How do we Become Self-aware of Self?

We know that we can’t see our eye with our eye unless we have a mirror. For the same reason we cannot see our self. So how can we see our self, the thing we refer to when we say ‘I’? Sure, we can look in the mirror but then we only see our physical body. To see our self we need a different mirror and this mirror is our soul. Our soul is comprised of the functions thinking, feeling and willing. In its natural state an instinctive level of feeling is dominant. For example, we see a sunset and it passes us by unless we have a feeling about it. We fully register that feeling if we start thinking about it. We commit it to memory, or even take a photo of it, through the activity of our will.

How do we become more aware of the activity of our soul and our self? We know that if we explore an unknown territory we will get lost if we don’t have a map. Similarly, we cannot become self-aware of self unless we have a map of the terrain. It is best to create our own map by exploring the personal characteristic of our thinking, feeling and willing. If we orient ourselves through feeling, what is thinking and willing doing? If we are thinkers, what is feeling and willing doing? And so on. In this way, we begin to observe thinking, feeling and willing and hence start to look at our self in the mirror.

This is not a cold, detached process; we become the interested observer. The better able we are to do this the closer we come to asking, “Who is observing?” “I Am!” This experience takes us up a notch. We reach a higher level of thinking, feeling and willing.

When we are able to objectively observe the functions of our soul, we don’t get caught up in feelings of sympathy and antipathy. We remain open and approach new things without analysing, forming opinions, or criticising. Our whole soul becomes open; open thinking, open feeling and open will. We replace old alliances between feeling and thinking, thinking and willing, etc. with a new self-directed approach, we chart a new path.

Now we become more accepting, more loving and above all more observant. We no longer feel uncomfortable when others do not conform to our ideas; we lovingly allow our ideas to nestle with the ideas of others so that we can observe them over time to see if they contribute to a new understanding. In this way, we become self-aware of Self.

Image: Narcissus by Caravaggio 1599

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