Monday, October 26, 2009

Spirituality and the Self

To be spiritual is to contemplate the nature of the self, but not necessarily the other way around. When contemplating the nature of the self we can talk about the social self and the transcendental spiritual self. The social self can otherwise be called the ego. The ego is formed based on cumulated social experience, relationships, career path, and material posessions.  This self is the self we know and see ourselves as. We refer to this self as an object when using the word ‘me’ and refer to it as a subject when using the word “I”. This self is shaped and shifts thought our lifetime based on outside influences of socialization.

What is the self behind the social self? Pure awareness of consciousness: the spiritual self. It is the simple awareness of “I am” that remains constant though ones life. Descartes makes a fundamental error when he says “I think therefore I am”, when referring to the transcendental self. This is the error of equating the realm of soul with the realm of thought. The former is formless while the latter is purely form. Thinking exists in the realm of the mind which can not not be equated with the irrational realm of spirit. Reflection on the nature of a spiritual self is the deepest and most important spiritual practice one may engage in.

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