Be not self conscious; be conscious of the self (Gita Daily)

Published on Oct 09, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06, Text 18

The word ‘self-conscious’ refers to an excessive awareness of one’s appearance and actions. For example, when we give our first public speech, we may be self-conscious, that is, too worried about how we look and how we speak.

Self-consciousness can be crippling. It can divert our mental energy away from concentrating on doing our actions properly to conjuring images of what others are thinking about our actions.

When we are thus self-conscious, the self that we are conscious of is a pseudo-self. It is our surface appearance that is visible to the public eye. In fact, it is not even that — it is our conception of what the world is seeing when it sees us. This conception is derived mostly from our material desires, our notions of what kind of appearance will attract us and thereby make us feel good.

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