Continuing the conversation about fooling ourselves, it is important to remember: we are not our physical body, we are not our thinking, we are not our feelings. Sometimes we forget this. But to legitimately have serenity, power, and freedom in life, we must not only know this truth, we must live from it as well. J Krishnamurti, in his book At the Feet of the Master does a beautiful job of explaining (emphasis added):
Do not mistake your bodies for yourself – neither the physical body, nor the astral, nor the mental. Each one of them will pretend to be the Self, in order to gain what it wants. But you must know them all, and know yourself as their master.
When there is work that must be done, the physical body will want to rest, to go out walking, to eat and drink; and the man who does not know says to himself: “I want to do these things and I must do them.” But the man who knows says: “This that wants is not I, and it must wait a while.” […]
The astral body has its desires – dozens of them; it wants you to be angry, to say sharp words, to feel jealous, to be greedy for money, to envy other people their possessions, to yield yourself to depression. All these things it wants and many more, not because it wishes to harm you, but because it likes violent vibrations, and likes to change them constantly. But you want none of these things, and therefore you must discriminate between your wants and your astral body’s.
Your mental body wishes to think itself proudly separate, to seek much of itself and little of others. Even when you have turned away from worldly things, it still tries to calculate for self, to make you think of your own progress, instead of thinking of the Master’s work and of serving the Greater Good. When you meditate, it will try to make you think of the many different things which it wants instead of the one thing which you want. You are not this mind, but it is yours to use; so here again discrimination is necessary. You must watch unceasingly, or you will fail.
Between right and wrong, right living knows no compromise. At whatever apparent cost, that which is right you must do, that which is wrong you must not do, no matter what.
These are powerful words! We are not the physical body, nor the astral (emotional), nor the mental. They will lead us astray if we let them. We must be vigilant, and we must do that which is right, which is living from truth. To do this, we must know our Highest Self.
Many people feel a strong sense of restlessness these days, not quite sure which way to go. Perhaps this is the soul’s urge – Divine Discontent – asking us to look internally for a connection to our inner knowing. Life today is more intense than ever before, causing anxiety, impatience, and agitation. The strength to overcome this intensity lies in the connection with the true Self, not the bodies we might think of as ourselves.