Our sense of being separate arises historically with a loss of a sense of the divine. We respond in fear by grasping at what is still known. This grasping creates a sense of separate identity leading to the me-sense.
Because fear and our individuality then dominates our sense of self, the mind makes stories to feel more secure and “in control”. It then filters all the incoming information, rejecting what doesn’t align with the story and magnifying what does.
We thus feel safe, justified, and right.
But all of this is validated by external circumstances. We use appearances to validate ourselves, anchoring our happiness in the field of change. Missing the truth of who we are, we are buffeted by the winds of life.
Appearances then gain more importance. People skilled at pretending to be what they’re not (actors) become our heroes.
We can illustrate this with love. The love that most of the radio songs moan about is a conditional, needs-based emotion, seeking external self-validation. The 5 Love Languages illustrate this.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking to meet our needs. The error is in founding them in the field of change. The world will change, our needs will cease being met, and we’ll once again be frustrated. The radio is filled with lost love songs.
The much higher Love is internal and arises from divine flow. It is unconditional and universal. It overflows into whoever we give our attention.
This higher Love arises naturally as our connection to the divine blossoms. And that arises when we discover who we are within, beneath the field of change. We learn inner validation rather than outer.
This doesn’t mean we don’t need teachers or that external validation isn’t still useful. Practical matters require practical means. But if your self-sense is grounded in eternal being, you are the rock around which the world swirls. We don’t need what is outside of ourselves to know who we are.
Weapons cannot cleave him, nor fire burn him;
water cannot wet him, nor the wind dry him away.
He is uncleavable; he cannot be burned,
he cannot be wetted, nor can he be dried.
He is eternal, all-pervading, stable, immovable, ever the same.
Bhagavad Gita Ch2 v23-4
The Self is beyond the 5 elements. On that platform, the world is a pleasure to be enjoyed and life a rich unfolding of possibility.