Level 2 Discovering Your True Self
Your True Path your True Self and the Meaning of Your Life are like the petals of a lotus. When one begins to open so do the others. Once your flower is open you realize that the lake is covered with blossoms
I spent over forty years trying to discover my ‘True Self’. My mistake was to assume that the True Self was an essence or spirit that could be refined, distilled or otherwise separated from the rest of ‘me’. It sounds silly now, but that is what many spiritual teachers encourage you to believe. They come up with things like “At the core of your being is a True Self that you may have never known.”, or “There is a true and a false self that must be separated”. Others like the Buddhists, will only define the ‘true self’ by what it is not, they say: body ‘not self’, mind ‘not self’, emotions ‘not self’. Which leads you to search for some ‘true self’ that is not any of those things – Zen riddles.
As I say, I spend thousands of hours of meditation and contemplation trying to find a single ‘strand’ of truth in the ‘ball of wool’ the ‘the needle in the spiritual hay stack’, then I met a Canadian Philosopher called Craig Dillworth. Craig had a theory called ‘Simplicity’, this wasn’t simple or really anything to do with finding the ‘true self’ as such, but he has a super sharp mind and he got me thinking clearly. I adapted parts of his theory to form a concept I called the ‘Synthesis of Being’.
A ‘synthesis’ is a lot of different things all blended together to make one thing, like a cocktail, but a ‘Cocktail of Being’ doesn’t have the right ring. As soon as I got working on this idea I realized that the ‘True Self’ I had been searching for was a ‘Synthesis of Being’. I only mention the Synthesis of Self now because the notion that the True Self is a synthesis or cocktail is important and I want you to remember it.
OK, so the True Self is not any one thing, but a number of different things that are ‘blended’ together into a homogonous whole (homogonous means of even consistency, like milk. When milk goes sour it separates and is no longer homogonous). The Buddhists and others are not wrong; the mind, the emotions and body are never really our possessions we get to use them for while that’s all; like rental cars really. The mind, the emotions and body each have their own nature and they often squabble with each other and do things we don’t want them to. However, while we are alive and functioning the mind, the emotions and body become a something resembling a unified whole.
This can be compared to a band which has drums, bass, guitar, organ, vocals. To get a decent sound all the different players must ‘fuse their egos’ and become ‘one’, at least till they get back to the dressing room. Fortunately, the True Self is much more stable than a rock band.
The True Self is more than that though; a band has a ‘personality’, but no will power of its own to control the members, the True Self has both these attributes. Finding the will power of True Self is tricky though as it does not come from a single spot and our minds find it hard to comprehend anything that cannot ‘pinned down’ to a single location - which is why very few people ever find the power of the True Self. The True Self cannot be understood using any one sense, a Synthesis of senses of is required - it takes a Synthesis to catch a Synthesis, you could say.
Consider this: Some things about you never change; when you were baby, a kid, a teenager and so on; something has always stayed the same right? Let that idea ‘develop’ in your mind. Don’t try to define it, if you try to grasp it fades, but you ‘know’ it is there and the reason you can’t hold on to ‘it’ is because ‘it’ is holding on to ‘you’. This is the True Self, not a single persona but a synthesis of all the different people you have been, will be and even ‘could have been’, had your life been different. It can’t be held, but it is real, realer than what you are now, because what you are now will change and become something else in while. Your ‘day to day’ personality or Relative Self as I shall be calling it, is in a state of flux.
A Synthesis does not have to change though; it absorbs all your multiple personalities and binds them into one homogonous entity. This is how come we always appear to be one thing at one time. Without a True Self, you wouldn’t change from persona to another in an orderly fashion and your personality would descend into chaos; one person one minute another next – you would go completely insane. This is why I know for a fact that I have a functioning True Self, otherwise I would a gibbering idiot incapable of linking two thoughts together and the same goes for you.
This brings us back nicely to the nature of consciousness: sentient consciousness is a cohesive force that holds the long strings of molecules and complex biology of living beings together and prevents living flesh from turning into dead meat. So, your True Self is an evolved form of sentient consciousness that holds your various personalities thoughts, and emotions as one homogonous being - the True Self is what arranges your being and holds it together.
