The True Self by Jan Engels-Smith
In the process of spiritual development, one seeks to find one’s true self. The discovery of the sacred being that lies within provides the means by which we can move beyond the limitations we have created in living our lives. This is the manner in which we achieve the ascension that alters our current reality and restores us to the sacred form for which we were created. We contain the essence of our ascension within us. The true self is the version of you that is divinely perfect and is the full embodiment of your actualized potentials. You were born divine and contained within your being is the blueprint of divine perfection that has been hidden away by the perceived reality of human limitation. If one’s life were not disrupted by the sense of inadequacy and imperfection that we believe to be real, our natural evolution would allow us to emerge as adults with our perfection intact and our true self the accurate image of who we really are. Our modern world, however, intercedes and leaves us with a false sense of ourselves. The true self journey involves an effort to rediscover the divine, to restore our integrity as perfect beings, and to ascend to our natural place in a flawless universe.
The first effort in ascension is to understand that the perception of your flawed self is a product of a world that has lost its equilibrium and sees life as a condition of scarcity and inadequacy. In the most ideal and perfect life scenario, you would have only experienced positive feedback, you would not have been subjected to the wounding of your being, and you would have known only unconditional love. You would never have had your heart broken, been unjustly punished, nor felt inferior. If you were living in this natural state, your parents would love you deeply, there would be no sibling rivalry, you would not be in a competition where your success is measured by another’s loss, and you would not be constrained by rigid cultural norms that diminish your worth, rather than enhancing it. If the world were as it should be, our pathway to enlightenment would be effortless and self-evident, but the fact that the way may be difficult does not mean that the individual cannot overcome all barriers and ascend beyond the pettiness and imperfection of such impediments. The power to do so lies within.
The Dalai Lama once said, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” The supreme happiness that we find in discovering our true perfect self is a result of the spiritual development that comes when we make the decision to seek enlightenment, to love unconditionally and commit to the pursuit of a restoration of our sacred self. It is unquestionably a difficult task to overcoming the ingrained falsity of a world that bombards us daily with negative images of war and suffering, defines us as inadequate to the undertaking of changing our life, and promotes a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Or equally difficult to overcome is a world that shouts entitlement and creates the scenario that your needs are greater and more important than someone else’s. However, the processes of ascension empower one in ways that draw strength from the power of the cosmos and from the support of the spirits that readily respond to our needs.
The universe not only sustains us in our journey but also imbues us with ever increasing power. This never ceasing support coupled with your willingness to let go of wounds and judgments creates the template for the embodiment of the true self. The return to our true self provides us with the exceptional strength of being in the natural way. Failure, futility, ineffectiveness, and helplessness are not the natural conditions of our perfect self; they are the problems imposed by a world out of balance, an ego out of balance and by the false assumption that we are unworthy. Your natural condition is in alignment with the natural order and the natural order is one of abundance, happiness, and harmony. When humans harm nature, nature begins the effort to restore the natural order—cleaning the polluted waters and air, restoring the forests, providing sustenance to wildlife, and creating balance in the environment. You are a part of nature even if your soul has been damaged.
If you rediscover your connection to the natural world, nature will begin your restoration, but you hold the responsibility to establish the connection and persevere to move in the flow of this natural order. Reflect inwardly and honestly, face the reality that you have helped to create. Your efforts will help align you to the universe. The universe always wants what is best for us, even when we resist change.
Just as negativity breeds greater negative conditions and a sense of weakness compounds our sense of failure, so does the assumption of personal power create an ever-increasing inner strength that can overcome all obstacles to our self realization. Although the wounds in your life may have cut deep and caused substantial emotional and physical injury, they have not touched your true self. Your true self has no wounds and its energies are undiminished. The damage you have suffered to your external self has been imposed by negative forces and false messages that you have accepted and internalized. We have all, at one time or another, succumbed to the belief that we do not have the will or power to change our conditions in life, but such resignation denies the fact that there is within us an inner power that began in perfection and is absolutely capable of returning to perfection. We are not the failure; the world out of balance is the failure. The universe and the spiritual world have not abandoned us; we have abandoned them. The pathway to our true self is through spiritual enlightenment and ascension to higher dimensions.
