You are a lion, your intrinsic nature is bliss and fearlessness. But the lion in you has started behaving like a goat. This is called conditioning. From the moment we are brought up, we are fed with beliefs and information about ourselves and others. We are constantly made aware of our shortcomings. Somehow, we are made to believe that in order to be happy we have to constantly strive for something else, we have to do better, we have to be like someone else.
We have been conditioned, inadvertently or otherwise, by the society and other evolutionary forces. Our conditioned soul is a product of the collective intelligence of the world. We, as individuals, however, are a product of our karma and our desires. This conditioning comes to us in the form of religious, social, familial and moral values. Since eons, preceding generations have accepted such standards, mostly unquestioningly, passing them onto the successive ones.
Our conditioning makes us feel, we are inadequate, lacking something. As if we must constantly improve and strive for something. As a result, a perfectly beautiful life starts to feel inadequate as we start seeking external affirmations and approvals. You would think that your dress is amazing, or that you’re git good grades, or that you sang really well. But if your peers and loved ones feel differently, you’d suddenly feel deflated like a balloon. Somehow, their disagreement would matter to you. Somewhere you would feel that our self- assessment is not as valuable as others approval of you. This starts pretty early on during our childhood when we are constantly compared and ranked against others. At school, in college and then at work some third person is telling us what to do what not to do.
This leads to a mind that is eternally tossed between happiness and suffering, between pleasure and pain. The more we try to gel with the world outside and please others, somehow believing that others acceptance of us is a validation of our own potential, the more we start to distance from our true nature. The transmission of signal by our soul becomes weaker and weaker as we continue to move away from our true self, our real nature, Increasingly, the lion starts to think, believe and behave like a goat.
Reference : A million thoughts. Om Swami