At the present moment in human history, almost every individual has lost the awareness of its real or true self. This has happened very gradually as each individual has progressed in its journey of birth-rebirth and has kept on attaching itself to various different things and as a result losing its sense of self in things that it is not i.e. identifying with things that it is not. In a way it can be said that this took the self far away from itself.
This personal, internal identity crisis has led to a universal, external identity crisis, which has resulted in an emotional crisis resulting in peacelessness and sorrow in our inner world as well as in the outer world.
This inner identity crisis is the root cause of the multitude of deformed emotions that exist inside us like anger, ego, lust, fear, comparison with others, greed, hatred, low self-esteem, dependencies etc. all of which have brought us and keep on bringing us pain.
We explain this with an example–suppose you have just constructed a new apartment. While making it and once its ready and you are using it, you have become excessively attached to it i.e. you have started identifying with it. Due to this false identification, the first emotion that gets created inside you is ego. If someone were to criticize the apartment even slightly, you would react immediately with anger. You constantly fear any sort of harm to the apartment. You even compare it with apartments that others possess. You also start looking down at people whose apartment is not as good as yours i.e. you create emotions of hatred for them.
If something negative were to happen it, it affects your mental state immediately i.e. your happiness has become dependent on the material possession. Your temporary success along with the recognition that it brings you from others leads to the desire of more success of a similar type i.e. possess some more things – bigger and better, which is nothing but greed etc.
So how do we resolve this internal and external turmoil? There is an original, beautiful self, with characteristics of peace, love and happiness that exists within each one of us, the self from which we have been distanced since a very long time.
The seed of all these incorrect emotions is my over-identification with this newly acquired possession. All of these wouldn’t exist inside me, if my relationship with was one of detachment with it. In this way, we identify with various objects and people in the whole day, which leads to the creation of such emotions inside us.
So how do we resolve this internal and external turmoil? There is an original, beautiful self, with characteristics of peace, love and happiness that exists within each one of us, the self from which we have been distanced since a very long time. This is a centre full of the spiritual resources of all virtues and powers. Reaching it is a journey of only one second and no distance. By identifying with this inner centre, a centre which is imperishable, unchangeable, constant and even eternal, my self-identity becomes strong and stable, as compared to many false identities based on external realities like position, wealth and material possessions which are all perishable and subject to various ups and downs even in one single day, and if we over identify with them, we are bound to experience constant pain and discontentment.
This process of true self-identification is not a renunciation or avoidance of the way the outer world is but it is a healing process for your inner world. It is an internal correction process of identification, whereby you rediscover your true self as a complete being full of positive emotions that you always were and you start identifying with it, doing which very easily helps you let go of the wrong identifications. This process is commonly called meditation, the foundation of which is spiritual wisdom. Once this inner work is done, the outer world starts taking the shape of a reflection of that. Resolving the identity crisis first changes the way our internal and external world looks to us, as a result changing the way it works.