Envision the Self as a multifaceted diamond, the jewel of all that you are. See one facet of the diamond—the sun beaming directly upon it—as the seat of consciousness, the ego, the child of the Self. In this respect, we are all, while in this life, a child of our Self.
It is the task of our ego in this life to ignite and bring life and light to as many facets of the diamond of our greater Self as possible; full realization of the diamond is true enlightenment.
The first challenge for the ego is to become a mature adult child. We are born in innocence, strangers to ourselves, strangers to the world. As mere fragments, facets of the Self, we are orphaned from our wholeness and seek solace in our early attachments. Though our greater Self never leaves us it can only support us in mystical ways, as the outside world truly becomes our adoptive home.
Our ego has an important mission in this life, that is, to bring to the material world the drama and challenge of each facet of our unrealized Self—to know it, live it, resolve it, and then release it as we move on to new life and the next facet of the Self.
The ego, in its orphaned state, constantly feels the pull to its lost wholeness. This lost Self does come to meet the ego, in numinous dreams, ecstatic experiences, visions, and in outer reflections in the material world, both in the people and the objects we are powerfully drawn to.
The greatest challenge for the ego is to partake in these renewing visitations but then walk away without regret or insistence that the meetings continue or repeat in the same way. To fixate on an experience of Self is like trying to force a romance to remain the same when it has obviously changed. Romance is one type of encounter with the coveted lost Self as reflected in the world. If we demand it to stay out there, in the same way, we remain the child who clings and refuses to grow.
The Self is pure life, and pure life—like a river—never repeats itself. It simply continues to flow in new and ever-changing constellations. It is alive, all-present, yet ever fresh and new. It never reveals itself twice in the same way.
As a mature child of the Self, we learn to meet the Self in innocence yet are also able to release it from its current manifestation and allow it to move on into new form without loss or regret. And if we can continue to flow with it we are led to realize increasing facets of our wholeness as we continue our journey of Self Realization.
This is the essence of the Buddha’s guidance on non-attachment. Indeed, attach fully to the facet of life you are now realizing, but know that it is not the whole of life, and know that there will come a time to let go and discover more of the wholeness that you truly are. That’s where the adventure lies, in the endless discovery of new and evolving life.
Happy for the gifts of this journey,
NOTE: Thank you to Marie-Louise von Franz, my muse for this blog.