by Alan McAllister, CCHt PhD-phys
Contemplate what it means to be a whole being. We are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual all at once, fully integrated, a single beingness with multiple aspects. While your awareness and experience is often focused on one of these levels more than the others, shifting in time from emotional to mental, to physical, to spiritual, and back again, the shifting character of your experience is due to the changing focus of your awareness not to an inherently separate nature of, or lack of relations between, these different levels of being. You exist continuously on all these levels and when something happens on one level it has an affect and an impact on all the others.
Our experience and training as human beings leads us to focus mainly on the aspects of our small self, our human self. This has been necessary in order for our species to evolve and survive on planet Earth. Our larger Self, our spiritual aspects or our Soul, however, is always present, whether we are aware of it or not. The wholeness of our being is the nature of our existence, but not in the nature of our awareness until we have learned how to integrate the different levels.
In theory this makes the process of opening to and integrating awareness of our Soul with our usual human self a simple matter. We don’t have to create anything, earn anything, or prove anything. We do perhaps have to learn some things about working with awareness, in particular how to accept and integrate the new types of soul awareness, that are mostly non-verbal.
On the other hand, there are aspects of the human self that resist this process and thereby keep us in an experience of being limited and separate from Soul. These aspects are not being malicious, but are operating on beliefs that, while understandable and based on our human experience, are inherently false.
Being connected to and at one with our Soul does not threaten the small self with annihilation. Realizing that we are a Soul as well as being human does not make the small self obsolete. It is still necessary to express our Soul in the material world. We are both, and both are necessary. It is possible to be whole and complete as the small self and also to be connected to, and at one with, a large Self. We are not meant to replace one with the other, but to integrate our awareness of them as two aspects of our whole nature.
The fears of the small self that it will be changed, in the course of spiritual practices leading to a realization of the soul self, are partially true. Learning to identify with the soul self, unless we do so to the extent that we drop the body and let our human self die, does not destroy the ego mind. We simply shift our focus of awareness to a different level and when we come back to our human consciousness most of the old patterns of the mind are still there. Even if we may in some sense dissolve the normal ego mind, we must re-create it, or reintegrate it, in order to continue to function as a human being in the world.
Although the pain and wounds we have suffered as a human being may motivate us to connect to our souls, there is nothing inherently wrong or incomplete in who we are as humans. Neither do we have to perfect our human self before connecting to our soul self. Your soul has compassion for you, arising from an unconditional acceptance of all that it is, of all that you are. So that while it may be interested in helping you to heal, to grow, to realize yourself, it never does this with any judgment.
Your human self may at times be afraid of being seen by your soul. This fear is based on its experiences of being judged by other humans including parents, teachers, friends, and strangers. This is not the truth of how our Soul relates to us. The Soul does not judge or make the small self wrong either, as the Soul loves it whole Self including the human aspects, unconditionally. So the whole class of fears that the small self has about being unworthy, or flawed, or any of the other varieties of self judgment that we are capable of as human beings, are, from the point of view of the Soul, illusions of the ego mind.
There may also be a hesitation, or fear, on the part of the ego mind, that it will have to give up cherished goals and priorities. This arises from the part of the human self that wants to use spirituality as another survival tool and use it for the ego’s own purposes. It is just this part that we need to surrender in order to become all that we truly are. The Soul is meant to express itself through the ego, it is not there for the ego’s gratification or use. The more you connect to your Soul, the more the imperatives and goals of the ego naturally and easily shift, aligning effortlessly with the expression of your Soul.
Understanding the small self’s fears is important to adjusting the underlying false beliefs, reducing your own internal barriers to realizing the wholeness of being. Witnessed from the place of the Soul, these shadows melt in the light of loving kindness and compassionate regard, and as they dissolve you will come gracefully into a place of wholeness and connection. Opening to your own Soul, you will experience this, returning to the home that has always been there.