Awakening to Wholeness - Book Contents
Awakening to Wholeness contains 7 highly informative chapters and 28 diagrams and tables.
Brief chapter outlines are given below:
1. Human Consciousness
Chapter 1 describes the psychological and spiritual composition of human beings. It explains how our early interactions with our parents cause us to create a mental concept of who we think we are (which is not who we actually are). We quickly become identified with this false sense of self and our ego gradually develops around this false centre of consciousness. But who we truly are (our true-Self) is always present and its positive qualities come to the fore when we feel relaxed and safe. So there are two sides to us: a calm, happy and loving side (true-Self) and a reactive and defensive side (false-self). Most of the time, we are somewhere between the two, as life's events cause us to swing between our true nature and our egoic nature. The chapter concludes by outlining a two-fold path to freedom that combines psychological development to loosen our identification with our inauthentic side, and spiritual development to re-establish our connection with our authentic side.
2. The Human Condition
This chapter describes the personality in more detail, including sub-personalities, split personalities and the "inner child". But the bulk of the chapter is about understanding the things we do (often subconsciously) that hinder our development and prolong our suffering. It includes sections on the ego, the super-ego (inner critic), the mind, the emotions and the body. It concludes with an explanation as to why life is designed the way it is, and explains how accepting "what is" can greatly reduce our suffering.
3. Human Potential
All living beings possess an inherent drive to evolve, to become the highest possible expression of life and to fully realise themselves. Psycho-spiritual development is the wilful co-operation with this natural evolutionary process. We only develop our consciousness through experience; theoretical learning does not develop consciousness. For example, seeing the word "fear" in print is not the same as experiencing it first-hand; which is why we incarnate. Life is all about developing our Self's primary field of consciousness (our soul). The soul is pure awareness imbued with a range of essential qualities, so purifying our awareness and developing our essential qualities are the meaning of life.
4. Personal Development
Personal development means "growing up" psychologically, i.e. freeing ourselves from the childish, defensive, reactive and egotistical programming that keep us from living life fully consciously. Personal development is the journey towards psychological mastery. It involves mastering our thoughts, emotions and bodies to free ourselves from the fears, inhibitions, insecurities, conditioned behaviours, negative emotions, critical judgements and limiting beliefs that prevent us from living happy, peaceful and fulfilling lives. This is achieved by removing the impediments (exiles, holes and ego structures) that keep us in these old patterns and prevent us from moving forward. Michelangelo tirelessly chipped away all the unnecessary marble to reveal his masterpiece – David. We must do the same to reveal our own inner beauty.
5. Self-Help Techniques
The personality and the ego are tools that our soul uses to develop its consciousness, so focussing solely on psychological healing is of limited benefit. It is working on the tool for developing consciousness rather than directly developing consciousness. Spiritual practices, on the other hand, focus on spiritual development but often ignore the deep-rooted psychological material that is holding us back. The effective development of consciousness requires an integrated two-fold approach. This chapter builds on the last by providing a range of simple self-help techniques that can be used to aid psychological healing and personal development.
6. Spiritual Development
Spiritual or 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). It 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 and experiencing all of life. There is nothing we can actually "do" to spiritually evolve because it is the result of not doing, undoing or being. Simply "being" is at the core of every authentic spiritual practice, including meditation, mindfulness and prayer.
7. Awakening, Realisation & Enlightenment
This chapter describes the processes of awakening, Self-realisation and enlightenment in more detail. Awakening is the gradual unfolding of human consciousness. Self-Realisation is a fundamental shift in our conscious perspective that occurs the instant we realise our true-Self. The Self suddenly awakens from its misidentification of being the ego-self to experientially realise its true nature and the integrated wholeness of reality. Enlightenment is the highest and most complete level of Self-realisation available to humans. It is a radical, transcendent and permanent shift in our consciousness that occurs the instant our Self moves up from the personality to the soul body (causal body). From there it can dissolve the remaining ego structures to refine the personality and complete the final stage of human evolution.
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