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Becoming Nobody: Peeling Off the Layers of a 'Constructed' Self

This week's #readinglist post is by one of the few men, now dead, who I would invite to dinner if given that cliche'd opportunity to

"...pick anyone to have dinner with, alive or dead"

Baba Ram Dass...born Richard Alpert

In "Becoming Nobody," Ram Dass (Click to get the audible version...he has a great way of getting the message across!!) talks about a profound truth that doesn't need flowery language to hit hard: a lot of who we think we are is just a mishmash of what others expect us to be.

We spend our lives playing roles, donning masks, and building characters to fit into a script written by society's expectations. But what's underneath all that?

Let's get real here. The book doesn't sugarcoat it. It's raw, yet humorous, in telling us that our identity and character are not really ours; they're developed in response to the expectations of others and a society that's becoming increasingly challenging and dysfunctional.

That's an eye-opener for most when they rtuly realise it, and what it means.

The journey to 'Becoming Nobody' is about stripping away these external influences. It’s about facing the uncomfortable truth that the identity you've so carefully curated might just be a facade. It’s not about becoming a nobody in the sense of losing your value or purpose. It’s about shedding the false layers that have been imposed on you, either by others or by yourself in an attempt to 'fit in' or to meet some unrealistic standard of success, happiness, or fulfillment.

Ram Dass invites us to consider the possibility that who we are at our core is not the sum of our achievements, our social status, or our roles in relationships. Instead, he suggests that our true self is the consciousness that observes all these things. It's the part of us that watches our thoughts, that feels our feelings but knows we are not defined by them.

This isn't about rejecting society or relationships, but rather about questioning the parts of ourselves that we've developed in response to them. It's about asking whether we're acting out of genuine desire and authenticity or simply reacting to the pressures and expectations that have been placed on us.

What does it mean to become nobody? It means to stop letting these external factors dictate your self-worth. It means to step back and observe the narratives you tell yourself about who you are and why you do the things you do. It's a call to introspection, to meditation, to mindfulness. It's a call to live a life that's aligned with your innermost values, not a script handed to you by someone else.

In the end, 'Becoming Nobody' is about freedom.

It's about the liberation that comes when you release the need for external validation and find peace in just being. It's a transformational journey, and it's not an easy one. But according to Ram Dass, it's the most worthwhile journey you can take.

If this resonates with you, it's worth exploring what 'Becoming Nobody' might look like in your life. What masks are you wearing? What roles are you playing that don't feel true to who you are inside? And what might you discover if you started to let them go?

This post caries on the theme of #lettinggo...

We all need to ... So just do it.


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