Human beings are convinced that the limited world their own thoughts reveal is the only world there is -- and that this world holds the only possibilities there are -- and so they spend the predominant part of their earthly lives being washed back and forth within the confined space between their past memories and future hopes. And the "reality" of this, their tiny thought world, goes on virtually unquestioned because contained within it are packed loads of secretly self-circling emotions like fear, sadness, anger, and false excitements; strong -- but empty -- feelings that provide lots of ups and downs, but that actually go nowhere. All that can happen herein is that the spiral of their lives shrinks. The smaller their world becomes, which under law it must, the more unhappy they become. In their unaware state, these men and women do not understand that their sadness and stress belong only to the small world they have mistakenly called their home, and nothing else.
There is so much more for each of us to experience than the closed world reported to us by our limited senses and habitual thoughts. Everywhere Reality's messages flash like shooting stars to lead us outside of ourselves and our self-imposed isolation. When a rare individual responds to those messages, and feels their pull, this is the beginning of the wonderful process of inner change and the breaking down of every inner wall. Since you are now reading this, you have probably felt this pull. You, too, sense that you are not inwardly free, and you want to experience that expansive life you are meant to enjoy.
How do we achieve this life liberation? The key to the entire process is contained in self-study.
"Know thyself" is perhaps the oldest, wisest, deepest, and most succinct spiritual instruction ever given. In fact, it is our nature to know ourselves. To one degree or another, each of us is born with the inner longing to seek out and to discover our true essence. However, almost from the very beginning of our young lives our efforts are misdirected. Our hopes and aspirations for meaningful answers are placed outside of us. So, instead of pursuing the "pearl of great price" lying within us, we wind up pursuing people, places, and things that we hope will finally be able to reveal to us just who we are. Yet, no acquisition, or any sense of self its pursuit may provide, brings us that permanent sense of self we desire. It cannot, for that outer world, by its very nature, is nothing but continuous change. This is why, if we want to find ourselves, there is no substitute for self-study.
Self-study is what leads to coming to know ourselves as we truly are. It is the only way we become familiar with the thought self in its many fleeting forms. Self-study is how we begin empowering ourselves not to just automatically go where every sense of self would lead us. As a higher benefit, our self-study allows us to hear and heed that still small voice within us which not only corrects our life course, but connects us to ever higher and happier experiences along the way.