! The Immortal Overself !
Paul Brunton

~ It's time to recognize our Self ~

JUST as it has been necessary to purify our ideas about I - just as it will later be necessary to purify our ideas of what is meant by God - so it is now necessary to purify our ideas of what is meant by immortality. We did not deny the 'I'. We shall not deny God. We are not now denying immortality. But fallacious conceptions of it must be gotten rid of.

It has already been learnt that personality is a changing series of thoughts, a moving cycle of states of consciousness and not a permanent fixed self. Just as the body is a complex of component parts, so is the 'I' a complex of interconnected thoughts, sensations, perceptions, and memories. So long as these thoughts stream after each other in a series, so long can the personality endure but when the stream stops flowing then personality cannot survive. We witness this even during lifetime for in deep sleep there are no thoughts and then we lose our sense of 'I'.

The personal 'I' is but a bundle of impermanent hopes and transient fears, a little sheaf of cravings that change with the changing years. Nothing that we know among them is immortal even during this present earth-life; how then can they be immortal through all eternity? To cultivate a belief in a personal ego that will permanently survive in a state of fixation is to prolong the illusion that even now blinds our eyes to truth - unless of course we choose to regard the series of continuous reincarnations as a kind of immortality which, in one sense, it certainly is.

But this conception will not satisfy those who demand conscious unbroken continuity as a characteristic of their immortality. We shall certainly exist after death, whether in the dream-like stage with which it begins, the sleep-like stage with which it ends or the new reincarnation which completes the whole circle of personality. Yet in none of these shall we have done more than achieve a mere survival. Let this satisfy those who want it but it is not the same as true deathlessness, which can be achieved only by transcending the transient personality.

It is here that once again the importance of our discoveries about the mind-made nature of time becomes apparent. For the question of immortality is tied to the question of time and cannot be separated from it. In its common form, it is naively supposed to be the perpetual continuance of the same personal self in eternity. But this is metaphysically impossible. The mere fact that a person appears abruptly in time makes him inescapably mortal. For whatever has a beginning must have an ending. This is an inexorable law of Nature. Yet, the notion of the eternal existence of the same person in a world which is itself subject to eternal change, a notion which constitutes the orthodox concept of immortality, is one of the fond delusions which man has always liked to harbour.

This popular notion which is based on the powerful hope of continued personal existence in time, is not the metaphysical one. Immortality is not to be honoured by its being a prolonged time-series, which is merely a quantitative gauge, but by its mode of consciousness, which is a qualitative one. Its value is in us, not in time. We may live a million years as a worm or a brief day as a man. Is the worm's immortality to be preferred to the man's mortality?

Men ordinarily love their own fettered existence more than they love anything else. Consequently their notion of a worth while after-death state is one wherein they continue that same bondage to the surface life of the senses in which they were held on earth, just as their notion of a worth while goal of human evolution is one wherein they can personally enjoy perpetual bliss. They do not comprehend that this is only one stage farther than the materialist view which would make man but an elongated ape and which would limit his experience to whatever manifests itself to his bodily senses alone.

They do not comprehend that if they are to experience egoistic existence after death it will have to include all the pains and disappointments of egoistic existence before death. There is no freedom from suffering anywhere in the universe so long as there is no freedom from the ego. Hence even those who fondly believe and ardently hope for such a personal survival, such an endless continuance of the miserable limitations and unsatisfactory defects of their earth-life, will even there have one day to wake up and start in quest of the Overself. For the call of the inner life can nowhere be evaded although it can often be postponed.

It is the final purpose of human existence, wherever the drama of that existence be set. Hence they too will one day have to seek escape from time to timelessness. We may mitigate the apparent harshness of this doctrine as we please in order to help those unable to bear its full brunt, as theologians and priests have mitigated it with their theory of a permanent personal soul arbitrarily made static at a certain age of a certain earth-body, but we can do so only at the cost of its truth.

An endless prolongation of personal existence with all its narrow interests and parochial experience would be as unbearable in the end as an endless prolongation of waking life uninterrupted by the boon of sleep. And yet even in this widespread longing for personal continuance we can detect the beginnings of what will one day grow into the nobler longing to live forever in the true immortality. For it is an unconscious perception that human existence does possess something within it which is unaffected by events in time and is therefore genuinely eternal, something which stands apart from all the miserable mutations of the flesh and the 'I'. It is indeed an unformulated intuition which, hiding among the perishable elements of personality, affirms that there is an imperishable principle which cannot be brought to an end with the end of the body.

The popular error which transfers what it knows, namely, the characteristics of the physical body, to what it does not know, namely, the mind for which that body is but a cluster of ideas, must be corrected. When this is done the desire for the endless continuance of a body-based 'I' naturally sinks to a secondary place. When the mind-essence is recognized as the true ground upon which the whole structure of this 'I' has been built, it will also be recognized as something which is never born and consequently never dies, as what was is and shall be. It can then be seen that if all our memories involve time, they also involve as a background the existence of something in them which is out of time.

