In part, I have covered pieces of this topic in different posts (linked below) as an understanding of the self. Consider that “me,” “I,” “you,” are but agreed upon constructs. Our beliefs set our level of awareness of “self.” If you chose to believe you are a body only, then that is one’s experience. As I hope to logically express, the spiritual path offers a reframing of this agreed upon experience, so that we ultimately identify with our totality of self. Often, our constructs of self are so limited in scope that they only include our most limited nature.
In some schools of thought, such as the Kabbalah or the Temple of Set, the idea of self is outlined as a layered expression of expansion. In these paradigms there is a linear progression of expansion of self. At one end of the spectrum is a finite self that is only the mundane body. On the other end of the spectrum is a vast sense of self that is expansive and beyond the body sensations.
Personality is Body Based
While existing outside a body is debatable, for the moment, accept it as a potential reality. If we are greater in expression than a body, then we expand outward in our expression. This expansiveness has an identity and perhaps a personality, but I contend that it’s not the same personality we have in a body.
Think of the body personality. Without a body, how could those feelings persist? Those desires of flesh and carnality, those fears of death are as vaporous as sickness and pain sensations. They are all rooted in body sensations and without a body, they would cease to exist.
Think about it logically. Your spiritual self (whether you call it a soul or the mind) that extends beyond the body has no nerve endings. There are no nerves to produce the jolt of pain. That spiritual essence of you has no euphoric brain chemicals produced under sexual pleasure. The mind (or soul) is missing a meat brain that can be depleted of endorphins, which cause depression.
In other words, sexual desire, pleasure seeking natures, pain and suffering, as well as depression – these are ALL manifestations of the BODY. Logically, if we persist beyond the body, then all those body manifestations are NOT our totality of experience. So who and what are you? Who and what am I? Something much greater.
Therefore, the body awareness is a more limited sense of experience. That which is beyond the body, is an aspect of “me” (“you”) which is more expansive of experience.
Expansive Nature of Self
Psychologically the “self,” is a very confusing topic. At on moment the “self,” correlates to one’s own body… but in an instant the psychological concept of self can extend to include family or friends. As they are happy, we are happy, as they are hurt, we are hurt.
Temporarily, the sensation of “self” can even include objects. A new expensive item becomes something we care for, like an extension of our own nature. A new car that took years of saving to acquire, brings us terror at the thought of someone scratching the paint or denting the door.
A nation under attack, snaps the sense of “self” of many to immediately identify as the nation – responding back with equal force.
Think about it, where is your “self,” right now? As you read this, “where are you?” Are you in your head? Will you always be there? Ever had an out of body experience, or a remote viewing experience? How did that happen? Even if you didn’t “leave your body,” how was your mind able to produce such an externalized experience?
If we continue the premise that there is a substance of “me” (“you”) that is more than the body, then logically, this substance (soul, or mind) is at various levels of expansion. I think there’s a level that is so expansive, the sensation of identity permeates all of existence (both in the physical universe and in the non-corporeal existence.)
I’m saying that there’s an aspect of “you” that is as vast as the objective universe. This “self” fills your entire subjective universe, and as that is unlimited in scope, it can affect the objective universe at any point in space and time.
What blocks a person from accepting that this is true, is simply our barriers of belief. Our belief sets the stage of our awareness. Spiritual work really is about the goal of encroaching upon an expanded sense of awareness. Whether one is seeking God, or seeking the Higher Self (most expanded Self), the spiritual work gradually builds our awareness towards that goal.
Limits of the Self
Logically, it follows, that if your “body awareness,” is the most limited aspect of “you,” then those activities which trigger focus on the body sensations (drugs, sex, pain, grief) are limiting. These are sensations to put us back to sleep, not waking up to our totality of experience.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life, yet the enjoyment can outweigh the work of identifying with something beyond the body. There’s no shame in falling in love, building a business, or buying a home. These are fine activities, but they also (at the same time) pull our sensations into a finite expression.
Perhaps what is required, is balance. Be human and enjoy life, but also take the time to go beyond the human experience, in the spiritualized goal of becoming something greater.
Folks like Michael Ford, and Michael Aquino, they might suggest the goal is to become a God. Buddhists say the goal is to become the Buddha (which is god-like.)
So it’s perhaps a balancing act. Too much focus on going beyond may be an unbalancing of “self.” Too much focus on pleasure and body needs is likewise an unbalancing of “self.”
I feel the most important aspect of this article, is to express the idea that your totality of self is not the body experience. Being in body, is but one form we all take. There is a much greater expression of experience, and that’s through the entire track of expansion. This would be the totality of self. This is the self that includes the body, the unchangeable self, as well as the spiritual all that expresses itself everywhere.