The process of personal transformation (Alchemy) as a form of spiritual regeneration comes as a process that has two basic stages. The first stage is what’s often referred to as our psychological healing, where we shed our false ego built through our formative conditioning, and the second comes by learning how to employ the principles necessary for developing our self to a higher level of self-awareness and creativity. The first stage is necessary as a means of laying the proper foundation for creating ourselves through our ability to develop our true character from a fully conscious and self-aware state. This stage of transformation comes by identifying and removing all the “false-images and ideas” we’ve taken on about ourselves that cover over or prevent our true light from shining through. Most of us start out in life by absorbing and taking on other people’s ideas about “who” and “how” we should be and by the time we’ve become young adults we’ve lost touch with who we are in terms of our essential nature, what our life purpose is, or what we came here to learn through experience as a means of evolving ourselves.
Each one of us is born into life as a “karmic seed” that’s comprised of an archetypal matrix of qualities and characteristics that form a distinct theme, which contains the entire “plan for our life” (Divine Providence) that unfolds through a natural growth process. We are perfectly “designed” to fulfill our life purpose which unfolds in a synchronized manner as a correlated series of events that set natural processes in motion. The events of our life unfold with perfect timing because one naturally arises and evolves out of the other as an expression of our consciousness. As we go through one life experience, we develop inherent parts of our character and our mental model, which is comprised of the memory attained through our experiences, which sets up the circumstances necessary for the next series of events to evolve out of in a completely natural way. Our character forms our essential nature as our personality out of which all our natural behaviors are formed and come in an automatic way. Our mental paradigm is what forms the “lens” we “look through” as a means of perceiving the outer world.
Nothing comes into our life until we are ready for it as a level and quality of consciousness because we’re the one projecting it and “calling it forth” through our vibratory frequency. A frequency has both a pattern and a self-assembling mechanism inherent in it that works at both the unconscious and conscious level simultaneously. We all have what we can call a “signature frequency” (formed as our mental paradigm) that works through the greater field of information surrounding us (outer reality) to only activate and bring forth in that field what “matches” our paradigm through “resonance”. What we perceive as an outer reality is a field of information that exists in a neutral state of “probability”. Each one of us vibrates at our own unique frequency, and we energetically “influence” the outer field into a configuration that correlates with the thematic pattern of our mental model. Each person “acts on” the same field of information (consciousness) by only vibrating the parts that are congruent with their paradigm and uses the selected parts to reform it in a way that brings a consistent version of reality as an experience of “themselves”. Our outer reality reflects our inner reality, because both created by the same “mind”. We tend to think of ourselves as a physical being within a neutral reality that’s objective in nature, but the fact is all reality as we’re capable of knowing and experiencing it, is subjective in nature, and formed in a way that’s unique to us as our own creation. Every single person who views that same reality as a material formation (tree, house, car, landscape, etc.), will experience it in a slightly different way, based on the structure of the “mind”.
The outer reality is formed through our perception of it as a mental construct. Our mind is constructed of information that’s highly organized and synthesized into a coherent model. It forms a dynamic series of correlated “filters” that are superimposed over our outer reality as a way of reorganizing it into a construct that reflects our paradigm. These filters are primarily formed by beliefs, values, preferences, temperament, perspective, and memories, which are all synthesized into a “single model”. These filters are interactive as different aspects of a greater whole in much the same way each of our character traits blend harmoniously in forming our personality and producing all our natural and unconscious behaviors. Beliefs can be very hard to recognize as such due to the fact that our mind acts naturally (at the unconscious level) to construct the reality of our beliefs, making them seem real.
The Dual Nature of our Mind
We’re always working in every moment to shape our physical existence using two primary aspects of our mind and self, called our subconscious and self-conscious, which make up what we refer to as our “lower self”. This aspect of our mind is comprised of both our instinctual, emotional, conditioned self, and our self-aware, rational, intellect, which builds whole realities out of thoughts. Our intellect is the aspect of our material mind that forms our outer awareness as our “waking mind” and is what forms our internal dialogue as thoughts that run constantly in a habitual manner. Our thinking mind of outer awareness is the aspect of our self that perceives the outer reality being projected by our subconscious and interprets the events of our life to make them “mean” something. Whatever meaning we give something forms the story we tell ourselves about it which forms the basis for how we “experience ourselves” through our own self-created story about things. As we tell ourselves a story about something, we “sense ourselves” through it and begin identifying with it as a result.
