C - The Two-Fold Path of Awakening
Consciously shifting our awareness directly from the false-self to the true-Self is almost impossible, and even if it does occur, it doesn't always last. Before we can permanently enter the "authentic" world of our true-Self we need to neutralise the "inauthentic" charge of our false-self. This is achieved by:
When we pass through the neutral zero-point, our sense of identity spontaneously shifts from the false-self to the true-Self; then Being and Becoming unite. This book describes an integrated two-fold path of awakening that can lead us to enlightenment and beyond:
Figure 10: The Two-Fold Path of Awakening
Personal Development - Growning Up - Becoming Self
Personal development means "growing up" psychologically; i.e. freeing ourselves from the childish, defensive and egotistical programming and reactions that keep us from living fully conscious lives. Personal development is the journey of perfecting the authentic personality. It involves mastering (not repressing) our thoughts, emotions and bodies to free ourselves from the fears, inhibitions, conditioned behaviours, reactive emotions, critical judgements and limiting beliefs that prevent us from living happy, peaceful and fulfilling lives. This is achieved by dissolving the "negative" psychological material that keeps us trapped in these old patterns, and by actively expressing positive qualities in our daily lives.
There are five main elements to personal development (each of which will be described fully in Chapter 4):
Trasnpersonal Development - Waking Up - Being Self
Transpersonal development means "waking up" spiritually, i.e. raising our level of consciousness (to connect with our true-Self) and widening our breadth of consciousness (to experience life more fully). This is depicted graphically in Figure 11.
Transpersonal development involves re-connecting with, knowing and ultimately realising the true-Self. It is not about transcending the world; it is about bringing higher levels of consciousness down into our being and expressing them in our daily lives. It is about being here as fully as we can in the present moment.
Figure 11: The Spiral Path of Transpersonal Development
There are four main elements to transpersonal development (each of which will be described in Chapter 6):
An Integral Approach
Personal development and transpersonal development are distinct but not separate – there is considerable overlap and integration. Developing and integrating the personal aspects of our being (mind, heart and body) helps to develop our spiritual aspect (soul), and developing and embodying the spiritual aspect of our being helps to develop our personal aspects. Or put another way – dissolving our ego structures allows our true-nature to express itself more, and embodying more true-nature helps us to discover and dissolve our ego structures more easily. Both approaches synergistically combine to help us to become more authentic and help our consciousness to evolve. The evolution of human consciousness is optimised by facilitating these natural processes.
Figure 12 (left) depicts Roberto Assagioli's (the creator of Psychosynthesis) egg diagram:
Figure 12: Egg Diagram – Increased breadth of awareness from practicing presence
Figure 12 (centre and right) shows how practicing presence (wide or open focused awareness that includes our entire body) expands the breadth of our consciousness, which allows us to experience more of life. Our consciousness develops and evolves through experience, so increasing the breadth of our awareness by practicing presence facilitates the development of our consciousness.
Personal self-inquiry is the conscious exploration of the sub-conscious; it brings sub-conscious psychological material into conscious awareness. If self-inquiry is practiced with open focus / body awareness / presence, it expands the natural breadth of our conscious awareness and increases the "depth" of our conscious awareness (as represented in Figure 13).
Figure 13: Egg Diagram – Increased breadth and "depth" of awareness from self-inquiry
Meditation and spiritual Self-inquiry are the conscious exploration of the super-conscious; they bring super-conscious insights into conscious awareness. If meditation or spiritual Self-inquiry are practiced with open focus / body awareness / presence, they expand the natural breadth of our conscious awareness and increase the "height" of our conscious awareness (as represented in Figure 14).
Figure 14: Egg Diagram – Increased breadth and "height" of awareness from meditation
The Dynamic Evolution of Consciousness
Consciousness is alive – it needs to flow – and if it doesn't flow, it stagnates. Consciousness needs to flow Inwards and Outwards, which is the two-fold path. Focusing only on one aspect of life (inner OR outer) means that consciousness cannot flow freely, and the result is an unbalanced life:
Simultaneously focusing on both aspects of life (inner AND outer) creates polarities between which consciousness can flow:
Figure 15: Personal Development (Becoming Self) and Transpersonal Development (Being Self)
Consciousness flows more freely as we progress along the two-fold path because there are less ego structures to obstruct the flow. The major milestones on the path are as follows:
These topics are described further in Chapters 4 and 7. For fuller and more technical description of the higher self, enlightenment and beyond please refer to The Science of Spirituality by Lee Bladon.
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