You have heard the expression that someone is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and it describes what the selves will continue to do until you allow them to die. The round hole is a symbol for the letter “O,” which stands for Oneness. The square peg is a symbol for the four levels of the material universe, which the selves see as the only road to eternal life.
In reality, the only road to salvation, the ascension or the eternal life is the Path of Oneness whereby you come back to the correct sense of identity as a co-creator with higher awareness. You will enter higher awareness only by attaining a sense of oneness with your higher self.
The selves were born when you decided to turn away from the Path of Oneness and instead join the path of separation. The selves can never come into oneness with higher awareness. You created the selves because you separated yourself from your higher self, and thus when you come back to oneness, the selves will no longer be needed and should be allowed to die.
Obviously, the selves will never recognize this fact, and they are constantly trying to build the false image that you can be saved without overcoming the selves, without letting them die. The selves are trying to create the appearance that you can be saved by living up to certain requirements in this world. The selves are trying to use something from the four planes of matter in an attempt to force their way into the kingdom of oneness. That is why anything created by the selves will be a square peg that will never fit into the round hole of the kingdom of oneness.
The selves are born of separation, and thus everything the selves believe, every mental image they create, springs from the mind of separation. These images can never give access to higher awareness, and the selves will always remain in the illusions of their own making. As long as you identify with the selves, you too will remain in the state of consciousness where there is a sense of sepration.
What is the you that can escape the selves?
Obviously, you do not have to remain trapped by the selves. The inner message of every true spiritual teaching – often disguised in metaphors or mythical stories – is that you can slay the dragon of the selves, be rescued by the knight on the white horse of the Christ self and inherit the kingdom of God.
But what is the “you” that can do this? HAP calls it the conscious self. The conscious self is meant to be the master of your lower being, which we can call your container of self. You are meant to make most of your decisions at the level of the conscious self, under the direction of your higher self and spiritual teacher. When you turned away from your spiritual teacher, you lost that higher direction, and thus you had to make decisions alone. This became painful for many co-creators, which is why they gradually allowed their selves to make more and more decisions for them.
We might say that the problem faced by most people is that they have put the conscious self to sleep and have allowed the selves to run their lives. That is why many of their decisions are not made at the level of the conscious mind but are made through a subconscious process ruled by the selves. We can compare the selves to a computer that is not actually able to think but that has a sufficiently sophisticated programming to give the appearance that it can think.
This analogy is fruitful when compared to the previous analogy of the forest and the trees. The selves have created a large number of relativistic, dualistic illusions that are like individual computer programs. You might compare them to the trees in the forest, and each program is designed to handle specific situations in life. When you encounter a particular type of situation, one of these programs kicks in and takes over your reactions to the situation. You are no longer making conscious choices as to how to best handle the situation; it is all run by the computer of the selves.
You probably know that a computer has a number of specific programs that all function within the framework of what is called the operating system. This is what gives the computer its identity as a Windows, Macintosh or UNIX computer. The operating system is the first self, the ego, and it compares to the forest in the previous analogy.
This operating system is the very core of the selves, and it was born out of the decision to turn away from your teacher. The specific reasoning that the conscious self used in order to justify turning away from the teacher became the very core of your ego. When you realize that your ego was born out of this decision, you see why the ego and the other selves will never question the validity of that decision. The ego is like a computer that can never question its operating system but will forever continue to function according to its programming.
The selves literally live and die by the original decision to turn away from higher awareness. If the conscious self ever looked at that decision, realized that is was not a constructive choice and replaced it with a better decision – by choosing life over death – the selves would die. The conscious self can now begin to understand that the selves will do anything in their power to prevent you from ever uncovering and reevaluating the original decision that created the selves.
Returning to the computer analogy, you know that an individual program cannot alter the operating system—it must function within the framework defined by the system. The ego seeks to make the conscious self so focused on the individual beliefs – the trees – that you will never see the underlying belief – the forest – that created the selves.
Even many sincere seekers have been fooled by this trick. They have realized that there is an entity – whether they call it the ego or something else – that is blocking their spiritual growth. They have realized that it is necessary to cut down some of the trees in the forest in order to remove the veil of illusions that separates them from higher awareness. They have not yet seen that there is something hiding behind the trees.
Although many seekers are sincerely questioning aspects of their selves, they have not yet seen behind the veil to start questioning the ego itself. Obviously, a beginning seeker is not yet ready to do this, but many of the people who have been on the path for decades – or even lifetimes – could benefit immensely from considering these ideas. They are ready to begin to question the basic illusions of their egos.
You are more than the selves
The first step towards overcoming the selves is to realize that there is more to “you” than the selves and their individual illusions. You are more than a highly evolved animal, you are more than the computer programs of the selves. When you look at the world, you will see many people who have not yet come to that realization.
If you are consciously aware of the path, you already know there is more to “you” than the selves, that there is more to reality than the material world. In order to take the next step, you need to come to a more sophisticated understanding of the “you” that is more than the selves.
The crucial understanding is the realization that the conscious self is designed to make decisions and that it makes those decisions based on its sense of identity. The conscious self is an individualization of your higher self, but in time and space, the conscious self is who it thinks it is, who it sees itself as being.
