Why should we allow our “spiritual self” to prevail?
The spiritual self is just one of our four selves. When we are conceived in our mother’s womb, three of these selves begin to develop. This happens through DNA coding and the emotions our mother experiences while carrying us in her womb. The fourth self, the spiritual self, is fully developed at conception.At birth, the trauma experienced by us from leaving the safe confines of our mother’s womb to the sense of individuality, adds to the development of the three selves. In our early years, the loud voice of our physical self tends to govern us and our actions. This is based on the primal need of the physical body to survive. As a baby, we cry when hungry, sleepy, tired and uncomfortable. This is the earliest form of expression. It is without thought or emotion and is guided purely by our survival instinct. As we learn to speak, we use our mental self to form words which are governed by our survival instinct- which is our physical self. Awareness of parental and filial love are the first emotions we experience. As awareness of our emotions develops, they begin to color and guide our form of expression. Hence, we are now guided partially by our physical and emotional self, using our mind (mental self) merely as an instrument of expression.
The development of our intelligence through conscious teaching, experiences and curiosity, gradually shifts the governance of our being to the mental self. This shift announces the birth of the ego. Our ego is our premier defense mechanism. It is strengthened from the inside by our self confidence, self esteem, and ability to manipulate people and situations. It is further reinforced from the outside by the opinions of others, the awards and virtues bestowed upon us by society.
The strength and size of our ego is based solely on judgement. Judgement of ourselves, which is based on our ability to understand, comprehend, react, manipulate and control our environment and our estimation of our strengths and weaknesses, which directly reflects on our past actions and consequences thereof. This need to judge oneself is created by an insecurity of who we are in relation to the Universe. Self-judgement tends to create double standards. For example, we expect speedy forgiveness for a transgression, yet we are slow to forgive. Thus, our judgement of ourselves is erroneous, resulting in a fragile ego which is in constant need of being “propped up”.
Religion and society have instituted moral codes of conduct and thought, which serve to create an image of ourselves through the concept of “virtues and vices”. This reliance on these laws pertaining to the governance of our behaviour to define who we are causes us to project a false image of ourselves to the world around us. The image we project depends on our estimation of the person we are interacting with. For example, we project an image of reliability and earnestness to our employer, yet we may project a totally different image to our subordinates, friends, relatives, and associates. The fact that we project so many different “faces” lends to the notion that they are false images and do not reflect who we truly are. This “chameleon like” behaviour makes us lose sight of our true personality and nature. Hence, we are insecure.
If we were to rely on our spiritual self and allow it to project itself and govern our actions, we would be projecting an honest image of ourselves as described in the old adage, “what you see is what you get”.
The burning question is- how do we get the mental, physical and emotional self to relinquish control after a lifetime of governance? Challenging and complex though the question may seem, the answer is simplicity itself. In every interaction and situation, put yourself in the other person’s “shoes” or in the opposite “camp” allowing yourself to view things from a different perspective and act accordingly. This enables the application of the unselfish and universal code: THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER.