A Human Being = Self + Soul + Personality (mind, heart & body). Our Self (divine spark) is the transpersonal element of our being; our mind, heart & body are the personal elements; and our soul (or causal body) is the field of experiential awareness and unique blend of “essential qualities” that integrates them all into a Human Being.
Unless we are enlightened or self-realised, we we have lost touch with ‘who we truly are’, and we live from a mentally-created false self or ego-self. Our belief that we are our ego self makes us feel separate and insecure – cut off from the unity and oneness.
The one thing that we are all seeking in life is happiness. We might say that we are seeking fame, fortune, success, sex, excitement, adventure or spirituality, but all of these things are just strategies to find lasting happiness. None of these things actually make us happy; it is the value we put on them that makes us feel happy or not.
Our authentic happiness is blocked by our (false) belief that life is not how it should be; i.e. how we want it to be. This unfulfilled false belief gives rise to negative emotions – the negative emotions make us feel uncomfortable – the ego equates the discomfort with unhappiness – so the ego tries to alleviate the discomfort by seeking happiness elsewhere.
Emotions are the most polarised aspect of our being; i.e. they carry the most charge. So the more emotion we experience the more difficult it is to keep things in perspective and remain objective. The more emotion that accompanies an experience the more we identify with it and the more we take it personally.
Whenever we want something, we generally start suffering. We tell ourselves “I will be happy when I get what I want”. We are basically telling ourselves that we cannot be happy or contented until we get what we want. We believe that getting what we want is the only way we can end the discomfort of wanting, and if we believe that, that is what we will experience.
We have to discover “who we are not” before we can truly discover “who we are”. We have to exhaust all the external avenues for finding peace, happiness and contentment before we seriously consider looking within. In the end, it is usually our yearning to be free from suffering that prompts us to embark on the inner search.
Conscious awareness is commonly referred to as mindfulness, but it isn’t primarily about the Mind – it is about Awareness. Our soul’s awareness of the mind, heart and body. It gives us the power to notice our thoughts, emotions and behaviours without identifying with them or defining ourselves by them.
The soul is like a seedling – it requires conscious engagement with Life to grow and to blossom, but most people’s relationships with Life are semi-conscious. If we don’t consciously engage with Life we will make very little progress and remain passive victims of Life’s circumstances.
If we don’t consciously and fully experience our physical, emotional and mental responses to life (as they occur in the present moment), our resistance causes them to become stuck, until such time as we are willing to consciously and fully experience them.
When our experience is uncomfortable or painful, our usual strategy is to try to push it away, resist it, reject it, or numb it with something like alcohol, drugs or over-eating. Our avoidance strategies may bring a temporary sense of relief, but avoiding the underlying issue actually increases and prolongs our suffering.
The biggest false belief that we hold onto is that we are our ego-self, but we also have a primary belief that shapes our fundamental approach to life, and a collection of core beliefs that influence our different strategies for life. Discovering these false beliefs is the key to liberating ourselves from the ego’s narcissistic, controlling and fear-based strategies.