Distraction is a significant reason why human beings need a constant reminder of where our true selves live. The reminder of self, through inquiry and experience throughout time, brings us back to an innate sense of who we were born to be. Understanding how a person’s sense of self is generated is complex and difficult to define. However, understanding how people develop their perceptions of self is an integral part of understanding human behavior. Reality is a projection of how we truly see ourselves, and because of that the self can be identified as three separate parts including sense of self as cognitive structure (Mind), flow of experience (Body), and sense of self as a soul, or entity.
The sense of self as a soul views the essence of being as constant throughout life. It transcends the physical being and experiences the self as more than just a physical “body,” but as an “entity” consistent across time (Hutchison, 2015). Through Prayer, a sense of my Self as a Soul is created. Knowing, God (the Universe, Source, Light) is the true essence of self. Oneness demolishes the idea of separateness and the ability to view God as One with all of Creation manifests in true physical form. The sense of self as a Soul is similar to the self as cognitive structure in that both are ever-changing and adaptable throughout a human life. The difference between the two is the mind attaching to the physical body, not as an “entity” of transcended Spirit consistent across time. When comparing the sense of self as Soul to a flow of experience over universal time, both are suggested to be an ongoing process in life and may involve existential beliefs, or karma from previous generations. The differences are that a flow of experience (human embodiment) in physical form is temporary, whereas the soul is infinite.
My sense of Self * as SOUL* Practicing mantra:
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Sita Ram Sita Ram
Meaning: May the Lord as Light and Virtue that dwells in my heart be victorious over all (internal and external) obstacles and difficulty. May the positive and transforming vision of the Devine in my heart, lead to the fulfillment of Divine Will.
Physicalism: the idea that human beings can be explained in terms of atoms and molecules (Hutchison, 2015).
A Reminder: Trevor Hall
When you’ve lost your way
Colors start to fade
Take a look within
Find your offering
Hold it to the sun
Let your spirit run
Remember find your center
My love it’s just a reminder
Find your center
When you research Trevor Hall’s lyrics, “Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” does not get included in them.
Ram Dass: Polishing the Mirror
Inside of me there’s a mantra going on that reminds me of who I am. It’s that place inside – that niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. Always bringing me right to my heart where we dwell eternally.
Mantra is the repetition of the names of God. Mantra is usually recited silently in the mind. When practiced daily, it has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. To be most effective, mantra should be repeated frequently; any time, any place – walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes. I used to do mantra while waiting in line, so as not be bored. Now I practice being here now in line….
In Buddhism, the word mantra means “mind protecting”. A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its’ usual mechanics, which often are not our desired or optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering, and for letting go of strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger. The more you practice mantra the more it becomes a part of you. When you need it on the psychological level – for example when you feel afraid, using your witness, you notice the fear and replace the fear with your mantra. This will occur naturally once mantra becomes an established practice. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and all beings.
Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart…. by Ram Dass 2015
“Them” is becoming “Us”
Be Here Now: in inner vision continues to pull and we continue to follow. Shifted our point of view from whatever we thought was going on, to seeing life as a spiritual journey.
“Just being” completely present in the moment, Just be. The process of clearing out our mind fields of clutter and attachment of just “Be Here Now,” is complex and daunting. It’s a multi-level game. As soon you focus one on part of the jigsaw puzzle, something else that’s even harder to deal with, invariably grabs your attention. As Ram Dass, the Mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.
Staying present is HARD work and it is a process, and just when you think you are mastering the idea of BEING HERE NOW, something much harder to master, an obstacle, comes into existence and creates a distraction from the path.
Witnessing: becoming the witness of our lives.
This is yoga, not just yoga within the body, but yoga within the mind. Yoga of The Heart, Bhakti Yoga, and the Yoga of Selfless Action; Karma Yoga. As the vails of illusion become more transparent, recognizing the limitation of identifying solely with thoughts and experiences with so called objective reality, the purer state of being. Removing the dust of impurities and attachments from the mirror of our heart mind, allows the light of the spirit to be reflected. As the layers become more transparent, the light shines through us and we begin to dwell in a less content latent, ever clearer, state of awareness.
Awareness in the Heart, “floweres” into Love, Light, Wisdom and Compassion.
Polishing the Mirror, this process of reflecting on ourselves by witnessing and by bringing our external life into harmony with our true being, resolves when we identify fully with our soul, and these layers of being merge in our spiritual heart. Perhaps then, there is a further stage, when we cease to experience ourselves as separate beings, when the paradoxical relationship of subject and object merges in oneness. This is called, “Grace.”
Gurus or Mentors help us to stay focused, and not be distracted by our own mental detours.
