Moving Beyond the Ego
The key to doing inner depth work is the state of consciousness we come from. As you’ve tried to move forward before, you’ve found that your fears, the fear of the ego, not knowing what was going to happen, hindered you.
Since we typically operate on a day to day basis in ego consciousness that is struggling and feels inadequate and flawed, it’s pretty disheartening to think of going deeper, only to find more of the same. And our mask of pretending that ‘we are the greatest thing on the planet’ is too flimsy to get us anywhere. So, understanding the nature of the ego, as well of the Heart Center state of consciousness, opens the way to greater self understanding and acceptance. And, yes, this deeper work does require us to encounter all our aspects we’ve wanted to ignore, hoping they’d go away. The good news is that access to the Heart Center provides the vehicle of consciousness that enables us to go deeper. Read more:How Does it Work, The Unconscious.
Shifting to the Heart Center
In our work, you’ll learn about the Heart Center and how to shift states of consciousness from the ego to the Heart. We aren’t trying to get rid of the ego. We’re wanting to gain awareness of the ego and its makeup and bring it into relationship with the Heart Center. The ego can learn what its place is as the inner non-judgmental Observer enables us to see what’s going on without self critical judgments. You learn, with awareness and practice, how to change states of consciousness, and consciously use the resources you have and not get stuck in self critical judgments and reactivity. You’ll notice as you experience opening energetically to the heart energy and allowing understanding, experience, and awareness to unfold over time, that you’re experiencing deep changes. You begin to deeply experience self compassion, as well as unconditional love, for yourself, and all animate and inanimate beings of the universe.
I use words to paint a verbal and inner picture, and perhaps an experience, of the Heart Center, which illumines doorways that assist you to open and experience the Heart. Mind and body work together to deepen your experience.
Below, please find a short meditation that you can download that gives you a brief experience of opening to the Heart Center.
You may also find the longer meditation on the Heart Center helpful. This is available in the Services section,*****
It’s an Inner Connection
Opening to the Heart Center is an energetic/ inner spiritual process creating an inner connection to what you might call Source, Soul, Being-ness, Spirit, the Universe, the Self, the numinous, or the Transcendent. This may be experienced as spaciousness, as the peace beyond understanding. This work provides a process to guide you, in your own time, to deepen your connection with The Self, which Jung experienced as the inner guiding Force of your life.
Heart Centered Depth work provides a bridge from the ego-centered-mind-set to a larger mind set based in spiritual/energetic experience of the Heart. Understanding ‘what’ the The Heart Center is is important; however, having the experience of the energetic opening of the heart center is quite another. You feel an energetic connection in your body-mind which opens a deep spaciousness and quiet. It’s a gentle, powerful, deep love and appreciation for yourself, for Life Itself, and for Life as it courses through your body. You’ll never be the same. More about this below when I speak of the Attributes of the Heart.
So what is the Heart Center state of consciousness?
The Heart Center state of consciousness provides the way out of the domination by the ‘me me’ focused, fearful, striving, never good enough, power seeking state of the ego.
The Heart Center is a state of awareness that holds all of the pairs of opposites equally, so that we can see how the preferred and non-preferred aspects of our psyche all serve. Whereas, the ego lives in a state of either/or, and holds decided preferences, and its development has been predicated on finding the ‘correct’ things to believe, to do, to be. And, in its book, there is only one correct way. Anything else will bring conflict with people more powerful than you are and create punishment, criticism, prejudice, and all kinds of negativity. The ego always has an opinion which wants to be heard, regardless. Early on, as we’ve discussed, the ego insists you learn the ‘right’ way to be to make others happy, even if you aren’t happy. or fulfilled. You begin to discount what you want in favor of what ‘they want’. Discounting your self leads to loss of self. Being able to acknowledge the preferred and the non-preferred states, and accept both sides of the coin gives you a radically different perspective of yourself and the world. You no longer have to judge and dislike yourself because of ‘who you are’, that is ‘who you think you are’, because of the way you think, because of any inadequacies you have or problems you’ve encountered….. or because of the color of your skin, the job you have, the culture you come from, or the social and financial status of your and your family. Our psyche is composed of many factors, composed of an infinite number of pairs of opposites. And no amount of wishing will erase any of them. This journey calls us to come into a space of equilibrium with these forces of the psyche of the surface mind, hold them in appreciation and acceptance, learning to see the balancing of the forces as we continue our development into a more expanded state of consciousness and inner union with the Self, with Source.
Perhaps, then, you will create an inner space where you begin to experience that you actually hold both sides of the pairs of opposites within you. Through the Heart Center, the either/or becomes the both/and, you can shift to true acceptance, and begin to see the entire world and yourself from a different point of view. Everything fits together. And from this different point of view, you’re able to get to know your inner world, opening to the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche–holding them all without judgment, with an attitude of appreciation and curiosity, perhaps from a place of, “Isn’t that Interesting!” True amazement that what was untenable now makes sense, and gives you a great sigh of relief. Understanding the meaning of the Heart Center and, more importantly, having a heart opening experience, energetically shifts your state of consciousness, enabling you to see and experience yourself from a totally different point of reference. This creates a different space from which to do your inner work.