Meaning, like the mind that produces it, is also threefold in nature, and whatever meaning we give an event or situation, means something about us, about others, and about the way the world is in general. The world in general sets the stage necessary for playing out our story in a way that makes sense, where we’re the main star and others are the costars of our movie. We create on three levels to form a single idea where every element is a logical and cohesive part of the same overall story. This way we can play out smaller stories within greater stories of the same basic idea. We’re always creating in a cohesive manner out of a coherent model where the same idea plays out harmoniously on multiple levels and scales of increasing complexity.
If you pay close attention to your own thoughts, you’ll notice that there’s always “one part of you” talking to “another part of you”. You’re always talking to yourself inside your mind, explaining, describing, justifying, and forming a narrative around things that are also being “projected” by your own “mental model” as your perception, and then being interpreted through your model to form a story about them. The experience formed is then “reabsorbed and synthesized” back into your model as a variant that acts to upgrade it somehow. This process of inner dialogue as “storytelling” is the most primary and completely natural way you’re always in the process of using your self-conscious mind to “program” your subconscious to produce the “reality of your thoughts” as an “experience of yourself”. You’re always the one creating the reality that you then use as the means of experiencing yourself. What we’re referring to here as “yourself” isn’t your body and personality, its your mind and soul. Your soul exists as your “entire reality”, not just an aspect of it.
As we have emotionally intense experiences as a child, we try to make sense of them by telling ourselves a story about what they mean. Due to the fact that our rational, logical, reasoning mind hasn’t begun developing yet (starts developing at puberty), our interpretation stems from the emotion we’re experiencing because of the event. As we form emotional interpretations of why something is happening and what it means about us, we also start forming natural behaviors that we do in an automatic fashion anytime we’re experiencing that same emotion without direct awareness of what we’re doing or why. As we continue to play them out in a consistent and unconscious manner they become a major “creative factor” and we build “mental complexes” out of them.
A complex comes as an idea about ourselves, such as . . . I’m not loved, wanted, worthy, good enough, smart enough, and so on, and go on to become the “theme” of our “life story” and what we use as the means of experiencing ourselves and shaping our identity as we grow into young adults. A complex comes as a whole dynamic (pattern) that’s played out at both the unconscious and conscious level. We maintain the behavior that we associate with causing the activity at an unconscious level as a way of initiating the dynamic, and then live it out with awareness where we form the illusion that the other person is “doing it to us”. We fail to see our part in co-creating it because we remain unaware of what it is we’re doing that produces a consistent response. Our “life theme” is what forms our perception of the world outside of ourselves and what we use to not only bring alive and rearrange our reality to match our interpretation, but as the means of creating ourselves (our character and identity) through a consistent type of experience that we build up over time.
A person who feels they’re “not good enough”, for example, will only “see” in any situation what can be used to create an experience of it, and will interpret any situation and set of behaviors being displayed by others to “mean”, once again, they’re not good enough. They will unconsciously continue to display the same type of behaviors that led to them feeling as if they weren’t good enough, and that caused others to treat them that way as a result, while remaining unaware of what they’re doing that’s causing it. If someone compliments or admires them, they’ll simply interpret it in a way that makes it out to mean whatever they need it to in order to keep telling their story about themselves. Such as, you’re just being nice, you don’t mean it, you’re not sincere, or you just want something from me. They’ll somehow interpret even the most positive intentions and behaviors to match their belief about themselves. This is how we get “locked into” a false reality produced by our own beliefs and can live our whole life out of a delusion without ever realizing it’s something we’re making up.
By the time our rational intellect starts developing and coming into play in a dominant role where we can form new interpretations from a rational perspective (starts around 12 to 14 years old, and is fully active around 21 to 28 years of age), we’ve already built up our story as strong feelings and beliefs about ourselves, and we use our creative mind to build a narrative out of our story instead of as the means of transforming it. By the time our conscious mind comes into play as our individuality, we’ve already established our mental model out of our conditioning and how we interpreted things as a child, and we continue to “see” and “create” the same type of experiences. This is because what we call our conscious mind is an aspect of our subconscious that’s birthed completely within the reality formed by our subconscious. Instead of using our conscious mind to dissolve our emotional delusions and begin telling a new kind of story, we use it as a means of embellishing our story and forming our identity out of it.
