The value and purpose of self-inquiry
True humanity is knowledge of oneself. Human beings can think and feel, they can imagine many worlds, and experience them through their senses, but most of all they can reflect on themselves and their place in the universe. If they are willing to engage in such an inquiry, they find very rapidly that the most important matter they can investigate is the way they conceive themselves as human beings, their own sense of being alive, their own existence and identity.
The ordinary consciousness keeps the individuals in a state of reactivity or at best of conditional acceptance of what is presented to them. This pseudo acceptance is done in the hope that whatever they accept will change, and they will find happiness, somehow. However, they wake up some day with the feeling that they lived somebody else’s life.
There is another way. Through different contemplative practices - personal inquiry, dialogue with a guide, meditation, and group spiritual conversations-they can become aware of their impulses, fears, judgments, assumptions, fantasies, and learn to take ownership of their own reactions. Thorough investigation into the core of their inner struggles will free individuals from the grip of the judging mind. As they discover the many ways they reproach themselves and others, they also can let go of paralyzing unconscious guilt and reactive defense mechanisms and become more responsible. They will find the door to an enhanced capacity to be with “what is," and shift from reactive to reflective consciousness.
As individuals awaken to their full capacities, they become more and more authentically present to themselves, to others and nature, in an intimate, and affectionate way. They understand through reason and intuition that there is only One, Absolute, Infinite, Existence. They understand and live by this knowing that this Oneness of Being is the unshakable fact of their existence. They know more and more that they cannot be separate from their divine Origin, and live as they are meant to live, as a locus of manifestation of the Divine Qualities.
As Rumi tells us:
It is He* who suffers his absence in me
Who through me cries out to himself.
Love’s most strange, most holy mystery
We are intimate beyond belief.
Annick Safken, Ph. D.
Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. ~Erich Fromm
The present of the I-Thou relation is not the abstract point between past and future that indicates something that has just happened but ‘the real, filled present.’ Like the ‘eternal now’ of the mystic, it is the present of intensity and wholeness, but it is not found within the soul. It exists only in so far as meeting and relation exist. Martin Buber
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin
All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
Living is being born slowly. It would be a little too easy if we could borrow ready-made souls.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. Henry David Thoreau