18.58: True to oneself or true tool to one’s self?
The Bhagavad-gita (18.58) indicates that all of us have essentially two choices in making our life’s decisions: to act according to the voice of Krishna and be eternally liberated, or to act according to the voice of the ego and be endlessly entangled.
Often, people say that one should follow the voice within as that will enable one to be true to oneself. But Gita wisdom prompts us to introspect: how can one be true to oneself when one doesn’t know one’s true self?
As long as our internal vision is hazy, our inner voices are likely to be mazy; the many voices that clamor within us are likely to lead us into maze-like complications. True, there is the voice of our authentic self, our pure conscience, speaking within us, but that voice is generally obscured by many other voices that have become embedded inside due to outside influences of materialism. Principal among these many pseudo-inner voices is the voice of the ego, which, while masquerading as our true self, takes us further and further away from understanding that self.
That’s why this Gita verse urges us spiritual seekers to base our decisions on the voice of God as it is externally manifested to us through scripture. This scriptural voice is the tool to our true self, because it guides and empowers us to make attitudinal and behavioral choices that minimize and mute the many unauthentic inner voices. Then does the voice of our true self become clear and self-evident – and guide us to be constantly true to our self.