Well that’s the overview now lets look at the detail. The True Self comprises your body, mind and emotions. It is also the synthesis of the different ‘people’ you have been, will become, or could have been. We are born where we are born, and we live the lives we live, but you could have been born some place else, some other time. Wherever you are born you will adapt and develop a personality to try and cope with whatever life throws at you – if you had been born an Eskimo and you would have grown up an Eskimo. Your True Self can provide you with a personality to fit any circumstance.
It’s not just who your parents are that counts either. In any group of kids some are leaders, some followers, some loners and so on. Which of these you become is not just a matter of ‘innate personal traits’. In one group of kids you might be a leader, in another a loner, in another a follower, it depends on what the other kids are like; its relative - which is why I call the ‘every day personality’, the Relative Self. The Relative Self changes in stages as you grown up - baby self, toddler self, child self, teenage self, adult self, middle aged self, wrinkly self and finally crumbly self. Eight basic stages that we all go through for sure, though there can be more of course – single self, married self, and divorced self, for instance. How many Relative Selves have you had? Make a list if you can: I can’t because I have had too many.
It is even more complicated than that though, your Relative Self has ‘Sub Selves’, like ‘working self’, ‘home self’, ‘visiting Mom and Dad self’ and these are all distinct ‘sub’ personalities. There are five basic categories of Sub Self: with family self, with friends self, work self, leisure self and of course by yourself self. How many Sub Selves are ‘running’ at the moment? How much do you change from one to next? Answering these questions will greatly increase your ‘self knowledge’ or insight.
The complication of all these ‘selves’ is why everyone longs to find their ‘True Self’ as otherwise the word ‘I’ has a hollow ring to it. Some people do seriously lose track and have no consistency between their different ‘selves’ and so become - one thing today, another tomorrow. No one wants to be like this or be around people who are.
To have meaning the word ‘I’ must always link back to your True Self. Fortunately most of us have enough knowledge and communication with our True Self to get by; some more than others. People who are closer to their True Self are stronger and more purposeful; those out of touch are ‘flighty’ and insecure. If you are the ‘flighty’ type you will benefit the most from getting in touch with your True Self.
Getting in touch with the ‘True Self’ gives you a change to explore all manner of personality traits you didn’t know you had. These personality traits can be manifest into your Relative Self making a powerful evolution of personality. This has been happening to me since I found my True Self. My personality has changed far more than ever before, even though I am old and should expect to change less. The result is that I feel young and that time is getting longer for me. Last year seems like another life, I was totally a different person ‘way back then’’. I am accelerating instead of slowing down. This is making my life pretty crazy, but I would rather die than go back to feeling old again.
Another advantage of knowing your True Self is that it gives you the ability to give ‘being yourself’ a rest. Keeping a single well defined ‘Relative Personality’ is hard work, something times you need to let go, let go into the arms of the True Self - be something broad and easy, instead something tight and small. This something you can do when you are alone in a quiet place - just being yourself as they say. Without a clear link to your True Self over time you can become trapped in one Relative Self. When we are young the Relative Self changes regularly, as people age though they get stuck in a single Relative Self - a Relative Self that gets increasingly tired an frayed with age. Taken to extreme this ‘tired old’ Relative Self can become a hideous characterture of your younger self.
Personal change is vital, because no matter how smart you may be, one day life will throw you pitch you just can’t hit, and will have to pull out thing special, another ‘secret weapon self’ who can knock it for six. Everyone’s a winner, if you can find the right ‘self’ on the day and bring it to the fore. This ‘winner self’ can be found in the True Self - ‘If you reach down somewhere deep inside yourself’, as they say. There are lots of popular expressions like this, ‘Stop pretending to be someone else and just be yourself’,’ ‘You’ve changed, you weren’t like this before’, ‘be in tune with yourself’, ‘relax and be yourself’. All these sayings prove that to have a steady, consistent personality (a strong link to the True Self) is universally considered to be a ‘good thing’. Beware though, people use these kinds of remarks in arguments to try and throw you off balance, make you doubt yourself so that they can ‘put one over on you’ – not very nice at all.
The True Self is not a blank sheet; it has a unique and wonderful nature all of its own. The quality and power of your Relative Personality is dependant on how well it is in harmony with the unique qualities of the True Self. The Relative Personality is really a ‘manifestation’ of the True Self anyway. This is why you should contemplate your True Self as that is where you will find your personal ‘Meaning of your Life’ - what you are here for. I can’t tell you what that is, but I can tell you how to find out.