The Archetypal Design of our Soul as our Karmic Seed
Our karmic seed comes as our “inner nature” and personality as a form of archetypal design (revealed through our astrological birth-chart) based on how we’ve developed and grown ourselves in previous lifetimes, and by how we’ve created out of a unconscious state. This comes as a completely natural part of ourselves as our character, which forms our predisposition, temperament, natural tendencies, talents, special abilities, and interests in life. Our karma is “set-up” and reestablished through our formative conditioning through a “cause and effect” process of “stimulus – response”. Our life situation and family dynamics are always acting to stimulate and call forth certain aspects of our character, where they’re expressed and developed into habitual patterns through the dynamics being played out. Other parts of our character remain dormant and unstimulated and form what becomes the basis for our “latent potential”. Potential that remains dormant and undeveloped within us can only be activated naturally through live situations that serve to stimulate, awaken, and call it forth as a natural response where it’s then utilized as a means of handling the situation. We can also develop ourselves in a conscious manner by recognizing what lies hidden within us, and deciding to bring it forth and begin utilizing it by intentionally employing it in our daily life.
All “properties” have behaviors inherent in them that are only brought out and expressed through an interaction of complementary opposites. Its’ only through “contrast” as the natural relationship between opposites of the same idea that aspects of ourselves are brought into creative expression where we can use them to experience ourselves in new ways. As we create new experiences of ourselves, we start building up those experiences as a way of defining ourselves with new qualities. We can only work to develop qualities in ourselves when they’re being stimulated from an outside, complementary source of some kind, and are in an active state. Even when we decide to start utilizing latent aspects of our nature in a willful manner through imaginary processes, where we play out various scenarios while designing a new response that replaces an old one, we only know if it worked when we’re in a live situation where we’re actually being stimulated, and it comes forth as a natural response.
We often think we’ve formed new patterns that resolve and transform issues born out of our conditioning because we’ve developed and replayed them in our mind over and over, giving our subconscious a new pattern as an automatic response. But we don’t ever really know if it took hold and is permanent until we’re involved in a live interaction where strong emotions associated with our issue as an “activating device” are being openly displayed and projected towards us and we employ the new response without having to think about. However, what we can do in a live situation is immediately recognize what’s being activated within us and why, and through this awareness gain control of ourselves where we can use the new pattern we’ve rehearsed mentally as an alternative that can be employed without having to design it on the spot. Often, what the imaginary process does is give you an alternative reaction you can employ as a well-thought-out idea in the heat of the moment when you’re being emotionally triggered. One of the problems we can have in forming new responses is that in the moment when we’re being triggered by an outside stimulus we can’t think clearly and don’t have an alternative we can use in its place as a means of consciously managing the situation and bringing our own reaction under our control. When we change our own reactions and the behaviors and activities that automatically issue forth out of them, we begin transforming our experiences and our “self” by way of those experiences.
Removing False Ideas about Yourself
The first stage of transformation comes by separating out what’s false from what’s true. You must recognize and then remove ideas that you’ve taken on about yourself that were given to you by others, formed out of how others judged you, established through guilt, shame, or obligation, as a means of controlling you, or that you developed in order to be accepted by a particular social group. The most basic way to do this is by learning to recognize your own “essence” as a form of “design”. Step outside of the image you’ve built up in your mind about yourself, let go of the attachments you’ve formed to this idea about yourself, and begin soul-searching by asking yourself some basic questions. You know when your answer is true and therefor relevant, because in answering it a whole series of correlated realizations will spontaneously arise out of it as a chain of associated ideas that act to expand it.
Start off with questions like . . .
- What have you always had a natural interest in and always felt compelled towards?
- What is it you’ve always felt an attraction towards as a kind of affinity?
- What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and look forward to with a sense of excitement and anticipation?
- What kind of ideas fill you with a sense of purpose in life?
- When you were a kid, what type of ideas and roles did you naturally aspire towards? Who were your favorite characters and types of stories?
- What is it that you consistently gravitate towards and see yourself doing?
- What is it that when you engage in it energizes you and gives you a deepened sense of satisfaction and well-being?
- What type of situations make you feel like you’re in your element?
- When you think about your life, what is it that you consistently see yourself doing as a kind of vision for your life?
- What special abilities and natural talents do you have?
- What kind of things do you love?
- What kind of ideas give you a sense of purpose out of which a whole vision of your life naturally emerges as a vivid possibility?
- As an adult, what roles do you naturally play in life? (caretaker, parent, teacher, activist, leader, innovator, problem-solver, encouraging others, etc.)
- What skills have you developed that came natural to you?
If you answer these types of questions by “journaling about them” (writing out answers in an in-depth manner where other ideas spontaneously emerge), it’ll open a gate that allows you to access and touch upon deeper parts of yourself that may have been dulled and covered over, skewed to a new form, or conditioned out of you. Again, all answers must be based on you and only you and not from an idea someone else gave you or told you was true about you, or what you “should do and be like” as a form of judgment. This is purely your own feelings and ideas about yourself and your life that exist “within in”.