The conscious self has the ability to identify itself as absolutely anything it can conceive and accept as real. The conscious self can identify itself as a highly evolved animal, and it will then make decisions as an animal. If the conscious self identifies itself as a mortal sinner, it will make decisions as a sinner—and it will consider it blasphemy to see itself as a co-creator.
The conscious self is designed to be a co-creator in the material universe, and it expresses its creative abilities through the filter of its sense of identity. Every decision the conscious self makes is colored by the sense of identity you have come to accept, based on your upbringing in this life and your experiences from past lives.
The conscious self is never confined to or permanently trapped in its current sense of identity. The conscious self has the ability to mentally project itself anywhere it wants, meaning that it can also project its sense of self outside its current identity—the identity built in this world.
It is this very ability to separate yourself from your current sense of identity – and realize there is more to life – that is the key to all human progress. If you could see yourself only through the filter of your current sense of identity, you could never rise above that identity. Human beings could never come back to oneness after they had descended into the consciousness of separation.
The essential key is that the conscious self can step outside your current sense of identity at any moment. Nothing binds the conscious self to your current sense or identity—except your belief that there is nothing outside of it or that you cannot escape your current sense of identity.
The catch is that most people have come to identify themselves with their selves to the point where they cannot conceive and believe that they can escape the selves at any moment. In a sense, this belief is true because you cannot simply walk away from the forest of the selves. You must systematically cut down the trees – illusions – of the selves before you can see your true identity.
Even though these illusions must be removed, the conscious self can – at any moment – choose to stop identifying itself with the selves, and this will make it far easier for you to let go of the selves. The conscious self can walk away from the mental prison of the selves and reclaim its true identity as a co-creator.
You can realize that your current sense of identity is deeply affected by the illusions of your selves and the illusions of the collective consciousness of humankind. It is based on the sense of separation from higher awareness, and thus it is mortal because anything that is outside the kingdom of oneness cannot have eternal life. Your mortal sense of identity is unreal and can never inherit the eternal life.
If you seek to hold on to the sense of identity – life – built by the selves, you will not find eternal life. If you are willing to lose that sense of life in order to win higher awareness and come back to oneness, you will indeed find eternal life.
Starting to lose your life
How do you – the conscious self – begin the process of separating yourself from the selves? This is a twofold process, and the first part is that you must reestablish some connection to your higher self. Only when you have that connection will you know that you will not die when the selves die.
Only when you know this, can you fully commit yourself to the path that leads to the death of the selves. The conscious self cannot bear to have no sense of identity so before you can give up the identity based on separation, you must begin to reconnect to your true identity of oneness.
The second step is to expand your understanding of the fact that the selves exists and then learn how to see through their illusions. The major illusion you need to see is that the selves are on an impossible quest. The conscious self can never fully forget its origin. It is virtually impossible for the forces of this world, including your selves, to keep you from contemplating the need for what most religious people call salvation.
Although you live in a culture where many people have denounced religion, most people still cannot let go of their spiritual questions. The selves would prefer to keep you either denying or being indifferent to growth. But if they cannot achieve that, they will go to Plan B, which is to create a false path to growth and make you absolutely convinced that by following this path, you will be saved—however you define salvation.
The forces of this world and the selves have created an almost infinite variety of such false paths, meaning a spiritual or religious system that promises to bring you salvation but can never deliver on this promise because it does not take you beyond the identity built by the selves.
Many sincere religious and spiritual people have been tricked by their selves into following such a false path to salvation, while being firmly convinced that they belong to the only true church and – because they live up to certain outer requirements – their salvation is guaranteed. Take note that this belief can be very comforting, and thus it can actually be necessary at the lower levels of the path.
Many people cannot bear the fear of not being saved so believing their salvation is guaranteed can help them gradually grow out of the paralysis caused by extreme fear. The problem is that this belief can so easily be used by the selves to take you into a blind alley where you believe that – because you are a member of this outer church and follow its outer requirements – you do not have to truly change yourself, you do not have to follow the command to look at the beam in your own eye.
The beam in your own eye is the selves and their false sense of identity that keeps the conscious self trapped in the consciousness of separation—which will keep you outside the kingdom of oneness until you separate yourself from the sense of separation and come into oneness with your higher self. A more mature seeker must abandon the belief in an outer salvation – the outer path – and discover the true inner Path to Oneness.
Once you begin to realize that the main purpose of the selves is to keep you from discovering and following the true Path of Oneness – by making you believe you can follow an outer path to salvation – you can begin to see through the specific illusions that your selves are using to keep you trapped.
It will then be far easier for you to identity these illusions and to avoid the sense that you somehow have to believe in them. Remember that the conscious self is what it thinks it is, and you can at any moment change who you think you are.
The selves will try to make you believe you cannot change your mind, but it simply is not the case. Higher awareness wants you to come home, and thus higher awareness wants you to change your mind so you can overcome the illusions. The selves wants to keep you trapped in a limited sense of identity, and thus they want to make you think you cannot or should not change your mind. They want to make you think that once you have partaken of the forbidden fruit, you cannot escape that decision. You are trapped forever.
In the material universe, nothing is forever. Everything is created through a choice, and it will continue to exist only as long as you continue to affirm that choice. That is why the central challenge is to choose higher awareness instead of continuing to choose separation.