You must find your True Strengths, the strongest and most consistent aspects of your character. This is why insight is such an important quality and you have to really know yourself well to find your True Strengths. Take time out to consider all you Relative Selves and Sub selves over the years; which were truly the most satisfactory? What is it that you are best at? What makes you most reliably happy? (Not happy as in relation to a specific person or people, that doesn’t count, this book is strictly about the ‘U perspective’) In fact, you need to ignore what other people think is best about you as this usually means what best suits them. Once you have removed other people’s opinions from the equation it gets easier. It may take time but I can say with confidence that, if you Evolve your Consciousness it will become clear to you - you will find your True Path as I have found mine. Then your Relative Self will become a ‘hero or heroine’ of Evolving Consciousness instead of a drone servicing other peoples needs.
The Relative Self is a fascinating and beautiful thing in itself, (or should be) but it is also very delicate. The ‘self esteem’ of the Relative Self needs to carefully nurtured and kept ‘pure’. By a ‘pure’ self esteem, or ego I mean a ‘self esteem’ that is self reinforcing and not dependant on status to remain confident. Ego that is status oriented is always looking to others for affirmation and this decreases the willpower. Other people’s praise or disapproval is not something to base your life on – you must develop your own ‘values’ and stick to them. Worse still, having an ego that is dependent on others may temp you to ‘cut someone else down’ to ‘make yourself look taller’, which is a vile, but all too common habit( We all do this a bit in our own minds, which is not so bad).
The power of the Relative Self is derived from the True Self and ‘empowering’ the Relative Self is one of the most vital tasks of Evolving Consciousness. The Relative Self is what actually ‘paints the picture of your life’. Without the Relative Self the True Self is merely a field of energy filled with ideas. The True Self doesn’t really experience pain or loss and so it is the Relative Self that hurts when things go wrong. The Relative Self is the main tool of evolution as in this life; the True Self only evolves by using the Relative Self. Later I will show you how to transform the Relative Self into something much better and stronger, but for now you must make do with it.
We should work constantly to protect, train and strengthen the Relative Self. To do this we need to study the True Self so that we can align the True and Relatives Selves properly.
The True Self is cohesive and unifies the disparate (coming from separate places) parts of your being. Your life depends on the power of your True Self to ‘hold things together’; the more you boost this cohesive power, the more integrated and solid Relative Self will become (there are some powerful techniques for this purpose in the next section of this book). We imagine that our power comes from food and oxygen, but this is just what maintains the physical body. The real power source of the Relative Self, is the True Self, that is where all your love, inspiration, cool, passion, intuition and the ability to renew yourself come from – among other things, the True Self is like the ‘warehouse’ of your being.
As the power of the Relative Self comes from the True Self, so the power of the power the True Self comes from yet another, and fortunately the penultimate, (last but one) of the ‘selves’ the incomparable: Universal Self, the Self that is at one with the Universal Being, your personal direct link to the Sublime! The Universal Self is very hard to contemplate, as its boundaries are the boundaries of space and time. The Universal Self encompasses, (contains) billions of beings of which your True Self is but one. The relationship is in some ways similar to that between the True Self and Relative Self. The True Self contains thousands of ‘Relative Personalities’ and your Relative Self can only be one at time. The Universal Self contains billions of beings, and your True Self is just one of them. This may sound impersonal and at first the Universal feels distant and impersonal. (meditating on the Universal is scary and with reason, as you can ‘your lose soul’ doing so. The trick is to reach out to Universal Self for very short periods of time and withdraw to safety as I shall be explaining).
The Universal Self and the Universal Being, or God, are almost identical, but there is a subtle difference, a difference of perspective, of view point. Your Universal Self is centered on your True Self - the Universal Being is centered on the Evolution of all things. Your Universal Self is the face of God turned toward you, rather than radiating it all directions. This is how the personal link between you and the Sublime works.
The Universal Self embraces the whole of space and time and this makes the power of all creation available to you. The power of the True Self comes from the infinite and by Evolving Consciousness we can learn to harness that power – as you will discover dear readers if you persevere.
The Universal Self is incredibly powerful though and just the hint of its presence will greatly strengthen the ‘Totality of the Self’, there now you have the final and ultimate definition of Self! The Totality of the Self - all levels - all selves as one magnificent being. To fully realizing the Totality of the Self is ultimate goal because when you do you will cease to be human and become a god! However, in this life just the knowledge that these exalted realities exist is enough to turbo-charge your being. If you can catch the merest glimpse once in while you will become enlightened, so it’s worth the effort.
