Our internal true self consists of unconditional love and only that. But unconditional love cannot be experienced when it is the only thing that exists. That is why we are here, in this world of dualities, in which fear and abandonment also exist. The world is designed to let us experience fear and abandonment in order to allow us to experience unconditional love.
Ex) a child who was only “loved” by parents when the child got good grades.
On the surface level, this may motivate this person to excel at school, work, and life in general. But deep down, this person knows that the love they receive is conditional.
Fear of worthlessness, inability, and consequent abandonment builds up.
The very idea that “I was abandoned because x, y, z” or “I could be abandoned because x, y, z” indicates that the need/ want of the true inner self is being denied, the need/want being that it wants to be loved despite x, y, z.
When you keep ignoring the existence of this need/want and simply “work harder” or “become more productive” or “become more useful,” you keep suppressing it…
…until the internal self creates a reality in which you become worthless, unproductive, useless, etc. This is because, again, being loved despite all the worthlessness, being loved unconditionally, is exactly what the internal self wants. When everyone else abandons you (or when you perceive others’ behavior as abandoning you) it means you are creating a reality that gives you a chance to acknowledge the internal self’s want/need.
- Surface consciousness will think: I never wanted this!
- Inner self will think: This is exactly what I wanted: a scenario in which I give you (all of you/us) to finally recognize my existence and love me despite everything, love me unconditionally. As in, for you to acknowledge and experience abandonment—all the fear, pain, etc—with me.
Thus, unconditional love is something that only you can give to yourself. It is also something you can give to yourself at all times. It’s not easy, but it is possible. This unconditional love does not rely on external conditions. In fact, that’s the point; that externals do not matter.
No one else can give it to you for you. Even if the whole world loves you unconditionally, if you don’t feel the same way about yourself, you will not feel their love as unconditional love. There will always be a hole inside you because you are abandoning yourself.
On the other hand, if you accept your worthless self without trying to suppress it for “being bad,” you can feel loved even when the external world does not (seem to) love you.
Throughout childhood & into adulthood, we learn to abandon ourselves because others abandon us. (Again, that example of a child only being loved when it gets good grades.) We must re-learn loving ourselves unconditionally, without value attachments that put conditions around what makes us “worth loving.”
The ego will resist. (Ego, the one that only knows the list of conditions that qualifies it for love.) But inner self will love external abandonment. This is the chance to love unconditionally! You may even learn to enjoy real-life hardship once you learn to see it as an opportunity for more true love.
With this POV, all abandonment in the external world becomes something to be grateful for.
P.S. Ithaka’s Notes on Nebelung
This isn’t to say that the ego is “bad.” Inner self, ego, higher self all coexist and aren’t really separated; they only get different labels for the purposes of explaining concepts.