Self-Realization is to experience the truth of who and what we are beyond the body and mind. It is that self-awareness in self-knowledge to experience and realize the self. Since we know and claim that the body and mind are ours to use and not be used by it, it indicates we are beyond the body and mind. Both body and mind are mechanical unless the life energy awakens and activates both. The life energy is that wakefulness and aliveness of the body and mind, which we refer to as the soul that undertakes physical life’s journey in duality.
Initially, when this life energy – spiritual awareness enters the mind, it settles in the unconscious section where there are no thoughts. It refers to the mind’s super-conscious area or the individualized soul. It retains its purity and plays a role in making the mind first aware and then, after that, conscious for the mind to choose and experience life in dual opposites of this and select for its likes and dislikes.
Spiritualism primarily revolves around self-knowledge because once we have self-knowledge, there seems to be nothing more to know as far as spirituality is concerned. Further, self-realization is more in its beingness rather than in its becomingness. Otherwise, the mind though phenomenal remains limited and finite in a material world of ego with identifications and attachments under the umbrella of desires and emotions. In such a material living as it is evident today, the spirit of self-awareness gets restricted, and the soul, in turn, gets imprisoned by the body, mind, and ego.
The mind, body, and soul are the three essential but separate elements of our life. And we hardly know anything about them. Because there are many differences between the psychological self and the spiritual self, it can be confusing for many. Let’s try to understand them in detail.
Always remember, you are independent of your body and mind – they are yours; meaning the quantum or the content of what you are, and the awareness of that quantum is the context, subject, or the quality of who you are, as the self without any name and gender. A formless state of supreme energy can make the mind aware and conscious of its body and mind and the environment – That Art Thou or I am That.
According to a spiritualist, the mind is the false self, the thinking self. It is in duality and revolves around this: happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain. It creates an ego-self, a selfish self of “me and mine”. So, for a psychologist, it is the ego-self they are referring to, which is nothing else but the mind, a bundle of thoughts that can primarily think only in self-interest for self-preservation in body and mind. A name and gender with a mind constantly in a state of sub-consciousness from its memory and intellect, surviving from borrowed knowledge to expand its intellectuality.
A spiritualist would say it differently. He would say that the mind is asleep even when it is awake. Why? Because the third element, the soul, is dormant. It is just the mind which is functioning, and over 98 percent of the time, it is on the auto mode in sub or lower consciousness. The mind is working without even bothering to become conscious. This is because to be mindful is to slow the mind to become spontaneous, centered, and focused instead of multitasking. It becomes more intelligent than a scholar through its intellectuality. Therefore, thoughts are subconscious movements from the mind in a different frequency to that of the conscious activity observed and witnessed by the soul. So random thoughts are from the mind without its center, and conscious thoughts are the actual self – the soul containing the spirit of cosmic awareness settled within.
Self-awareness helps a spiritualist go from the ego-self to the soul self, the true self, which he refers to as Sakshi – the witnessing consciousness. It witnesses everything impartially without prejudice, bias, preconditions, or justifications. It just observes without any response from the thinking mind. This impartial observation reveals everything. Only after the observation can the mind think about whatever you have observed consciously or subconsciously.
To a spiritualist, the observer, observing the observed is one, and it is done through the soul when it is impartially observing its mind inwardly, spontaneously without any bindings from the mind. This process is called self-awakening.
Self-awareness is knowledge of the self to know what the soul is. Because without knowing the soul, how would you know who your actual self is, which is beyond the thinking self in subconsciousness from past awareness.
According to spiritualism, there is something higher than the soul. It is that universal spirit above the individualized soul. It has the supreme ability to make the mind aware. The soul contains a portion of the spirit, and you only get glimpses of it during periods of eureka – bingo, I’ve got it.
The soul settles in the superconscious section of the mind where there are no thoughts, and the mind is functioning at its lowest frequency. The universal spirit settles in every individual soul, and we refer to the aware energy from its suffix of -ness. The role of the soul is to utilize this sublime energy for watching, witnessing, and observing as a “Sakshi”. In ordinary life, you can perceive the soul’s functioning whenever your mind crosses any limits, like eating, drinking, or fast driving when a subtle inner voice warns that you are indulging in excess. Whether you listen or not to this soulful voice depends more upon the intensity of your desires at that moment.
There is a mental process in spiritualism that we know as meditation. In the first stages, you learn how to concentrate your mind to go towards the soul. If you do not focus, it will be working at a subconscious level, the lower level of consciousness. The moment you concentrate, you become conscious, and then you go into ‘dhyana’ where you contemplate, introspect, and observe your inner thoughts. You become the witness of what you are at the highest level.
The final stage is that of samadhi, where you integrate all three – body, mind, and soul, and no thoughts are playing the drama – the Leela or the Maya of life. The whole process is how to become self-aware, discover your actual self, and gradually experience the third part of your discourse: self-realization. Self-awakening in self-awareness is more to eventually realizing there is no self to realize. Because the eternal, ultimate Self is that ocean of cosmic awareness, where there is no individual soul, body, or mind to discover anything because it is already that embodiment of eternal realization in universal understanding.
Mark Twain once said, “there are two important days in a man’s life, the day he is born, and the day he discovers why.” These are the most important discoveries to be made.
You start with discovering your body for your health, then learning your mind, and finally, discovering your mind through self-awakening, meaning soul awakening.
Self-awareness means the soul enables the mind to become aware of who and what one is beyond the body and mind. And then finally, you come to self-realization, and gradually you realize that there is no self because this body and mind are transient. It’s temporary. It appears and disappears in the cycle of birth and death, where death is merely a new beginning of another round.
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