So what does all this ‘exalted talk’ mean in practice? Well, that depends on you, these concepts will only make any difference to your life if make them realities. To do this you must link ideas to emotions, and emotions to hormones - exalt your hormones baby; otherwise this book will remain ‘just words on paper’. This brings us back to internal dialog; you have to persuade your emotions to accept the Universal Self, The True Self and the Totality of the Self as realities. (The Relative Self we all accept as real already) This takes time and patience, but it can be done. You have already discovered that emotions are dumb and will believe anything if it is presented right. You need to read and re-read this book, so that it becomes a regular part of your internal dialog. Try to link the concepts to your life, I can’t really tell you how to do that, that’s your unique world, but I can give you some tips.
Be aware that your ‘day to day’ personality, your Relative Self is not permanent and changes from time to time. Be aware of your Sub Selves too. Try to establish how many such Subs Selves you have, how different they are from each other and what holds them all together. Doing this will help you to develop your power of insight. Next try recall how many different Relatives Selves you have ever had. Remember each Relative Self usually lasts for a whole phase of your development. So we have ‘baby self’, ‘kiddy self’; divide your life up any way you like. Can you remember the Sub Selves you have had before; that’s a lot harder. 1You need to do this because you need to get some idea of the ‘scope’ of your being - what can you become and what you are capable of.
By learning how you have changed you can learn has not changed. Remember the True Self never changes in quality. This is important as you need to find out what are your ‘True Strengths’. Your ‘True Strengths’, are what have always been best at doing, and give you your best hope of ‘True Success’; success that brings self fulfillment. The chances are that your ‘True Strengths’ are not being put to good use and this means that you will never be truly be happy or find your True Path. Your True Path and Your True Strengths are pretty much the same thing as one directly results from the other.
It all comes back to the Meaning of Life; your True Strengths give you your personal Meaning of Life – your ‘staring role’ or at least ‘hot cameo’ in the Evolution of Consciousness. Then you can bring all ‘selves’ and ‘sub selves’ into line and life starts to really make sense to you.
This brings us neatly back to the Mystical Monad, and the Russian Dolls (good name for a band?). The great thing about the Monad is it represents all the levels of being in one idea. Each ‘self’ is a Monad in it own right, ‘one’ of the multiple Monads they make up your Being, one within the other. This a where we will start the next meditation Mantra: I am Monad!
I am Monad
I am Perfect
I Love All Things
I am Monad
I am Perfect
I get High
Let’s go through the meanings one phrase at a time:
I am Monad.
You now have some idea of just what a powerful, complex and elevated symbol the Monad is. In terms of the Mantra when you utter the word Monad I want you to think of the True Self. 2The True Self is larger than your body, the size of your ‘aura’ about one or feet out in all directions. This is important as this is how you distinguish the True Self from the smaller Relative Self. It is by focusing on the True Self your personal transformation from chump to champ will be accomplished.
I am Perfect
The Perfect Self is the Relative Self upgraded and it is what you will become as an everyday reality. You will get up as Perfect Self, remain all day as Perfect Self and go to bed as Perfect Self, Relative Self will be history. Visualize a ‘perfect’ version of your physical, mental and emotional being at the point of young adulthood. Perfect in all aspects, pure and natural – your uncorrupted and incorruptible self3
I am Universal
This refers to your Universal Self, your being as an aspect of the divine. This link between you and divine gives you your unique and wonderful qualities. It is both what joins you to all other livings and that which separates you from them at the same time – a profound symbol indeed.
I am High
To be high is to be elevated and able to comprehend exalted concepts. It also means to be intoxicated, drunk on the wine of eternity, stoned on the love of all things, out of your head - out of Relative Self head and grooving into the eternity.
To begin the meditation, sit in a quiet secure place, out of doors if possible. You must be comfortable but try to keep a good posture as a well aligned body promotes a well aligned consciousness. We will be using visualization, but the images do not have to be clear, what is more important is that image stimulates a feeling. When this happens it means that emotions are becoming engaged. Trying to get vivid images can be counter productive as they require a lot of concentrate and are prone to fade just when you need them to be clear. Coxing the emotions to link is subtle art and requires practice, so take your time and be patient. Pronounce the words carefully clearly and slowly, out loud or internally. Working out loud is a good idea at first as it makes the words familiar, then when you work internally the words will also be clear. Allow about 5 seconds per phase. Lets go through the Mantra one more to explain what you should feel.
