The real me is beyond jeans and genes

Being influenced by our superficial culture we often evaluate others based on externals. We may similarly evaluate ourselves too, imagining, say, that we are lovable only when we wear flashy jeans.

If a culture ties our self-worth to something so peripheral and changeable and losable as a dress, then how much worth is it actually offering to our self?

Very little.

We esteem a shadow-self that a change in fashions or fortunes can distort or destroy.

No wonder self-esteem is so scarce nowadays. We esteem a shadow-self that a change in fashions or fortunes can distort or destroy.

Some of us may esteem another shadow-self: our blood. We may let our birth-dynasty determine our self-worth. Or the culture may pin us down to our birth, as it regrettably in caste-conscious India and color-conscious America.

Today we recoil at such discrimination, but we unwittingly hold on to the underlying bodily misidentification. Scientific materialism, today’s prevalent philosophy, pins our identity to our genes. But monozygotic twins – twins who being born from the same zygote have identical genes – still have distinct personalities. As their upbringing is very similar, their significant differences can’t be attributed to the environment either. Clearly, the essence of our personality is trans-genetic.

Here’s a thought-exercise to grasp this. Suppose we discovered that our parents had adopted us from some unknown family. Would that change who we were essentially? Sure, it would change a lot about us, but it wouldn’t change us.

Our core – the person beyond jeans and genes – is the soul. The Bhagavad-gita (02.25) declares that the soul is indestructible. As souls, we are beloved parts of Krishna. He has always loved us, even when we had no jeans and no genes. And he will always love us, whatever we may have or not have. When we base our self-worth on our loving bond with him, then our self-esteem becomes, like our self, indestructible.

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Decrease the perception of effort and increase the anticipation of reward by intellectual conviction
An intruder inside us is an intruder still
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3 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna dear prji
    Pamho. Agtsp. In the example of monozygotic twins You have quoted if one is of cruel nature and one is of loving nature does this mean the soul of one has a cruel personality. Isn’t the cruelty due to Ajnana obscuring the pure soul as in chapter 5.
    Ys
    Subash

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  2. thought-exercise is really thought-provoking and interesting!

    Thanks.

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