The diagram above, although not perfect, is my best attempt to capture my views of the nature of Self. I used the shape of the teardrop because it has a point at one end, and an expansive bulb at the other. Much like this shape is the human experience, where our limited existence (humanity) is the tip of of our expression, and the most expansive aspect is our so-called “Higher Self.”
If you look closely at the diagram, you’ll notice I’ve marked the tip at the bottom of the shape, “Human experience.” This is our greatest limitation. This is the mundane human who thinks all they are is their body. From this vantage point, one is entirely limited to the distance they can reach.
A person at the most mundane extreme has no concept of deity, no Self beyond the body, no astral dynamics, nothing but the physicality of the world. Because of this limitation they can only manifest change in their physical microcosm and the change is made through physical means.
The spiritual seeker is also rooted to this state. We too experience our physical world through the conscious awareness of being a limited being, the only difference is that we have an aspiration to the Higher. We become aware (gnosis) of greater states of being, and are able to shift into these expansive states of mind, to effect greater change in our microcosm, as well as our macrocosm.
At the point of body death, or near-death, the body illusion is made manifest and the individual gains an awareness that they are more than their body. Those who cling to a body will find this a terror, while those who are believers in a faith, will find some comfort in the process, through their own mythos or tapestry of belief.
At the other extreme, separated in the diagram by a dashed line, is an area identified as the “Higher Self.” It is known by many names: Socrates called this “the Daemon,” Crowley called it “The Holy Guardian Angel,” Kabbalists referred to it as the “Neshama,” Buddhists might refer to it as “the Direct Perception of Emptiness” and modernists today may call it “Christ consciousness.” Through it all, one idea overlaps: it is a guiding principal or total awareness. It is the source of our power and capability. It is entirely our own “I” but at a much more expansive state – a state so vast it can feel like an external being… even a god. I believe many a mystic and religious zealot, having a direct revelation of this Source, has fallen victim to thinking their expansive self was an experience of their chosen deity. Every being has this higher aspiration, hence the adage, “the god in me witnesses the god in you.”
For many, the initial grand goal is to attain commune with this state of Self. It may be called “knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel,” or by some other mystical descriptive. This is a key step in the guiding light towards one’s true nature. Once the link is established, one moves from unknown guidance, to direct knowledge (gnosis) with the Higher Self – even acting as the Higher Self.
I’ve penned in circles of various sizes, and labeled them, “External Reference.” To explain this, I’ll first describe a concept in traditional Buddhism: the concept of emptiness (shunyata).
Emptiness is a philosophy that believes all things lack self-existence. In other words, the things you perceive come from “your own side,” and not from the thing itself. Where you see a pencil, a child sees a toy, a dog sees a stick and a violent man sees a weapon. The object itself lacks any real “pencilness” and is defined only by our individual perception.
In this way, we could say that our natural state never truly see things clearly. It’s as though we perceive things through colored and distorted glass. Through spiritual effort, one attempts to remove the glass and perceive directly.
Those objects we perceive, they do exist, but we struggle to clearly seem them. They are hidden within layers of our own baggage (psychological, spiritual, etc.) In other words, we have a reference to every aspect of creation within us.
That means, that if we look within, we can see (visions, dreams, inspiration) other realms, galaxies, through time… as it all is here within us.
Our expansive self is so vast it holds a reference (a copy) to every object / person / concept / ideal in our personal universe. At the most mundane, this reference is the books you read, the car you drive, the people you talk to. In the esoteric, these references are are spiritual beings, egregores, that you have brought to life with your own energy (power, which is The Force, or Dao.)
Your belief creates the references within your personal universe. If you believe your boss is a villain, then the boss is. But your co-worker’s personal universe may believe the boss to be “misunderstood” or perhaps “a really great guy” and they are equally right.
Yes, I’m aware of how challenging and frustrating this can be. “But what about [insert some true villain in history]?” If we see them as a villain, they are a villain, but they are not so in a self existent way.
While we could focus on the frustrating aspect here, a better analysis is in the freedom this gives us. We can create!
When a person believes their god heals, and they lay hands on someone, praying believing, and that person is healed… is it their god? Or was it their power (the Force) working through their belief system? I think the latter.
One can create realities within themselves… and use those realities to impress outwardly on those who can also accept it. You can shape you reality with your belief – in fact you do it already, just unconsciously.
The fluid that interconnects all aspects within our nature of Self, is the Force… the Dao/Tao, if you prefer an older name of it. This fluid caries the will of the essence of Self into every aspect of being. If we tune into it, it guides us to our true purpose (the goals of the Higher Self are translated through the proverbial fluid of the Force).
In this way, all things are yoked together, even the external references that we carry within us. The reference of the enemy and the reference of the lover, they are both here within us and bridged with the Force itself. In this way, there is always a sense of unity with all things we experience.
Interestingly enough, the Force within us… that also seems to be an external reference to a Greater Force.
You are something amazing aren’t you? More than a body, more than a astral ghost… you are an expansive being that fills your universe.
A grand goal is to commune with the Higher Self… even grander is to work with the Higher Self, to become the Totality of Self. That means, to become all of what you are, taking ownership of all external references you hold, all beliefs and all ideologies. Unifying the lowest, to the highest, one becomes the Total (true) Self.
Consider the inspired words of Aleister Crowley in this regards:
O Thou that sittest upon the Earth! (so spake a certain Veiled One to me) thou art not greater than thy mother! Thou speck of dust infinitesimal! Thou art the Lord of Glory, and the unclean dog.
Crowley speaks to the dynamic nature of a person. At one and the same time, they are the speck of dust infinitesimal, and the Lord of Glory.
I’ve tried to capture this dynamic in the tear-drop metaphor.
At a state of totality, one is no longer driven by the limitations of humanity, yet they are able to move and act (discern and chose). There is the balance between total expansion and total limitation.
Reaching into the higher states of Self, one starts tasting the fruits of Creation. The Flower of Life, as it where, is made manifest. The individual explores their ability to create.
What can be created? You can manifest change in conformity with will (magic), or you can create your own realms and give life to your own ideas and beings.
We do this unconsciously, but magic is the act of doing it consciously. Rather than allow our unconscious to spray a reality before us, we chose to create our reality. We chose what deity, beings, or spiritual tapestry to manifest into your lives.
This is the Chaos Magick aspect. One becomes the creator, removing themselves from the picture, in order to create a separate living environment within… much like the Kabbalaist Tzimtzum… as we were created, so we create.
Creation doesn’t require us to be aware of our totality of Self. Many a magician is capable of drawing in money, or building a bridge to a spiritual entity, and yet they don’t know their True Nature yet…
This is due to the powers of Intent, Will and Belief. If these three are in place, the power of the Force within you will manifest the desired goal.
So ends the lecture on the Self and the Force… and how it relates to becoming a creator.