Discovering who we are and learning how to realize it is the essence of awakening. How do we get in touch with the real you?
What if we are not what we think we are? What are there other possibilities? Are we simply not aware enough to grasp them?
The Inner Self Revealed
There are several ways to define the inner sense. Researchers like Carl Jung believe it is our subconscious mind. Other philosophers like Immanuel Kant refer to this inner sense of the real you as something beyond scientific inquiry. Joseph Campbell refers to this aspect as the real you. They all describe this aspect of consciousness in the same ways. This is the person you talk to inside your head.
It’s that part of your awareness that reviews memories and your dreams. This is the observer of our experience. You could refer to it as our Soul or Spirit. Whatever you want to call it, revealing the wisdom of the inner self can help you with this spiritual journey called life.
The following is a practice we use in our blended learning process. It’s a brainstorming writing exercise. Some people refer to this as automatic writing. This is the process of allowing the subconscious mind to communicate with us through our handwriting. This is, in contrast, to writing with conscious intention. It’s a highly effective process for exploring our inner thoughts and feelings. Even more important, it’s a way of exploring the inner self on our terms.
All you’ll need for this exercise is a notebook and your favorite pen. However, we strongly suggest that you use a spiritual journal. You’ll be able to refer back to this document for further guidance.
The Observer of our Experience
Brainstorming or Automatic Writing
This exercise is a short version of the automatic writing technique. You can find more in-depth information about this tool following this link.
The first thing to do is just start writing. Don’t think just write. Doodle on the page. Draw pictures. Also, don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. Later, you’ll see how your handwriting can reveal messages. The slant of the words, the pressure, the size of the letters. You can print or write with a cursive script. These things will give you information and clues about your inner thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
For now, just write whatever comes up let it flow. Don’t think about what you are writing. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow. If you pause, that’s okay too. Keep at it. If this is the first time you’ve done this exercise, it can take 5 or 10 minutes to get comfortable with the process.
Once you are “in the flow” and you are writing, this means you are revealing your inner self. You can give your mind some gentle direction. Start by asking yourself a question like, “why am I alive?” Then, start writing any thoughts, feelings (pictures) that come up. The only guideline is to refrain from quoting religious doctrine. You want to get below all levels of cultural and social programming. Above all this exercise is about connecting to your intuition and finding the wisdom within your spirit. It’s not about dogma.
You can use other questions as well. For example, we recommend questions like:
- What is the way I know I am present?
- Where or when do I feel the most peaceful?
- How do I know when I’m on the right path?
More importantly, listen to your intuition. Your intuition may bring up other questions you need to probe.
Reflecting on the discoveries of your automatic writing is where you are listening to intuition. This is how you open your spiritual gifts within your DNA. Some believe that our ancestors can also speak to us through this process.
You may discover drawings or uncommon phrases that seem to be trying to communicate with you. Listen to this inner voice. Learn “how to” listen to the voice of your intuition. This is a practice unto itself. The absence of the Ego in our awareness is the inner self revealed.
Removing the Roadblocks
The first time engaging in this exercise, it might take a while to comfortable with the process. Don’t let this deter you. Remember, your heart and soul want to speak with you. And you have a wealth of intuitive wisdom waiting for your discovery. Listen to the innate spiritual desire that is leading you to this practice. Listen to that small voice and be patient. Stay with it. The Observer of our experience wants us to know what we are. As we awaken more and more, it can come forward so that we can experience life more fully.
The main source of difficulty with a brainstorming process like this is the social and cultural programming. We live in a world where we are constantly subject to social programming. We are “told” and sold what we should believe. This conditioning places boundaries around what we think about spiritual reality.
So, we cannot discover what other possibilities are available. Because of this, refrain from simply repeating a litany of spiritual or theological jargon. Always be questioning the cultural narrative. Never stop questioning it. Organized religion fears the inner self revealed.
Fear of Your Intuition
Social conditioning is telling us we should fear our inner voice. They would prefer we listen to them and reject our wisdom. No one else knows what gifts and possibilities exist for you. They cannot know the wisdom of your intuition.
Inviting your Intuition to Speak
Last, if it feels like you are going in circles and repeating things, stick with it. You are inviting your intuition to speak to your conscious mind. Sometimes it takes a while for your intuitive self to come “online” especially if this the first time you are using this process. So, if you find that you can only reiterate religious doctrine, stay with it. Stay on the path of exploration. Do not let the obstacles deter your inner quest.
Once you get past these obstacles, there is a whole new level of spiritual awareness and wisdom. The above exercise is just one consciousness development tool. There are many more.
Consciousness Development Tools
The inner self revealed is the expansion of our awareness to include the observer of our experience.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Cary, Phillip, 2000, Augustine’s Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist, New York: Oxford University Press.
The Cambridge Edition of the Work of Immanuel Kant in Translation