The Quest of the Authentic Self
By Ida Lawrence, published on March 13, 2014
Be not of two minds! Now that’s sage advice and one would think I’d know all about it, having been born a Pisces, but no… in my ‘impressionist’ mode of operation I have battled myself in a dreamy ocean current. Today I do try to see more clearly. It seems we face more challenging choices today than ever before, and that’s cause enough to look more closely at those two minds.
There is one mind that we know quite well, and that is the mind concerned with our physical existence within this 3-D ‘reality’. We have to maintain our lives and the lives of our families, and give attention to everyone’s well-being and growth. The grip of the matrix on our physical existence is pretty strong for all but the most skilled escape artist. Within this grip certain behaviors are rewarded or justified: competition, people pleasing, self sacrifice, specialness, opinions, indulgence, laziness and escapism. Religion is in there too, and new age spiritualism, and of course fear. I mean really… what isn’t there in that overwhelming pull of the ‘reality’ current?
What isn’t there is the ‘Quest’ of the authentic self. The directive to be not of two minds can easily be applied to those of us who have grown up with a feeling that there is so much more, something so immense and full of possibility… a different ocean perhaps, or another more liberating current than this particular one. Our yearning to know leads us to strain against the pull of conformity and materialism.
Since being of two minds is stagnating, we’re warned against it: you cannot serve two masters, so pick one, and mold your life around it. Conformity, of course, desperately wants us to stay in place. Comfort is there… and if we can’t find comfort easily, we can take a few pills. Shut down that yearning; the TV or the church or the expert will answer the questions. It’s all good… until it isn’t.
The higher self doesn’t make demands… it simply invites us to expand beyond what we know, which is frightening, as there is so much out there beyond what we know. We’re insecure, bombarded with information that may be false or may be true, we’re busy and stressed and a thousand voices are calling. Thus the importance of a path devoted to the authentic self. You really are your own highest authority, but it’s a brave journey of discovery to embody that authority. For many of us that journey has been our challenge from birth.
As we trace back, we may see that our entire life, including our choice of parents, has pulled us to the dilemma. We resist our conditioning in a certain way, or we are attracted to certain information, or we try hard but still don’t fit in super well, or we have an inkling of something we’re supposed to do.
I was certainly that way as a child, reading the Book of Revelations and thinking, “I’m reading this because this is going to happen in my life.” Imagine a nine-year-old attempting to wade through the scary symbolism of Revelations. I remember well the deep inner feelings and the promises I made to myself at that age, and then out into the ocean I went – the little fishes swam into the current. Many years later when reading about the four horsemen from a visionary perspective, it clicked of course… yes, I always knew that I was living it.
As we grow up and begin to discover and break down the conditioning, the need for ‘more to life’ goes out into the universe as an inaudible, beseeching inner voice – something that we would call a prayer. Sure enough the universe responds and we happen across an individual or teacher with information from within that greater ocean. In addition, we may enter life circumstances that point to the pervasive deceptions that we believed to be real. So it all comes to pass, as we unknowingly have asked it to.
I remember one of the first things to really shake up the hold of my conditioning was the demise of the external ‘judging’ God to whom we submit, and petition for forgiveness and assistance. He doesn’t exist! Now I Love and greatly respect men, but I have to say those religion creating ancients really went off the rail when they gave their gender and their psychology to ‘All that is’, and put him outside of us… somewhere in the sky.
Just that ‘he doesn’t exist’ thought created a great coming together of puzzle pieces for me, and the crumbling of self-imposed thought restrictions. It took a bit longer for the guilt and self-hate and woman-dismissal to go, but gone was the ideology of a chosen people, original sin, the sin of Eve, and the fires of hell… you know the scenario. In its place was ‘so many possibilities’ along with a shard of self-empowerment, i.e. “I’m heading in this liberating direction!”
Even having experienced an epiphany, it may take years before we sort through a morass of information and come across something that we consider truly ‘vital’. Vital, for me, means something that rings a bell as in, “I have experienced this; my intuition said this is so; science verifies this.” I think the information capable of changing us, waits until our need is strong enough. It’s ‘the teacher appears when the student is ready’ kind of a thing. We accept the teacher, take the position of student, soak up everything we can, and become devoted.
Some might say, “Don’t ever become devoted to a teacher, that’s a trap.” I say, “Baloney.” When someone has given me accurate information that I have been seeking for decades, I’m going to love that person. Love doesn’t mean I lose my ability to think… it means I’m gaining spiritual life by having my thinking and my heart expanded. Devotion is natural and appropriate. To embody the teacher’s information you really have to be devoted and dedicated, and not one who approaches learning with one mind criticizing and the other accepting.
Devotion to the teacher’s information will naturally shift over time to internalizing the direct experience of the information. For example, the teacher may recommend that you eat a certain way, or practice certain physical movements or disciplines, or engage in certain types of meditation and visualization, or dedicate yourself to certain virtues, and you do so. You make it your way of being… and that is the ‘being of one mind’.
So yes, we can be in this particular reality, and yet not of it. We still can get swayed or confused by the emotional pull of the current from time to time, and yet, we are self-correcting, so it really is all good. That’s evolution… don’t get down on yourself for being imperfect.
Now what about when a teacher transitions, or sends you on your way saying, “You have all you need from me… now make it your own.” How do we continue to internalize the information we might not yet have grasped? My belief is that we continue on with the Quest energy of the authentic self, and trust that we are our own higher authority. Nothing that we have embodied or gained is lost, including the ‘feeling’ or energy of the teacher.
What brought me to writing this piece? Well, there is an ebb and flow to everything, and lately, it seems, I have been in the ebb. Perhaps it’s just me… but sometimes I notice that we go into these spaces together, so I mention it to you. Observing the ebb, I was reminded that we are never absent our inner divinity, as one cannot be absent what they are. But we can ‘feel’ that we have lost sight of our authentic self, and we miss the reassurance. It’s okay to rest in that space for a time, as that too is nature and a vital birthplace in nature: creation is born where the new flow begins, and that is at the ebb of the tide.