Self & Other: About Consciousness
If we are to continue the discussion about Identity and the reflection on the subject of who we are, we inevitably arrive to also think about Self and Other.
In this short essay on Self and Other, I’ll pinpoint a few insights distilled from my direct life experiences, years of intellectual study and spiritual practice:
Self and Other
When we define our Self, what makes us who we are, we often do so while creating contours our personality in contrast to the Other.
On a personal level, there are of course unique preferences, likes and dislikes, values, interests and affinities (etc.) that contribute to our overall way of being. These differences between individuals add to the diversity that permeates human life.
Yet beyond the differences that we may perceive as separating our self from another, there is also a certain kinship uniting us all. Sensing kinship with others and with nature is required for creating balance and harmony, both on a local and global level.
Oneness, The Universal Spiritual Truth
All spiritual traditions I’ve encountered refer to Oneness as the Universal Spiritual Truth.
While we may perceive ourselves as separate from one another, and even be taught that this is so, the ultimate truth is our Oneness. That is, that we are inseparable from the cosmic pool that we inhabit and from everyone else’s existence. Just as the baby inside the mother’s womb lives within her and through her, so do we exist within and through the Cosmos after birth.
In this sense, the contours between Self and Other soften until they vanish into Oneness. With this awareness comes a state of bliss that is always encountered in the transcendental experience. With it, comes Heaven, as A Course In Miracles teaches:
Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.
Beyond Self and Other
Once you’ve had the experience of the awareness of our cosmic connection, it never leaves you. You may forget about it sometimes. When you are pulled back into old patterns of thinking and being that have separation at their forefront. Yet the awareness of Oneness eventually returns.
After having had these experiences influenced by spiritual practice, I felt inspired to write a few poems. It was my attempt to encapsulate them in words. These poems are included in Part V. Matters of the Metaphysical of my book Embraced by Love. It is with great joy that I share one of them with you, to conclude this article: