Self-awareness is the light that illuminates the path. The whole point of self-improvement is to increase awareness and then use that awareness to wake up… and potentially become enlightened. At this point it’s worth pausing to consider the significance of this statement in your life.
Self-awareness enables us to see ourselves more accurately, understand and improve our relationships, and relate more sensitively and intuitively to our environment. The more clearly we can see the inner and outer landscapes, the more obvious it is that everything is driven by patterns (see: Patternology).
From the smallest micro-organism to the vast cosmic constellations, all are made up of and driven by an intricate network of visible and less visible patterns. Even chaos is composed of patterns, which at first glance appear to be random and nonsensical, but under closer inspection, we find there is rhyme and reason (see: The Code). By understanding how patterns run the universe, it is possible for us to see them and then work with them, engineering our own liberation.
Most of us are stuck in unwanted patterns, which bully us into breaking our pledges and promises almost daily, in some cases moment by moment – much of this happens unconsciously. Whilst we are unaware of this psychodrama, not understanding the politics of how things are played out, we remain under the illusion that we are making decisions and choices, when in fact we are victims of our pathology (those patterns that govern our primary behaviours).
If we are to change this, we must wake up. We must, as Carl Jung suggested, make the unconscious conscious. This is how we will really see what’s going on inside. To that end, we need to understand the four aspects of the mind, as this concept gives us a deep understanding of the subtle relationships between the different dimensions of awareness.
It is also helpful to understand the role of subpersonalities in this epic story because they are deeply entwined with the four aspects of the mind. These are not separate elements, operating independently from one another. They are in a state akin to that of quantum entanglement. Like the double helix of the DNA molecule, with its twisted ladder structure, these two powerful aspects are intimately bound together, creating a sophisticated network, operating at the heart of our humanness. Understanding and conceptualising the relationship between these different forces can really help us to find our way back to ourselves. Let’s take a closer look at what is happening.
The four aspects of the mind help us to understand that the two powerhouses (the unconscious and subconscious minds), dominate the inner landscape; it is within these realms that the subpersonalities operate, housing those patterns and habits that are responsible for our behaviour, the symptoms of which we can experience in the conscious mind and see in our everyday lives (see: the subpersonalities trilogy).
It is the preconscious mind (the intuitive, insightful, knowing aspect), when awoken, that has the capacity to understand and transform the story of what it means to be human. In fact, the preconscious mind holds the key to unlocking all three – the world of patterns, subpersonalities and the four aspects of the mind. The preconscious mind has access to phenomenal clarity and can resurrect those powers that seem to be lost to us, but in fact lie dormant in the dark recesses of our souls. It can then, with great skill and discernment, make best use of those powers, focusing them, in the name of positive change.
Before we can begin to transform our fortunes, the necessary knowledge is required (some of which is being offered here), incredible courage and application are also needed, bound together with faith, hope, trust, and determination.
This combination gives us access to immense power. All you need do is reconnect to the truth that you are greater than you know, greater than you have imagined, and even though you may doubt this at first, by repeatedly immersing yourself in this sentiment, the preconscious mind can be reignited and the empowerment you seek, can turn up once more.
Silence is the primary conduit between the physical and the metaphysical, and the more time we spend in its loving embrace, the more the wisdom that resides in us will speak. But to access and draw from this wise silence we need to check, challenge and change.
If we don’t check in, which means connecting to ourselves and getting an accurate reading of what’s going on inside, then we remain oblivious to our inner workings, and the drivers, patterns and habits continue to run the show. Just to clarify, it is our subpersonalities that embody these drivers, patterns, and habits, and so it’s important to keep this relationship in mind, because when we are talking about one, we are indeed talking about the other.
When we check in, another way to describe this is being present, we can see the sophisticated role-play between the subpersonalities, and we can step into the role of the conductor of this unruly orchestra. In doing so, we can prevent each section of the band from doing its own thing, and instead of creating a cacophony of sound, offending the ears, we can create a beautiful symphony.
It’s at this point that challenge is needed. Challenge should not be seen as aggressive or confrontational, because even when it needs to be assertive, the best challenges are always kind and diplomatic. They are handled with empathy and sensitivity. This is why we say at Reach that change comes most readily through compassion. The compassionate mind can hold the space for another when it would be easier to let go and walk away. We need to afford ourselves this same level of compassion, so that we never walk away from ourselves at the time that we most need empathy and support. Be honest and brave in your challenges but be equally empathic and compassionate. Then the sub and unconscious minds, as the subpersonalities are harmonised, will conspire to help you see the truth about yourself, and the way forward.
As a result of the insights that come from challenging our pathology and limitations, our map of awareness expands, and this provides us with the opportunity to make the changes needed in all the areas and all the ways required.
When we live transparently (facing that which we most deny), we find clarity around every corner, and the mysteries of life are unveiled. Positive change requires courage and being true to ourselves. Far too often we give away our power to others, in order to fit in, to be loved and to belong. This desperate attempt to be seen, valued, and included takes us away from what ought to be our most important pastime, which is reconnecting, rebuilding, and loving oneself. This is not conceited or vain, it’s essential to our recovery and healing, and it is how we become awake (self-realised).
Self-realisation is the objective of checking, challenging, and changing. The self-realised individual is at peace with himself. His mind is like a sanctuary, a place he can retreat to, and be perpetually nourished by the kindness and love that abundantly flows from his core. The more we check, challenge and change, the less we are deceived and the empowerment that resides at the heart of us turns up at the times we need it most.
Begin right now gently questioning your intentions and motives, and ensure they pass through the check, challenge, change filter. Don’t let your drivers and patterns play out without checking whether what you’re thinking, saying, or doing is valid. Strike up conversations between your subpersonalities and encourage cooperation and reconciliation. When your sub and unconscious worlds work together, something more magnificent is created, something that reflects your true meaning and purpose.
Make checking, challenging, and changing a mantra for life, and you’ll find you’re more beautiful than you ever knew.
“One who looks outside, dreams. One who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)