into a human was that you would learn to better hone these energies into something focused and productive. You think your childhood was a scattershot training in self control? It was infinitely a better resource for teaching you self control than anything else we have to offer up here in the higher dimensions. You have scars, you have issues–you will get over it, we promise.

What we see from our vantage point is a soul fixated on particular aspects of his identity. He gets in touch with a feminine side, or to be more precise, the archetypal Feminine Soul that pervades the Universe, and he thinks he was meant to be a woman. Such distinctions are quite trivial from where we are. But, you can’t expire yourself to become one of us. You will greet us with your ping-pong self, and we will dump you back into an earthly body.

But, you want to take every single thought that’s leaped inside your head and either kill it, or lay it out there in front of a human who will give you his or her utmost attention, and help you analyze your thoughts from every angle. Your shrink was puzzled at such a desire. She wasn’t some Freudian couch analyst out of a Woody Allen movie, but a social worker trying to provide you with better strategies for coping with others.

You want to go about in states of altered consciousness, even if it’s just a slight booze or caffeine buzz that bumps up against being totally faded or totally wired. The default state of mind for your human self is completely unacceptable and impossible to deal with. You make your way down to a free outdoor concert in this hayseed Texas town. The people are oddly uniform, and perhaps unsurprisingly one dimensional. They are all operating along the same wavelength that they have created with each other, and they are happy with it.

Much the same could be said for people at a sporting event, or people inside the hip, young creative agency you used to work at in Austin. People call it culture, but that doesn’t seem to pinpoint this will toward resonating on a single wavelength with others. Culture for you evokes some tribe you examined in Anthropology class. Drums, tattoos, colorful clothes, drinking awful substances to commune with the gods–all imagery that seems but remotely related to the so-called cultures you’ve experienced over the past year.

What is your wavelength?

Perhaps you don’t have one, or your history of social maladjustment boils down your flat refusal to pick a wavelength, when so many other friends you knew seemed to instinctively re-tune themselves to one particular wavelength or another in high school–to maintain adherence to it for the rest of their lives.

You might mathematically derive some kind of equation of identity, and attempt to develop an aggregate of statistical data to determine which tribe is the best tribe for you. Or, you could just flatly refuse to identify with being human and the human condition, and completely thwart the efforts of your spirit guides. Like some people eventually conclude they were meant to be the opposite gender, perhaps you’ll just conclude that being a human was altogether not your thing. Maybe one day when humans have evolved to be completely free of the need to draw lines in the sand and kill whoever stands on the other side–maybe then you’ll return and claim the wavelength of these enlightened beings as one that resonates with you.

…still trying to parse the difference between awareness and identification.

Story of your life–you become aware of something like another person’s feelings, and before you know it, you identify with it wholeheartedly. Empathy taken into a negative territory. Destroy your identity matrices, your scaffoldings, that were built on this principle.

Ultimate goal of being/doing this–to please someone you look up to. This is, of course, death itself to winning at life. Especially if that person is a born loser. You stop the identification with the people around you. You can mildly adjust your behavior to get in sync with the leaders and the winners, but once you set out to please them like the most backboneless of sycophants, you’re dead.

You decided your major in college entirely based on how people would react to you telling them about it. Same with every other attempt to go back to school. So, you aren’t telling anyone about your next attempt, except for your wife. You don’t even want to tempt the risk of finding yourself living solely to please some random collection of friends on Facebook.

You become aware of how your self wants to take it easy, to not have a rigid, structured program of study, but you don’t identify with this part of your self, anymore, okay? That part of your self belonged to someone else, someone who is bent on destroying you, and not letting you see your way to success in this life.

Start thinking long and hard every time you lose yourself into a fragmented identity that isn’t you–how he/she starts to envelope you, and become you. Your entire personality becomes a vicious, judgemental one, an angry, self righteous one.

…a flip of the mind switch away from being someone else.

You don’t know how they do it, these completely realized humans. You could go from being the most intense meat-eating, UFC-loving dude’s dude to being a gushing fan of Broadway musicals, and not feel the least bit outside of your own element, your skin. One way of being is probably just as good as the next. Stripped down of the things most people carve out in their dens as love/hates, you aren’t even sure if you need to remain human. Flip that mind switch, and away you go to being some other kind of species or entity altogether.

You suspect that you are here in this world, this life, because someone up there wants you to learn the lessons of being a human man. The one who sent you down here likely doesn’t want you gushing over Broadway shows or growling over UFC competitions, but has a greater template of being for you to move into after you adjust your mind accordingly to fit the self that is being carved out in the world by others.

After all, while you can flip your mind switch to be whomever or whatever you want, the crush of consciousnesses that grind upon your external persona each day have certain expectations of who and how you should be. When you don’t live up to those expectations, you clearly lose out in life. Whether you like it or not, the external environment is shaping you and changing you, even as you try to adjust yourself to meet it each day with the least amount of friction possible.

Your strategy for reducing this friction used to be a “live and let live” philosophy, a general sense of “it’s all good and relative.” But then, you kept bumping up against ferociously critical personalities that incessantly demanded that you come out of your laid back shell, and have keen opinions on every last little thing.

You became a bitter, hypercritical sort of creature, and it took several years for you to realize that reducing friction by becoming so abrasive that you scare everyone away was not really a great sort of life philosophy, either.

What lies now in the wreckage of all this is a kind of functional persona that gets by in the outside world most days, and a restless, yearning persona that waits and watches from a distance for the right opportunity to spring forth and unleash all the glory and awfulness that is truly you.