It’s likely that you’ve heard of the id, ego, and superego, which are the 3 parts of the self according to Sigmund Freud’s idea of the psyche. In a range of situations, we refer to the self as the ‘ego’, the one who makes the decisions and acts on the influences of the id and superego. When reflecting on conflict and desire, the majority will look at their situation  from the context of psychoanalysis. I’m here to say that this isn’t an accurate representation of the self, that it actually creates more conflict within the self.

In Sanatana Hindu Dharma, there exists the atma, which is the soul that experiences itself. This atma, in order to reach moksha (liberation), must go through the experiences of life to attain atma jnana (knowledge of the self.) Throughout the atma’s experience of life, many phenomena and events occur, which are given labels as obstacles, traumatic experiences, problems, benchmarks, rites of passage, and so on.

In the minds of the mass, experiences are taken personally, which results in one’s decision to associate the event with the self. Powerful, emotional events such as experiencing punishment and reward, receiving and losing love, experiencing fear and embarrassment from a speech or public event, and death, become ingrained in the mine of the individual. Over decades, the individual is no longer shaped by the event itself but by the memory of the event, which the individual accesses and acts on in a situation. Overtime, internal conflicts arise concerning with wealth, relationships, time management, ambition and so on because of such strong associations with past events. It is this association that prevents the masses from reaching the origin state of moksha, which many people call enlightenment.

You are not the experience.

You are not the sum of the experiences you go through.

None of the experiences in your life are connected.

It’s you who creates the association and pattern.