September 14, 2007

Days of Awe: Authenticity

Rabbi Susya said, a short while before his death, "In the world to come, I shall not be asked, 'Why were you not Moses?' I shall be asked, 'Why were you not Susya?'" —Martin Buber

Many of the prayers of the Jewish High Holy Days speak to the nullification of the ego-self, so that we can align more deeply with, and be a channel for, the expression of "divine will," or our true nature: who we are without our story, in essence.

What stories of "you"—the stories that typically begin with the words, "I need," "I want," "I shouldn't," "they should," "I'll never," "I don't ever want to"—keep you from your true nature? We can know this is happening because each type of statement above creates a separation from, and an argument with, what is, and this separation causes us to suffer. "What is" is also who we are, as we are: entirely good enough, in the parallel universe of peace. If not, then God is punishing us, therefore we must have done something wrong, therefore we are flawed, therefore God's perfect creation isn't perfect. Believing this is the source of our insanity.

These beautiful holidays exhort us to be our true self: not Moses, not Jesus, not Buddha, not Elvis, not Mother Teresa, not Martin Buber, not Byron Katie. That which we admire in them, we are already. If I can just be authentic, there is no more seeking.

So why am I pretending I am not Carol, the authentic Carol as opposed to the Carol of my beliefs? Is this one that I think I am even remotely real?

When I ask this question, and sincerely answer, I can't find the story of Carol to be true. How and why am I not true to myself? That's part of the answer to question three of The Work, "How do you react when you believe that thought? What happens?" What happens is, Carol forgets who she is and gets into all sorts of trouble...which, fortunately, isn't trouble at all. Have you noticed this as well?

In these days of awe, we look back on what is not: we transgressed in the story of the past, which is over. We seek forgiveness for an imaginary being, not for the one we are in the moment we seek forgiveness. It is already healed; we just don't realize it yet. In each moment, there is an opportunity to know who we are. That is the forgiveness.

The present moment is nothing if not forgiving, because there is nothing prior to it, nothing coming down the pike. Forgiveness is already here, because, as Katie says, "Forgiveness is realizing that what you thought happened, didn't."

The good news is, we can't be anything other than who we really are. God, reality, knows this; the universe needs no beseeching. All is forgiven in the moment of recognition.

May all be inscribed in your Book of Life for a beautiful year/beautiful mind.


©2007 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.


Marianne said...

happy new year, love!

Do you know that your name is a mirror image of the word 'love' for me if you left off the letter C at the beginning of your name?

Dyslexic Marianne

Anonymous said...

hi i am studying Judaism just thought if you could help me with this essay title.

‘Is it possible to be happy on Rosh Hashanah when they are preparing themselves for Yom Kippur?’/ Discuss.

thanks it would grateful if you respond please.

Carol L. Skolnick said...

Is it possible to be happy on Rosh Hashanah while preparing for Yom Kippur? Great title, and my answer is, yes, of course. Preparing to make things right between myself and my world, my creator, and me. I can't think of anything that could make me happier than knowing I'm taking responsibility for my part in any hurt, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, etc.

Anonymous said...

thank you ever so much Carol L. Skolnick, you really helped me. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur originated from?