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Excursion in my deep conscious self

Excursion in my deep conscious self

We live in our ego… well, I don’t know about you, but that is certainly true for myself. This became clear to me after I listened to—and reflected on—the distinction between surface conscious self and deep conscious self as it is presented by Bahram Elahi. The surface conscious self is my ego, my demanding self, this self that wants to be recognised by others, that wants others to love me, admire me, that wants everything to be for me and only for me, that takes every opportunity to get offended, that gets on its high horse over the tiniest criticism, that sees itself at the centre of the world with everybody else on the outskirts, that thinks I know better, that dreads getting relegated to second place and doesn’t like its rivals to succeed at anything, that revels in compliments and remembers them with delight, that believes others owe me attention, consideration, that they should listen to me… This self is my spontaneous self. Like an automaton driven by an instinctive force, it naturally leads me to think that everything is about me, to compare everything to myself and to pay attention to others only as long as it is useful to me and to the way I want them to see me. This self, which I am 99.9999% of the time, is not inherently bad: it cares for my preservation, my well-being and my progression in this world. Without it, it would be hard for me to take care of my kids, to get involved in society and to make myself useful within it. It does, however, become “bad” when it tries to fulfil its desire for expansion to the detriment of others and when its desires and concerns invade all my thoughts to the point where I forget about the needs and aspirations of my Self with a capital “S”, which Bahram Elahi presents here as one’s true Self.

My deep conscious self, on the other hand, is this “zone” of my conscious self that is capable of grasping more than the material dimension of life and capable, in particular, of being attentive to my reason and moral conscience. It is this self that gets me to pay attention to the aspirations of my Self, leading me for example to put the blame on myself rather than on others, to put somebody else’s interest before mine without bragging about it, to be tolerant towards those who do not listen to me, to listen to the criticisms and advices coming from others, to forgive those who hurt me, to hold back the urge to backbite, to keep somebody else’s secret to myself, to regret what I did wrong, etc. Unlike the surface conscious self, which does not see beyond short-term material interest, the deep conscious self’s view encompasses the consequences of my actions on my Self with a capital “S”. It is also and most importantly capable to understand divine truths—the truths that I absolutely need to practice in order to be able to tame the primate that rules on the surface and gradually become the authentic human being of the depths. For anyone aiming at perfecting oneself in order to become a true human being, it is crucial to develop the ability to take off from the surface of one’s conscious self in order to reach one’s depths. And there is no better way to achieve this than to practice.

The starting point is a decision. In order to get out of the ego, you actually have to want to. Personally, I tell myself: no, you’re not just this—this little mean and selfish ego; get out of there, rise up, think about your Self! It all happens as if there was a switch in my psyche and all I needed to do was to set it to “on” to get access to a richer and clearer level of consciousness. It is like a voluntary mental trigger that instantly gives me a wider perspective on the situation, a more humane perspective, a perspective that, in any event, appears to be a lot more correct. There are, of course, some failed take-offs. I thought I had switched to my deep conscious self, but all of a sudden here I am, back in my surface conscious self. But then click, here we go again, gaining height again, I remember why I am on Earth, I remind myself of the One whose judgment matters to me, and it is simply amazing: my perspective on things, on myself and on others is not just altered, it is completely reversed. This person whose behaviour was annoying becomes touching, this irritating advice I received makes me feel grateful, I suddenly get a glimpse of a fault within myself and notice an unknown quality in somebody else, this highly-coveted object doesn’t seem so appealing anymore, if not completely insipid… I feel calmer, not so edgy anymore, I like others a little more, or at least I pay attention to them a bit more, I can better feel the divine presence, and then it’s very nice, very pleasant. Unfortunately, for me, it doesn’t always work: there are days where I remain stuck in my ego no matter what I do. And when it does work, it doesn’t last. But it doesn’t matter; what matters is to keep practicing. In the meantime, these few excursions in my deep conscious self, however short they were, have allowed me to catch a glimpse of a clearer reality, they have helped me, here and there, to resist certain impulses and to make better choices, choices that are more in line with my spiritual ideal.


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16 comments

  1. tahereh Mar 31, 2012 7:32 pm 1

    What a wonderful self analysis and how magically on time it was when I was struggling with some selfish negative thought. It was really liberating!

  2. Gilda Apr 01, 2012 10:54 pm 2

    Thanx for the lovely article, I often live on my surface conscious and every now and then I take a dip into my deep conscious. It’s very difficult but the best part is we have knowledge and that in itself is a step ahead because we know we have to do much better than we are doing and this need to do better and go with the teachings can be our torch light towards the right path. When we max a little before speaking… when we try not to create jealousy, when we try to control our anger, and when we try to be patient with the people around us… It means we are trying to connect our outer surface knowledge with our deep knowlege. I think it’s good enough… it doesn’t matter how long it lasts : it’s important to know it’s there and we are trying to practice what we have learnt (which I think is the most important factor and the great plus point to be noted).

  3. YE Apr 02, 2012 9:12 pm 3

    Thanks for the great article. I too live in my ego and what gives me hope and strength when it comes to trying to get out of it is to know that it’s not about the results and it’s not about how long it lasts, but it’s about “trying” and about “keep practicing”!

  4. Juneone Apr 03, 2012 4:44 pm 4

    This is marvelous. Thank you for sharing this personal exploration.

