Everyone has an image about themselves irrespective of their age. Image is self made and it is subjective to change in different phases of life. Our circumstances in life, heredity, understanding about ourselves, and knowledge are the key factors which help us to form our image. Sometimes, family and the society force us to form an image. We are trained to form our image from the childhood. Once when we form our image, we always identify with that image and not with the Reality. Our personality is entirely dependent on our image. Our assumed image veils us from the Truth. We built this image for ourselves and for the society. We work hard to keep ourselves up to that image. We are forced to keep it up.
Image does not have any reality; it is only an illusion which helps us to survive. It is only a concept, idea and conclusion about us. We expect others to respect and recognize the image which we have formed about ourselves. When they fail to respect up to our expectation, there arises a conflict. We constantly compare our image with others image. If we feel that our image is better than the others image then we feel satisfied, else we feel dejected. Comparison leads to lot of problems and it is the main cause for our psychological disturbances.
When we talk to others, we actually talk to their image and not to that person in reality. A relationship is formed between the images and not between the real people. We constantly prefer to link ourselves with our image to make it alive. We perform all the actions based on that image. We mainly focus on that image thinking that the image we have formed gives us the inner security. When we have our image, we justify, condemn or identify with that image. We observe and understand the outside world only through that image. Hence, we do not view the actual facts; instead we view the facts with a tinge of our views and understanding. Only when we remove the image the mind deals with the real issues.
Image is so prominent in our life that we cannot live without this illusion called image. Our strong attachment to the image is the bondage and its detachment is liberation. We feel isolated when we do not have an image. We feel our life is meaningless and uncertain. Therefore we try hard to find our likes and dislikes and form our image based on it. Till we feel attached to our image, problem exists in life and there is always a fear. It is very difficult to get rid of that image because it is haunting us from the childhood. In my view, if we want to get rid of that image we have to observe our image as if observing a flowing river. We have to observe without the intrusion of any thoughts. Once we remove our image, we are no one other than the Consciousness. We superimpose our image on the Consciousness. Without that image each one is Consciousness in reality. It is very difficult to trace the Truth through the image. When we observe the Reality, we ignore the image automatically. Till then our image haunts us vehemently.