False Self and Soul
Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.
The flowers’ face turns easily and effortlessly to the sun, thereby receiving warmth, nourishment and strength. God sends love and light to all of us, saintly and sick, ignorant and wise, without discrimination. Just as there are barriers to the sun, which prevent plants from receiving its rays, we have obstacles in ourselves and in our lives, which disturb conscious awareness of God’s gifts to us. Problems and pain arise when the flow of divine love is blocked. Significant interactions, especially in childhood, which fail to actively demonstrate spirituality, trigger self-doubt and unworthiness. Defenses and adaptations to painful experiences create a false sense of self, which continues to attract similar stressful themes. These reinforcing experiences can lead us further away from our heavenly heritage and toward a search for fulfillment in areas that will ultimately betray us and leave us feeling empty.
We are tempted by what promises quick, easy “fixes” for pain, problems and lack of purpose. We are easily addicted to alcohol and other drugs, sugary, salty and fatty foods, compulsive shopping, sex and gambling, mania, money, numbing, power, prestige and violence. Our focus is on our five senses, our false self, and a society that disguises abuse, cruelty, dishonesty, greed and exploitation of the earth and its inhabitants, as progress, efficiency and ironically the improvement of humanity.
And yet, as human beings, we commonly devalue, exploit and waste what we acquire in abundance or never lose. Perhaps to fully appreciate and demonstrate the highest love in this life, we must experience specific challenges, obstacles and even traumas, before reclaiming the treasure of divinity within us. Sufficient negative personal experience and significant pain is generally required before we re-consider who we are and how we are living. Habits and defenses that offer even the illusion of temporary comfort are generally not abandoned without a long and difficult struggle. Given these factors, perhaps pain, problems, and the betrayal of all of the habits that we believed would help us, are needed to ultimately motivate us to align with our spiritual being.
We can ask ourselves in any moment of action, feeling, speech or thought, if we are coming from our false self or our soul. The answer is easy to discern. False self attempts to conquer, and creates chaos, conflicts, confusion and division. Soul is profoundly peaceful, loving, understanding and wise. False self uses anger and fear to amplify selfishness and willfulness. Soul uses gentleness, gratitude, humility and open-mindedness to enlarge its giving. False self nurses pride to hide self-hate and dwells in self-pity to avoid accountability. Soul does not judge us and reminds us that errors are to be used as opportunities for learning, healing and growth. False self blames, condemns and hates. Soul tells us that there is really nothing to defend or struggle against. False self has constant cravings, while soul is in a perpetual state of grace and fulfillment. We can learn from the consequences of our decisions and actions what it is that promotes emotional, mental and physical well being. Negative energies take us further from our divine essence and positive energies bring us closer. We have free will to choose our path and change our path at any time. False self uses the mind to give us worldly knowledge for this life. Soul uses the heart to help us understand higher truths, which give us the keys to Heaven.
We can use our daily experiences to become more mindful of our true internal state and of what we are learning in our environment. Prayer, meditation and communion with our heart can help us to integrate this life with our soul’s purpose. The more we focus on that which keeps us aligned with God, and actively demonstrate spiritual principles, the more of Heaven we bring to earth. Being a positive example of a human being is not easy or effortless. Yet our evolution and flowering is worth the time and devotion. We must identify all of the ways in which we keep ourselves in shadows, and one by one, remove these obstacles to our enlightenment. The more darkness we surrender, the more we feel divine warmth, nourishment and strength flowing through us. An abundance of blessings awaits us as we increasingly open our hearts to the loving spirit of God within us and within everything around us.