    I am always looking for the satisfaction in my material dimension: that’s the ‘right now’ that I uphold. Even though I know that that definition will not get me very far in the long run. Thank you for the example and the reminder.

  5. S Apr 05, 2012 6:25 am 5

    It’s very difficult for me to turn the switch “on”.

    It’s like knowing that I’m sitting in the dark room that I am, day in and day out, but not having the skill to make it click – unlike the material world where I know very well how to walk over to the light switch and use my hand to turn on the light.

    Any practical advice on gaining better control over the voluntary trigger?

    It could simply be because I’m not volunteering sincerely enough… or a skill factor… or both.

  6. pb Apr 09, 2012 2:12 pm 6

    Thank you for this very practical article. I like the phrase “rise up, think about your Self”. but at times when the force behind my ego is so strong with strong feelings attached, I find it impossible to ‘rise up’. It is as though I am glued down to my ego and the powerfull reasoning behind it.
    That is when I should only turn to Him for help as I find myself at the mercy of my Id.

  7. FK Apr 12, 2012 7:23 am 7

    It was so useful and on time, this interesting article, thanks so much! It releived me of some negative thoughts inside me and made think again that I am not alone in this hard battle against my selfish ego, I can always ask Him to help me and take my hands, give me strength to not give up trying and practicing…..

  8. wire Apr 13, 2012 11:21 pm 8

    These tangible and practical effects makes me think that I need to practice this exercise so much more:

    “This person whose behaviour was annoying becomes touching, this irritating advice I received makes me feel grateful, I suddenly get a glimpse of a fault within myself and notice an unknown quality in somebody else, this highly-coveted object doesn’t seem so appealing anymore, if not completely insipid… I feel calmer, not so edgy anymore, I like others a little more, or at least I pay attention to them a bit more, I can better feel the divine presence, and then it’s very nice, very pleasant. Unfortunately, for me, it doesn’t always work: there are days where I remain stuck in my ego no matter what I do. And when it does work, it doesn’t last. But it doesn’t matter; what matters is to keep practicing. “

  9. Pam Apr 14, 2012 9:56 pm 9

    One of my favorite parts of this article was the phrase: “I remind myself of the One whose judgment matters to me.”

    Lately, I have been concerned with other people’s perceptions of me, trying to reason that I have a spiritual duty to be respectable in society. But I realize now that there is a fine line between being a productive/respected member of society and being too overly concerned with what others think about me (this is most certainly my Ego).

    Thank you for this enlightening article!

  10. k Apr 17, 2012 12:13 am 10

    I must admit I have not read this article yet, but God willing I will do it soon. And now there is even a new post: I am so behind in the readings, not to mention practicing. But I was wandering about the *psychological membrane* (see Medicine of the Soul, p. 114). Is this membrane only around our conscious self or “around” the whole psyche (=both the conscious and unconscious part, as the picture from the post: Surface conscious self and deep conscious self). I personalty think the psychological membrane is around the conscious self only.

  11. mina Apr 17, 2012 4:49 pm 11

    It was a lovely article and it gave me the right message my soul needed to hear… and in a way, it gave me strenghth to go on with a hard task I’m still going through and see this test as a spiritual test for my inexperienced soul. Thanx for this light and the correct knowledge.

  12. jila shahroozi Apr 17, 2012 5:33 pm 12

    I have always been worried about what other people think about me. But recently I have learned how to do my duty towards others not wanting anything in return, by doing what is right. Following this method, it seems one gets the respect of others. As gaining the respect of others is not the goal, but a consequence of our behavior toward them.

  13. k Apr 18, 2012 5:15 pm 13

    But I think it is more difficult to place the psycho-spiritual membrane. There are two possibilities: 1) separation of our unconscious psyche from our total (or entire) consciousness or 2) separation of the celestial pole from our unconscious psyche with the terrestrial pole from our unconscious psyche.

    I think the correct answer is 1).

  14. Jic May 03, 2012 4:12 pm 14

    This wonderful article is like a visitor’s guide to conscious self!
    Not only it has motivated me to continue exploring my conscious self despite my insignificant understanding of the subject, it has also helped me gauge whether my thoughts and behavior is rooted in the surface conscious self (i.e. my ego) or the deep conscious self. Simply observing my actions, thoughts and words throughout the day has been quite a humbling experience.

    @k — It seems that you are asking questions about the makeup of the psyche. Perhaps the best place to start is: ” Surface conscious and deep conscious” presentation located on the home page.

  15. 7 Aug 30, 2012 3:05 pm 15

    This article has been real helpful to me, during my prayer.
    For days I was trying to reach my deep conscious self in my praying, but I didn’t know how.
    I realized I just had to think about the times when a person’s behavior was annoying and then became touching, or when asked myself “why am I on the earth”……. I have to go into that mode to pray!

  16. kbld Oct 07, 2014 11:58 am 16

    @k
    If you want to better understand the structure of the soul in Ostad Elahi’s school of thought, you can consult the 3 figures available on http://www.ostadelahi-indepth.com : in the module An Exploration of the Bidimensional Self, Cycle 3 Beyond Psychology: The Inner Pursuit of a True Self, Answers of the questions asked days 5 and 6 (in the archives).

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