Paradoxical in its simplicity, this common phrase offers a succinct commentary on the path to enlightenment. “Enlightenment” as defined by the process of discovering the true self. For most of us, this process only begins after the lower self has really made a mess of things in its quest to be the One. However, it is not the One.
There is a traditional Cherokee parable of an Elder Cherokee Chief teaching his grandson about life… “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person too.” The grandson thought about this for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replied, “The one you decide to feed.”
This parallels the journey from the lower self to the acknowledgement of, and eventual dwelling within the Higher Self. This High Self, or aspect of the monad, is not separate in the knowledge of its true and Divine nature. As an integral part of the whole - this individuated self comes to know itself as One with all that is manifest (including the lower self), as well as un-manifest.
There are many false faces or identities we may explore in any given incarnation as we learn and grow through the personality/egoic archetypes of an earthly life. You are not the container, but the content.
It is through our interactions with others, as we portray these varied personalities consciously or unconsciously as children, parents, entrepreneurs, co-workers, athletes, bosses, victims, caregivers, spouses, slaves, heterosexual, homosexual, masculine, feminine, anima, animus, that we often realize we are much more than we realized. Losing our small identifications to something greater and acknowledging our divine selves helps us to cohabitate with, understand and adjust the false faces that may or may not serve us well. It is at this point that our authentic, spiritual journey can become real and expansive. We begin to see that there are many colors between black and white.
If we can soften our rigid views of the world, first finding acceptance and compassion for the self in all of its expressions, and then perhaps embrace important characteristics within us that have been denied. Some forgiveness may even be required. Consequently, we may just find the space to evolve into a higher vibration of the ultimate self. That’s why we’re here.
“Your Soul is your ultimate guidance system. You can think of your Soul as the compass, map, and destination all in one.” – Aletheia Luna
The potential for self-destruction resides where there is a strong fear of losing control. This can become a dominant pattern due to early trauma or negative childhood experience.
Ironically, Spirituality requires the deconstruction of the lower self, which is the original wounded-child that must be acknowledged, embraced by the higher self, loved, forgiven and ultimately healed in order to evolve into enough faith/trust to pursue and dwell in the High Self.
This is your sacred mission, should you choose to accept it. It is not mission impossible – however once it has begun it is impossible to turn back.
There are many wisdom teachers, spiritual paths and teachings that can support this transformative and healing process of ascension.
“Shapeshifting requires the ability to transcend your attachments, in particular your ego attachments to identity and who you are. If you can get over your attachment to labeling yourself and your cherishing of your identity, you can be virtually anybody.”
- Zeena Schreck
Enlightenment is nothing but the discovery of the original face – the essential reality you brought into this life and the essential reality you will have to take with you when you die. All these layers gathered between birth and death will be left here, behind you.
Discarding the container and discovering the content is the whole process of enlightenment. Lose yourself to find yourself.
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”