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: "Openway" - attuning your spiritual compass
It could be in the blessing 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 three step process I call "Openway" - it's a method of attuning your spiritual compass...
'Open into the Soul' - soften through small “I” identity; tune into the mainstream of the soul and begin to follow it.
Through breathing, meditation and keen internal observation, you begin to soften identification with the small “I” identity, felt as tightness throughout the bodymind. You begin to pick up, and attune to, the subtle vibrations of the soul, often felt as expansiveness, timelessness, joy, peace, interconnectivity and unconditional love. Completely accept that the purpose of each and every moment is self-realisation and actualisation. Therefore relinquish the need for any particular outcome, or any resistance to the natural flow of the moment. Thus you start to connect up to the soul’s mainstream, which begins to speak through you as an inner pull to act or the landing of Higher Self intuitions. Increase the integration of soul by following these impulses as much as possible.
'Open through Blockages' - confront and unwind activating blockages; integrate fragments of soul releasing from the density.
As you increasingly attune to the mainstream of the soul within, subconscious blockages, tightness and karmic trauma are activated, felt as constriction, tightness and source pain. Become as-one with these experiences by completely honouring and expressing them. Work to realise either as a knowing or feeling, what the limitation was all about. Accept them to the extent that you don’t need them to go away. Once fully accepted, use breathing, movement, visualisations and emotive music to unwind the inner restrictions. Allow the fragment of soul to integrate by feeling your completeness in the situation.
'Open for Beingness' - soften through tightness into pure presence; unleash ever more authentic qualities of soul and step into Right Action.
By opening through blockages and source pain, you expand into the tightness they generate, dissolve them and begin to access the 'void' – a crystal-clear place of pure presence in the background of activity – our True Self. It feels like infinite peace and acceptance – awesome okayness, pure “isness”. From the infinite potential of pure presence, authentic beingness will simply arise. Attune deeply to these feelings by applying yourself to full energetic, mental, emotional and physical expression of this naturally arising beingness. Give yourself completely to “Right Action” – a sense of ‘rightness’, which is totally aligned with the natural flow of the universe, leading to resilient, fulfilling, successful and joyful living.
All roads lead to the One self - to YOU!
When make the switch in life from striving for a material outcome, instead to working to attune and liberate the soul, so that we may continually realise The Self, then life takes off in a big way.
It's not easy, we'll likely keep getting derailed and stuck from time to time. And that's entirely okay. 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.
PS - if you'd like support in attuning your own spiritual compass through life, consider our 5GATEWAYS retreats. Check out our Advanced Spiritual Course Section.
Openhand is a bridge into higher dimensions of consciousness. It is a way of tapping into the benevolent guiding hand of the Universe, to help you align with your soul through life. It empowers people to be totally authentic in who they are, and in so doing, facilitating a profound shift of consciousness into a new vibrational paradigm, in the Fifth Density. Discover more...Openhandweb, Openhand fb, Openhand TV