As you make your self available to the process of connecting with the Heart Center, I’d encourage you to be aware of the part of the ego that is trying to be in charge and get it right and get it accomplished NOW. Learn to appreciate how the ego is constructed, and begin to just be with the process. Ask it to reveal itself to you as It will. Ask for inner guidance to get what you can at each step along the way. Allow the process to deepen and unfold. Trust your process. It is in charge. Release your attachment to outcome. Read more: Faith to Answer the Call.
Many people experience this as a spiritual experience. The words I use are not adequate to the task, but perhaps will provide some crumbs to follow on the path, while you rest in the experience of no words. I often use words not connected with a particular religious tradition so you can more easily have your own experience, not necessarily those of an outer tradition which you may have taken on unconsciously, which may or may not be the direction your own Soul is leading you. This is not to say that your preferred tradition isn’t valid for you; however, I’d like for you to also have the opportunity to connect with what your deep Self or soul calls you to. Then, you can always make decisions about what outer connections you’re involved with. And, I also refer to materials from many of the world’s traditions. This work doesn’t fit within any one box; it resides outside most boxes, and, it also encompasses many boxes.
Open and allow.
Exhale and Let go
Just Be in the deep exhalation… in the allowing and just being.
Trust your Process.
The Heart Center
The Heart Center is both a state of consciousness, as well as a location in the subtle (energetic) body which is connected to the physical body. This state of consciousness can be felt by an individual, and the individual is also able to feel when the chakras have been awakened.
Western medicine doesn’t recognize the subtle body. Medical personnel, mental health practitioners, and practitioners of healing arts who embrace alternative medicine do typically have some concept of the various chakras. Yoga and various other movement oriented healing modalities of Eastern traditions have introduced the West to the chakras, the energies of the spine, and kundalini. So I would refer the reader to the many sources of information available. I’ll begin this work from the place that these energies exist in the body and body-mind system and that working with them can have a profound affect on one’s well being. Brugh Joy’s work, which has profoundly influenced me and my approach to this work, has a very comprehensive and depth awareness of this energetic portal, as well as the access that this provides to the deeper work with the psyche.
First, I will use words to present some of the relevant information about the Heart Center. Then I will speak about the experience of heart opening and the feeling levels that this brings. Psychological, as well as the more psycho-spiritual work which I’m primarily discussing, recognizes that it is the unawakened, unaware mind that ‘drives people crazy’, that prevents them from having peace of mind. The ego and its mental contents, unconsciously develops as we grow and try to find our place in the world. The mind absorbs the words and the energies of the words that have been directed toward us since we were born. We turn these words and energies into beliefs and feelings that we think define us that we then carry throughout our lives. Our internal mind chatter becomes concretized and is taken to be the ‘absolute Truth’, even though there is ample evidence to the contrary.
Psychological health and well being, as well as peace of mind and spiritual awakening, require that we go deeper and be able to use our mind and mental energy in both the individuation process, as well as spiritual awakening and developing awareness of our own processes. This work is about learning to understand your mind (ego), working with it, deconstructing it, using it and developing it for your own deeper development, and even to be able to access attributes and abilities that, you might say, go beyond the mind. My experience has been that understanding and coming into a working relationship with the forces of the surface mind as well as the deeper unconscious facilitate our more conscious spiritual development. (Read more
The Heart Center is the fourth chakra, located on the spine where the breast bones come together, and can be felt energetically, as can all of the other chakras. It’s the middle chakra lying between the three chakras of the body, the feminine, and the three chakras of the mind, the masculine, unifying these energies, creating wholeness. This is the power of the heart center: its energies create wholeness. Over time, we experience all pairs of opposites as merely two sides of the same coin, naturally appearing in our lives as complements. Through the Heart Center we can access the multitude of resources of the Unconscious. Read more: The Unconscious
The Heart Center, with its inclusive, unconditioned, and Unconditional Love of the Beloved, brings us to the experience of wholeness- a psychological, energetic and spiritual process. Then, our non-judgmental observer (or witness) can merely observe ourselves without the ‘either/or’ of preferences or the critical judgments of the ego consuming us. This leads us to an expanded experience of ‘both/and’ that can accept all aspects at work in our lives, see their functions, and love ourselves unconditionally. Experienced through lens of the heart center, the opposites become complements, and we’ve taken the first big step to healing the gap created by our tendency to discount and try, to no avail, to cast out these non-preferred qualities within us. We may really believe we’ve cast out these difficult aspects of the psyche that we pretend we don’t possess; however, our close associates can tell us the truth about what we haven’t been able to see, until now.