This view of immortality as belonging to the higher individuality of Overself rather than to the lower personality will then replace the former one, which is ultimately doomed to suffer the anguish of frustrated desire whereas the true view bathes a man in increasing peace the better it is understood. When man continues firmly and unfailingly to identify himself in thought with this, his higher individuality, quite naturally he comes to share its attitude. And from this attitude the belief, 'I shall die eventually' is entirely absent. To imagine is to create. That which a man thinks, he becomes. Rightly thinking himself immortal, he consequently attains immortality.

The common conception of immortality would make it an indefinite prolongation of personal existence. The mystic conception would make it an indefinite prolongation of personal bliss. The philosophic conception, however, transcends both these notions because it discards the personal life and replaces it by its ultimate non-egoistic root, the individual Overself. The first two are still within the time-series, albeit it is not the kind of time we ordinarily know on earth, whereas the third is beyond any possible consideration of time or succession. It IS.

Such true deathlessness can be attained only in the Overself, for this does not derive its life, as the body does, from another principle. It has life of itself. Consequently, the body has to give up in death what it has previously received but the Overself never having had anything added to it, has nothing to give up. It cannot but be immortal for it is part of the World-Mind and what is true of that must also be true of itself. That which is forever in union with the World-Mind must itself be forever free from a change like death.

What is meant when it is said that the Overself is man's higher individuality must now be explained. We know that the World Mind must be everywhere yet it is certainly not everywhere to the personal consciousness. There must be a point-instant in space-time perception where the latter can meet it. In most mystical experience such a point is first felt to exist within the heart. But the World-Mind cannot be confined within such a limited perception. And later mystical experience always transcends this centre within the heart and largely detaches the consciousness from the body altogether. Yet the finite self can never bring the World Mind in its fullness within this experience simply because finitude would itself merge and vanish while trying to do so. This mystical meeting-point, the Overself, represents the utmost extent to which the finite self can consciously share in the ultimate existence.

It is that fragment of God which dwells in and yet environs man, a fragment which has all the quality and grandeur of God but not all the amplitude and power of God. The difference between the World-Mind and Overself is only one of scope and degree, not one of kind, for they are both essentially the same 'stuff'. We may climb as high as this highest self but not beyond, it. Thus our personal life is a phase of the Overself's life. The latter's existence in its turn is a phase of the World-Mind's existence. Through this chain of relations the little self has an everlasting kinship with the cosmic one. It can become aware through philosophy of this kinship but it cannot transcend the relation itself.

The World-Mind apparently breaks itself up into an endless multitude of such higher selves but after it has done so it paradoxically remains as unlimited and as ultimate, as undiminished in its own being as ever. The notion that the Infinite Existence has divided itself up into such units is correct only if we understand first, that this division has not involved any reduction in its essence and second, that it has not meant any real parting of them from this essence. We can best understand this by remembering what happens in our own mental activity. Our innumerable ideas are a kind of division of the mind but do not really involve its exhaustion for the ideas not only arise but must vanish back into it.

Although the mind perpetually empties itself into thoughts, it is never less itself, never less its own single presence. Nor are these thoughts separate at any moment from the mind. In the same way, except that it is not affected by the transiency which affects all thoughts, the Overself is not separate from the World-Mind. Every Overself exists in the World-Mind just as different thoughts exist in one and the same human mind. The World-Mind's consciousness may multiply or divide itself a million times but its stuff is not really divisible; it only appears so.

It may be noticed that the term Overself has here been used only in the singular number. Yet if it is not the World-Mind itself but only a refracted fragment of it, a spark from its flame, should it not be right to use this term in the plural number also? The answer is that this would tend to give a wrong impression that the Overself of one man is actually and eternally as separate and isolate from that of another man as one reincarnation is as separate and isolate from another. If there be a slight technical confusion in using the singular number alone, there would be immeasurably more confusion if, in using the plural, this dire error of any radical difference existing between them were to be authenticated.

The Overself of each man is historically distinct from that of another man but only in the sense that each has over-shadowed or animated a different series of reincarnated persons and presided over their, different destinies. just as there is no intrinsic difference between individual sun rays themselves, so there is no intrinsic difference between one Overself and another, but just as each ray will have a special relation of its own with the objects it encounters so each Overself will have a special relation of its own with the cycles of reincarnated personalities.

Like a single ray it shines down upon a particular person whereas as the World-Mind like the sun itself shines on all persons alike. Each Overself in itself is exactly the same as and all one with another. In other words, the difference is only relational and not intrinsic. There is certainly not the separateness between them that there is between two persons and yet there is not entirely the likeness which exists between two identical things.

