From the self to the SELF
Last night, my younger brother’s wife gave birth to a little girl. Like other infants, she was given a name, a place to live, and a family with which to grow older. As she develops, she will also acquire a particular sense of self, a personality and an ego. But for now, she is one with the wholeness of life. She is in a blissful state of potentiality, not knowing or experiencing separateness. She is in union with God.
As she gets older, an ego or a sense of “I” will begin to emerge. Like a drop that begins to separate itself from the rest of the ocean, a division will begin to form, one that creates a boundary between her sense of self and the wholeness of the Universe.
Throughout childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, ego boundaries may be poor and life’s experiences -both positive and negative – will either help to make her ego strong or keep its margins weak. If the ego gets strong, she will become like a firm drop separated from the rest of the sea. She will have a healthy and developed personality, which she’ll need for finding a job, having intimate relationships, and forming long-lasting friendships.
If her ego boundaries remain weak, or if she has experiences that challenges or impairs the ego – such as a death in the family, divorce, or loss of employment – she may question her sense of self, her identity, her attachment to being that small, separated drop of sea. Feeling the pain of loss, separation, and suffering, she may cry out, “There’s got to be another way!” With this declaration, a search for soul begins.
When her attention starts to shift away from the outer world and towards the inner world, the small, separated drop of the ego reconnects with the blissful wholeness of ocean. In depth psychological terms, this connection is called the ego-Self axis, and the formation of this axis is the start of transformation and healing. With this developing bridge between drop and ocean, between separation and wholeness, she may experience a new perspective on life. She may become more receptive, more accepting, and even appreciative of what has always been. She may see life anew, wanting to protect the spiritual seeds planted within her. She may even find that the outer measure of her worth is much less important than that which lies within.
Of course, what lies within is the landscape of the soul. She knows it to be so because whenever attention arrives there, she experiences a sense of ease, connection and timelessness. Feeling wholeness again and again and beginning to trust the inner world more so than the outer world, she recognizes that it is soul that navigates her life, not the strong, but misguided will of the ego. Sure, the ego may still want to take control, but it is only when the Self is embraced that wholeness can be experienced. So, though it is challenging, she begins to hand over her small will to that which lies beyond the boundaries of the ego – call it the unconscious, God, the Tao, the Self, the Universe. It is the wholeness of everything, the place in which nothing is forgotten, rejected, or lost.
With ongoing experiences of oneness, eventually the ego becomes a ceaseless servant for the Self. The spiritual bridge between ocean and saltwater drop is firmly in place and the link between the two forms union. As a channel for the Self, she is one with God. She has returned to the beginning, where as an infant she was in blissful union with everything, only now this inner state is a conscious one.
© Copyright 2010 Adriana Attento. All Rights Reserved.
This article was published by Spiritual Now at http://www.spiritualnow.com/articles/560/1/From-the-self-to-the-Self/Page1.html