Think you’re alone when no one else is around? Think again. There are actually three of you in there, a concept embraced by many ancient cultures – especially the gentle and loving Hawaiians who call it “huna”. And guess what? No mental illness! So why not figure out who all of your “selves” are and how they’d like to function within you. Connecting all three will allow you to achieve maximum potential – and happiness – while hanging out here on the planet.
- THE CONSCIOUS MIND. This is the obvious one, the one most people think is the only you or “I”. “I think, I do, I am.” That one. Nattering away all of the time, thoughts running a mile (or 1.609 kilometres) a minute. It is the logical, reasonable, rational part of you. Other names: Middle Self, “Uhane” (soul, spirit) in Hawaiian.
- THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND. Also, Instinctual Self, Inner Child. The ancient Hawaiians called it “Unihipili”, which, taken as a whole, means grasshopper. This reminds me of Kung Fu, the TV series from the ‘70s starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine. From a flashback:
Master Po: “Close your eyes. What do you hear?”
Young Caine: “I hear the water, I hear the birds.”
Po: “Do you hear your own heartbeat?”
Po: “Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?”
Caine: “Old man, how is it that you hear these things?”
Po: “Young man, how is it that you do not?”
And then Po calls Caine “Grasshopper” thereafter. Powerful. So powerful, in fact, that I recall this exchange from 40 years ago. And appropriate too, in this case, because it is the Instinctual Self that quietly – and often thanklessly – runs the body. A silent grasshopper at your feet. The heart beats, the eyes blink, the lungs take in air and expel it, the stomach digests food, and so on. Ancienthuna.com asks, “. . . how well do you know your Unconscious Mind? Do you consider your unconscious mind a close and trusted friend?”
- THE HIGHER SELF. Also, Higher Power, Divinity. The great Kahuna (shaman), Daddy Bray, who died in 1968, said, “. . . mankind is made up equally of matter and spirit, like a magnet with one pole in matter and one in spirit.” I love this image.
So, if we are equal parts, matter and spirit, then shouldn’t it be our duty to try to make a connection between the two? I’m doing a new meditation right now, from headspace.com (talked about in Pieces Of Mind), called “Focus”. We focus our attention on various parts of the body – ankles, belly, solar plexus, chest, throat, forehead – ending up with focus about six inches above the head. I must say, it’s a relief to leave your body for a moment, contemplate the divine.
In my own case, Middle Self is a blabbermouth drowning out Low and High. To connect and balance, it’s good to know how the Three Selves communicate. Ancienthuna.com provides a diagram with a picture of three circles stacked in order: unconscious on the bottom, conscious in the middle, higher conscious on top. Low connects to Middle, with energy and information flowing both ways. Low connects to High, again with energy and information flowing both ways. There is no direct connection between Middle and High, but High can rain down energy from above.
How do they connect? With a fourth element called mana. Theinneralchemist.com describes mana as “life force, chi, ki, life energy, supernatural impersonal force or quality that resides in all forms of life, the power of elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person, ‘the stuff of which magic is formed’.”
Ah. Wouldn’t we all welcome a bit of magic in our lives? Theinneralchemist.com also has a chart of the Three Selves, which includes “job descriptions”, “attributes”, what happens “when not aligned”, “talents to develop” and a “to do list to reconnect”. Know anyone who compartmentalizes? Not aligned. And do you know what word is on that “to do” list for reconnecting under all three headings? Simple. “Love”.
And to help us love, a real true love, the Hawaiians have a meditation called “Ho’oponopono”. Try saying that 10 times real fast! It is the ancient practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Literally it means – ho’o “to make”, pono “right”, pono “right”. And couldn’t we all benefit from making right right? Especially heading into the Christmas season, a time of connecting with family and friends who, as time goes on, we tend to have more and more differences of opinion with?
The Hawaiians feel “it is inappropriate for anyone to carry guilt longer than they (have) to.” I agree. So I’ll explain the process of Ho’oponopono next week.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Danish author Tor Norretranders, from The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size. “There is an ancient tension between the living fire within and form forced on you by society. Conformity is the word when the individual gives priority to the external form over the internal fire. Finding satisfaction becomes increasingly improbable as an individual or culture allows conformity to quench our inherent fire.”
Stoke that internal fire. “Conformity” connects us to the outside, not the inside, so don’t let it be the word. Besides mana, the word connecting all selves everywhere is “love”.