The experience which one man has when he first comes into the consciousness of the Overself is absolutely identical with that which all other men have when they too come or shall come into it. There is no difference in any detail. The contradictions which exist in recorded mystical experience arise either because of the mistakes, illusions and misinterpretations made by mystics who lack philosophical training or because they have not had an authentic experience of the Overself at all. This will become clear when we reach the subject later in this course. Nevertheless the memory-content kept latently within an Overself is absolutely distinct in every case because the series of personalities projected from it has necessarily been distinct from the series projected by another.

This memory-content cannot be abolished; it is there and from our space-time standpoint must be recognized as establishing a claim to individuality of a sort on the part of an Overself. Consequently we say that the Overself possesses a higher kind of individuality but it does not possess personality. The Overself of one man is distinct from the Overself of another but not separate from it; at one with it but not identical with it. Hence if two men who deeply hated each other were suddenly to come into the realization of their own Overself, they would just as suddenly mutually love each other. If they could sustain this realization then there would be perfect and permanent sympathy between them instead of the strife which formerly engaged them.

The Overself is consciously divine and can never lose its really universal nature any more than the sunray can lose its real nature as light, divided a million-fold though the latter be. We may no more impose such personalistic limitations upon it than the single and simple corpuscular cell in the body of a vertebrate animal - which would be but one out of many millions of such cells - may impose its particular limitations upon the central consciousness of the animal itself. From the human standpoint the Overself is - the deeper layer of mind where man can become conscious of God. It is the timeless spaceless immanence of the universal being in a particular centre.

Why am I myself and not somebody else? This is an important question which can find a final answer only when we can penetrate into the consciousness of the Overself which projected this particular 'I' into incarnation, for an entire tangle of evolutionary necessity and karmic history would need to be unraveled. Meanwhile it may be said that the Overself projects itself into a series of separate beings but instead of holding its light they hold its shadow. Although the Overself is but a segment of the one World-Mind its expressions during cosmic manifestation, that is personalities will each possess traits of their own which differentiate one from the other.

These are the transient differences which divide the innumerable living beings but they all exist on a lower level than the Overself which eternally unites them. And just as each of the figures in a dreamer's mind lives a characteristic life of its own in a semi-independent way, so the personalities projected by the Overself largely follow their own course once they have been placed at its starting-point. The Overself within the person is always the same and always aware of its relation to it, even though the person is so ignorant of this relation. The memory of the essential characteristics of all former related incarnations are registered and preserved within the Overself, although it does not need to sit and brood over this knowledge, which is kept latent.

This higher self does not itself evolve through widening experience like the personal self which it sends forth to taste of the fruit of the Tree of good and evil. Each reincarnated 'I' may be symbolically thought of as being but a point dwelling in the superior self's infinite and eternal experience. The body provides the field of experience, thought and feeling provide the means of experience, whilst the higher self is the ultimate experiencing being in man, the mystical "Word made flesh." It is the inner ruler of the ignorant personality, the divine deputy to profane life.

It stands to its related successively reincarnated persons in the relation of a sun to the planets which circle around it. In this sense, as that which exists behind and above his sensation-emotion-thinking being, as a thread-soul by which all the innumerable reincarnations are joined together, we may call it the real being of a man. And although as the hidden observer it owns the ego it does not do so in the sense of personal ownership. It is as disinterested and as impartial towards this reflected shadow of its own being as towards all others. The explanation of why the division involved in such self-fragmentation was the only way in which any 'I' could come into being at all - is a most metaphysical one and consequently a most subtle one. It may be understood better by understanding what is involved in the everyday act of seeing.

If we were to see white alone in everything and everywhere and always; if we were never to see a red or a blue or even a faint grey; if we had never known at any time any other colour than white, would it be possible for us to see anything at all? For without the experience of contrast we would not even be aware of white as such. Where everything is always white and where we have never known existence without it, we would not only be unconscious of all other possible colours and chromatic variations but we would also be unconscious of white as being white. For the blackness of coal would be meaningless without, say, the whiteness of snow with which it could be contrasted.

Now the Overself's original consciousness is a single and undifferentiated one. This means that its only awareness is of existence but not of personal existence. It is conscious yet not self-conscious in space and time. But such a consciousness is in a certain sense equivalent to having no consciousness at all. For experience can only begin when we can begin to distinguish between something that is, be it our own self or an object, from something that is not. We can know anything whether it be our own self or an object, only when we can oppose it by a second thing. Therefore a single undifferentiated consciousness is, from a merely human standpoint of course, like having no consciousness at all.

