For a long time, the western world has been familiar with the word doing and the word being has been something that the people in the east were familiar with. And this has gradually changed in the west, with people becoming more aware of these eastern approaches and vice versa.
Stereotypically, being is often seen as coming from somewhere like India and meditation is an example of this and doing can be seen as very western and include the desire to achieve or to be a success.
However, with these often cited origins aside, being and doing represents the two sides that a human being has. But, due how important doing has become, it has meant that being is generally ignored and dismissed.
From this place, one just is and this means that one will be aware of their thoughts, sensations and feelings. Here one can simply be with them, without needing to do anything about them.
They are in touch with who they are and their true nature; with the understanding that who they are, is not defined by what they do or what they achieve, but by being who they are.
To feel accepted or approved of is something that is at their core and not something they have to gain by doing anything or pleasing anyone.
From this inner connection and attunement that being creates, one does things that are in alignment with who they are. This inner connection allows one to act in ways that are fulfilling and based on their own truth.
One will often do things because they find them enjoyable per se and not because they are looking for external reward or recognition. It’s as if their actions are a result of life expressing itself through them.
This is the world of the true self and not what is often classed as the pseudo self – the ego.
The Real World
To some people, the above descriptions will sound like some kind of theory or fantasy. And when compared with what the western world is generally like, it would be hard to disagree. From the moment one is born, they are trained in the art of doing.
By doing what ones caregivers want, one will be accepted, approved or and loved. And after this has gone on for a number of years, one will go into an education system that has the same approach.
After doing the right things to gain the right grades and awards, one will then go out into a society that continues where the education system left off.
At a deeper level, one can come to the conclusion that their whole identity is gained through doing and that they can only be liked through doing. And this is in direct conflict with ones true nature.
Through years of being conditioned this way, it can mean that one has become enslaved to their ego and then their life will be defined by it. So this will be the life of extroversion and looking without.
And due to one not being accepted for who they and only what they do, it will mean that unless one matures their ego and allows their true self to appear; it will not lead to true fulfilment.
In the short term, one may well feel approved of or accepted by others, but this will always pale in comparison to one living their own truth and being who they are.
And while action is an important element to life, if it is coming from a need to please others or because one feels unhappy within; it is unlikely to reflect what one truly wants or needs.
So what this could lead to is one taking actions that are nothing more than distractions and ways to avoid ones true self. But, if one has only known this way, it can seem normal and the right thing to do.
The ego mind will use all kinds defence mechanisms in order to avoid facing itself and this will often be aided through doing things. The inner pain that one feels can then be regulated through doing. To simply be, will often be too painful for one to do at first.
However, like most things in life, it will take time. As one becomes more comfortable in who they are and doesn’t need to do anything, it will become easier.
And then the actions that one takes will be more meaningful and relate to ones true purpose; as opposed to doing something for the sake of it or out of habit.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.