Mystery of Self

by joelmckerrow


While I’ve been listening to the anthem of DC, freedom and the price of freedom (as reflected on by Joel in the last blog), I have been reading John O’Donohue’s reflections on our fear of freedom. He says, ‘We find it (freedom) awkward and disturbing. Freedom challenges us to awaken and realise all the possibilities that sleep in the clay of our hearts.’ He speaks of a freedom within yourself. To be free of your own self definitions, to explore beyond your known self, to sit comfortably with your own infinite potential.

To attain this freedom we must give up our reduced identity and fight against any one fixed image of ourselves. The challenge is to unfurl our arms to embrace the mystery,a longing and continual unfolding of your own being. ‘The self is not an object or a fixed point of reference. It is a diverse inner landscape too rich to be grasped in anyone concept.’

Having removed myself from many of our standard social definitions of self (address, occupation, etc) it is easier now to see how we allow these things to define our souls beyond what is reasonable. The challenge is to allow the things we do, the things we’ve done, our heritage and experience to be part of us but to recognise they are only part. We are larger than we realise. I have longings and dreams now that are so very foreign to the dreams I had as a 10yr old. We must nurture our own mystery, actively encourage our souls to grow beyond our minds comprehension. To embrace mystery and diminish our fear of freedom. I’ll leave you with an exert from John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.

When we domesticate our minds and hearts, we reduce our lives. We disinherit ourselves as children of the universe. Almost without knowing it, we slip inside ready-made roles and routines which then set the frames of our possibilities and permissions. Our longing becomes streamlined. We acquire sets of convictions in relation to politics, religion and work. We parrot these back and forth at each other as if they were absolute insights. Yet for the most part these frames of belief can be viewed as self-constructed barriers, fragile cliches built around our lives to keep out the mystery.