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Enlightenment as a One-Step Procedure
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
“To know the unlimited, be free of the limited.” –Ray Grigg
Taking a step into enlightenment and thus freedom could be as simple as a one-step procedure:
Using the “I and the it” perspective on a conscious, persistent basis.
Enlightenment: ‘Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual understanding or a fundamentally changed consciousness whereby everything is perceived as a unity.’ – Wikipedia
Higher Self: ‘Higher self is a new age term associated with multiple belief systems, but its basic premise describes an eternal, omnipotent, conscious, and intelligent being, who is one's real self. Blavatsky formally defined the higher self as "Atma the inseparable ray of the Universal and ONE SELF. It is the God above, more than within, us".’ -Wikipedia
Ego-Based Self: When I use this term, I refer to that aspect of a person which is motivated based on fear and survival, e.g. as illustrated by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The “it” Perspective
The it is the ego-based self. We usually identify with the it. Our self-image, our concept of who we truly are, is based on the it’s perspective.
This is a well-entrenched “myth” that 99% of us, usually unconsciously, subscribe to and from which we derive fleeting happiness or pain from our interactions and external experiences.
The it identifies with the body, one’s thoughts and feelings, roles (e.g. friend, husband, parent, boss, career, etc.) and other material possessions.
An example most of us are familiar with is dealing with loss (for example, grieving) and attachment.
Since nothing (that is, no material thing) really lasts forever and there is no such thing as certainty, taking things from the ‘it’ perspective, no one is spared from the pain and sorrow in this world.
The ‘I’ Perspective
The primary activity when taking ‘the I and the it’ perspective is to take the point of view of the I. Taking things from the angle of the I, the it is then observed. The environment and external experiences, including one’s own thoughts and feelings are viewed, as from a movie screen, as happening to the it.
The responsibility of the I would be to extend love and compassion to the it.
The attitude of the I as it observes the it is one that is curious, open, nurturing, attentive and accepting.
Using the pronoun ‘it’ the I observes without judgment the going-about’s of the it:
· it is getting up from bed
· it is brushing it’s teeth
· it is feeling fidgety waiting in line at the bank
· it is feeling hungry
· it is thinking habitual thoughts
· it is thinking happy thoughts
Thoughts and feelings that are chosen, as mentioned in the article “The I and the it … A Thought Experiment”, as acts of choice or free will, I attribute to the ‘I’, as I would for the experience of conscious awareness.
Stumbling Blocks in Practicing “the I and the it” Perspective
I have stumbled upon this potentially powerful practice of using ‘the I and the it’ perspective two decades ago, but was not quite able to assimilate it into my life as a habit. Here are some things I should probably have known 20 years ago:
1. One can only understand the lesson if one is ready for it
2. The practice needs to be observed for at least 21 days before it can develop into a habit
3. One needs to be consciously aware of one’s thoughts and feelings as one goes about daily life
Lacking the last item, conscious awareness, had the most significance as far as hindering my practice of using the perspective in finally obtaining an enlightened perspective.
Conscious awareness as one goes about in daily life, as I learned through those decades, is not easy to come by in our day and age where the rule is to keep constantly busy with ‘something’. In reality, our thoughts are spinning away, out of our conscious control, busy with the cares of everyday life. Wikipedia has an article on mindfulness (‘sati’).
A quiet mind is not only important to our well-being but also essential to peak performances.
Unity through the I and the it
I’ve started tossing seemingly conflicting ideas, philosophies and religions in mind and wonder whether the use of the I and the it perspective fosters a convergence of ideas on a deeper level?
The ego-based it, fear-based and struggling for survival, is the one that has a self-image that is flimsy and constantly needs to be defended.
Will the Christian I and the non-Christian I agree that it is their it that is in disagreement?
Will the theist I and the atheist I agree that it is their it that is in disagreement?
More Frontiers to Explore
Will there come a time when the it’s perspective be in total harmony with the I’s perspective?
Or as humans, will we always have a separation between our ego-based desires and those of our Higher Self?
While on the earthly plane, can the ego-based self completely merge into the Higher Self, so that all its desires originate from the will of the Higher Self? Is this the way of the mystic?
Or is this possible only once we have crossed over and decided to follow the Light to His Heavenly Kingdom?
Perhaps I should revisit the book “Embracing the Light”, for additional insights.
“Those who are defensive do not understand; those who understand have nothing to defend. The sage, by emptying of convictions, moves in accord with the way of things.” - Ray Grigg
For those who seek answers to the questions posted within this article, insights may be gained from: How to Know Higher Worlds.