Energy flows where attention goes. The self is a continuous manifestation of endless reality.
We become a channel to those energies which we pay attention to. We become this channel of energy, and identify with it's form. If we fixate to long on the form of the energies within us, manifest to our conscious mind as self identity (ego), we often find ourselves stagnating the flow of the same energies we seek to identify with, creating frustrations and crisis of self identity, wants and fears follow.
Likewise, the polarization of our thoughts can create these same frustrations in the flow of the energies we identify with. Two opposing deep interests can cause us to become conflicted, not knowing what the self can do to encompass the seemingly mutually exclusive energies. Clashing static can occur when we operate from the perspective of the ego, accepting it's limitations, when trying to cope with these opposing focuses and the energies they stir. Wants and fears follow.
When we identify with the form, pain and suffering stir, but when the energies which manifest as form are allowed to flow, we become detached from the identification with them, and are free to experience life without suffering or fear. It's like finally seeing the self as a wave in an ocean, one of countless possibilities, and ultimately comprised of the flow of unseen energies and currents. Seeing this, and always accepting the existence of the wave, but in this light, eliminates the absoluteness of the limiting concepts of ego, object, and otherness, and in turn eliminates the possibility of mutual exclusion. Wants and fears dissipate. Suffering subsides.
Many live in this place of frustrated energies caused by blind fixation on impermanent form, unwittingly accepting the limitations on our world view which are even accidentally imposed by our very own beliefs in the fundamental nature of the world we live in, and our apparent place within it. The frustration is a manifestation of the deep desire to allow these energies to flow once more, like a damn ready to burst. The deep desire to reconnect to the endless currents is often mistreated, fear of the loss of self directing the attention to apparent objects in the accepted world view of form and otherness. Resulting in obsessive pleasure seeking, greed, and ultimately desperation. The mistranslated desire to connect continuously unfulfilled by misplacing it on to the notion of objects or events, the world becomes disharmonious, decaying, transient, and the great reflection of our desires and fears made real before us. Desire itself, and therefore fear, are nothing but byproducts of the mind trying to cope with an illusory world (or world view) where apparent things are constantly revealing their impermanence as we attempt to connect to our deeper selves through them. Even salvation may seem demonic then. The shadow self come to haunt us.
The form of the self, and the object oriented world about us are apparent at all times. The animating forces of self-hood are also apparent at all times, particularly so in our capacity to actualize a choice. While the currents run rather deep, there is a deeper stillness in the ocean itself. Currents of form arise, the depths remain still below. It is possible to put the attention towards these depths, allowing deeper currents to arise, with more subtle energies flowing. The form manifest being nothing more than a reflection of the energies we embody, will become less and less apparent, the self quieted. Suffering subsides.
And so, as we live in the world of otherness and self-hood, it is possible to connect to, and allow the emergence of these limitless potential selves, revealing deeper and more subtle aspects of the world we live in, and our place within it. Where there is a self, there is a world-view which supports it. Where there is a world-view, there is a self designed to coexist with it. The self and the world-view are thus intertwined, interconnected in such a way that they become aspects of the same thing. Self identity and world-view are one, just as the self is one with the ocean of the energies which create its apparent form within it's currents.
As long as there is a self and a world-view, there exists deeper, subtler aspects to existence, and there is an apparent level of self-hood to what it is that is our being, that is relative to these aspects, these energies about and within us. There is more to every single one of us than we are ever able to give credit to, as we describe our self to ourselves, creating ego. Hope.
Deeper aspects of existence cannot be processed easily in a normal, day to day life, especially considering the loss of self that may come with them. So these egos, these apparent selves, serve to insulate us from deeper, untamed energies, and allow us to cultivate a deeper sense of self, to work that new world-view in. We cannot deny this process, it would be like trying to deny the existence of a self with eyes, after one has lived in a room of total darkness all one's life, but with a candle newly lit in the centre of the room. Eventually, the new self is realized. The emergent self is the candle, ever relighting itself, and at the same time, the observer realizing his eyes.
So we dream of rather deep things, are peripherally aware of them, or seek them out, and as we do this, we develop models of self-hood to relate to, cope with, and master these new realities. Deeper, more subtle selves always emerging. The catch being that the self is always transient. Every deeper sense of self-hood, no matter how liberating, is a limited world view to see beyond. To allow the emergent self to flow, we must see the world as it is, relative in our experience of it as we continually grow and become, the flow of the ever changing energies that do emerge being the truth of it, not the limiting ego, or accompanying world view.
Continuously emerging self, not static self. The stuff of self being legitimate, but the notion of a static unchanging self, is false. Once that is accepted you can let go of all of the demons of fear and desire. Suffering subsides. Surrendering to yourself in this way, nothing can harm you. Every time world view is expanded in this way, ego is dissolved, and the truer nature of reality is allowed to burst forth a little more in our becoming. Surrender.
This is what was meant by St. Francis' prayer to become a channel of God's peace. This great work is the truth of the Bodhisattva.