There came a time when I first felt a wanting to return home, or a sense of being called home, but in this life not in some possible hereafter. That wanting has never gone away. The situation is reminiscent of that of the Prodigal Son, a parable which tells of a similar sense of nostalgia. It would appear to be related to a wanting to re-experience a state of true Being, a return to my spiritual home. Naturally, the question arises as to whether I have ever truly experienced a state of true Being to which I could return. The sense of nostalgia would imply that I have, but I can no longer remember it. Then who and what am I? Perhaps the 'who' relates to the personality, the Virtual self*, my everyday consciousness, whilst the 'what' refers to the True Self**.
|My Drawing of an Egyptian Queen|
"Man, know thyself.......and thou shalt know the Gods," it allegedly says in the inner temple at Luxor. Who or what must know what? I can know my Virtual self by means of my intellect, emotions and sensations, and have travelled far down that road already, discovering many of the lesser gods that have ruled my life. However, that cannot be enough. There would clearly seem to be a call to know something much more, namely my True and Higher Self. However, that would appear to be a process I am unable to enter into, at least of my own volition. Yet, surely, if meditation and contemplation are the recommended means by which my contact with God can be improved, then just as surely there must be some process by which I can know my Higher Self, as a first step towards that ultimate end. Of course it may be that God and my Higher Self are one and the same state of true Being. Now meditation and contemplation do not of themselves improve my conscious contact with God, but they appear to trigger the process (like a spiritual catalyst) of opening a channel to, or drawing down a response from, a higher state of Being; to clear away, or find a way round, the distractions of the material life. Or put another way, their practice indicates a willingness to be open to a process of consciousness expansion.
If the desire for some form of higher contact exists from beyond my everyday consciousness, and the means are available to concentrate the mind in the appropriate manner, then there must also be hope that contact can be established, that a way home can be found. "Seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you," was the encouraging exhortation offered by the first century, Jewish spiritual master, Jesus. Since I can know my Virtual self and, as I have said, I have done a great deal of work to that end, is it possible that I can use that knowledge to infer any conclusions about my True Self? Is there any truth in the Hermetic assertion that "as above so below", that some distorted projection of my Higher Self appears as my Lower self? Can a study of one's personality profile lead to any conclusions about what has been called the divine aspects of one's nature? Or must it be that the path to knowledge of my Virtual self must be rejected in the cause of detachment from that state, hidden perhaps by a cloud of unknowing, so that one's gaze is focused on a higher level?
It has been said, and quite rightly in my experience, that I cannot do this alone. I cannot force contact to be made with a higher level of Being. That process of meditation and contemplation will only lead to the ultimate discovery of answers if God/(True Self?) chooses to respond. Yet it has also been said that the question, "Who am I?" cannot be answered until I at the very least begin to obey the injunction, "Know thyself!" It would thus appear that both the roots of the problem and its solution may indeed begin with the consciousness of the Virtual self and the inferences that can be made from it, but end with a requirement to hold that self and the Higher Self in some kind of balance. For that process to be effective, some level of spiritual detachment becomes necessary.
The next question is, who or what is it, what state exists, that creates the balance? What is the tacitly assumed observer in this process, that presence that feels a nostalgia for its spiritual home?
* Virtual self: a synonym for the Ego.
** True Self: a synonym for the Real or Higher Self.