A sculptor was once asked how he created such marvelous results from the stone he worked. He replied, “If I want to carve an elephant in stone, I simply chip away all of the stone that does not look like an elephant.”
The artist’s creative process involved finding the inherent qualities of the stone and revealing them to the eye. The challenge is to find the truth within the medium.
The sculptor’s statement is relevant to the process of self-realization as well. In our efforts to find ourselves, we often believe it necessary to reinvent or alter ourselves into someone entirely different from who we are. We overlook the inherent truth within ourselves. Becoming ourselves is the process of chipping away that which is not us and discovering the self that has always existed. Becoming who we are is finding the divine self — the work of exquisite art — the universe embedded in our soul. Becoming who we are — the true “us” — is a path to healing and enlightenment.
Finding our true self, however, is not easily achieved. It requires letting go of previously held ideas, or “states of mind,” and uncovering the wisdom available in our own heart. Western rational thought has emphasized the analytical examination of self through scientific and qualitative means.
However, reaching an understanding of self through purely analytical means is as futile as if the artist were to create purely from analysis of form and not from the creative powers of heart and soul. The journey from head to heart results in the integration of the total self — mind, heart, and soul.
We are born as our true self; unwounded and an expression of the divine. In the ideal world our parents, extended family, teachers and culture would validate this awareness of the divine.
But we don’t live in an ideal world so layers of untruths are delivered to us and often we accept them as truth. The true self becomes buried or lost. The true self is unwounded, has no problems, no judgments, and can live free. The true self is heart centered not ego centered. The true self is only unconditional love, again an expression of the divine incarnate.
The spirits tell me that most people interact and communicate from wound to wound. Since wounds monopolize thinking they then monopolize belief systems that develop in our maturation process.
The wounds become imbedded and are mistaken for the core. In the process of self-actualization a discovery process of the true self is initiated. At first the true self may seem like a concept, or an idea, yet the reality and actual experience of it is elusive. Conscious action is needed to actually define the true self into a 3D reality expression.
Merging with the true self is a first step in the embodiment of this version of self. Merging is envisioning you in your highest version — the qualities that would make you feel vivacious, vital, thriving and alive, all of the abilities/qualities you wished you displayed in life, including your perfect appearance, perfect health, perfect intellect — in your most dynamic self, then inviting that version to enter into your body. Even though this idea implies that the true self is outside of a person, it is a virtual practice that has merit. Often the true self is so removed from the reality of an individual that the idea of an outside merge has great value. Incorporating the true self for even a moment can be beneficial to retrain the subtle body fields (emotional, mental, and physical) in how it feels to move into this energy construct.
The more the merge is practiced the easier it becomes and the longer the merge can hold. Like most merges there is a training period of focus that needs to develop in an individual that eventually allows the individual to move or speak without losing the merge. Also merges are never 100% in the beginning. I don’t use the word never very often but in this case it is appropriate. If you think of a merge on a scale of 0-100% most people would fall in the 2-5% range in the beginning. This percentage grows according to practice and self-evaluation. I am so convinced that merging is the way to teach the subtle body fields another reality that I have dedicated one of my classes — Level 3 — to this activity.
Even with astute concentration, dedication, and practice I have never witnessed a 100% merge in my students or any of my teachers in the United States. John of God in Brazil has come the closest to that level. Regardless, any progress that a person makes is beneficial to the quest of self-actualization.
A question might be posed: Why would anyone want to self-actualize? Living in the True Self holds that key for the highest expression of the Aquarian Age that is upon us. The true self holds no judgment; has no wounds; is not fragmented in any way; has no past history that determines the present or future; allows all others to shine; lives in a state of ecstasy, a form of joy and peace that is foundational and generated from the core; has a broadcast of instant manifestation for the good of all without comparison, competition, or scarcity. There is only good and a deep pleasure of another’s gain. There is applause in the win-win, and a well-developed appreciation for another person’s perspective.
This being is mature and childlike at the same time, led by the heart and only the heart. This person would not have disease, allergies, hardship, because those ailments are all created or interpreted as wounds or difficulties. This person only radiates brilliance consistently. If more people incorporated and embodied their true self there would be no war, no pollution, no contaminants, because those things are all created from negative thoughts. Life and the world would become unified. The oneness that we desire would manifest, the utopia unveiled.
We carry this power to achieve and create this reality within us. We were all born with it because we were all born in the state of grace and as an expression of the divine. Each of us can choose to incorporate our true self more and more each day. With that decision more and more energy is broadcast into the universe that spreads and creates the thoughtform of peace.
You cannot create peace if you are angry with what is happening in the world. They are incongruent energies and do not match. The true self is not angry with what is happening in the world, because the true self is not angry about anything. The external world is a reflection of the internal world. It is ineffective and actually energetically outdated to think that you can change what you don’t like by taking a stand against it. That type of thinking only creates more of what you don’t like. You contribute to the problem and do nothing to improve it.
The new millennium, the Aquarian age, the prophetic times that we are immersed in now all point to the internal quest. How are you being, how are you thinking, how are you believing? This age is bringing the empowerment back to the people. Empowerment requires responsibility and accountability. It is easy to blame others, but empowered people don’t blame. They are consistently aware of what they are doing and making strides in self-actualization.
Unity consciousness means that each individual affects the whole. When your beliefs change, you change and then the world changes. Look at what is veracious in yourself. Merging with the true self lets you feel this at a visceral level. Merging with compassionate healing spirits lets you feel this at a visceral level.
Shamanism is about working intimately with these compassionate healing spirits. Shamanism’s mission is to alleviate suffering in the world. This is done by alleviating the suffering inside one’s self. It is done by choosing joy, it is done by concentrating on appreciation and gratitude, it is done by being responsible and accountable to what type of energy you are contributing to life moment by moment, it is done by the commitment to learn how to do these processes and then being loyal to them. The beauty of this is astounding. There is no failure, no reprimand, no loss, no demands, there is only unconditional love.
un•con•di•tion•al (adjective) with no conditions or limitations. Complete or guaranteed, with no conditions, limitations, or provisos attached • unconditional love – no strings attached
About the author:
Jan Engels-Smith is a graduate of the Foundation of Shamanic Studies and has trained with individual shamans. She has had a thriving shamanic practice since 1994. She has performed over 3,000 soul retrievals and viewed as an expert in her field.
She is an author, Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, a Marriage and Family Counselor a Hypnotherapist and a Reconnection Healer.
Jan founded the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies, which has eight associate teachers and is the first of its kind to offer three accredited degrees in shamanism: Internship (IP), Licensed Master Practitioner (LMP) and Doctorate in Shamanism (ShD). You can learn more about these programs at www.lightsong.net.
Jan also conducts individual and group healing seminars for intensive personal growth.
Her training and experiences have been extensive both in the traditional philosophies and metaphysical traditions. Her personal philosophy is to assist individuals in gaining their own personal empowerment, which will in turn, promotes self healing, better communities and a healthier world.
Contact Jan at email@example.com or call 503-669-3013 (Portland, OR).