Thus self-awareness can arise only when there is awareness of a contrast between two things. We become aware of the existence of anything only in and by becoming aware of what it is not at the same moment. For unless we can distinguish it in this way we cannot distinguish it at all. Now, the very first of such contrasts must necessarily be that which exists between the self and what he is outside it. That is to say, the opposition of the idea of 'not-me' must arise if the mind is to become aware of the idea of 'me'. If there were no second thing there could be no conscious existence for the 'me'. The existence of 'me' implies the imperative need of a co-existing and contrasting 'not-me'.

Self-consciousness must limit and restrict itself by 'not-me' if it is to be at all. The one must always presuppose the other. For to know anything at all is to draw a clear circle within which consciousness must lie enclosed and outside which there will simultaneously lie whatever is to be known as not itself. Knowledge can only come into being if it is knowledge of something which is not the knower. Hence the very idea of a self implies its being distinguished from what is not the self, which means from what is outside it.

Now, if the Overself is to set up the opposition of an 'other' which is separate and distinct from itself, its first step must necessarily be to limit a part of itself to less than what it really is, to contract away part of its own infinitude and freedom. Its second step must be a narrow and intensive concentration on that which it thus presents to itself and which is now seemingly independent and apart. Every concentration of mental power involves a self-forgetting proportionate to the intensity with which attention becomes absorbed in the thought of that which is external to it.

Its third step must be to provide this limited ego with a field of experience to complement and complete it, of which it can become conscious as something outside itself. Thus the projected person has come into being. It exists through what is external to it and the latter exists through it; both are interlocked. The two are inseparably coupled in each indivisible moment of individual consciousness. Thus the person's world-experience is born and in so far as the one confronts the other, self-consciousness is aroused, just as the electric current which meets with the obstacle of a piece of carbon during its onward flow, strives to overcome the resistance and through this striving generates light.

This resistance which the 'me' requires is got through the limitation provided by its space-time perceptions and sense-operations. In the case of man the setting-up of the five senses produces the externalization of his perceptions and consequently of experience, thus producing objects for his consciousness and 'matter' for his belief. Nevertheless we must not fall into the easy error of forgetting that this felt opposition does not render consciousness independent of the world. It has already been shown that both the 'me' and world unfold from a common source, the hidden mind. Their opposition must therefore be only outwardly apparent and not inwardly irreconcilable. They are still related and not isolated. For although felt in experience as separate and opposed, they are known in analytic reflection as joined and united.

Self-awareness must be bought at the heavy price of such a splitting up. Those who ask why the ego be not Overself conscious from the first, do not know what they ask for. It could only be born at all at the cost of having some neighboring existence in reference to which it could have a meaning as a distinct entity, as a personal self, and from which it could be differentiated. For both personality and personal consciousness are modes which limit the pure being of the unlimited Overself. The ego could only have its separate experience by losing awareness of the unique and universal principle that underlies it. We can know that we exist only by knowing that some thing or some thought other than ourself, also exists. This is a supreme law which must bind all intelligence, both that of the tiniest gnat and of the Overself alike.

This is why the unlimited Overself must delimit its horizon, must make a descent from its own transcendent Oneness into separate selves and must reduce itself to setting up relations with them. Consequently, when the universal and infinite Overself both limits and differentiates itself in order to acquire self-consciousness, the portion of itself so limited and finitized forgets its infinite character. In revealing the 'other' it veils a part of itself; in setting up an object for experience it has also set up a subject shrunken and dwarfed through this lapse into personality. This is why nearly all creatures in this space-time world have forgotten their divine origin.

Nevertheless we must never forget that the infinite World-Mind through its intermediary the Overself dwells in everyone of its innumerable finite centres just as they dwell in it. The roots of all creatures are planted in the ground of a universal being whose life is common to them. Not one can isolate itself from the World-Mind in fact although it may do so in belief, any more than it can isolate a reflected image from the light itself. Ultimately it borrows its very life from the Overself, never has been and never can be disconnected from it.

The Hidden Side of Selfishness.

The Overself is truly an eternal image of World-Mind. Therefore it is written in the Bible that God made man in his own image. The reference here could never have been to the lower aspect of man, the petty creature who frets and fumes his way through life. The phrase fits finely however to the immeasurably higher aspect of this two-fold species. The fact that men have turned round and denied their person, nay even sacrificed their person, points to the presence within them of something which is different from the person, points indeed toward the Overself. Each man therefore has two faces. One is downturned toward the earth but the other is upturned toward World-Mind. The first is the 'person' and the second is the Overself.

Why do we so pathetically feel our cramping limitations, our shameful weakness, our saddening mortality, our mocking finiteness? It is only because we unconsciously possess a point of view which transcends our normal one that we are able to see how limited our little self is at all. It is only because we are subterraneanly related to the infinite that we know that we are finite beings at all. It is only because there exists something in us which goes beyond us without losing its hold on us that we are troubled by any aspirations at all. It is only, in short, because the Overself is present behind its limited expression, the person, that the latter can understand at all how limited it is.