I am Monad
The image/feeling is that that of the Monad as the True Self. Imagine yourself as a single round or egg shaped field of homogenous energy. The egg shape is the size of your ‘aura’ which extents from your physical body by a couple of feet all round. Within the field of light there are no definitions, partitions, no contrasts, no shade, just pure energy. Try to blank out your physical body totally if you can.
I am Perfect
Next, visualize a matrix of light beams forming within the egg. The beams take shape into a perfect of image of your physical being. Not you as you are, or were, but the master image of your being from which your Relative Selves arise and decline. This is a very beautiful thing indeed, the perfection of godhead as a living flesh and blood being. This image now floats in the ‘egg’ which forms a kind of cocoon of healing energy.
I am Universal
Now, rapidly stretch your awareness as far as it will go beyond your being, to very edges of space and time. This should feel like a ripple of energy spreading into space. Ideally, you should feel like this energy ‘bounces back’ off something. Do not leave your awareness out beyond your body, as soon as you have gone as far as you can begin to withdraw your awareness into your ‘Monad’ ball of light. If you stretch your awareness far enough ‘looking out’ you will become aware that there is something looking ‘back at you’ this is your Universal Self your link to the Divine Being. If you feel this make sure you retract straight away bring the power of the Universal into your Monad. If you let your awareness stay beyond the range of your aura too long your power will disperse – you want the power of the divine coming into you, not your power going out to it. All this may or may not be clear to you at first, but don’t worry as long as you are sincere in your efforts the link will be made, whether you feel yet or not.
I am Monad
I am Perfect
I get High
Stay within the image for the ‘Perfect Self but turn up the ‘volume’ of your emotions and try to feel as intoxicated as you can. Feel your body glowing with energy spreading out to your Monad ready for the next round. This is the ‘high’ point of the Mantra, after this you relax slightly before the next round. When you begin the next round you should ‘ratchet up’ a bit and start with a slightly higher level of concentration than the last. Continue like this for 15-20 minutes or until you think you have got as far as you can go. As a rule of thumb, after meditating for a while it will start to get harder, this is the ‘first point of resistance’. You should use the ‘edge’ of your will power to push on through this resistance. After that you should get ‘your second wind’ which will carry to a higher level. The trick is to stop at the peak of your performance before you start to tire a second time. You need to stop on a ‘high note’ as the way you end the meditation is very important. Like athletics, achievement in meditation is defined by finishing lines - the end is what you remember best. If you miss the high point and start to tire you will have to push through the second point of resistance, which can be done, but is mostly more trouble than it is worth.
Meditation for the True Self
Mantra meditations are ‘positive’ meditations that use powerful Concentration. Awareness and Concentration are both present all the time we are awake, but the balance between them changes. High levels of Concentration detract from Awareness. A positive meditation favors Concentration and so to compliment positive meditation you need ‘receptive’ meditation which uses very light concentration, and more powerful Awareness. To practice receptive meditation just sit and observe your breathing without trying to change it in anyway. Let you Awareness expand until it is the size of your Aura, which the same size as your True Sell, or Monad. Do you remember what I say about the True Self being that which has never changed all your life? Now I want you to become Aware of that unchanging Self. Don’t try to hold it, just relax into it, and let your everyday, Relative Self go. Stop being what you are today and be what you have always been. You will begin to feel more comfortable, more secure in the arms of your True Self and away from the pressure of everyday life. Remain like that as long as you like. You will working a lot with your True Self on this course and later you will learn beware of it all the time and to ‘work’ from that level.
1 The mind readily provides memories it considers to be ‘relevant’ information, if you ask it for an obscure memory it pretends not to remember. You have to make a ‘special request’, remind yourself periodically what you want to remember and sooner or later it just ‘pops’ up.
2 The Monad has a broader and deeper meaning that this, as it includes social relations and the relations between the other levels of self, which are all Monads in their own right. The Divine being is also a Monad as is the Totality of the Self. These additional levels of meaning are something to add over time so that meditation becomes progressively more profound. In all my Mantras though, the word Monad is always be focused on the True Self.
3 There will be a whole section on the ‘Perfect Self Image’ later in this book, but you need to complete the ‘Alchemical Wedding’ and bond your masculine and feminine nature before your ‘Perfect Self Image’ can truly become manifest.