The Inner Self and the 'Natural Way'
This article discusses some of the perceptions of our human consciousness relating to the Inner Self, explaining the various aspects of this consciousness, as well as providing information about the experience of travelling within to better know 'self' and discover an inner balance with all things.
The Inner Self
The word 'Inner Self', refers to a combination and collective of aspects of our consciousness, which include the subconscious mind (also known as the 'child self', 'basic self' and 'lower self'), the super-conscious mind (also known as the 'higher self' or 'true self'), but it is more than just this... the Inner Self also refers to the gateway or window
through which we re-connect to these aspects of self, as well as referring to the inner communication and guidance that comes from these aspects of our consciousness once we reconnect to them.
The truth of the Inner Self is that our consciousness is a unity, connected to all life, all unity, throughout the reality and all the way back to the fundamental conscious life force of the universe (also known as Chi / Ki / Prana / Energy/ God / Spirit). Our consciousness is our human soul, the part of us that cannot die; cannot end: the part of us that remains conscious no matter if it is before birth, during a life, or even after death. Our human soul is our ultimate true self!
Of course as humans, we love to label and categorise everything, even aspects of our own consciousness; we do this so that we can understand. The part of us that does this is known as the conscious self, the rational mind (also known as the ‘middle self’ or ‘adult self’). In
terms of understanding our limitless and infinite consciousness or soul, the conscious rational self (the part of you reading this page) breaks down our consciousness into smaller fragments that we can categorise and understand. Thus ancient cultures have labelled these fragments of our consciousness in various languages.
The conscious rational self of a human being will often remain unaware and asleep in terms of understanding its nature, true self, larger big picture of the universe and its connection to it. A good metaphor for understanding the nature of the conscious rational self would be to say that the conscious self is like a human that has amnesia. When a human has amnesia, there is much that they cannot remember about them self, such as their name, who they are, why they are where they are, who their family and friends are, where they grew up etc. However, there are also many things that they do remember, for example, how to speak in the language they speak, and how to walk and perform certain actions. Ironically, like a human with amnesia, the conscious self is the least conscious aspect of our consciousness. It may know certain things about its current personality, but until it goes through an internal awakening, it will remain unaware and out of touch with other aspects of its consciousness or greater awareness. The un-awakened conscious self cannot remember who it really is, its true nature or true self (the infinite soul and true personality); it cannot remember that it is actually a part of a greater whole and connected to all things in unison, thus it feels separation, individuality and loneliness. It cannot remember its life purpose and why it has chosen to incarnate. It cannot remember its soul connections and relations (other souls incarnated with). It cannot remember its collective experience from all its previous incarnations in previous forms. Indeed, it may not even know or believe that such things are possible. And yet, there lies dormant within the conscious self, a key to all the answers to these questions, as the conscious self is connected to other aspects of its awareness that do remember, such as the subconscious and super-conscious mind. The conscious self has the ability to go through an awakening where it can begin to become ever more aware of these other aspects of consciousness.
As a human walks a path towards expanding its awareness or consciousness, it goes through stages of reawakening and thus becomes more self-aware. At first the human conscious rational self will become aware of other aspects of its self, such as the subconscious mind or child self and the super-conscious mind or higher self, however, it will experience and understand these aspects as a separation (fragments) of itself, and thus will experience the (conscious) communication with these aspects of the Inner Self as it would a communication with an outside being. As the human continually expands their awareness through whatever purpose, experience, technique or pathway, they will come to a further awakening where they can comprehend and experience the paradoxical nature of the human soul as the unity it actually is. Thus the conscious self will merge in unison with the subconscious and super-conscious self, once again becoming their true self, only in human form. So, the Inner Self refers to all these components as well as to the path towards awakening and enlightenment. Another term for these aspects of our consciousness is 'the three selves'.
The 'three selves' or 'three souls' are terms that are used by various indigenous cultures to describe these aspects of our consciousness and the basic personalities they appear to have. Each human has within them these three selves, or basic levels of consciousness; the subconscious; the conscious and the super-conscious. Indigenous peoples who understand these basic levels of consciousness have been known to depict the three selves with animal symbols. The animal symbols used are different within various cultures, however, they can be similar, for example; as the subconscious mind is understood as having a close relationship to the earth, it is usually depicted as a creature that moves across the earth on its belly such as various types of snakes. The conscious rational self (the main aspect connected with the un-awakened human), is depicted by a creature that walks across the land on all fours. The symbols used for this aspect could be a big cat, wolf, or dog, but could also be any creature that exists within the indigenous culture’s land. As the super-conscious self or Higher Self is understood to be in touch with higher levels of awareness and has the greatest vision, being able to see far into the past and future of the conscious self (middle self or soul), it is often depicted as a bird of some kind (usually an eagle). The Inner Self relates to the collective of all three of these aspects working together in unison to provide clear inner guidance, becoming the inner teacher.
