UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF



                              


A delicate relationship exists between objective individuality, or self and soul personality, which when balanced is experienced as bliss. Self-mastery is the achievement and maintenance of a state of balance in the relationship between the self and the soul personality through the course and stages of individuation and maturity. In the perspective of the self-soul relationship we may come to a better understanding of hallucinations.
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For convenience, we may think of the course of individuation and maturation in four phases. From the viewpoint of the self, the first phase concerns the identity of self as object. The objective individuality is concerned with the mastery of the physical sensations and motivations. In the second phase the self develops its identity as a social entity. It is concerned with the refinement of its relationship with human beings and other creatures. The third phase involves the self with determining its identity with the universe.
The self develops awareness of the extended dimensions of personal reality into time and space. The fourth phase concerns the identity of self as source. The experience of identification and identity with the cosmic becomes the central issue.
Hallucinations in their content reflect the self-soul relationship and the phase of individuation. The basic ground of phase one and two is separateness. Communication between the soul personality and the self will be experienced as if coming from another. In the first place the signs and symbols communication from the soul will be in terms of “miraculous” signs of strangely transformed objectives. Or in the second phase, the communication may take the form of especially significant social events or happenings.
The quality of the experience will be colored by the emotions, thoughts, and attitudes characteristic of the self-soul relationship at the time. In the instance of considerable immaturity, of stress, irresponsibility, or fear and hostility, the experience of communication with the soul personality will be highly distorted and will be perceived as threatening. In the state of harmony and appropriate responsibility for oneself, the communication may be experienced as a benign and supportive partnership.
Too often, when drugs are used to overcome the physiological mechanisms of consciousness, a person –either in fear or ignorance –comes to experience the quality of separation more intensely and to give greater reality to the belief that the power is in the drugs as objects. Similarly, mystical practices may be abused to force an altered state of consciousness, enhancing the intensity of separateness and the fearfulness of objective reality.
The third and fourth phases of individuation are more appropriate than the first two for the pursuit of higher consciousness. Objective individuality will be established and well grounded in its experience of objective and social relationships. Efficient management of physical and emotional needs will be based upon mature understanding developed out of practice and experience. Self-mastery in the experience of emotion and thought will be well accomplished.
Objective individuality, as a vehicle of experience, will be prepared to appreciate and translate increasingly subtle universal experiences. The relationship between the self and the soul will be ready to sustain the necessarily exquisite cooperation between objective and subjective consciousness.
The basic ground of phase three and four is unity. Communication between the soul personality and the self will be experienced as if coming from a dimension of oneself. The communication has the quality of deepening understanding and expanding the richness of meaning. Physical objects and social events become contained in a context of meaning and value.
The sense of personal identity, once shaded by fear and the question of survival, becomes illumined with a divine partnership and the anticipation of an unimaginable future.
Socrates was a criminal in the minds of the ignorant, and crazy in the eyes of the fearful. Socrates has become great in the eyes of history for his courage to live life in truth. How else should we come to know peace profound?