The important thing to remember here is that we’re all born into this life with a “vision” for our life that comes natural as a form of “seed”. We are “designed” with all the qualities and traits necessary to fulfill that vision through natural processes and by learning to utilize all of our potential through the activity the vision naturally requires. You don’t have to “try” to be who you really are because it’s built into your nature, and you do it naturally. The only “effort” you put into “becoming” is when you’re taking on and attempting to become something you’re not. Spirit always works through Universal laws as natural processes, which proceed out of our core being in an effortless manner as a kind of “flow”. When that flow is impeded and we cut ourselves off from our true source, we begin struggling in life, and have to apply great effort in trying to create because we’re working against or contrary to the natural laws.
Everything you need to create your life as your soul’s purpose in coming here, you’re born with. It resides inside of you as a seed that grows and blossoms. We don’t ever “acquire” anything from outside us that we don’t already have. The only purpose the outside serves is to stimulate and call forth into active expression what exist within us in a latent state. What we experience as an outer world is actually a projection as an extension or continuation of our inner world and is being naturally formed by us. It doesn’t exist apart from our ability to perceive it. All stimulation comes as an interaction between complementary opposites (of the same thing), where we first act through “resonance” to form the structure of our outer world, and it then acts on us to stimulate us through the relationship formed by latent, repressed, and unknown aspects of our own internal nature. What we imagine to be outside of us as traits we don’t already possess is because they are dormant within us, or we’ve repressed them through some form of judgment, and have become hidden and unknown to us as a result.
Recognizing and Integrating Your Shadow
The other part in the initial stages of self-realization and awareness of who you really are comes by learning to recognize fragmented aspects of yourself that you have disowned and denied having, even to yourself, due to how you were judged by others, and then began judging yourself in the same manner. The most primary part of our lower nature as our subconscious-instinctual self, is the desire to be accepted as a part of a group, with the most basic one being our family unit. When we’re judged as being bad, wrong, or deficient for natural character traits that we possess and openly express, it means we’re going to be rejected, ostracized, or alienated from our family or social group, and as a result, we refuse to “express” those parts of ourselves, and keep them buried deep inside instead. When we’re shamed and made to feel guilty about what exists as a natural part of us, we usually choose to deny and disown it, and we begin hiding it, often, even to ourselves.
As we form these fragmented hidden aspects of ourselves that we refuse to express, they stay “active” within us as a frequency and continue to create by remaining a natural part of our outer environment, which is being formed as a mirror image of our subconscious. Because we denied having them and buried them deep within our subconscious, we don’t recognize them as being ours, and in their active state they still motivate “unconscious behaviors” that we naturally display without a direct awareness of what we’re doing or why. Because we’re unaware of them while they’re still active at the unconscious level, they form the basis for our complexes as unconscious patterns we continue to play out with others, and form how we judge others through the reaction they naturally cause in us.
We all have a built-in mechanism for being able to recognize and accurately identify our own repressed character traits, so that we can begin working with them in a conscious manner. Once we realize that our entire outer environment, including our perception of others, is being projected (reshaped into a correlating construct) by our subconscious mind and includes the unknown aspects that lie hidden within us, we have the tools necessary to begin reevaluating them in a way that will allow us to integrate them in a healthy and productive manner. By realizing that these same traits and behaviors form a pronounced reaction in us and cause us to “judge others” in the same way we were judged and came to judge ourselves, we can bring them into the light of our conscious mind where we can examine them in a new and more productive way. We form a reaction outwardly to what exists inwardly that we’re unaware of. All accepted and known aspects of ourselves that also form a natural part of our outer perception don’t cause a reaction, seem completely normal and uneventful, or elicit a feeling of admiration and respect.
We’re also provided with an even deeper tool that allows us to become aware of why we repressed it, because our reaction is formed out of the same “judgment” that caused us to deny the same trait in ourselves. So, by examining the nature of our reaction and the story that naturally starts playing out in our mind as our internal dialogue with ourselves provides us with the whole equation we need in order to transform it in a way that we can incorporate it through a healthy and constructive expression that matches our image of ourselves and what “kind of person” we are. The reason we deny certain aspects of ourselves is because we don’t know how to express them in a way that fits or enhances the image we’ve built of ourselves, and we refuse to express them as a result.
We must start by realizing that every character trait, no exceptions, has an appropriate means of expression that’s constructive and beneficial in nature. When we assign ideas of “good and bad” or “right and wrong” to any aspect of ourselves, we judge ourselves as being wrong or bad for having those traits and decide instead to “deny” having them. As we form denial around certain parts of ourselves, we push them to the background where we lose awareness of them, yet they remain a fundamental part of our subconscious mind and continue to actively express as a natural part of our outer reality. Due to the fact that we’ve repressed and are no longer aware of them, we don’t recognize them as being ours when we see and react to them in others.
