THE INNER JOURNEY INTO WHOLENESS
To be whole... to be one... to be not separate from any part of one's self... to be all that you are... for there to be no part of one's self which one denies, hides or represses... for there to be no part of one's self that is held behind the lines of limitation... for there to be no part of one's self that is restrained by fear... to be capable of being any part, any aspect of the being that you are and to be aware of all of those parts that constitute the whole that you are.
Exploring, initially, possible reasons why it can be that individuals may not be whole within themselves, we firstly encounter the presence of restriction and limitation; also, he forces of fragmentation and separation. Let us look first at the qualities of restriction and limitation...
Fear gives rise to restriction as a protection. Restriction naturally gives rise to limitation. Fear arises, initially, when we feel threatened. Usually, our pattern-forming encounters with threats from the outside environment, and the fear response, take place when we are young, long before our conscious minds are sufficiently developed to make an adequate response. Fear is an instinctive response to threat; it involves tightening... withdrawing... limiting... and protecting. Protecting the sense of self which, at that stage of development, is purely instinctive. By the time our conscious minds are sufficiently developed to start taking responsibility for our condition, our past experiences have had a profound effect upon the way that we are. By the time we come to the stage in our lives when we are ready and prepared to take responsibility for ourselves, we are already in a condition where much work awaits us. Perhaps, coming from this perspective gives us the opportunity to move towards and to embrace wholeness in a conscious way that would not have been possible had we known it from the beginning.
Fragmentation and separation take place both internally and externally; internally, when the different parts or aspects of ourselves become disassociated from one another, so that we may be one person one moment and another person another moment, without the realization that we have changed between one aspect of ourselves and another. Separation also takes place within us, as a subjective experience, as we feel ourselves not connected to our core self; as we move, without control, between one fragmented aspect of ourselves and another. Fragmentation and separation take place also in our experience of the outside world; as we separate ourselves by withdrawing in fear, we experience the outside world as being other than ourselves...we reject it for appearing to be threatening , challenging or potentially overwhelming.
Soon... or eventually... experiencing the discomfort that this experience gives rise to, we have the possibility of strengthening or reinforcing the defence structures that we have put in place, of making our position more entrenched, of soldiering on as best we may, or of beginning the difficult but satisfying work of moving ourselves consciously towards a more comfortable state of wholeness and unification, by whatever means or methods we are drawn to or attract us. It may be that our journey back to wholeness is only the beginning of a longer journey, where we continue moving , not just towards a sense of wholeness within ourselves but an experience of the wholeness of everything around us, of everything we are capable of perceiving or experiencing and of which we are a part.
How to begin the journey? We need to acknowledge that, not only do we have many aspects, but also many levels of consciousness, which are also ourselves, but to which we may have limited access. The higher aspects of ourselves will be working to help us awaken to the true nature of our condition and will be presenting opportunities that will help us to move beyond our limitations and into a state of wholeness that, eventually, will not only acknowledge our deeper levels, but also our higher levels... not only acknowledge but embrace and be one with the totality of what we are.
Often, the first conscious perception is the nagging feeling that something is wrong... like the worm wriggling in the fisherman's box. We don't know what is wrong... we don't know what is possible, but we experience the discomfort. At some point we are offered a possibility, an opportunity that will enable us to begin to take responsibility for our state and for the steps we take. These days there are many possibilities, many therapies, many approaches, many meditation schools, many esoteric practices, all of which can help us to become more conscious of our state of being, the state that we are in at any particular moment. The hardest parts of this journey involve becoming conscious of those aspects of ourselves which we deny... those aspects that, in the past, have been deemed unacceptable, either by ourselves or by others. We may also have had traumatic experiences in the past; for our own self protection, we may have instinctively covered up and suppressed the extremely painful responses we may well have experienced at that time. At some point, also, these dark, closed boxes, will need to be opened and the contents released... acceptance and forgiveness brought in to resolve and release what has been suppressed and hidden.
Wholeness is not something that you either have or have not. It isn't something that you either gain or fail to gain. Like most aspects of the inner journey, it's a process that takes place over a lifetime. The measure of one's success being only the distance that one has travelled from the place where one began, coupled with one's own, subjective, experience of how one feels within about one's self. Comparison with others bears no fruit, for they will have started from a very different place and the distance that they have journeyed can only be measured in their own terms. We should not judge others, as we should not judge ourselves, but experience compassion, for we do not understand, for we do not know, the forces with which they have had to contend. And for ourselves, perseverance, coupled with good intention, are our friends who will help us on our journey, together with those who are sent to help us. Strangely, those who have come to help us the most are those who are closest to us; those that press our buttons, give us a hard time, are demanding or challenging and bring out the worst in us. It's understandably difficult to say Thank You to those who show us the unpleasant depths that sabotage our shiny self image. Sometimes we are helped by words in a book, sometimes by a passing stranger, or a chance word, heard in a crowd, but those who share their lives with us are the ones who most help us to know ourselves and show us the food for growth that lies upon the fertile grounds within.
Of course, we may be shown, we may ourselves express most clearly, qualities we are here to heal; but the subtlest, most delicate part of the entire process is whether we will allow the spark of recognition, the tender flash of realisation to illuminate our consciousness mind so that we see and recognise what is there. Only then, in acknowledgment of what IS, do we have the choice to carry on as before or change what we have found. Having a label of some sort, from some perspective, from some school of therapy, will help us to pick up this aspect of ourselves. It will give us some understanding of what this is and help us make a decision about what to do with it. After recognition and acknowledgment, we can suppress or reject or judge and denounce, but better to accept, to understand with compassion one's own dilemmas and processes and transform what has been found into something to which our heart will respond. It is anly acceptance that allows the next step or stage of transformation. Human beings are creative beyond measure; the subtly of the areas in which we can competently work little acknowledged. We are very familiar with struggle, with trying, achieving or failing. With simple clear intention and not a little will, we are able to transform whatever arises if that is our deepest wish and we have no other ulterior motive in maintaining things as they are.
And so the work goes on; aspects of one's self revealed, arising from the depths of the inner being, seeking expression and release... transformation; as we continue the work, we gradually become more and more whole. As we become more whole we become more and more free...free to choose...free to be ourselves...free to act from higher motivations and impulses, rather than our actions and our feelings being controlled by deeper, darker entities within.
Good fortune and a good journey