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Exploring the Unique Self and beyond … Discovery and Gratitude (Part 1)

Hands Reflection

By Hans Jecklin

When, more than 40 years ago, I undertook my first steps into the cosmos of Jungian psychology, I was soon confronted with the opposition of an “I”, the person I am in this life, and the “Self” that Carl Gustav Jung understood as both the source and fulfillment of the “I” or as the prior source of potentials for the “I” to manifest in life. Jung was aware of the danger for the “I” to identify with this “Autonomous Reality” or “Divine Archetype” and warned of ego-inflation when a person would – even unconsciously – try to occupy or control that higher reality.

This mostly intellectual differentiation of “I” and “Self” accompanied me for a long time after I started my spiritual search. The longing for the direct experience of God had not only led me beyond psychology, but also to quit the reformed (Christian) church that had been my parents’ choice. I then spent nearly twenty years of practicing Zazen, Tao Yoga and Kashmir Shivaism and went through many dis-illusions, having mis-taken the impermanent for the eternal, until finally grace took over.

Tired of the year-long search through cultures and places, I had at one point asked my Self to make no more fuss and take me over to the Siddhis: “This is like dying” it responded and faster-than-I-could-think a chorus of inner voices exclaimed “This is what we have been waiting for!”. When after a seemingly endless fall through extreme darkness, I ended in indescribable bliss, I realized that this was the unconditional love I had always been looking for and that the irresistible longing that had led me through this labyrinth of temptations is the nature of GRACE.

The natural wish to bring this deep experience into my life of a family-father and business-man soon brought me to understand that — yes! — one hand there was nothing more to search for, but that, on the other, this was just the beginning of the real exploration into spirituality, one that might never end in this life-time.

Happily enough, my longing and curiosity had also led me to a form of past-life therapy where I could experience the “Inner Self” as an undeniable reality: as the presence of eternal, all-encompassing love and wisdom within me. Within this setting, I learnt to surrender to its guidance as an ever-present source that would not only send showers of love through my cellular, emotional and mental bodies but was capable to help me understand and transform traumatic imprints that had been limiting the unfoldment of my life purpose: Unconscious imprints or conditioning, resulting from this lifetime and — depending on our understanding — from cultural heritage (familiar, ethnic, racial, human) or past lifetimes.

Having become a facilitator of this transformational work — which I do not label as strictly “past-life” anymore — I  have over the years been enriched by so many experiences that I can gladly surrender to it, without any doubts about its unique power of love and wisdom. It is my supreme inner guide that not only carries the potential to manifest my unique role on this planet (or in the universe?!) but its wisdom is constantly guiding me into perfect circumstances and moments, right people, books and teachings that I need at a given moment to better respond to the challenges of the ever-evolving present.

I have learnt that I can grow into such subtle intimacy with this endless source of love and wisdom that it has become a supreme partner of dialogue  It may — at my request — permeate and transform or expand my consciousness by its love and wisdom in order to more completely perform my role in the favor of humanity, our planet and the cosmos.

I know that the “Unique Self” that manifests through me is but an aspect of what I would call a “Prior Unity” of all possible potentials, ready to manifest in this or other universes. These potentials constantly arise from the “ONE undivided and eternal presence”; they must originate from before the singular event that we assume as the BigBang and — according to limited human understanding — have evolved through the play of eros and agape ever since.

I have been shown by GRACE how to knock at the door of the “ONE”  that as to my present understanding might be my eternal home, but I know at the same time that NOW my role within this life will be guided by the “Unique Self” that is constantly present within and beyond me.

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I am open for additional inspiration to enlarge my present view which — as we all know — is provisional. Please also do not hesitate to ask whenever my limited capacity of writing in English needs support.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks

Inner Revolution: The 7 Steps of Radical Transformation

Butterfly

By Sally Kempton

Note: This post has been previously published, including an appearance on the IEvolve.org website. We’re proud to present it to the readers of Spirit’s Next Move.

Feel like all hell is breaking loose? You might be experiencing a radical transformation that could change your life for the better.

1. The Wake-Up Call
You realize that something needs to change.

2. Holding Uncertainty
You search for methods to help you change, explore teachings and avenues, all the while being willing to live with the insecurity of being in a process of identity-shifting.