The quick satisfaction we derive from material things, the prolonged absence of the thought that one day we must inevitably die, even the very reality which we attribute to the external world - all these when rightly understood are symbolic promises and remote reflections of the sublimer satisfaction, the genuine immortality and the intuited reality which the presence of the Overself within even now unconsciously yields us. They speak not only of what we secretly are but also of what we may openly become.

Every individual is necessarily incomplete because of his finitude. All his endeavours, whatever direction they take, are expressions of his unconscious quest for completeness, of his repeated search for self-satisfaction. Hence all his characteristics bear an illusory resemblance to those of the Overself and necessarily so for he is unconsciously and often distortedly trying to express what truly belongs to him.

When we can come to regard the limitations of the surface self as ephemeral ones, we open the gate to correct understanding of the hidden dimensionless mind at its centre. The various distinctions which arise within this mind, the innumerable thought-forms which are perpetually being born in it, do not diminish or exhaust it. It is useful to consider each human incarnation to be like a tiny wave of water upon the surface of a limitless sea. Each wavelet has its individual and unique shape but all are formed within one and the same sea. Each may think of itself as being but a tiny wave and nothing more or it may think of itself as being not only a wavelet but also as being not different from the sea itself.

Similarly each incarnate creature limits itself unnecessarily when it refuses to realize that it is really not different in essential nature from the Overself. Each is potentially grander and greater than it knows. If man is slowly learning the hard lesson that a human life is a wavelet upon the ocean of being which must sooner or later level itself out again, there is still left the water of which the wave is composed. This idea may be regarded as eternal death and hence undesirable from the limited point of view of the person but it is eternal life from the larger point of view of those who have analyzed the person and find it to be like a flickering shadow which rises and sets with the rising and setting sun.

A metaphysical lesson drawn from the dreaming state may also help us here. What is the true status of a number of different persons who are convincingly seen during this state, who speak in clearly heard voices, who carry on conversations with one another and take up different standpoints in discussion but who finally vanish when the dreamer himself awakens? He then knows that they were dramatized out of his own mind stuff and that therefore they were all essentially one and the same in essence. He knows too that his mind never really differentiated itself into these different figures but only appeared to do so; that is, its own continuity and selfhood remained unbroken throughout.

In the same way the Overself has always been the single being out of which the many reincarnations have appeared, the sublime unity which always escapes the doom of these multiple and perishable personalities whose separateness is as much a surface illusion as the separateness of all those dream figures. It is their truly abiding nature. It contains the highest form of immortality. Again, because separateness vanishes during sleep the selfish strife and evil born of it also vanish. The peace which then suffuses a man and which is testified to by the lingering after-echoes felt immediately upon awakening, could be his during wakefulness too if he would deliberately and consciously subordinate this separateness.

It was earlier noted that everything throughout the universe is sentenced to be forever in motion and forever in flux. But what do such changes mean unless they mean that everything is forever making changes and thus modifying its own identity? And in the case of human beings where - even leaving out the equally definite but less perceptible bodily changes - the thoughts and feelings alter so quickly that the conscious being of a few minutes ago is not quite the same as the present one, the change in identity is not only inescapable but also irretrievable. The mental state or emotional mood which has passed away can never again be got back precisely as it was. Do what we will we can not keep a fixed unbroken identity but must submit to a perpetually changing one.

We are continually forced to surrender the 'me' from moment to moment. Then why not yield to Nature's bidding and surrender it altogether? Why run vainly after something we can never even hope to catch? To comprehend this universal truth, to accept its inflexible lesson, to cease trying to cling only to the transient identity of the personality, in short to refuse to allow the 'me' thought to arrogate sovereignty to itself and thus dominate its own thinker - this is the necessary prelude to opening the heavy door which bars our way to discovery of what exists behind the 'me.' For this reason every illumined religious, mystical and philosophical teacher has voiced the need of self-surrender.

It may be objected that we feel the personality as the basis of all our conscious existence, that to be conscious at all we have to pay the price of finitude and that try as we may we cannot divorce consciousness from the personality. How then can it be annihilated unless we want to annihilate our own existence completely? The answer is that man first of all is called upon to understand that the world in which he lives consists of various levels of being, each one providing through the forms which it takes a perpetual space time suggestion for the creature within it.

This done, he is not called upon to deny his own personal being but only to deny his false conception of that being, that is to recognize it to be only an underself. He is not even asked to say that it does not exist but only that its existence is thought-constructed. He is asked to admit that his present understanding of 'I' is incomplete and must be perfected. Do what he may man cannot give up the 'I' for it is that which has brought him to birth, but he can give up the illusions about it which hold him captive, the wrong concepts wreathed around it which lead him astray into sin and suffering.

