Intro to Self-Realization
What is Self-Realization? Well to answer this loaded question we must first understand the notion and overall concept of “self” and then deconstruct what it actually means to self-realize.
“Self” in its most basic and primitive sense is “you” and everything that makes you, you. It’s not just your name or talents or what you do for a living or where you are from; but the essence of your being – it is your innate disposition and nature. It is your core beliefs, interests and actions – whether they are conscious or subconscious – that when woven together, reflects the fabric of your character and may be perceived by others (referred to hereafter as “perceivers”). If your relationship with a perceiver – whether romantic, platonic or otherwise – is not deep he or she may only see or experience small pockets of your character and who you are. However, if the perceiver is evolved and there is depth to the relationship, the perceiver may be able to see “you”, experience “you” and sometimes appreciate the complexity of your character in a raw way that creates connectedness (we will speak about connectedness in a later post). The difference between a perceiver that’s not evolved or that you have a general relationship with, and one who is evolved that you may have a deep/connected relationship with is analogous to the difference between only being able to see one or two patches stitched together and being able to see and admire all the patchwork of a beautifully woven quilt. Self-realization at its highest state occurs when you see the larger patchwork and understand that these patterns speak to something larger and together create purpose. For this quilt example, once it is realized that the quilt is a quilt made up of many patches, then the purpose of said quilt can also be realizes – which is to provide warmth and comfort. So when speaking of “self” it is critical to understand that it is your character, your essence and your innate disposition; and “you” aren’t defined by one experience or interest or talent but by the woven togetherness of your being on multiple dimensions whether it be being sub-conscious (mind), conscious (body) or spiritual (spirit).
So back to the question of self-realization… just as others or perceivers may have a limited scope or understanding of who you are depending on the depth of the relationship, so goes the same for you with yourself. If you do not investigate or understand your various dimensions or push to have a deeper relationship with yourself – you will not know who you are and will not have an accurate sense of self. Please notice I did not say “strong” sense of self; too many people walk around with a strong sense of self and they have only investigated one patch of their character. Additionally, just as it takes an evolved person (or perceiver) to actually “see” you in your entirety and appreciate the complexity of the fabric of your character, you will need to be evolved as well. The state of being evolved is a continuum that begins with awareness and discovery and concludes with realization. Therefore, to be on the path of self- realization you need to be committed to discovering yourself and be diligent in observing and evaluating your:
Interests and beliefs to discern whether they stem from “you” or are a result of externalities such as your family or societal pressures;
Actions and how you are perceived by others as a result compared to how you perceive yourself;
Experiences and how they shave shaped how you view yourself and the world;
- Relationship with yourself and ability to articulate who you are at your essence. If you find yourself defining who you are based on what you are “doing” 90% of the time rather than who you are “being” you are not on the path of self-realization.
Although the state of being evolved is a continuum it is also cyclical and continuous. You must continue to traverse through this continuum and self-realize over and over. A quilt wouldn’t be able to fulfill its purpose (to provide warmth) by being two or three squares woven together. You must become aware; continue to discover and to keep realizing through growth and experiences that nurture the various dimensions of self… And if you are lucky, on the way you will find your purpose.
In closing, this blog will be primarily focused on self-realization through awareness and discovery which may manifest itself through dreams, art, current events, relationships and life experiences. My intent is to share my journey and perspective, and inspire others to self-realize.