Here’s a quick recap of some of the symptoms of self-alienation: not relating to ourselves or other people as we truly are; not living from a core of real strength; identifying with a fake version of who we are; relying on public opinion rather than our own convictions; operating from our defenses that we have built into fortresses over many years of diligent effort.

The upshot of all this is that we end up held back from living by the sheer result of feeling tired and apathetic. We then feel angry and guilty for what looks to be laziness. This laziness, lo and behold, is but another symptom of our self-alienation.

Compulsive over-activity is a precarious remedy and it’s not a shade better than being lazy.
Compulsive over-activity is a precarious remedy and it’s not a shade better than being lazy.

We think that being lazy is a garden-variety fault. But we need to look deeper. It’s not something we can command away with our sheer will. But it can be tackled by taking on self-alienation. Because when we’re anchored in the center of our being, we will not be lazy. We will not feel apathetic. We won’t want to remain idle. We’ll savor our rest and relaxation, but that’s not the same as being lazy. We’ll have a zest for entering the full flow of life every day. Energies will replenish and regenerate themselves.

This is not an age-related thing either. No, in reality, losing energy is not natural. True, young people have a certain energy store that spends itself regardless of countless obstructions. But once that’s gone, it’s gone, and self-alienation then creates road blocks for regenerating more energy. So indeed, our energy seems to wane with age, but age is not the cause of this problem. Thinking this way further seals the door shut, misguided as so many are by this illusion.

How about compulsive over-activity? How does that fit in? It comes from the same root as energy loss and is just a different tack. It’s a fight against laziness that misses the target. Since we don’t understand the source of the problem, we disapprove of one of its symptoms, laziness, and attack that. This is a precarious remedy and it’s not a shade better than being lazy. The root here is identical. Overactive people, in fact, will have a nostalgic desire to do nothing.

The only real way to unfold our destiny is to find the activity that is in itself meaningful to us, so we are at one with it. This is something to strive for, but in reality, there isn’t a human alive who doesn’t operate from pretenses on some level. When we become aware of how we ourselves do this, we have a key we need for becoming aware of our real self.

Finding Gold: The Search for Our Own Precious Self

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