We read about 'self-realisation' in spiritual circles, but what really does that mean? We may gain an intellectual understanding, but to me, there's much more to the term itself and what it can encourage us to do; how to live. I observe in the work we do, that when a person finds the right alignment in life, which incorporates self-realisation, then our perspective on life changes immeasurably for the better. It can be said, that in actual fact, there is nothing else but self-realisation going on. It's just a question of whether we're actively engaged in it, in which case we become the masters of it; or else we're ignorant of it, and thus become victims. So what really is self-realisation, and how can we benefit from it?...
Self-realisation is where the Soul realises itself as the One
The main point about self-realisation, which probably the majority in spiritual circles would agree to, is that there is only one Self: the One, Pure Presence, the One Life; and that we are each a living breathing expression of this - we're having an experience of The One as a Soul.
- To me, self-realisation then, is when the soul realises itself as the One.
However, this can easily be mistaken as a purely intellectual realisation - 'I get my connection to all things, and believe myself to be the One, therefore I am self-realised'. This is not the end of self-realisation, only a beginning (and not the only beginning - we can realise the Self through heart-felt feeling too).
To me, self-realisation means to be consciously realising the One Self in a feeling way in every single moment. You are bringing the unmanifest of the Source - of pure potential - into being as an experience. That's why to me, the term itself is so apt and explanatory: you are making the Unmanifest Self, real.
If you agree, how might this understanding benefit your life?
The profound benefit of commitment to Self-Realisation
Firstly, you might realise that if everything is of the One Self, and you are that, then there is absolutely nothing else that is real going on, but self-realisation.
How can there be? You are continually bringing the Self into reality through all events and circumstances.
Secondly, once you've realised this basic tenet of life, you might begin to observe that there's a deeper meaning to every moment: it is never about 'this' or 'that' outcome in itself - each situation is providing an opportunity to know yourself as The One, to have a living, breathing expression of that.
Thirdly, you might realise that since there is nothing else but self-realisation going on, then you might as well be actively engaged in it. You might actively look for the deeper meaning and purpose to each moment - as an expression.
When you do this, and align with this underlying purpose, then your life really begins to take off.
You're engaged in the real game of every moment.
How can you always win within this real engagement of life?
Self-realisation in every moment
- Self-realisation is not about distancing or disassociating from the real juice of life; that is only self-denial. It is being wholly and fervently immersed in the fullness of it, but not attached to it. This actually means you can enjoy it more, not less. The ego no longer strangles the joy out of the moment with expectation; rather the soul unfolds its boundless wings through it, riding the wave of reality.
I put it to you, that essentially all your experience is configured by relativity - the interplay of two flows of consciousness: you have the soul (unity consciousness) flowing into, and through, the bodymind (separation consciousness).
When the soul flows into the bodymind (and therefore into physicality), and it is not yet self-realised, then the soul identifies with materiality - it gets 'stuck' and forms eddy currents of distortion around it, which we then manifest into the circumstances of our lives. The distortions cause us to believe there is something to attain from the material itself (other than the pure, unfettered experience of it), that there's something to win. But winning in the material is never enough - the ego (which is where the soul gets stuck) is always left wanting more.
- When the soul tires of this distortion and lets go of the need for an outcome, suddenly in that particular situation, it has realised itself as The One again. It has realised that as The One, it already IS everything and already HAS everything; therefore it needs nothing, therefore it can give up the struggle. That aspect of the soul is now self-realised again, and everything comes back into alignment, back into harmony.
But this is not the end of the story. To actualise self-realisation is not the end, only the beginning.
At some point, probably fairly soon after a major such breakthrough, we'll probably be projected into other situations where the soul identifies and gets stuck; to me, this is a natural dynamic of The One being projected as light into darkness - the One gets lost in the darkness through streams of experience (called souls) encouraging each to find their way back into the light again.
So I put it to you that this self-realisation process is constant; it is ongoing, never ending.
And there is nothing else that is real going on!
If you accept that, how can you work with it?
Working with self-realisation: "Openhandway" - the spiritual compass
- It could be in the fervent passion of sexual intimacy; drinking in the bounteous joys of mother nature; celebrating union of body and mind in the yoga studio or in the fitness gym; it could be reading an enthralling book or deeply immersed in an emotive movie; it could be in cooking, painting or music. The more we're self-realised through these actions, the more liberated, free and boundless we are within them. We infuse the real juice of life.
Self-realisation is to be constantly liberating the boundless expression of the soul. So each moment invites us to be within, to feel where we might be getting tight and identifying with materiality; then to soften with the tightness, to unwind the distortion. In which case, the soul expands through it. As the soul is liberated, we are now riding the wave of experience all the way back to the Source, inside ourselves.
We come home to who we truly are, and live that here and now, through the experience.
It makes the experience more real. More complete. More energised.
Here's how we might achieve that in a four step process I call "Openhandway" - the spiritual compass...
- 'Open mind' - move into the place of the Observer of ourselves.
We become the OBSERVER of all arising thoughts, emotions and feelings. We observe the internal effects to external events without forming judgment either of ourselves or others. In understanding that the central purpose of life is greater self realisation, we simply witness the truth about each arising situation. In so doing, we work to release internal attachment and tightness to desired or resisted outcomes.
- 'Open heart' - connect with the consciousness of all life around us.
From the place of the Observer, we begin to liberate ourselves from attachment to the external drama. By bringing attention down into the heart, internal tension eases. We can then explore the full beauty of life through our five senses more fully and begin to sense the subtle vibrations of Unity Consciousness. The heart opens more and your psychic senses begin to activate. You start to taste the full depth and divine majesty of the moment. The inner flame of the soul is kindled.
- 'Receiving hand' - receiving the energy of the universe and open into blockages.
The consciousness of the soul infuses within. We begin to receive internal impulses to make higher truth choices in life. We’re caused to confront conditioned behaviour patterns formed from attachments by the ego to desired or resisted outcomes. By opening into these blockages, we release pent up pain and trauma. We expand into the tightness they generate, dissolve them and begin to access the 'void' - a magical, crystal-clear place of infinite potential.
- 'Giving hand' - we give ourselves completely to our perceived "Right Action".
By dissolving the automated reactions of our conditioning, we open an internal space from which authentic beingness can arise. We attune deeply to this feeling by applying ourselves to full energetic, mental, emotional and physical expression of this naturally arising beingness. We give ourselves completely to “Right Action” – a sense of ‘rightness’, which is totally aligned with the natural flow of the universe. We Observe and rejoice in the universe’s supportive synchronicity.
All roads lead to the One self - to YOU!
- It's not easy, we'll likely keep getting derailed and stuck from time to time. But if we're persistent, if we take heart and keep pushing the boundaries on the moment, then we'll keep penetrating the physically and ride the wave of the Soul all the way back to The One - all the way back to YOU.
It feels like you're continually coming home to who you are, and there is nothing like it.
I do believe we captured the sense of this really well in this Openhand video "Touching the Soul", produced by Trinity, with soul-stirring music by Tina Malia. If we keep following the journey of Self-Realisation, we're sure to find "all roads lead back to YOU". Enjoy...
(on behalf of Openhand)
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)
Openhand is a unique approach to spiritual evolution: integrating enlightened wisdom of spiritual masters through the ages, it is a way of tapping into the Benevolent Guiding Consciousness of the Universe and aligning with it in your life. It helps you unveil your True Self, remove karmic blockages and unfold your Divine Destiny. It leads to authentic, resilient and truly successful living.
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