The Attributes of The Heart Center
The four attributes of the Heart Center Unconditional Love, Supernal Compassion, Innate Harmony, and the Healing Presence illuminate its resources. and prepare us for Selfless Service.
This is a divine Love that is unconditioned and unconditional, the Center of all centers. It’s the core of the mystery. Some mystical traditions speak of creation of the Universe as that time when The Creative Energy/Source/God/Unconditional Love was lonely and wanted companionship, and so began the creative process. So I think of the big bang as that time when the Divine Creative Source of Unconditional Love created Universes out of Itself. So we are all come from Unconditional Love… and our ego/surface mind has forgotten this. Our Journey is one of remembering who we are, unifying all of our inner opposites, bringing consciousness into the space of unconsciousness (Carl Jung).
After we open to Unconditional Love and begin to experience wholeness or a place of non-duality, we can see all our inner aspects and appreciate their functions in our lives. After this, our lives will make more sense, we begin to see who we are and can rest easy in this awareness.
My Dream of Unconditional Love
I shall never forget my experience of Heart Opening while attending The Foundational Conference Conference with Brugh Joy in 1983. I observed him, with absolutely no judgment or need to try to change or fix things, work with difficult material that people brought forward, especially the unconscious material from dreams. He came from such a total place of Unconditional Love. It was palpable, and yet he assisted each of us to own and accept difficult aspects of our psyches. I had a dream in which I was experiencing this loving care. And in a moment of a deep shift, I found myself saying to myself, ‘ I can do that for myself!’ I had gotten it. It’s an inner journey that we open ourselves to, and the awakening comes as it will.
Seeing through the eyes of Compassion, enables you to begin to have compassion for yourself—for your ego— when you judge yourself, when you treat yourself badly, or treat others badly. With Compassion we can see the difficult journey of the ego, its deep struggles and suffering, as well as how difficult it is for ourselves and others to make a shift. We begin to see our unconscious aspects that we haven’t been able to see before, and have projected onto others and judged them. Allowing the word Compassion to move through the body/mind/being is like a delicious healing salve, and opens up a different energetic way of being with ourselves. Compassion is about loving ourselves for who we are, not who we think we ought to be, and loving others for who they are, not who we wish they were. We find that rather than judging, we can have Compassion for others, as we do for ourselves, in our journeys.
The third attribute is Innate Harmony. In that deep place within, all the inner aspects fit together and balance each other harmoniously. The inner jigsaw puzzle begins to make sense. The movement within our psyche may seem like a teeter totter, but that is an ultimate balancing process. As we open to Unconditional Love, we learn to appreciate the beauty of the inner dance of opposites. As we own all these previously disowned and unconscious aspects, to our surprise, we deeply feel a sense of Innate Harmony and realize we have many inner resources to call on as we need them. We understand the ego, perhaps for the first time as we step outside its either/or mindset, to the both/and way of being. The Unconscious and our multidimensional psyche become sources of resources for the surface mind, not sources of confusion. Read more: Multi-Dimensionality of the Psyche.
The Healing Presence
Then, having opened to Unconditional Love, Compassion, and Innate Harmony, we have the deep energetic sense and feeling of The Healing Presence within, the calm in the midst of the storm. You’ll feel deeply connected to who you truly are which is unfolding within you, feel the numinous presence within, and live in the peace that is beyond understanding. The Healing Presence restores, renews, and makes whole, and carries the master pattern of who you deeply are and are becoming. You radiate the healing presence.
Partnership: the Ego and Heart
In this partnership, we have the vehicle of consciousness through which we can really learn about ourselves and do the deeper work without the fears of the ego standing in the way. The ego can release its fears of never, ever being good enough… no matter what. We’ve come to understand the difficult journey of the ego through childhood and beyond, and thus can truly appreciate the function of its defenses and the protective games we play. We see that, indeed, the ego was struggling to be sure that it, that we, the body, survived. Now, the ego learns that it is received with Compassion and Unconditional Love and thus can subordinate itself to the direction of the Self and take its place in our deep unfolding of who we are. We rest deeply in the ‘peace that is beyond understanding.’
Living in the consciousness of the Heart Center we’re able to fall in love with all of Life, with the whole Mystery. We appreciate the suchness of things. We notice our biases, agendas, and preferences and respond to life, clearly, in love, without attachment, as we notice them and let them go. We learn to just be, without defense.
In this Place of having moved beyond the unconscious control of the ego, we can engage in Selfless Service that is not solely based in our projections and need to serve the ego’s needs. We are in service to the Mystery.
Now, we can now more consciously answer our call, be on our path to wholeness, and allow our destiny pattern to unfold. Read More. The Unconscious, The Multi-Dimensionality of the Psyche.
The Healing Presence
Open and allow.
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