In keeping in line with the Mind-Body topics that will be discussed here from time to time, it is important to spend a segment on talking about some of the inter and intra personal challenges that many of us face on the path to healthy eating, new understandings of ourselves and how to proceed in a positive manner in a society that is structured on us staying in line and keeping the status quo. The reason why this is presented as a ‘challenge’ and not a ‘problem’ per se is due to the fact that if the person is sincere in their approach to embracing a Holistic lifestyle, they will succeed in that ‘challenge’ all for the better in an instant or in due time.
The reality is that once any one of us decides to make a change in our lives for the better, many times we are confronted with the aspect of “Who are We?” and “What is this “I” that I have been basing my life on for all these years?” “Am I living to what other people think I should be? Or am I living a Lie. At a Falsehood to myself?” In the concept of Holistic Nutrition, as we said before, it isn’t only what we eat that pushes us towards the better part of ourselves (all the while it is important) but is also what we think, what we perceive and what we internalize mentally. The total sum of the Positive aspect of this in Tasawuuf is what is known as the “Essential Self” in mindfulness terms. However before reaching and understanding this “Essential Self” many if not all of us come face to face with what is known as the False Self. While many will find it easy to adopt a life style of healthy eating and exercise, the False Self never tires of creating imbalance, heart ache and turmoil in our lives; many times based on things that are illusionary and whimsical in the first place.
As we know the Vital Life Force is that energy that can be tapped into and felt at our inner-most core at any time we wish. It is Positive and makes us feel better at the thought of it. What is a challenge to feeling this pleasure even after healthy eating and changes have been made? It is the persistent nagging of the False Self; it enslaves us makes us feel divided and ultimately leaves us to feel artificial to the person who matters most: The Person In Question.
I read this book 20 years ago when it first came out. However reading this book again 20 years later it registers and clicks even more because it can be linked up with actual life events that happened. In his book: Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness and the Essential Self, Kabir Helminski explains that the False Self is the identity that is Fearful, Constricted and Impulsive. Which ultimately leads to pain in the body, heaviness and the end result is disease as the outcome. Whereas the Essential Self is Compassionate, Expansive and Free. All of which allow positive energy to flow, which causes peaceful sensations in the body which fights off disease. The Conscious Mind (ego) and the Sub-Conscious mind are at the crux of it and balancing this has been the challenge for most of Mankind since the beginning. Keeping all of these in balance is absolutely vital to our health and nutrition.
About the False Self, Helminski states:
“The personality is our superficial identity (false self), our learned behavior and attitudes; it is tied to the conditions of outer life, to disapproval, like and dislike, praise and blame. We are working so that this essence which can truly say “I am,” may come forward in the midst of life.”
Getting stuck in this mode, blocks our Vital Life Force, which is connected to the core source of our good health and nutrition.
About The Essential Self and the Vital Life force he stated:
“On the vegetative level or vital life this capacity for interaction increases. Vital life allows matter to take part in a much greater and more spontaneous interchange: sun, water, and minerals combine to form a rose in bloom. Vegetable and animal life come into existence and are maintained by vital energies.”
This is the ultimate end goal of the Vital Life Force: to maintain your energy that is spontaneous and healthy. For many people, the mental barrier is the one that sets us back the most when it comes to our full potential in life. Even if the body is healthy and the mind is not, pain and discomfort will more often than not find it’s way back into our lives. It is for these reasons we MUST confront our False Selves; we all have them. When we embrace it and begin to work on the things that are hidden from the people we know, progress will begin to show and the Vital Life Force will be at its highest in our lives. The good news is that every day is another chance to work on it, to reveal it and to deal with it. It is as Vital to the mind as healthy eating is to the body. To your health.
Daud Scott- CHNP.