Our mind literally become fragmented, and we pose one part of ourselves against another part of ourselves. The disowned parts of us become what we call our “shadow” because they reside in darkness within us, and over time we lose our ability to “see them” in ourselves while continuing to judge others who openly express the same traits and activities. As we judge, we’re making something good or bad based on how we’re looking at it and the situation it’s actively expressing in. If we looked at that same idea from a different perspective and as expressing through a different situation, or in a different way, we might see it as good and perhaps beneficial or as providing us with the means for enhancing our ability to express ourselves in the right situation. If we judge something about ourselves as being bad or wrong it’s usually showing us that we’re simply not expressing it in an appropriate manner, and it’s destructive or harmful as a result, or it doesn’t suite the image we’ve built of ourselves as a specific type and kind of person.
There’s no such thing as a trait that’s all bad. Every trait serves a purpose and when utilized appropriately, creates in a beneficial manner. Anger for example, when formed as a reaction based on our conditioning nearly always tends to be destructive and harmful to ourselves and others, yet it can be an appropriate response to violence and injustice. Violence is an appropriate response when we’re protecting our family and loved ones from a threat of violence, and when protecting those who can’t protect themselves, or when it’s being used against us. So every aspect of ourselves becomes a beneficial tool for forming an appropriate response to correlating situations and the right circumstances. If it’s destructive and unwarranted, it’s showing us that we’re not using it appropriately, or that we’ve attached the wrong idea to it that’s limiting our ability to express it in a creative and beneficial way.
We only “fear” what we don’t understand, and out of fear comes hatred. The most natural way to overcome hatred is by looking to understand what it is we hate. We can only “love” what we understand. By taking an attitude of understanding, it allows us to look at something from an entirely different perspective and gain new awareness of it that allows us to transform hate into love. This is what the saying “love thy enemy” is trying to point out to us. All traits express through interactions and how it is we use them in relation with each other as a means of transforming them. This formula for transforming traits is laid out for us through what’s called the 7 vices and virtues, which exist as complementary opposites of each other. Each vice has its complementary virtue. If we set them apart where they’re opposing each other, and draw a line to connect them, we form a “gradient scale” between extremes of the same thing. We transform a vice by employing the complementary virtue in its place. By doing this consistently over a period of time, we build up experiences born out of virtues as an accumulative process where we steadily move from one end of the scale to the other. The object isn’t to swing from one extreme to the other, but rather find the middle point where they exist in balance and are being used as tools for creating by expanding our ability to express ourselves.
If we want to create peace in the world, we don’t do it by launching a campaign to protest war, we do it by cultivating peace in every area of our life and relationships. We become “peace” itself as a state of mind that produces a corresponding outer reality as an “experience of ourselves” as being peaceful. We embody peace as a quality of being and we exist in harmony with everyone and everything around us. If we live in fear, and are afraid of a lot of things, we act on ourselves to transform it by consciously choosing to employ “courage” instead and walk courageously into our fears. We can start with the smaller fears that are easier to manage, because what you’ll find with relatively little practice is that most of your fears aren’t real but are more a product of your imagination allowed to run wild. Fear is only designed to prevent us from taking action, and as soon as you take action to move forward in spite of fear, it immediately subsides and goes away. Once you begin realizing this and concentrate on creating experiences of being courageous and confident, you become empowered, and can easily transform the greatest of fears. This is because they all work by way of the same principles, which operate the same way in all areas of your life.
Returning to Wholeness
The main goal of our soul required for growing and evolving ourselves to higher levels of self-awareness and creativity, and ultimately ascension, is to learn how to integrate our shadow aspects so that we become fully self-aware and whole again, where we’re able to realize that we are the one creating our own reality. As we return to a state of wholeness by blending the inner with the outer as a harmonious continuation of each other, we become “coherent”. By becoming aware of the nature and relationship of our subconscious and self-conscious mind, we can learn how to operate each aspect using universal laws which provide us with explicit instructions on how to create from a fully conscious and self-aware state. As long as we remain unconscious and create our life from a semi-unconscious state where we fail to recognize the consequences we call upon ourselves through our own actions, we remain on the lower material plane as the victim of our own creation. We’re all here to wake up within our own life, realize our power to self-create, and learn how to operate our own mind as a means of creating in an intentional and responsible manner. Each one of us is the sole creator of our own life experiences, and out of those experiences we simultaneously create ourselves.
Transpersonal Psychologist, Mind-Body Health Consultant, and Spiritual Teacher