When you say “I,” there are 4 levels to that truth: 1-is the most obvious, which is the ego level, which is the one we are typically operating from or referring to, 2-is the world, which is you as the world, meaning you are not separate from the rest of the world but merely a part just like a hand is part of a body and cannot survive separately, nor is the body the same without a hand. 3-is I or you as self, which is like “soul” or “spirit” or similar to Jung’s “anima.” self is what animates body. It is that which is part of God and it is what feels pleasure and pain. It is the source of your uniqueness and is the channel energy follows from God to consciousness. So life energy comes from God, gets a unique “spin” at the selfish (selfish meaning, “of the self”) level and then continues into consciousness via the heart-mind before getting reflected back by ego and then bastardized and expressed into the external world by ego (when/if ego is active). lastly, 4-“I” is God or what I call TFB, (truth/force/being). At this level, you must recognize that you are God. You are part of God. This is the deepest level of “I”.
The point is that when a person says “I like” or “I dislike” or when you are thinking about what to do or who you are, the truth is you are very likely operating from ego and referring to ego and it is advantageous to be aware of this and the three other “I’s.” Contemplating these 4 “I’s” will help you evaluate what to do and will change how you look at “yourself.”
There are many lessons embedded in the 4 “I’s” and each one deserves contemplation. For instance, if you practice seeing “yourself” as “the world,” you then realize you’re not separate from plants and animals and people, but at one level, you ARE these things. How would this make you treat “other” people differently when you realize you ARE them? What about nature?
If you think of “yourself” as God, how does that make you approach your life differently? Do you feel more empowered? Do you take more responsibility for your life and situation?
The most important or powerful lesson is to realize that ego, or the “I” we are most familiar with is the least powerful of the four and the only one capable of creating and channeling negativity and destructive energy. Ego is necessary in this life and has a role even in an enlightened master; if it were not for ego, would you even know you were enlightened? Would enlightenment even be possible or necessary? The point is that while ego has a legitimate role, its role is not to take control, but to serve and to follow. One of the most powerful lessons one can learn is how to sit quietly with something at the ego “I” while God and Self “I’s” work through something to a proper understanding, where God is communicating to self directly until we “hear our inner voice” give us guidance. Most of us usually try and “take control” and “figure out” something so we know what to do. Much of life eludes this type of ego-driven action. Instead of finding answers, often asking the right question is what is needed. Then sitting in openness, quietness and awareness until God/Self show us the way is most helpful.
One silly sounding lesson is very poignant; “you” (ego) should be in the habit of referring to “yourself” in the 3rd person. This is because the the first level of spiritual growth is actualization, which involves thriving or living self-centrically. Most of us live ego-centrically, and when we say “I,” we mean ego. When you live self-centrically, and you say “I,” you mean self. There is something subtle but significant that happens when we refer to “ourselves” in the 3rd person; we’re recognizing that it’s not ego we’re referring to, but self. So if I say “Jim likes longboarding,” this is different than saying “I (ego) like longboarding.” The reason this is significant is because ego has a specific role to play in a an actualized person. Ego subordinates itself to Self in this case, which is hugely significant and impactful. There is a post on here about ego’s role and sailing, please check it out. There will also be another post detailing the What Context and Where/When Context but I have been reluctant to reveal that model until I get it properly copywritten. In any event, part of the way of thriving (being the best you can be and the most you can be – based on self), is to learn to think of “yourself” in the 3rd person. And you don’t just want to do this in an off-hand manner, you want to mean it, intentionally. I mean, you have to begin asking “yourself” questions like “Who am I?” where “I” is “Self” and you want to do it in the 3rd person, so in this case, I would ask, “Who is Jim?” I would also ask, “What does Jim want and need?” (See other post on the difference between wants and needs and the definitions) But you have to begin asking these questions in the 3rd person to open “yourself” (ego) up to Self.
One more big point. At the selfish level (selfish = of the self), we ARE God. This will be explained more fully in the What Context post, but ultimately, God is ALL THERE IS, and the deeper you go into the recesses of your being, the closer you get to God. Self is merely God, with a unique twist or “spin.” So when you serve God, you serve Self and vice versa.
Clearly this all deserves a better treatment. I really need to get more organized about this and take it more seriously.
I will post a more detailed discussion of ego’s role in a later post.
The 5th “you” or “I” encompasses and integrates the other 4 and also integrates the void or nothingness. It is the “I” of enlightenment. It is the “I” of each of the other 4 but is also the NON-“I”. Its where “you” are everything and nothing. This is all I can say about the 5th “I”.