Modern spiritual teachers often talk about ‘connecting to source’ or a higher power. In Psychosynthesis we use the term ‘Self’, a source of inner guidance and wisdom that is separate from the conscious personality.
The Self pervades everything. It may be perceived as a call, or sense of purpose. Self-realisation, an ongoing lived relationship with the Self, is one of the underlying ideas in Psychosynthesis counselling. Relating to Self may lead both into shadow and light. For example, Self-realisation may mean engaging with addictions and compulsions, lead to creative and religious peaks, or to issues of meaning and mortality. It is not an easy path.
Is connection to Self a good thing? Yes, if you think finding inner wisdom and loving acceptance of yourself is good. Yes, if you want to feel a sense of purpose and meaning. Yes, if you want to practice compassion for others, through personal kindness or social action.
What blocks the connection between our conscious awareness and the Self are distorted aspects of the personality. Distortions arise from imperfect love from our early caregivers, from trauma, and from cultural and trans generational sources. These distortions are beliefs, cravings, fears, anxieties and rules that we learn to live by. We all have them, no matter how good our life has been.
Many paths are open to reach the Self. In essence these seem to require both refinement of the personality and some form of spiritual practice. Work on the personality to recognise the distortions can allow connection to Self. This can take the form of counselling, coaching, personal development groups, self-inquiry through journaling or other reflective practices. There are many other approaches.
Spiritual practice seeks to open directly to the connection. Spiritual practice can be very simple. It might be daily meditation. It might be through walking in nature, crafting wood, how you approach your work or giving service to others. It might be through social action or by retreat and contemplation.
I don’t want to make this sound more complex than it is. The Self pervades everything, and all you need to do is listen. The challenge is to cut out the noise that is all around us, from within and without.