In her book, Transformers, Jacqueline Small states, "We are two selves, a spiritual (unified) self and a material (fragmented) self... The spiritual self is Truth because it is our original blueprint, complete though unmanifested." The material self is part of our human condition and not to be discarded; it should come under the control of the spiritual self.
When each has found its rightful place and is functioning according to its purpose, it strengthens the other. This results in a more balanced, energetic, profound, and peaceful personality. When the material self (the ego self) is in control, it is as if we have forgotten who we are. We become timid, afraid, easily threatened. We build defenses to protect us from some undefinable danger. Many times we are so fearful of encountering ourselves that we escape into addictions, obsessions, anger, and blame. Even hobbies and busyness can serve as escape hatches. We are so full of painful emotions, usually brought with us from childhood, that we think we can't cope with feeling. We shut down, turn off, and thus our creativity is halted. Most of us carry within ourself a wounded child. Healing the wounded inner child is dependent upon finding your inner self. Knowing yourself empowers and enables you to parent the inner child thereby healing his or her wounds.
The inner self is the spiritual self. It is your authentic self. By getting in touch with who you really are, you find a safe place from which pain and loss can be observed rather than feared. You can begin to understand your specialness, your uniqueness. You find that deep within you this inner being is more spiritual and more creative than you have ever imagined. Allowing this self to flow into expression through the creative process is a healing experience.
Peter London writes in No More Secondhand Art, "Art is a prayer... a fresh vital discovery of one's own special presence in the world." The discovery of our inner being is vital to a healthy concept of self. To know this inner person is to learn to love the self. Love of self is a prerequisite for the ability to love others. We must learn to see the inner godness and beauty within ourselves before we can see the goodness and beauty in others.
I have long been aware of two voices within myself. The one is demanding, fearful, clamoring to be heard. It tends to be loud and easily hurt - quick to feel rejected. At the same time, even in moments of extreme emotional upset, I am aware of a still small voice saying, "You really know better than to react like this. Isn't this rather childish?" I used to laugh about this "little voice over my right shoulder" that refused to allow me to feel sorry for myself or to revel in my hurt feelings for any length of time. As I learned to practice periods of quiet meditation, I began to hear more from this inner voice, my spiritual self. I began to recognize it as the voice of a higher power. It was soft, peaceful, calm, non-judgmental, loving - a direct contrast to my emotional or ego voice, as if it were a direct contact with the Spirit of my Creator. I began to understand that placed with the human being is a knowing which I recognize as the indwelling Spirit. I believe this Spirit is our guide to the Truth. Various religions throughout the world use other names, Universal Consciousness, the Absolute, the Higher Power, but they address this same indwelling.
The search for that higher power usually takes place outside ourselves - yet, here is the divine Spirit right within, speaking in a still small voice. I recall that Christ emphasized to his followers that "the Kingdom of God is within," but they, too, found it difficult to comprehend the inward journey. When we learn to quiet our emotional clamorings, we become aware of this indwelling Spirit speaking to us on a very intimate level. This experience is as fulfilling as "seeing" a burning bush. It is a reminder that, in the words of Marsha Sinetar, "we are all divine, all linked mysteriously, while each of us remains separate, unique. We need to respect, even encourage, the diversity amongst ourselves, maintaining a clear core of self all the while and serving one another, too." We have within us everything we need with which to discover our unique purposes in life - we have only to learn to hear our spiritual (inner) voice and see through our spiritual (inner) eye. Letting go of the fear means letting go of the frantic search for fulfillment through the material self.
New Thought Journal/Summer 1997/excerpted with permission from Through the Inner Eye by Jan Groenemann, Islewest Publishing, 4242 Chavenelle Road, Dubuque, IA 52002-2650, 319-557-1500.
Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.