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Jacquelyn Small, LCSW, is the founding director of Eupsychia Institute. She is the author of several books on spiritual psychology and finding meaning and sacred purpose in life, including Awakening in Time, Transformers and Becoming Naturally Therapeutic.
Spiritual Beings Learning to be Human
It is the worst thing when people
do not know how to escape from the old rut.
It is dreadful when they approach
new conditions with their old habits.
Just as it is impossible to open
a present-day lock with a medieval key,
likewise it is impossible for people
with old habits to unlock the door to the future.
―Agni Yoga Teachings
May the earnestness of all your egos
become the Joy of our one Soul!
All along, we've been programmed to believe that we are mere human beings―and damaged ones at that―trying hard to become spiritual, and rarely making it. You are not a human being trying to be spiritual; you are a spiritual being learning to be human.
This drastic identity shift is transformational in itself. It's a redefinition of the human being, an expanded view, from thinking of oneself as a pitiful little creature needing to be fixed or saved, to one who is an awakening soul with a sacred purpose in this human life.
This true definition of who you are calls you to step out of any kind of pseudo-identity you've been believing you are, and to remember your highest intentions. You are not 'the addict,' 'the victim,' 'the codependent'―or any other sub-self you've gotten identified with and allowed to run your life. Though you indeed may experience these conditions, they are not who you are. This is a gross misunderstanding, and one that affects you greatly, since how we identify ourselves determines how we live our entire lives.
Your wake-up call sounds like this: Who am I, really? And what am I here to do? What am I doing with my life? Am I on track or have I gotten lost? And if I have gotten lost, am I willing to come back to my Self?
The Self is consciousness―it's who you truly are―an archetypal Human made of both spirit and matter. The Self manifests as the people we are each designed to be. As the combined entity born of the marriage of your soul and personality, the Self can think clearly beyond all the twists and turns and foggy mistakes we've made in our lives. The Self can do this because it isn't just temporal and human; it is also eternal and divine. It is always aware of the bigger picture and reminds you that you are here to mature in your human form and express your unique talents in this world as Spirit in action.
Now, you may be wondering who are you if you're not being your true Self. It may not have occurred to you before, but there is a whole committee of imposters living in your psyche who jump at every opportunity to pretend they are you. These subpersonalities, which will be explored in more depth in chapter 2, must be accessed and exposed, then positively integrated into your personality if you are ever to experience wholeness. Once made conscious and named, these little partial selves will never again have the power to block you from being who you came here to be.
Your authentic Self is a soul-infused personality. When you are living as your true Self, you are a being whose healthy ego has taken a backseat to the soul. Your soul then drives your motivations and behavior. Your true nature is never lost in moments of delusion, nor is it found in a moment of enlightenment, either. Your Self just is. It is without time or space and has no extremism, nor any ignorance. It depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. Your true nature shines through from within when a subpersonality does not block it. Your Self is all-pervading, radiant beauty and absolute reality―the rarest of jewels beyond all price. We are each a unique statement of the one archetypal Self. The Buddhists teach that the Self is never destroyed by earth, water, air, or fire. It is the 'divine spark' or nucleus from whence we as humans spring, our root consciousness that causes us to be.
So let me ask you now: Are you willing to let your Self take over the helm and guide your life? Surely, you don't prefer the hard lessons that come from living as a pseudo-self like 'the addict,' 'the victim,' or the one who, as an excuse for harmful behavior, emphatically proclaims: 'Well, that's just who I am.' Consciously, or unconsciously, you choose who will be the one who runs your life.
Thanks to the work of consciousness explorers such as Dr. Carl Jung, we now know that spirituality is not a goal. It is not the result of prayer or meditation. Spirituality is not a treatment outcome. It is not something that we earn by good works. Spirituality is our essence.
'Spirituality' is the dynamic internal force that propels us toward becoming more pure-hearted and whole. 'Being spiritual' refers to your authentic Self's natural state. The Self's merciless striving toward wholeness keeps us unfolding into our full expression. We are blossoming into our greater story, the one that inspires us to rise to our higher purpose here: to bring spirit into this earthly life. It is not merely a religious proposition to say that we are spiritual beings. It is a universal understanding today, even scientifically.4
Subatomic physicists tell us that the center of every human atom is light. Brain researchers say our brains function like a hologram, that we already have the entire cosmos in our minds. Jungian analysts say the Self is embedded as an archetype within the collective unconscious mind. Conventional religion says, 'I and the Father are one,' and 'the kingdom of God is within.' And Twelve Step programs call for alignment with a Higher Power, defining recovery as a spiritual path.
Yet even with all this validation for our true nature, it is obvious that we have not fully awakened to the implications of our spiritual identity as fact . This recognition of our intrinsic nature as spiritual has not had the cultural or psychological impact it will eventually have. We still behave, think and plan programs as though we are mere egos needing to be fixed―or worse, medicated and dependent on experts for our life.
Perhaps we are trapped by our own intellects that are rapidly becoming too small to contain us anymore! If both scientists and spiritual guides tell us something has been proved and we are still not living it, isn't this an ethical problem for us?
Our next obvious step toward full recovery from anything in life that is not fulfilling is to merge what we know from psychological and spiritual principles that will access the whole Self, both our human personalities and our souls. We need to help each other find our own strengths and inner healer, and adopt a worldview that reminds us that we each have something unique to offer the world. To recover from our misguided ways, we all need to believe in ourselves, standing tall with the dignity of knowing that we have a valuable, creative life to live.
We are already seasoned in the workings of psychotherapy, in well-accepted family-of-origin work. The self-help movement continues to boom. And many addiction recovery programs rest on the premise that a spiritual awakening is essential to a transformed life. So the stage is set for this holistic Spirit-driven approach to enter the world of mainstream thought and acceptance―and this begins with you.
Being consciousness itself, your Self is already aware of the greater story that's unfolding in your life. Remember, it can transcend time and space. It is never born and never dies, so it never lives in fear of anything at all. It's the pure blueprint carrying all the natural qualities of all that you are intended to be.
The mind of your authentic Self functions as a nonjudgmental Observer who can think clearly beyond all the twists and turns you travel in your ordinary life. We're not taught much about this inner Self who holds the vision, even in the midst of your wildest conflicts and panicky outbursts. Its motivations are always pure and harmless. This observing Self is always there, though we often do not utilize it. Its function is to remind you to 'lift up and out' and see your greater reality anytime you get too caught up in a personal life predicament.
I am what's termed 'a clinical near-deather,' having died a few minutes during a health crisis when I was twenty-nine. When out of body during my 'death,' I heard me saying to myself, 'Now you're dead. Look at this.' It was the same consciousness that is speaking to you right now. Then as I was drifting away, I thought of my eight-year-old son who was a juvenile diabetic and was going to be motherless. Once I thought of him, I felt the pang of his heart and was magically back in my body, aware that my doctor was there, saving my life. I tell you this so you will know it's true that our consciousness never dies. On some level, we go on and on, no matter where we are.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could live constantly in the identity of this eternal, sacred Self that we already are―and allow it to mature us into the being whom we came here to be? It nearly always takes some kind of drastic crisis for us to get the point. We spend much of our time looking back at who we've been. But unfortunately, when we see ourselves through a rearview mirror, we lose touch with the Self who is looking right through our eyes, the one who lives in the eternal Now.
©2007. Jacquelyn Small. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Sacred Purpose of Being Human. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.
For someone who is searching for meaning, this book is wonderful. After reading this, I feel like I understand the difference between body and soul. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Bean