Strive as he may man cannot disentangle himself from desire for his earthly existence depends upon it, but he can, when he becomes the personality's witness, disentangle himself from his habitual enchainment to desire. He is asked to dwell again and yet again in this strange new world of thought until it eventually becomes as familiar and as intimate as his daily self.

If we assume that by metaphysical probing he discovers and by ultramystic practice he sees at last that the 'I' is not in the body but the body is really in the 'I'; if he realizes that the personal 'I' like everything else within his ordinary experience is really a thought-construction which feigns a permanent and stable entity of its own; if he penetrates deeply beneath it and uncovers its hidden essence as mind, what has he done?

He has got rid of a mistaken idea - however powerful, however hypnotic and however over-confident his belief in it formerly was - and he has substituted for it the contrary idea of his higher individuality, the Overself which can never be annihilated, which forever remains what it was, alike in quality but distinct in characteristics from the World-Mind. The personal consciousness which he has evolved after so many incarnations, with so much effort and through so much toil, is not swept away. It remains. Only, it takes its proper secondary place. It becomes subordinate to the Overself. Both are there within the same zone of awareness. He keeps this sense of his own personal transience alongside his sense of a sublime ever-abidingness in the Overself.

If therefore he is seemingly called upon to part with the personal, he is really called upon to receive consciously that unfettered peace-fraught existence which is its origin. If he is seemingly asked to surrender the Many, he is really asked to take full possession of the One which is their background. If he is seemingly led to deny all formed and felt experience, he is really led to accept the ultimate principle which permits such experience to be possible at all. If he is forced to negate the products and constructs of mind it is only that he may affirm the pure mind itself.

If he is asked not to assign an exaggerated value to a self which is transitory by nature, it is only that he may perceive the unique value to be assigned to an individuality which is permanent and real. Thus whatsoever he seemingly loses is returned again to him deprived of nothing but its transient shapes. The supersensual whole cannot be less than its sensual part. Why then should anyone fear it?

If it be further asked how a man can play his part in the world's work and fulfil his obligations to society unless he stand solidly upon the feet of his own personality, the answer is that he who has unfolded this insight has not altered his actual existence. For practical purposes he remains the same man as before and plays the same role in society - more likely, he will play a much better one. He is not deprived of the slightest capacity for useful action, but on the contrary his discovery beneficially influences his ethical standards and improves his external life. He is not called upon to suppress personality but to suppress that blind infatuation.

With it which is the source of so many practical mistakes, moral sins and social injustices; he is not required to submerge the needs of self but to submerge their satisfaction at the cost of injury to others. What has such a man lost in the end - His personality has not been destroyed but only purified; his consciousness has not been paralysed but only disciplined to understand itself better; his responsibilities have not been deserted but rather fulfilled in the most conscientious manner; his possessions have not been scattered but only turned into a trust to be used wisely.

But is it actually possible to take up such a philosophical attitude towards one's own ego? it may finally be asked. Surely the feat of witnessing its activities quite impartially must always be a theoretical and never a practical achievement? We may discover the answer for ourself. When we become intensely interested in an exquisitely beautiful musical piece unfolding itself on a concert platform, what happens to us during the deepest moments of such concentrated rapt attention? Do we not actually drop the entire load of our own personal memories, ambitions or anxieties, hopes or fears and thus stand aside in temporary freedom from them? Is this not a practical if involuntary and temporary achievement of that philosophical attitude?

Admittedly no one wishes to lose the sense of 'I-ness' - this powerful instinct which is the driving force back of all animate Nature. We have yet to see a single case where those who denounce the ego as a fiction and disbelieve in its existence, act upon their belief. From the meanest worm to the highest mammal, every one loves his own existence. Why not? Why should we pretend to be other than what we are; why should we prate of desiring to lose our self or prattle of its unreality and non-existence, when we cannot get away from it even if we wish to? Every living thing, whatsoever has the faintest trace of consciousness within it, feels this deep desire: "1 want to exist. 1 want to live."

But the mistake it makes is the failure to comprehend that to satisfy this intense craving it is not necessary to cling only to the limited and fragmentary form of self with which it is acquainted, for it can receive full satisfaction only when it lets the latter go and reaches towards the perfect being that is its inmost essence. If we think down deeply enough, we shall see that even the desire to give up selfishness is itself prompted by a subtler selfishness and motivated by a nobler egoism. We may put aside the 'me' but we cannot get rid of the 'I'. We can however expand its circumference. We can also deepen its centre. More, life cannot ask of us and yet let us remain in the kingdom of man.