Tool kit to quiet the mind, open the heart, and enter into oneness.
These teachings offer practical ways to be here now.
A travel quite for the path to nowhere.
How to guide for finding the precious sense of inner peace and spiritual reunion.
Need more constant reminding of where your true self lives.
Road map to guide home.
The sense of self as cognitive structure can be related to the human mind. It is in touch with cognitive thinking processes and accepts these as representations of our “essence.” The self as thinker implies that action and emotion originate in thought (Hutchison, 2015). There are no assumed innate drives or motivations to act in a specific manner, and patterns of thinking and behavior are developed through habit, but can be changed as the brain receives new input. As Hutchison (2015) mentions, “schemata” are our internalized representations of the world based on early learning and development patterns that can be changed, but it does not come easily. Pantajali’s yoga sutra’s begins with “unified consciousness comes with cessation of thoughts.” This implies that quieting the mind allows the natural depth of the spirit to manifest. My personal practice of self as cognitive structure includes meditation, the practice of quieting the mind. Meditation stems from the truth that who you really are, is more than who you really think you are (Dass, 2015). The self as cognitive structure is not so much about being right or wrong, versus being functional versus dysfunctional. This especially holds true for when it comes to thought processes and cognitive behavioral health.
“The more you desire to know who you truly are, and why you are here on Earth, the more you are drawn to that truth.
As you are pulled inward, you begin to leave behind attachment that keeps distorting and narrowing your vision.
Your mind can take you into the spirit, but it can also keep you deeply attached to your ego, to who you think you are.
Western culture glorifies the mind, but there are other ways of knowing, and the thinking mind is only part of our being.
The reality of oneness is greater than what is available to you through your senses and thoughts.
Attachment to the ego, is what keeps you from being here now (Dass, 2015).”
My sense of self as cognitive structure includes a skillful use of contemplation, the path of knowledge and wisdom.
I use the mind (cognitive structure) to reflect on itself. What I think, I become/manifest.
As Ram Dass (2015) mentions, within the illusion of our separateness, what we perceive is relative reality, not seeing things are they are, but as I am. Reality is a projection of how I identify with the world. The projected illusion of subject and objects. Behind apparent reality, there is a spiritual dimension. Einstein once said “I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe, through my rational mind.” He understood the laws through his intuition. Again, the similarities between the soul and the cognitive structure of the mind include the ever-changing and adaptability both have. However, the mind is only attached to a body, not an “entity.”
The sense of self as cognitive structure (the mind) and the self as flow of experience (the body) both create a perception of reality based off of experiences, or stories. They prove different as well because the mind has the ability to use logical and cognition, whereas the body serves as armor for the soul.
The self as flow of experience (body) is an ongoing process of experience. Hutchison (2015) defines the self as flow of experience by stating human beings are subjective and ever-changing notion that serves “body as a vessel” thinking.
The self is never any “thing” at a single point in time, because we are defined by the process of becoming, a process for which there is no end point (Hutchinson, 2015). The sense of self as a flow of experience creates freedom to make choices. It’s essence is defined by the will to create meaning or purpose out of life. The sense of self as a flow of experience is consistent with “Narrative Theory, ” which is an ongoing process of constructing a life story that determines our understanding of ourselves and our positions in the world (Hutchison, 2015). Narrative theory suggests the stories we tell about ourselves and others create psychological and social realities. This can be closely related to people in our lives such as family, community or culture. An example of this includes karma from family members, or ancestors which creates ties to the attachment, or beliefs, held in previous generations. The sense of self through a flow of experience personally entails karma, the essence of being. It involves embracing the dark and light aspects of the human experience and carries the true essence and embodiment of Light. Not denying any parts of myself that make me whole, but balancing the duality in life by accepting all parts of myself in all forms. Sense of self as a soul and the sense of self as a flow of experience both are suggested to be an ongoing process in life, and involves existential beliefs, or karma, from previous generations. Yet; the body is temporary agent or vessel in one human lifetime, whereas the soul is infinite and not bound by time. Time is an illusion, just as it is infinite.
There is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth (Nepo, 2000). Using my sense of self to help spread Light and awareness on the true essence of the human experience may help to influence future generations. Strengthening my perception of the world will strengthen my perception of self.
As our perception of the world changes, our sense of self evolves through the process of stimuli and defines our realities (Hutchison, 2015). By remaining authentic to my Truth, my path, and to the Divine, I will use my power to serve others in which ever form best meets the needs of the population.
Hutchison, E. D. (2015). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Mark Nepo, 2000, The awakening
Ram Dass, 2015, Polishing the Mirror