Let’s introduce a concept of the self that will help support our identity as Intelligent Awareness. Think of your self as everything you have ever become aware of. Imagine it as a personal set of information.
From the day we are born, people interact with us and give us a variety of information. They point to things, name and describe them. This is how we have come to know everything around us. We receive this information, store it, process and act on it. The outcomes generated from this mix expand and evolve our personal set of data.
Identity Re-positioning™ asks us to imagine our personal ‘self’ as a set of information. It’s like a database that keeps expanding everyday.
If our self retained only intellectual information, like words and images, then things would be somewhat easy to manage. But it also contains emotional information. This adds a dimension of power to our personal experiences. We are not just dealing with what we know, but also how we feel about what we know.
We interact with the world through our self and as we do we experience constant change. We receive and express data. We update and revise our personal set of information. We follow trains of thought and are often pulled into reactions by the power of emotion. This wide variety of change can be overwhelming at times.
Imagine yourself like an open book with blank pages. As more and more descriptions are written in it, your set of data grows. At first, your story is directed by the adults surrounding you but as we get older we decide how it unfolds. Our tale, this personal set of information, becomes more intricate and diverse. It becomes one of a kind and very rare.
Like snowflakes, no two selves are identical.
Each self is extremely valuable because it adds variety to the library of humanity. Your story joins all of ours and sparks the imagination of anyone who witnesses it. In this way we each play an equally important and vital role in renewing this great big world of selves that everyone interacts with. As you change, the world changes!
At this point you have been presented with a conception of your ‘self’ as being something different than the real you that never changes.
Can you visualize your ‘self’ as a unique set of information revolving around an Intelligent Awareness?
Your set of information is different from everyone else’s. You bring a unique new perspective through your personal descriptions, practices and ideas. You deliver these to your families, your friends, your community, to all of us – the world! You are awesome, you are special, you make a difference. We all do! And knowing this you can easily see that everyone you encounter is valuable and has something to offer too – just like you.
Having a self is a necessity for us all. We use it to make sense of the world. We become aware of and collect information through sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. These 5 senses gather data; BIG data. Your self is a set of data so large that it can be overwhelming at times and a challenge to filter through, process and file.
All the data collected becomes personal to your self. The data I collect is stored in mine, the data you collect becomes part of yours. Your self stores information. How much information can it hold? Tons!
An article in Scientific American, June 2010, compares our self’s storage capacity to computer memory. It states “memory storage of the human brain is around a million gigabytes. For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, a million gigabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.”
The information we store is used for processing. This means we retrieve, transform or classify each bit of data. We analyze it, interpret it and often reassemble it in new ways. We use the data to make decisions and take actions. Your self manages data.
Identity Re-positioning presents a concept of the self as an information system (and a vehicle to interact with the world.) Our self is something we have, not who we are.
Your self, apart from your identity as an Intelligent Awareness, is the mechanism for which you develop, house and emit a personal contribution to the world.
The primary purpose of your ‘self’ is to collect, store, process and express new information. In order for this to work, each self must exist apart from all others. This separation makes our diversity possible- and with diversity we move forward as a species.
Although our separation is helpful to distinguish us from others, it’s also one reason why we feel so alone and different most of the time. Everyone senses this separation. Everyone knows the loneliness you feel. But remember, we were born to be different, and our differences make each of us incredibly special. There is nothing more powerful for building self-worth then knowing that your personal self is extremely rare. It’s one of a kind. You are a true original.
The decisions we make and the actions we take constantly create information. Our individual expressions go into the world as new sets of descriptions and new points of view. Collectively, our stories are called History. This means that all people combine to express, collect, store, process and generate all the information that is known to mankind.
Most good ideas are simple. By describing the self as a unique set of information designed to bring newness to the world, we can recognize it as distinctly different from the identity in us that is intelligent and aware.
Why should we surrender our ‘identity as a self’ for identifying as an Intelligent Awareness? In the next lesson we’ll consider some of the reasons.