The focus of the Winter 2011 issue of the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy (ASP) Newsletter is: Can I change my personality or am I stuck? It's an apt question for both spirituality and psychotherapy, since both domains speak to change and transformation. At the same time, though, spirituality and psychotherapy have sharply different takes on stuckness and change. The central issue in this divide is how each conceives "who am I?"
Here are my thoughts:
But change speaks to the future. That's where change or becoming will happen. It's the belief that the real me is not here but there--somewhere in the future. This view exposes the illusion of change. As spiritual master Tich Nhat Hanh expresses it:
"Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life."
Self-Inquiry reveals another dimension of the problem by posing the question, "Who is seeking change?" If I am seeking to change my personality, then the I subjective state of being is looking at an object called my personality. Creating a new or changed personality, if successful, will generate a new or altered object that will have the same basic limitations of the old personality: they are both inert conceptual objects that the state of being falsely identifies with as ME.
So let's dedicate ourselves not to change but to residing in our true nature--the original factory installed state of being.
Note: In my book (see below), Escape Your Own Prison: Why We Need Spirituality and Psychology to be Truly Free , Chapters Two and Three ("Who Am I" and "I/Me/Ego--Personal and Impersonal") explore the subject of change in greater depth with numerous real life examples.
Also, click here to see free Mooji video Santsangs.
Bernard Starr on YouTube:
Rita Satz interviews Dr. Bernard Starr on "How Seniors Can Save American Education--And the Economy."
Interview with Constitutional Litigation Attorney Frank Askin on the legality of the war in Iraq
George Stoney: A Life In Film
Produced and directed by Bernard Starr and Rita Satz