The journey is always a personal one, as we learn to accomplish a healthy relationship with our self. But many words have been misused and many intellectual concepts have puzzled rather than cleared the way for us. We each seem to have a subjective, vague idea of words and concepts, which we don’t really doubt or clarify. This is essential and the purpose of this article.
Enlightenment, awareness, ascension or self-realization?
Many words are used to name what we don’t really understand through experience. Personally, I try to avoid all these words as they contain some form of a set belief structure, some lies and also some hidden intentions. I prefer to speak about acquiring an honest, healthy, uplifting relationship with our Self, which is all we actually need and the pathway to everything else. But even the word “self” is confused, where even more intellectual concepts and beliefs are formed that confuse the seeker.
Returning to the beginning.
As you begin your inner journey, no matter what the current problem that you are facing is, you need to separate the ego from the self in your understanding.
The ego is a structure, a program, based on judgment/condemnation/deliverance, which has acquired so much power that it has become a big part (or all) of your "self". It continuously and thoroughly categorizes, names and positions, to serve the structure that it defends. Actually, most people don’t recognize a difference between the ego and the self, as we are trained to read the words and see only that which we already believe to be true or exist.
The self is your (whole) memory, experiences, survival instincts, beliefs, senses, world views and culture indoctrination. Most of what comprises your self is either unknown or unconsciously condemned. And this is where the inner war really takes off and becomes an enemy you try desperately to beat (or change). But it cannot be done, as the ego flourishes “behind your back”, continues to be strengthened and playing its one and only role retaining you in unconsciousness and unawareness.
The third element
Apart from the initial two, there exists a third element, which is your conscious self (still asleep or unconscious in many ways). This part needs to be consciously, methodically and intentionally “awakened”, so that you may even begin to make sense of anything else. This part will create the necessary distance and space, which allows unattached, objective observation. We’ll name this your “conscious self” because through this element you begin to become conscious of all that is happening within and without you.
Through this conscious, objective observer, you begin to tap into the (whole) memory banks of mind, and begin to collect data from all that comprises YOU; dreams, urges, needs, body messages, intentions, imagination, visions, etc. The conscious observer does not “come alive” or “come online” if it remains vague and general.
The first step
After defining – in a simple way – the parts of “you” and your mind, you are ready for the first important step of the process of “going within”. You need to set an intention, a truthful desire, an authentic need to want to begin observing. What is the purpose? Why would you even want to begin observing with discipline and alertness?
This is where we “reverse” the process and begin from the outside looking in. There might be an illness you want healed, a relationship you want to understand or harmonize, a goal you want to achieve and so on and so forth. You need to know and specify why you are doing something, why you want to proceed.
It doesn't matter what your initial purpose is, for in time you will realize that all areas of your life, all roles and all "plays" being played are actually parts of the whole, aspects on YOU. Yet you need to be specific and know why you are taking this journey within.
When the intention is specified truthfully and specifically, you may begin to observe, gathering information; all information, which is relative to you. Everything matters: thoughts, emotions, reactions, beliefs, dreams, fantasies, others’ reactions that you notice around you, etc, etc.
You thus begin to recognize the conflict between the ego and the self. Remember that ego is an imposing program, designed to victimize and control the self, although you have come to recognize it AS the self, justifying its need of existence.
Within each step of the inner journey to freedom, the decision is always one and always the same. This is the “free choice” we always have:
We choose between Spirit or structure. Higher Self or ego. Awareness or automated machine-like There is no other choice and it needs to be conscious one, fully understood and fully installed into you. You need to make that decision at each step or the process or the result will be pointless and fruitless.
The ego is only the judgment!!! But don’t underestimate its power; a power you have unconsciously fed it with, through countless repetitions and mimicking strategies. Without knowing, without doubting its knowing, it condemns, seeking (after that) deliverance and “enlightenment”.
If you choose ego, no matter what you want, believe, say, it will all be twisted accordingly to serve the structure and your slavery or unconsciousness - even if you think you are on the road to "enlightenment". It will take you round and round in circles, justifying its “actions” all the way; you will forget to observe, you will find excuses to move on to the next teaching, the next deliverer, you will justify lack and deprivation, you will be tormented in duality, etc, etc. It's tactics are countless, as it strengthens and finds new ways to retain its control over you, with your willingness to serve its "truth".
The Spirit is acceptance, total respect of your individuality, trusting, nurturing, knowing. It is unconditional Love, Truth and unlimited, beyond perception. You choose Spirit through your heart (the seat of choice), through experience. You choose Spirit, not intellectually but through experience, through the purity and innocence of your core being; not because you think you know but because you know that only ignorance can condemn. You re-establish your self-worth and self-respect in order to learn, discover, synthesize, realize, and connect.
That is the basis of your “work”, which needs to be realized and taken up with discipline and devotion, as you begin your journey within.
Nothing else can awaken you, no one else can do it for you, there are no short cuts to your true Self, even if each one of us creates our own path in this process of exploring our vast mind and regaining our Life!
As I have stated many times before, words have different meanings to each of us. No article or book can substitute personal coaching, which focuses on each individual's personal code of understanding, needs, subjective focus of perception and soul path.