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The divine self

We are for more the divine self than the limited ego. As the divine self, we have been alive throughout the history of man and of life itself and we will live on into an indefinite future. It is no more arbitrary to think this way, than it is to believe a particular collection of cells that existed a decade ago or will exist a decade into the future is the same being I am now. It is memory and similarity of experience that connects us with our future and previous individual existence. But we have more than individual memory. We have cultural memory that has played in an essential role in creating our present selves. And we have archetypal memory that has played a central role in forming our individual being.

In recognizing that we are the divine and unbounded self it is essential that the ego not identify with that self. That leads to a dangerous inflation of the ego. The eternal unbounded self only exists as embodied in particular individual experience. We have an arc of consciousness that is our individual existence. It is an integral inseparable part of a wider existence, but it is equally a particular stream of consciousness with a beginning and end. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry[34] is a book that expresses this point elegantly. The practical realities of any individual life fade away through the mists of time, but they are the essential basis for all life and experience.

We all need to live in both dimensions and to recognize that they are different perspectives on a single reality. We must come from where we are, but where we are has the seeds of what can be. The road from what is to what will be is not easy. It demands far more than good intentions. The rich complexity of the human psyche evolved because it solved practical problems of survival. We need all of the resources evolution has bestowed on us, including the inherent conflict that is an essential part of our instincts.

There is no single path to salvation nor single salvation. Evolution is a divergent process. Pain and struggle at some level will always be an essential part of the journey. Spiritual growth creates evil. When only singled celled organisms existed on earth, none of the evil we experience today existed. We can mitigate or eliminate evil at one level only by evolving to new levels. This create new levels of meaning and new problems. We cannot prevent the resulting evil without destroying the creative process.

All searches for perfection or the absolute lead to the hell of stagnation or worse. But heaven is obtainable, not as the final triumph of good over evil, but as an ever expanding richness of experience. This expansion, by its very nature, creates new possibilities for pain and suffering. One deals with evil not be eliminating it, but by expanding ones own consciousness. As ones center shifts away from the ego and towards the divine self, one becomes more at peace with the circumstances of ones own life and more able to contribute to the ongoing evolution of ever more wondrous conscious experience.


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