Know Thyself

Know Thyself

20th May 2016

By Christina Lavers

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe” — Inscription on the Greek temple at Delphi

‘Who am I?’ is one of the most fundamental questions of existence, yet most of us are so preoccupied with what is going on in our external reality that we don’t bother to take the time to really explore our own vast internal world. Painting deep self-examination as a form of navel gazing, society tends to persuade us to look outside ourselves for meaning and clarity. But when we neglect our own inner workings we miss the opportunity to delve into the mysterious inner realm and uncover the treasures of our deep self and the universal truths that we, as fractals of the entire universe, all contain within.

Mainstream society is renowned for being stifling. Using social acceptance as a means of control, from a young age we are corralled into a socially sanctioned mould. We learn very early on in our development that the best way to avoid being shunned and ostracized is by following external directives. Conformity and standardisation are hallmarks of our education system. The media, through carefully selected icons, dictates and reinforces societal ideals of what is and isn’t desirable. Socially, our friends and families might use shame, ridicule and sometimes even punishment to ensure that we don’t stray too far from the flock.

However, sacrificing our authenticity for acceptance generally doesn’t lead to happiness and wellbeing. It is not surprising that so many of us feel dissatisfied, anxious and depleted, even when our lives are the epitome of social desirability. Often it is this yearning to break out of the oppressive mainstream framework that acts as a catalyst, propelling us to go beyond the shallow surface distractions in search of something more real and meaningful.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ C.G. Jung

In order to access our inner gold, we need to be willing face those darker aspects of self that we have buried away. When I turned my attention away from all the external theatrics and began looking within, what I initially discovered wasn’t pretty. I found parts of me that were broken, parts that were wicked and enraged, parts that wallowed in shame, and parts that were paralysed with fear; in short, I found my shadow.

At first I thought I was a wounded freak in a population that was mainly healthy and successful. With time however, it dawned on me that we are all broken inside to some extent. I realized that successful types in Western society were often just those people who had mastered the ability to mask and gloss over their wounds. This is a civilization in which we learn to conceal our flaws and weaknesses; it is normal to invest a huge amount of energy in trying to convince everyone around us that we are ok.

Facebook has taken this phenomenon to a new level. I am sure everyone is either directly or indirectly familiar with the Facebook illusion of the perfect life. It is as if we hope that if we can convince everyone else that we’re happy, then we will be. Surface shine might impress some, but in order to really feel good we need to truly shine from deep down in our core. A true sense of wellbeing comes from within, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

When I realized that in our world flawlessness was often only a skin deep illusion, I found it easier to accept the less desirable aspects of myself. I began to take time to work with these aspects that for so long I had tried to hide from myself and the world.

As I explored these dark inner spaces I discovered some surprising treasures. First of all I discovered that most of the elements I had classified as dark actually had two forms of expression – a positive, and a negative form. When aspects are rejected and repressed they naturally unconsciously affect us in a negative way. But when those same elements are accepted in love, and integrated, they can become allies, working with us rather than against us.

I also discovered that hidden away with all the parts of myself that I was not comfortable with, within the extreme darkness that I contained, were all my brightest and shiniest elements. In my attempts to fit in, not only had I shied away from that which I deemed unsightly, I had also unknowingly sacrificed my unique beauty. By acknowledging and owning my darkness I began creating an inner foundation that was real and solid enough that my radiant, exquisite aspects began to feel safe enough to be expressed.

The journey towards authenticity is not glamorous. There are inevitably messy moments, awkward moments, and ugly moments … and that’s ok – they are unavoidable parts of a process that is leading us out of distortion, back towards our true centre. I have found that with every step I take I am becoming more confident and willing to be myself, to speak my truth, and to honour my feelings.

I am finding that learning to trust my own internal navigation system is empowering. This internal navigation system is independent of the sway of ‘group think’ or what ‘they’ say. It is perfectly attuned to my needs and true desires. By following this navigation system I may not always look cool or trendy to others, but the more I tune in the less I care because I find myself guided towards aspects of life that make my heart sing and my spirit shine.

I trust that the more we explore ourselves, the more we align with our soul expression, our true purpose, and our unique voice. We discover who we really are, beyond who we are told to be, or who we think we should be. I believe this ability to be authentic and distinct is the ultimate gift we can give ourselves and the human collective. As more and more of us turn away from the external droning of the shallow, middle-of-the-road reality and find our own inimitable voice to boldly sing out with, the richer, more true, and more soulful our individual and collective reality will become.

About the author:

Christina Lavers

Christina Lavers is a writer, an artist, a creative enthusiast, and an inner world explorer. Born in Montreal Quebec, Canada, she now lives with her life partner and son in a rainforest pocket in the hills behind Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia. She spends her time playing, creating, growing and sharing.