There are practices associated with shamanic journeywork that speak specifically to discovering the true self. Indigenous cultures existed in closer context with nature than do modern Western cultures. As a result, those civilizations with their roots deep in the natural world would instinctively connect with a universe in balance and thus be more likely to be in harmony with nature and exist as their true self. Our work with shamanism in our modern world is for the purpose of rediscovering our true self and, if we understand how to live in closer communion with the cosmos, we are more likely to do so. I would not suggest that the work is easy or that the discovery of one’s true self will come without effort, but there are ways to proceed that will bring you closer to the understanding needed to be successful and the practices will immediately enhance your life and well-being.
In a spiritual journey, we seek to merge with the spirits, to communicate with non-physical beings, and to learn how to heal. In my practice I have assisted individuals to make such a journey and have brought them carefully back to the current reality. This gradual return is for the purpose of grounding the individual and to insure that he or she might be safe in their reconnection with everyday ordinary reality. I always want to act with concern for my students and make their experience positive and productive. Years ago, while leading a journey with a group of students, I was preparing to have the students “come back” from their journey, demerge from their spiritual allies and to ground themselves prior to returning to our every day physical reality when the spirits told me to quit bringing them back and quit having them demerge. I was surprised because I had been taught to make sure that a person returning from a journey should be fully grounded so that she or he might be better able to function in this reality. I understood it as a safety measure and I asked the spirits why they would make such a request. They explained that when we are journeying in a non-physical reality with an altered consciousness we are closest to our true self.
Our perceptions, our abilities, our connection to other life in this altered state are in alignment with a true reality. The world out of balance is ordinary reality. In our everyday life we have come to accept a “reality” that denies our true self and dominates our thinking and actions. The spirits believe that we must bring back with us from our journey the genuine sense of who we truly are which we can often feel when merged with a spirit ally and with that understanding an enhanced ability to restore that self. I have come to understand with the assistance of the spirits that we do not return from that altered state with the intent of simply returning to our old self but to bring back a different understanding and the power to be different from what we had been before. This is the truly “safe” way to return to this reality because our true self must become our natural condition in all realities and not just in the spirit world. We come back from an altered state in another reality but the life we return to should be altered as well.
Merging with spirits in our journeys is not only for the healing power that can be provided or for the protection of our souls from adverse forces but also to allow us to experience what life lived as our true self might feel like. In the journey we achieve a state of contentment, peace, and even ecstasy. We escape our sense of woundedness and feel empowered and strong. This condition is a reflection of the true self that lies within us and our work in self-actualization is to bring that feeling into our everyday existence. The spirits are acting as intermediaries to elevate our awareness of our potential and to help us understand that our ascension is possible and that this perfect self that we encounter in that world of higher vibrations can be rediscovered in this immediate world. When you are able to return from a journey and to bring the experience of the altered state you have visited back to the current reality, you will have begun to change the person you thought you were into the person you should be.
The residual consequence of your rediscovery of your true self will be to effectuate a change in the world that you encounter every day. Humankind has made the world into a place of environmental degradation, conflict, and stagnation by succumbing to the false assumption that unnatural forces control us and we do not control them. But the natural forces that indigenous cultures aligned with and that we are discovering anew through our spiritual evolution are fueled by individuals who have achieved a personal alteration and have empowered themselves to act. As we discover our true self, the world recovers its true balance. The great wonderment of the universe is that all we need to be awaits us and the possibilities are infinite.
The unwounded true self awaits our rediscovery.
The book, Becoming Yourself: The Journey from Head to Heart dives further into the exploration of finding your True Self.