When someone strengthens their connection to the Inner Self, they experience the reality in a very different way, no longer feeling completely separate from everything. The more they can integrate with their greater whole, the more they can awaken certain abilities linked with the Inner Self, such as: higher intuition, inner knowing, internal guidance and
direction, utilisation of life force, greater understanding and compassion. As they integrate with their greater whole, they also unlock all potential and inner talents brought with them or chosen to possess within this physical incarnation. From this point on, the reawakened human consciousness can continue to grow and expand through further stages of awakening, continually understanding a greater portion of the reality, and releasing more of its infinite potential as it continues to expand.
How does anyone know any of this information to be true?
I feel this is a good left-brain question, and there are a couple of ways we could try to answer this question. Firstly, we could follow the traditional pathway of learning, which is the logical left-brain study of previous knowledge and history to gain insight and understanding. So, we could look at our human history... Throughout our history, many ancient cultures have believed such things about our consciousness to be true and have discussed them in their various languages in one or another shape or form. As we look at these cultures and study information about them, we can learn something from their knowledge and belief systems. If we look back into the spiritual practices and beliefs of ancient cultures, religions and spiritual paths such as the Coptic’s (early Christians), Essene's, Buddhist’s, Hindu’s etc. We find that many had similar ideas about the human soul and its evolution in consciousness towards an ascension or enlightenment. Furthermore, if we look even further back beyond civilisation into our indigenous ancestor cultures that have existed for aeons upon this earth, living closely with the earth itself, we also find a great source of knowledge within the similarities in their natural way of understanding the human soul, its unity to all things, and its evolutionary journey. While this path of left-brain research is interesting, informative and can provide much confirmation on such things, for most people it can often lead to a dead end, as it does not always satisfy and convince the left-brain how anyone can really know such things to be true. for example, how did the very
first people understand these levels on consciousness and how to evolve with them? How did they know what they knew? Often the beliefs of such ancient peoples, cultures, spiritual pathways or interpretations, are based upon the beliefs of previous generations who have simply taught future generations to believe such things and to have faith in them, so it becomes a challenge to our left-brain in understanding if any of this is true or just ancient belief in legends and myths. However, what we also find when researching history is that
if we trace back and look at the very beginnings of these belief systems, they are usually based upon the teachings of someone, or a group of people who claim to have actually attained such knowledge through internal exploration. So, many of these ancient pathways tell us that one has to look within to find the answers...thus bringing us back to the Inner Self.
For many people, the path towards self discovery and the development of the Inner Self will begin with the left-brain approach of asking questions and then studying historic pathways, spiritual / psychological knowledge and techniques in an attempt to find the answers.
However, at some point, one would need to use a different approach to truly understand, as the left-brain has a real problem with understanding things of a paradoxical and unity based nature. For other people, the path towards the development of the Inner Self may begin with a more right-brain approach. As crazy as it often sounds (to the left-brain), the right-brain approach to understanding these things is just to know and to be. Where as the left-brain understands information, the right hemisphere of the brain, just knows. This
knowing is based in intuition and instinct, which when experienced, can be an incredibly powerful force and source of knowledge. This is why throughout history there have been those who have opened and released the knowledge from within the Inner Self. A part of them knew what to do instinctively. It is this instinct and intuition that are part of the right-brain approach to finding, understanding and learning knowledge.
So, the other way we can answer the question of how anyone can know these things to be true, would be to understand the nature of the right-brain and the subconscious mind.
Our human brain is split into two hemispheres, the left and the right. When we look at the brain, the two cerebral cortices are literally in two halves and separate from one another, only connected at the bottom by the corpus callosum and the spinal cord. The two hemispheres work and think very differently from each other, so differently in fact that they actually act as two separate brains, communicating in certain ways together through the corpus callosum. Each brain understands and processes information about the reality in such a different way that it is almost as though they are two completely different personalities that are concerned with and think about different things. In terms of computers, the left brain functions like a serial processor and the right brain functions like a parallel processor. Everyone uses both hemispheres of the brain, however, people tend to be predominant in one or the other, thus we have left-brain people and right-brain people.