As I learn and grow I get a feeling that I am becoming a better person, but not just in a general sense. I feel I am becoming better at being me. We all fall short of our ideals sometimes. That ideal expression of what it is to be me. The closer I come to my Soul the more pure and true does it shine through me. Meditation is the gateway to Soul communication.
Many of us do not listen to that still small voice, so what they are expressing is the personality. The programmed responses that have been put there by our parents, teachers, family and friends. That is not what it is to be me. That is what it is to fit the societal programming with cultural morays etc. It is the fears that a violent father may burn in. It’s the insecurity that may be the result of the neglect of a mother who was an addict.
All of these things are like mind viruses or emotional ones. They are not the self. Modern Psychology has become a system of behavioral modifications. This is the re-programming of the personality and it is a useful step, but it is not the knowledge of the psyche or Soul as the term originally meant. You have to get the personality straight first but then the urge to meditate comes in and over time Soul awareness grows and the Soul’s purpose for incarnation becomes an attainable goal. For most probationers on the path the awareness of the Soul is the next step and goal. If you are consciously walking a spiritual path, as anyone reading this forum undoubtedly is, then you are striving to that higher expression of self. I do see it as a more pure expression of what really is. The goal is to “burn away the dross” as scripture puts it.
I think of an analogy with a light bulb covered in dust. The light inside shines bright, but the light can barely be seen from the outside. That is the average person walking down the street. Divine in essence but not in expression. As we clear away these obstructions it is like burning off the debris and then the light of the bulb, which internally has always shined intensely, is now apparent and lighting the world in a different way. Now, if you look closely at the frosted surface of the bulb you will see that there is actually a filament inside the bulb. This is sometimes described as the light within the light. The bulb shines but there is a visible hot spot which is really the source of illumination. The inner self illumines the outer and as we clear away more and more of these obstructions we have a person who shines like a light in the world.
Were we able to get rid of even that frosted coating you would see only the light of the filament right through the now perfectly clear glass of the bulb. This is the point where Gandhi tells us the man has reduced himself (the lower personal self) to zero, and his power and influence are irresistible. Now the lower self is of no hindrance whatsoever to the indwelling Soul, or the true self. Spirit in individualized but purified expression and aware of its unity with the whole.
This awareness is sometimes termed “isolated unity” because though the self is fully aware of this unity with all beings and its part in the one, it is alone in this recognition. None of the beings with which it knows this unity it realizes the one-ness, like the baby who does not know it is a part of a loving family. As the baby grows, its circle of awareness and influence will begin to include family, then friends, school, community, country and all of the other groups with which we humans identify. We will eventually come to know humanity as one being. One among many earthlings, and take responsibility for the life of our planet, whin whom we live, and move, and have our being. And eventually, The One Life of which it too, is a fragment.