The Super-Sized Self
By Robert Rabbin
I periodically send out new writings to people on my e-mail list. I usually get a number of responses. There is one person, a friend and colleague, who says virtually the same thing every time he writes. He is an old haiku poet, and he particularly enjoys my Sound Bites, which are prose poems of not more than 200 words, and based on a central image. He writes, “Robert, this is great stuff. Please thank whoever it is that comes through you when you write this. And thank you for being willing to get out of the way.”
I always laugh. And then I write back, virtually the same thing every time, “As you requested, I thanked who comes through me when I write, and it turns out that who comes through me is me! I don't even have to get out of the way, since it's just me.” I suppose I should be more gracious, but I can't resist. I don't hear from him for a number of months. Then he'll write again, same thing. I write back, same thing. We've been doing this little dance for a couple of years now.
I think my friend's attitude is often shared by people on spiritual paths, as well as by creative people, like artists, writers, and musicians. We don't like to take credit for "creative" monsoons, for eruptions of inspiration that seem beyond our doing and control. We affect a kind of humility, almost a superstition, in the face of this creative process. We even name it. Out here in California, it's called channeling, which refers to this phenomenon of having some kind of creative expression come through you that is attributed to someone else: God, consciousness, angels, guides, astral entities, ten thousand-year-old Celtic warriors, or who-knows-what.
My friend's attitude represents a critical error in self-imaging, especially for people who are interested in awakening, in freedom, in living from the true self. The mistake is in thinking that we are different from the creative power that comes through us. What comes through us is us! If we don't see this, then we will continue to live in poverty, with limited resources, thinking we are only this body, this mind, this personality. We will continue to think that we are a kind of mannequin in a store window who can only be enlivened every so often by the grace of a window designer.
What comes through us is us.
A book came out a few years ago, called Children's Letters to God. One little girl wrote, “Dear God: Who draws the lines around the countries?” I just love that. Isn't that a wonderful question? Who does draw the lines around the countries? Who draws the lines around Finland and Belgium and Monaco? Who makes San Marino, a tiny republic in the midst of Italy, and who makes Antarctica? What would happen if we didn't draw any more lines? Talk about a melting pot!
Let's apply that question to our lives and ask, “Who draws the lines around the countries of our own identity, the countries whose boundaries we believe in?”
We do. No one else. We are the cartographers who have drawn up a map of our world. We have drawn the line around our own little country here, the country of our body and mind; while over there, across some galactic distance, is God, a vast and powerful country that sometimes sends ambassadors to our puny little country. They don't stay long though; they have to hurry back to their own country. They just stop by to shout some incredibly wise thing and then rush off.
Isn't this ridiculous?
No, this re-design of the map of our own identity does not lead to arrogance, egomania, or delusional messianic impulses to enslave others.
It simply allows the resevoir of our heart to fill and overflow with love and kindness from the unending wellspring of our super-size Self.
Robert Rabbin is a San Francisco-based writer and speaker. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the founder of RealTime Speaking, an online hub of global spiritual activism. For more more information, please visit http://www.robertrabbin.com
Copyright © 2005 Robert Rabbin, All Rights Reserved