Podcast Transcript - The Self and Not Self
Welcome back to these discussions of the Logos of Experience and Truth.
If you’re listening to this after having completed the episode of the Image of God, I’m sure you either have questions or have seen, felt, or contemplated for yourself the various apparent truths or realities or even possibly contradictory statements you can make regarding seeing yourself in this eternally unique manner.
Before we speak about them, I’m obviously aware of that which you’ve probably seen and understood. But I simply wanted you to bathe in the concepts and ideas within the meditation itself before we discussed further and more in depth the statements that were made, in order to penetrate deeply not only the knowledge of the self or what Know Thyself today is capable of revealing, but also seeing how it was seen by our ancestors.
The most obvious statement that can be made and that which is most interesting about experiencing this knowledge of the self is that, though you are entirely unique in the manner in which I spoke, it also means that every single other human being experiences their existence in exactly the same manner. So, though we are entirely unique in this life as we are, so too is everybody else, and thus we’re both eternally different from one another but also eternally the same and are bonded together through this experience called being human.
I know many philosophers across the ages have spoken of the conclusion that this leads to just as all have felt it at least at some point in their lives during a moment of self-reflection: that feeling of disconnectedness, of apartness, of separateness, of aloneness when considering this reality of our entirely unique and simultaneously entirely individual experience of existence that occurs in the confines of our own singular mind.
That’s why it’s quite an interesting statement when you’re scolded during the teenage years as not being the center of the universe when well, in your own mind, in each of our own individual mind: you actually are the center of the universe, your own universe in your own individual mind.
Again, through this understanding of the self you can hopefully start to see why some of the ideas that existed throughout history, existed throughout history. The Earth being at the center of the universe comes to mind since well, from the vantage point inside of our own consciousness at the seat of the self, this world, the world in our mind, is the center of the universe and all else circumnavigates around us in the external world from this point of view. So, it’s very interesting that this simple exercise of knowledge of the self, shows how and why our ancestors thought of themselves, their world, and the placement of both, as the focal point of existence between Earth and Heaven itself. This is most likely one of the reasons why, when emerging from the point of view of one’s own self-created mentally constructed world within the seed of the individual self, we are the focal point of Heaven and Earth regardless of what any astronomical science may say regarding the external world or universe. From within each of our own individual minds we are each at the center of our own mental universe.
But of course, this is also why togetherness with others is so important. The family unit, friends and whatever other social groups that we choose to become part of since it creates that atmosphere where though alone in the mind, we are together in the body, even as we are together in the body, yet we remain alone in our mind. Even though we may share our bodies with another in the vocation of marriage and the deliciousness of sex, there still remains the individual within that temporary experience of combining togetherness. Just as though another’s point of view may enter into our individual mind and influence it even, yet this sharing of thoughts and ideas still occurs within each individual mind.
Again, that strange mystery of mind and soul, merging with, fusing with, existing with and or alongside the body, the physical Temple of the Soul, the Spirit of God. That strange mystery highlighted, exemplified, immortalized for our understanding through the life of Jesus the Christ, this, the greatest of mysteries of the Spirit of God dwelling among humans as human and God simultaneously, and again, if we are made in the image of God as we have seen one of the ways in which we are, then we are like Jesus in this manner of our existence as well. For Jesus frequently says in the Gospels that we are like him, or that we will be like him: sons of the Father, through him and in him with the Father.
What’s interesting is that even though this occurs in our mind, heart and soul, yet this occurs in our mind, heart and soul while we dwell within these physical bodies and the mystery and question of why only deepens with this understanding. Was physicality needed in order to experience or learn this about ourselves and of God? Could we not experience God, or the divine, or understand this knowledge of the self without physical bodies?
These are interesting metaphysical and cosmological questions that arise when we reach these understandings regarding Know Thyself, while treading upon the Narrow Path.
As stated prior, considering the mystery of the Logos, the Word entering into physical form, there’s a very interesting correlation to that and the raising of the body to the status that it now enjoys in Christ Himself, through His Ascension.
I imagine this is another of the reasons why Gnosticism was frowned upon by the church in the third to fifth centuries. Many, if not all of the Gnostic texts repeatedly frown upon the body, call it a prison within a false and denigrated world and that one must abandon this tomb of the body in order to escape the realm of the false god and return to the realm of the true God. It’s also why many of the Gnostics were very fond of St. Paul’s writings since he has some of the same type of speech in his writings as well, where he’s literally wishing for death to enter into the kingdom but that while still here, alive, he must work, etc. Very similar sentiments, and again, another of the ways we can understand an ancient group of people and the thoughts and ideas they left behind like the Gnostics, as well as the decisions of the Church Fathers in antiquity. Because even though the Gnostic texts were deemed heresy back then, if we look at why the Gnostics revered St. Paul in comparison to their own texts having been found at Nag Hammadi, we can see that the same language and ideas in the Gnostic texts are still in fact found in St. Paul, and that perhaps, mystically speaking, especially since St. Paul had one of the documented mystical experiences in the New Testament post Jesus Christ, it makes sense that he would speak about dying and death and being in the Kingdom of Heaven since he most certainly understood what it meant having had his powerful vision and conversion experience that literally, not just figuratively, literally caused him to be spiritually reborn in the light of Christ.