The personality is indeed 'I' but it is not the ultimate 'I'. For we are not selfish enough! The trouble is not that self is merely an illusion, as some claim, but that our present knowledge of it is only a broken fragment which has still to be supplemented and completed. It is wiser to possess firm faith in the infinite resources behind self and not waste time decrying its present life as purely phantasmagorical. A man is not to be blamed for acting upon self-interest. This is natural. He is to be blamed for failing to see that he is taking only a surface-view. Just as the many little wheels of a great machine are unaware of the general direction in which the machine itself is moving, so the great multitudes of men are unaware of the general direction of all this cosmic activity, wherein every incarnation is a movement from the less to the more, a minor stage in man's major quest of the Overself.

We barely know our self; we clutch a mere surface-fragment of it and remain content. We do not live but merely keep alive. We fulfil our own being only when we enter into this higher self. God's deputy to us being the Overself, it should constitute our supreme value, that which is most worth while in life. Loyalty to this larger self is not mere sentimentality but practical wisdom. Selfishness is simply the ignorant opposition of the limited personality against its proper and superior self. If we have the courage to pull the bleeding roots of this opposition out of our own nature without waiting for karmic experience to do it for us, we may advance to the next and higher stage at a bound.

The 'me' which recognizes and submits to this truth, the 'I' which is educated to keep to its proper place and not to claim a higher one, the ego which perceives that its existence although a distinct one is not a separate one, the personality which is willing to be ensouled and inbreathed by this impersonal being of the Overself, will then become purified of its own littleness. Henceforth it will be an unhindered channel for a power, light and being superior to its own. Hence forth the individual will enter into a sacred union with the cosmic will.

Now, because the World-Mind is everywhere present, every individual entity partakes of its life and consciousness through its ray the Overself to however small a degree. Nobody is ever inwardly separate from it however outwardly distinct from it. We dwell with it in a mystic togetherness, in a secret continuum. The recognition of our intimate relations with the World-Mind brings a new interest into the dullest life and provides a fresh urge to the weariest one. The ultimate mental essence of all the multitudes of human beings, despite their varieties, diversities and differences, is through the Overself a shared existence. On this view, life becomes an enterprise rich with significance, for we are privileged co-partners with Deity? And not merely the puppet automatons of Deity. Here indeed is a thought which gives height to a man.

Thus it is for man himself to rise into the grade of philosopher and make his partnership a conscious relation instead of an unconscious and stunted one as it is at present. When we can comprehend what life is seeking to achieve in us, then the universe will cease to oppress us and become more acceptable. An important value of such a message is the peace which the larger outlook brings through bringing a proper proportion to human outlook. So long as the surface self torments itself unendingly with unsatisfied and unsatisfiable desires, which experience in death both their final and worst frustration; so long as it oscillates excitedly in time only to be given ironically its own final quietus by time itself; so long does it display ignorance of its true relation to its own hidden source.

When we can lift ourself to this higher standpoint, rebellion against life as it is dies down. We learn the wonder - for it is nothing less - of total acceptance and learning, widen out such peace as may already have become ours. And if we share in the activity of the World-Mind we share also to some degree in its wonderful possibilities. Not that the ray can become more than it is - a representative of the sun on earth - but that it can draw from that which pervades it the affirmation of its divine quality.

We not only need a purpose in life; it must also be a satisfying purpose; and what could be more satisfying than such a sacred co-partnership?

When we understand that the World-Mind is the basis of all existence; when we realize that it is the sustaining and uniting principle of our own self as well as of all other selves, our prayer and our efforts will henceforth be for the welfare of all creatures, not merely for our own. For we will know that in the universal good our personal good will necessarily be also included whereas if we selfishly seek our personal good alone the derisive irony is that we shall fail to attain it. Our duty is to consider ourself not only as a part living for its own sake but also as a part living for the sake of the Whole.

Put into plainer language this simply means that if men were to consider the welfare of the All as well as their own (for they are not excluded from the All) they would gain greatly for this attitude would bring more and not less happiness. They practise selfishness because they honestly believe such to be the way to satisfaction; they disdain to consider the common welfare because they honestly believe such to be the way to the loss of happiness; but when their ignorance is removed they discover that satisfaction is ultimately rooted not in the person alone but rather there where all persons may meet in a common centre. For they all share the greater life of God who is in each of them as a unity and not as something which has been broken up into little pieces. Mankind's interest includes their own as the larger of two concentric circles includes the lesser one.

The contrast between 'I' and 'you,' the differences between one man and another are plain and clear: it is consequently natural for both to accept the reasonable conclusion of their separateness. What both do not see however is that the same powerful misapprehension, the same suggestive force which prevents them becoming conscious of the ultimate reality behind the world's multiformed appearances also prevents them becoming conscious of the ultimate unity which in the end lies between their separateness from each other.

