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.
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.
Our soul has an in-built coping mechanism to repress the overwhelm, so that we can carry on with our lives. A piece of our soul withdraws from the distressing experience, carrying the distress away to a place deep within us (or in extreme circumstances, outside of our body) where it can no longer overwhelm us.
Focusing is a body-oriented process of self-discovery, which begins with simply noticing how we feel in our body and getting a “felt sense” of our present-moment experience. Getting a “felt sense” is the key element of focusing, because gives rise to deeper insights than thinking alone can provide.
Self inquiry is a relaxing and sinking of awareness through deeper and deeper layers of ourself until we arrive at our essential being or true nature. It takes us beyond what we already know, to discover new aspects of ourself and reality that are beyond our imagination.