In the world of dreams the unconscious taps into the greater Self (the center of the psyche–the transcendent, unchanging part of what we are). One can take the information from this world and in combination with his conscious self become a self-actualized whole. Many of the world’s mystics, shaman, wise men and women have discovered varied paths leading to the ultimate of the Alchemist’s dream–to transform our humble selves into the stuff of gold. The following represents nothing new, or profound, just another way of taking the path.
These 10 lessons toward expanding one’s consciousness are by no means the only means for attaining greater awareness of Self, but each require an ability to open one’s psyche to a greater whole than your ego-self ever imagined existed.
These lessons are deceptively simple and require constant practice. At first the path will seem smooth and flat, but after a time it will rise radically and become full of stones and tree roots ready to trip you at every step. Winds will rise around you and squalls will pummel you leaving the road slick and muddy.
The mind will give its all to convince you that you cannot do it, or that it is not worth the effort. There will be times when you seem to have reached the top only to find yet another mountain peak beyond that can only be reached through yet another valley. Basically, enlightenment is not for wimps and the closed-minded will never even find the path to begin the journey. Some will become distracted and wander into the bush and be lost forever. Only a few will have the courage, heart, or the wherewithal to find what lies beyond the veil of the mind.
If you wish, you could think of it as a digital game where you collect power and resources that will help you to attain levels of understanding that will guide you to the highest levels of awareness, sort of a Mario Bros. of the spirit world.
Does this seem a bit too dramatic? To those who have begun the journey my description is but a mere reflection of the trials experienced when one decides to take this journey. They also know that they often travel alone for this is truly the road less taken.
Do you wonder if you’ve got what it takes to travel this road? You’re already on it or you wouldn’t have read this far!
The Beginning 10 ways:
1) Embrace ‘not knowing’ and see what you get. Knowing fills the mind
and crowds out the empty spaces where the spirit dwells.
2) Be curious and live in the incomprehensible. The already explored and
comprehensible is of the small self–the limited self. Why explore what
you already think you’ve visited?
3) See with your heart (the head has its place in the realm of
things, but it is the soul that reigns in the greater world of the spirit)
4) Let go of expectations (they only limit you to what you already think
5) Surrender your willful point-of-view. A singular point-of-view rules
out all others and leaves you spiritually myopic.
6) Give up control. Control is of the ego-self–the small self. It is also part
of the defensive self that is only needed if you don’t feel safe–see below.
7) Embrace vulnerability because it expands what you are open to. The
opposite is to be defensive and that puts up walls and closes down
8) Daydream a little (Einstein was expelled for daydreaming too much,
but it was in his musings that he discovered the secrets of the universe)
9) Be a little impulsive and less reasoned. Creativity cannot be found in
the past that is gone–or in any future–which doesn’t exist. It grows out
from the moment.
10) Imagine what can be (it broadens the realm of possibilities and
encourages you to see what’s around the next bend)
So, what do most of these lessons have as their foundation, in what way are they similar? This not a frivolous question, and is perhaps the fundamental lesson to be learned in this group.
In future blogs I’ll explore other ways to reconnect with what the Jungian Analyst Dr. Murray Stein called “The spirit of the depths,” the instinctual unconscious. Carl Jung, a founder of Depth Psychology, looked for a way to bridge the gap between our conscious and unconscious selves. He suggested that it was symbology that could bridge the gap. He also went on to say that to leave the gap unattended would create and was actually creating worldwide neuroses. To him it was because of this disconnect with our archetypal instinctual selves that the world’s religions were becoming stagnant, adverse to growth, and no longer alive (or enlivening).