When the inter-connectedness and inter-dependence of all existence is grasped, the quest of a purely individual salvation is seen to be an illusory one. 'I am to be saved not for my own sake alone but because all are to be saved': this is the proper attitude we should adopt. We can now begin to understand what Jesus meant when he uttered the words: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it." For this wider self, which was the Christ-principle in Jesus, is the secret thread which ties man to man. It also offers the scientific basis of Jesus' beneficent injunction: "Love thy neighbour as thyself." It lives in the 'I' as the latter itself lives in the body. We can begin to understand too what Paul meant when he pronounced that truly mystical sentence: "I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me". The Overself is indeed the Cosmic Christ to which we are silently called to dedicate our lesser existence.

~ The Overself of Gerardus ~

From the Viewpoint of our Higher Selves
all our Lifetimes are lived simultaneously.
For Time as we know it is an Aspect of our Dream.

Karma... or Balancing our Lifetimes
- therefore -
is an Elusive Activity and should be thought about
with the Understanding that Reincarnation
- is only true -
when we look at Lifetimes from Earth's Perspective.

The Higher Self or the Christ we are... we are now.
We have always been this.

Our Lifetime-Episodes or our Journeys
are Reflections... Dreams... or Creations
within the Nowness of their/our Infinite Moments.

Higher Selves dream-think-create
a specific Personality they wish to be
and voila
we are the Realities of their Creative Dreams.

Yes... we are Real... for Dreams are Real.

We are Real in Mind or Consciousness
and we think that we are Real in Physical Reality.

Physical Reality however... is the very Reality
that we as Aspects of the One Consciousness create.

We seem to live in Physical Bodies
but we Humans see or experience this Reality
through very craftily created Lenses
the Human Body itself.

There is no Objective Reality
in and by itself.

We have hypnotized ourselves collectively
and we agree on what we think we experience or see.

Our Higher Selves create us in the same sense
as we with our Thoughts create them.

Life is a Reciprocal Relationship
in which all of us are Equal and create each Other.

All of Us are the One Consciousness
that is entertaining itself
by pretending to be all Entities
within the Reality of its own Dreams.

The Whole of Creation takes place in our Mind.
The entire Universe is this Mind.

Thinking that we live in Bodies on Planet Earth
is a Conclusion made by a hypnotized Aspect
with a Seemingly Separate Consciousness or Mind.

Things... Bodies... and Planets
are Energy Patterns of and in our Mind.

There is only Consciousness... entertaining itself
by having Billions upon Billions of Dreams.

All Dreams are experienced as real
for the Creator or Dreamer thinks that he is awake.

We are this Creator or Dreamer.

Since many Entities or Beings are able to think
and therefore are able to create
the Universe is an Expanding Mind or Consciousness.

It becomes aware of its Creations or Dreams
within the Seemingly Separate Consciousnesses
or Created Entities
that live in all Dimensions of the Universe.

The Creator... the Universe... Consciousness or We
are the very Dreamer and Experiencer
of the Reality we create by our Thoughts or Dreams
that manifest right before our very Eyes.

When all Dreamers awaken the Universe disappears.

At that Moment all Dreamers have evolved
to the Original Source
and the Manifested Universe and its Aspects
have arrived Home.

This happens regularly in enormous Cycles
that are hard to fathom.

Consciousness or the Creator as Unbroken Wholeness
has its Moments of Manifestations and Dreams
and its Moments of Returning/Awakening to Itself.

We do this again and again.


The Universal Consciousness or Mind
is actually a Multi-Split Parent Mind.

All Personalities... People... and Things
emerge from this Parent Mind
and live in a Dream State of Self Reflection
that does not allow them to realize
that they actually are the One Parent Mind.

We are Unconscious of our True Identity.

We suffer from a Separation Syndrome
that can only be healed by becoming Whole.

This Wholeness is what all of us are looking for
while we are experiencing our Creation.

During these Sojourns we try to fill our Emptiness
by engaging ourselves in all kinds of Activities
that in the long run do not really satisfy us.

We are Hungry for our Greater Self not for Activities.

As Human Beings in or out of the Body
we live in some kind of dissociated State
from our Greater or Higher Self.

We are Sub-Personalities of our Parent Mind
and only by Conscious Effort
and/or Radical Realization
can we as Individuated or Dissociated Dreamers
merge with our Universal or Parent Mind.

This Parent Mind is the Universal Creative Force.

The Universal Creative Force or the Creator
by means of its Sub-Personalities
- creates -
according to their Individual Wishes and Desires.

All Human Wishes and Desires however
are not too effective towards Inner Fulfillment.

We are missing our Wholeness of Being.
We have lost our Reference Point.

Greater Wholeness will be found
when we have reached
the Christ Consciousness or the Kingdom of God.

After reaching these higher States of Awareness
there are still other Planes to transcend
before we and our Experiences
will merge back into the Source of Creation.

This is what all of us are working on
Experience... after Experience.


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