Reader Question: How do I stop clinging to my personal self?

Words and image design by Brian Thompson.

Reader Question:

How can I loosen the love-affair I have with the personal self? I cling to my selfhood that seems to be defined by my egoic mind and body.


Consciousness is your sense of I Am. It is all-pervading. All that you ever know is consciousness; there is nothing that can be perceived outside of it, as it is all there is.

You are consciousness—so, despite what you might think, you don’t appear in consciousness whatsoever.

However, the personal self you imagine yourself to be, to which you seem to be clinging, is an appearance within consciousness.

The ego appears to you, consciousness, but you remain free of it—no matter how convincing and real its projections seem.

As such, the ego-self is nothing but an impermanent phenomenal appearance—a false appearance created by the mind.

The solution is to stop feeding it with the power of your belief. No longer participate in the ego's projections. No longer react to whatever the mind suggests—it apparently cannot be trusted. No longer allow yourself to take part in its inner-narrative, dialogue, and continual back-and-forth debate with itself.

The illusion of the personal self has an appearance of continuity, but only because you haven’t questioned the stream of thought which perpetuates it.

Inquire into your true nature. Investigate your very own presence of being, here and now.

Who is this "I" that you refer to, that is in love with its perceived selfhood?

Is there two of you? Is there an "I" and also a self? Are they separate from one another?

Who is looking at whom? Who is looking at what?

And, Who is asking? To whom do these thoughts come?

When you feel distracted, disappointed, confused, or fed up with your "self", practice this line of self-inquiry.

Investigate the suchness of how you are experiencing this very moment.

Who is experiencing what?

Rid yourself of unconscious confusion.

You exist. You are aware. Therefore, you know that You Are. Of this, you are certain.

Everything else is a conceptual appearance arising within this empty presence of I Am. Everything else is an emanation from the mind—including the personal self with whom you believe you are having a love affair.

And this is the source of all your suffering and dissatisfaction—you are in love with something that doesn't exist. There is nothing there. It is an unrequited love.

Sensations arise within the empty presence of I Am, but you remain free of them all.

No longer be lost in falsely identifying with that which you are not. Identify only with what you truly are, Pure Presence.

Know yourself as the empty presence of Awareness in which all thoughts, beliefs, opinions, sensations, experiences, and observations appear—but realize that none of them has anything to do with you.

Let go of the mind's objections and reactions. You, consciousness, are free of them. You are nothing but their invisible, selfless witness.

Let the mind and its thoughts simply dissolve into your nothingness.

Relax into your effortless Self of Absolute Awareness. Be what you naturally are.

The world appears to you, as you. You are one with everything—including this dream that is your very own conscious projection.

The world is as you are.

Focus only on yourself—Pure Presence, Absolute Awareness, Universal Consciousnes—and not on anything that happens to appear.

Continually remind yourself of your only truth—I AM.

And when you seem to have forgotten yourself or have been swept away by the world of duality which the ego dreams, ask yourself, Who Am I? Who feels this?

To whom do these thoughts appear?

Consciousness is the I. There is only one. There is no other.

Your I Am is my I Am—we all share the same Universal Self.