Christina is devoted to assisting people to find and connect with their own creative magical current that flows deep within. She is now offering a comprehensive e-course designed to help people light up their world with passion and creativity. You can access Section One here for free!

Christina has also recently published her first full length book, a memoir about her wild awakening journey entitled Jump Into the Blue, and she is currently working on the next one.

“My journey has been about personal alchemy… exploring the mysteries of my soul and my environment, and learning to bring all aspects, the light and the dark, together with the transcending ingredient… love. The more I uncover and nurture the wounded aspects of my being, the more whole and grounded I feel and the more my outer world reflects the love, wonder and magic I have discovered inside”.

You can follow Christina’s work at:

Recommended reading by Christina Lavers:

 


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  • “Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe”
    Does knowing the “self”, the lowercase body, personality, story help us know the divine?
    Or could this “self” be a capital “S” Self? “Know thy Self and thou shalt know all the mysteries…”

  • Greg

    We are focused in this physical reality for three fundamental reasons –to learn to know ourselves, to learn to create responsibly and to help each other in the process. These are not separate paths. All run concurrently. We cannot possible create in a responsible way if we don’t know ourselves. We can’t really get to know ourselves in isolation. We need others in our lives to mirror back to us things we need to discover in ourselves, and us to them. All of this can be done in a joyful, encouraging and supportive manner, if we allow it. Our participation in the on-going creation is meant to be joyful. Let us do all that we can to make it so.

    • We all live in 3 potential realities or levels of consciousness available to us.

      1. The physical everyday workaday world we are all far too consumed in. Ego rules this world and most people never get past it to higher levels of learning and living/thinking because they are completely consumed in the many illusions created for them by control mechanisms of one form or another. This level is simply called consciousness

      2. The next level is called the subconscious. This is where dreams reside and other forms of understanding and knowledge about ourselves and the world we live in. Even fewer yet go to this realm and understand it as part of our soul journey. A sort of pathway to knowledge and understanding. A critical point of our own Inner Journey and tapping into our own “Inner Powers” !

      3. The next level Is the super conscious state.This is where all true knowledge resides and where the Akasha can be tapped into. Any of us can go to all three places and understand each for what they are.

      None of these points are what some might call new age thinking. In fact it is all very old thinking/knowledge to be sure ! Much of what might be called new age thinking is really just sales hype and garbage thinking/acting. All about taking your money and making you feel good about it ):

      I recently stumbled onto this young woman and she makes the point quite well ! Although I Have known this for a very long time. Her video here is very amusing and makes some excellent points. Most people are very gullible and actually do little thinking for themselves !

      .

  • Good read with many good points, but most will not understand what you are saying ? see my comments below !

  • Greg

    “Down to Earth Thinking’s” reply is unnecessarily complex. A result of the intensity of our focus on physical reality. The video is unnecessarily sarcastic and very annoying to watch, must less listen to. We need a lot less sarcasm and a great deal more sensitivity to the challenges and difficulties we have set before ourselves in this physical reality.

    • My comment is not at all complex and is very precise. You are apparently still hung up in some of the phony new age junk that has been spoon fed to many who are not fully capable of thinking for themselves ? all knowledge and understanding comes from the 3 sources I mentioned and that is why our own Inner Journey is so very important.

      I clearly point out that the physical is largely an illusion, only because we like to believe in the illusions created for us, rather than think for ourselves and live accordingly with our own knowledge ? You are way behind the curve , but you can still catch up ! Nothing is equal and never will be. We are all on our own merits or demerits as the case may be 🙂

  • Greg

    Down To Earth Thinking’s comments continue to demonstrate significant confusion. Just because something is claimed to be old doesn’t mean it’s correct. Something that’s repeated for however many years doesn’t make it correct. A mistake is still a mistake. Besides, the notion of age is an illusion. There is no time. No past. No future. There is only now. All lives, past, present and future are lived now.
    The “sub conscious” is simply another name for our inner-self, that part of our consciousness that is more fully connected to our larger reality. It is not a separate reality. The “super conscious” is simply another name for that part of our larger reality out of which we spring. It is not a separate reality. There is only one reality. A reality that we all create, singly and en masse. Nothing is created for us. In addition, all things are equal. All things are made from “god-stuff.” We are not isolated, however much we act and believe that way.
    Also, the comment made by Down To Earth Thinking about our “everyday world”, our consciousness, appears to carry a derisive tone regarding the ego. The ego is fundamental to human psychological structure. We are not self-aware without it. We cannot make effective, knowledgeable decisions or establish personal boundaries without it. We cannot consciously engage our creativity without it. It is fundamental to our self-understanding and necessary for any self-examination. It is not an evil twin that needs to be excised. It cannot, in fact, be excised. Part of the challenge of our inner-journey is to bring ourselves to emotional maturity. This cannot be done without a healthy ego.