Articles

1. Know Thyself

Introduction:

The transformation from ego-consciousness to higher, expanded consciousness levels can present challenges or be caused by necessity, especially when a certain plateau of consciousness has been reached and a person wants to take his/her life in a different direction.
The current spiral of destruction too presents us with the need to change ourselves and to contribute to peace on earth, in whichever small way.
In order to provide a brief overview of specific spiritual development processes I will refer to Transpersonal Psychology, Zen Buddhism and Religion Psychology of the mystical and religious experience.
These three fields all use some type of phased development of ego-consciousness in people into higher spiritual levels, whereby the ultimate goal is: inner experience of the level of God Consciousness and Unity Consciousness.
The transpersonal vision of Wilber, for instance, distinguishes a layered consciousness with “prepersonal, personal and transpersonal layers”(1).
These transpersonal phases constitute the higher consciousness levels that fall outside basic sensory perception and of which we can become totally aware.
These transpersonal fields carry significance for this article.


Transition

When does a person really experience the transition to a deeper, or higher, reality in her/himself and what could be the purpose of such transition?
Wilber points in this context to the necessary condition of an “integrated sense of I, in which body and spirit are one in a harmonious way”, in other words: in balance. Without this condition, the possibility of the ego-consciousness to reach a higher, expanded level of consciousness will generally not be possible, but there are exceptions.
This means we have to work on ourselves, become slowly aware of levels at which we function, and grow from there.

In essence, this is about the age-old task imposed on people by the ancient Oracle of Delphi: “Know Thyself”, which is still just as valid in modern times.

We call this: Know Thyself, an inward path to really get to know ourselves.
Know Thyself does not mean we have to distance ourselves of the (laboriously) attained selfconsciousness.
On the contrary, knowledge of oneself in this sense leads precisely to awareness of the Divine in ourselves, or to a very deep inner awareness and experience about a person’s own real Divine Self.
After experiencing the important phase of an integrated self, having more or less stabilized this experience, and having opened up for the All, for spiritual life visions, for meditation, symbols, dreams, etc., it becomes possible, in a moment of surrender and deep relaxation, to become completely disclosed to reach a wider, higher level of consciousness.
What follows next is an overwhelming experience of Peace, Happiness and Love in the consciousness..., of a perceptable breakthrough and flow of energy, of a broader functioning of the senses, (illuminations, seeing lights), of heightened spiritual, mental, and physical activity, of balance, health, deep intuitions, and (for example) a sense of wonder about the beauty of every-day life.
From this moment, a person can recognize The Self, God, as The Cosmic Source of All that exists, from inner experience, and learn to listen to It, to identify with It and live in accordance with It. (The 5th consciousness level in The Path to Peace).
This first level/stage of spiritual experience sometimes is called: “Spiritual Awakening” or “The first Mystic Life” (so called for instance In the Mystical Tradition of Christianity: see for instance books by Evelyn Underhill


On the Path to God Consciousness and Unity Consciousness

Consciousness development can further progress e.g. through meditation, surrender processes, mental discipline, control of the emotions and the body.

This is a time of progression, of experiencing an ever greater balance of emotion and reason, of rest and activity, of allowing deep intuitions.
In general, this is about a process of deepening knowledge of oneself, of greater inner and outer awareness, of further identification with The Source, to some day grow to the level of Prophet Consciousness (the 6th consciousness level in the Path to Peace).
This stage involves living based on Divine Wisdom and Universal Love, subordinating one’s own life and will.

Consciousness development can continue further.
In this “last” stage people want to reach complete Unity and Identification with the Source of all existence. It is best to Long for Unity with The Divine Source of All Life (or with a Goddess: Isis for instance, who says about Herself : “I Am The One That Is All”, or with a God: Vishnu for instance) in a balanced way.
Mostly after a (long) time of deep knowledge of oneself, of deepest surrender and silence, of complete identification with The Source, can the highest experience of God Consciousness and Unity Consciousness become aware in ourselves, and lead to the ultimate experience of complete Unity with God. (The 7th consciousness level in the Path to Peace.) This experience is a gift from God.