3. Asking for Help
You approach teachers and mentors, and you strongly appeal to the power of grace itself.

4. Grace, Insight, and Awakening
Grace opens the situation, creating a breakthrough, inner shift, which may manifest as new gifts or insights.

5. Honeymoon
Enjoying the new situation, you live in the breakthrough. It may feel like being in love.

6. The Fall From Grace
You lose touch with the new gifts, experience the consequences of over-confidence, and a sense of dryness or loss of contact with your Source.

7. Integration
You bring insight to bear on the contractions that have caused you to lose contact with grace, you apply spiritual insights to the nitty gritty actions of life, and you experience the ripening of your breakthroughs over time.

Doug went on his first yoga retreat because he hoped to do some firsthand research into the effect of yoga on stress. But one morning on that retreat, he came out of meditation knowing beyond reason that something in his life had to change. “Everything I was doing felt utterly inauthentic,” he told me. His medical practice had gone dead for him, and it had been years since he felt a real connection with his wife.

A few days later, Doug confided his new insight to his wife, telling her that he needed some time out to contemplate his path. His wife thought he had gone crazy; soon the fault-lines in their 20-year marriage had cracked irrevocably. Now they are preceeding towards divorce, while Doug studies yoga therapeutics and spends hours every day meditating and writing. His children won’t speak to him. He tells me that he cries several times a week, and feels as if he were swimming in a fast hot river of emotions—his own and other people’s. Even more unsettling is the fact that he doesn’t know where all this is taking him.

We often don’t realize, when we enter a transformational process, exactly how much upheaval we may be letting ourselves in for—and how radical the uncertainty we may feel along the way. In one of Rumi’s poems, a boiling chickpea speaks up from out of the stew pot, complaining about the heat of the fire and the blows of the cook’s spoon. The cook tells him, “Just let yourself be cooked! In the end, you’ll be a delicious morsel!” Over the years, when the fire of yoga has felt especially hot, I’ve often turned to that poem, It describes so well the psychic cooking that goes on during certain phases of transformation. Transformation, after all, is a process where you literally allow yourself to be softened, opened, even broken apart, in order to expand your sense of who you are. When you are in the midst of the process, you might feel like that overheated chickpea, or like cookie dough—raw and untogether. It’s hard to keep your cool, or even to convene the different pieces of your personality. You say things that other people find weird or embarrassing. Even more dislocating, you don’t know exactly who you are. That uncertainty—the feeling that you’re caught between an old self and an unknown new one—is one of the signs that you’re in a true transformative process.

Transformation is different than spiritual awakening or enlightenment. The contemporary philosopher Yasuhiko Kimura defines transformation as a dance between Being and Becoming. ‘Being’ is the changeless source of all that is, the formless ground where words and categories dissolve, and which many of you have perhaps touched during meditation or Savasanana. ‘Becoming’ is the part of you that grows, changes, shifts. It is the realm where inspiration becomes actualized in the world. Being is your still center, your source; becoming is your personality, your body, and your interactions with the world.

When you have a spiritual awakening, or even a deep experience of stillness in meditation, you are returning to pure Being, immersing yourself in the love and freedom of undying essence. Transformation, on the other hand, is what happens when the insights and experiences that emerge out of pure Being meet your ‘ordinary’ human personality and your day-to-day reality and begin to infuse your choices and relationships.

Doug’s transformative process was actually a recognition that the insights he was touching in meditation were demanding to be lived. An old friend of mine described a similar moment in his life. He’d spent a month in retreat with his teacher, finding that his capacity for loving had increased exponentially in his teacher’s presence. Back in the stream of ordinary life, he’d watch the love evaporate under the daily pressure of making a living and dealing with the minutia of life.

For him, the process of transformation arose from the tension between the love and wisdom of pure Being that he experienced while on retreat, and the real life habits and feelings that characterized his ‘old’ self. It’s that tension that actually births change. In fact, the tension is part of the process, a sign that transformation is immanent or in development. There are other signs that you can learn to recognize too, because for most of us, real transformation happens in stages that can be tracked.
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