It involves a Unity that foremost rises above all contradictions (e.g. above the contradiction of “depression and ecstacy”(2) ).
This highest level of Being is called Absolute, in contrast to the previous levels of consciousness that are relative.
Zen Buddhism calls this experience “Satori”(3); Christian mysticism calls it “Unio Mystica”, and Transpersonal psychology speaks of the “Ultimate Level of Consciousness”.
Experiencing God Consciousness in ourselves is very specific.
During earlier experiences like intuitions and revelations, a more or less distinguishing sense of I is still present.
During the stage of God Consciousness however, the sense of I is completely drowned into the Self.
(God),  into The Void/ The Emptiness/The Nothingness THAT IS All “ !
We don’t have a conscious experience of The Void in this “last “ stage of the Mystical Path, because our sense of I –consciousness has dissolved into The Self for a shorter or longer period. That’s why I speak of an “Experience without Experience “.You do not know that you have dived into The Nothingness !
But…After a while we “awake”, and we KNOW that our spirit was completely One with The Great Spirit of God, and we are silent and speechless or we can only say: I AM…
(Below is an example of one of my Poems of such an “Experience”: “Vast Emptiness”).
This is what we call the moment of Rebirth, of a spiritual, mental and physical Renaissance.
A person dances, if you like, top of a Pyramid or on top of a mountain.
It is an indescribable and unspeakable experience, initiating a time of great joy in life, pure Bliss, great vitality, health, creativity and deepest knowledge of oneSelf, that in many different ways can be passed on to others to the benefit of the world.
You have truly found the Divine Self in yourself, you have truly found Yourself.
Becoming aware of all levels of spiritual consciousness during one's lifetime is very special.
It shows the possibility for development, a starting point where one can begin, especially in times of destruction and threats to peace, because this inner transformation leads to peace in oneself and in the world.
The development continues, until one slowly becomes more and more anchored in God Consciousness.
As a person progresses, she/he will develop more and more experience to achieve the inner Self, for instance by deep meditation.
Once in complete balance with the Self, there is no longer any difference between the Divine Self and I, between heaven and earth.
Reaching this stage, the so-called State of Unity, is the ultimate destiny of humankind.

MYSTICAL POETRY:


VAST EMPTINESS

Breathless
I disappear in the Silence
Of Silence
The Silence of All Time in
The Timeless
I dissolve
In The Unknown

Only Spirit now
Pure Being
My body is no longer
So is my soul
I know no longer

Only Spirit AM I
Eternal Enclosure of
All Being
Eternal Being in Eternal Sleep
“Sleeps” The Silence of All Time
Until The Endless End

I am not
Dead
I am not.
For some time.
Later time and space
Wake up
And I too will Be

New Life


Mystical Poetry by Marianne Raemaekers.
In: “Paradise Consciousness”.
(Original Language: Dutch).

 

By: Marianne Raemaekers
Bulletin 2, August 1990 of the
Interdisciplinary Society for
Analytical (Jung) Psychology (IVAP)
Adapted: April 2005/December 2014

Literature:
1. Wilber, W., Eye to eye: The quest for the New Paradigm. Lemniscaat, Rotterdam, 1985.
2. Jan Weima : “Reaching for Eternity. Introduction into the psychology of Religious Experiences” (In Dutch.Not translated into English). University of Nijmegen. The Netherlands.
3. Suzuki : Zen Buddhism. Ankh hermes Deventer, The Netherlands.
4.Elizabeth Haich : Initiation . Amazon.com
5.Erik van Ruysbeek, Mystic. “ Facets of a Diamond. Conceptions and Approaches of Mysticism” (In Dutch. Not translated into English). Leuven Belgium.
 

 

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