The Overself in Focus
His old centre in the ego has mysteriously gone. His new centre in the Overself has taken its place.
The ego is not really killed—how without body and intellect, emotion and will, could anyone act in this world?—but the centre of being is moved out of it to the Overself.
The truth is that never for a moment are we really separate from our inner self.
He will gain with time the sense of a Presence which walks with him and dwells in him. It is a guide with practical value, too, for it warns him what not to do if he would live ethically and avoid additional suffering. Even if he does not advance so far as perfect realization, he will advance.
… We shall understand that the Overself is forever present with us and that this presence is more immediate and intimate than anything else in life.
When the star of a man’s Overself rises into ascendancy, he will no more feel lonely even if he be often alone. A sense of the universe’s friendliness will surround him, enfold him.
A voice comes to his hearing but not with the ordinary kind of audibility. It is within him for it is only a mental voice yet it speaks with a strange authority. It says to him, ”I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.”
There is a strange feeling that not he but somebody else is living and talking in the same body. It is somebody nobler and wiser than his own ego.
Because there is something of God in me as the Overself, godlike qualities and capacities are in me. I am essentially wise, powerful, loving; but to the extent that I identify myself with the little ego, I obscure these grand qualities…
There is really nothing to be achieved here; only something to be accepted–the fact of your own divinity.
… He will now feel at least the same satisfaction in yielding to the higher self’s bidding that he formerly felt in yielding to the lower one’s desires. And with the bidding will come the needed strength, courage, and wisdom to obey it. The world’s opposition and danger may be recognized but will not deter him. It is not by his own will that he engages himself in such work, but by a will that supports and guides him better than ever he could support or guide himself. This he clearly comprehends and gladly accepts.
He learns that he may set his own limits, that so long as he thinks all day that he is only this person, doing and speaking in the ordinary way what men usually do, then he is certainly nothing more. But if he starts the day on a higher level, thinking that he is divine in his inmost being, and keeps on that level as the hours pass, then he will feel closer to it. This is a practical procedure, one which has its effect on consciousness, on character, and on events.
When he begins to sense the inner peace and exaltation which is a perfume, as it were, upon the threshold of the Overself, he may understand how real this inner life is and paradoxically how unintelligible, indescribable, and immaterial from the ordinary standpoint. It is something, and yet not something which can be put into shape or form graspable by the five senses. Anyway it is there and it is the Immortal Soul.
The basis of Short Path practices is that the mind is like a transparent crystal which takes on the colour of what is brought into propinquity with it. By turning the mind away from the ego, even from its improvement, and towards the Overself, uplift results.
What is in your heart? Ramakrishna’s was full of the Divine Mother, as he called God. Before long he found her. Saint Francis of Assisi gave humility highest place in his own. He became the humblest man of his time. Fix an ideal in your heart. That is the first step to finding it.
What grander ideal could a man have than to live continuously in the higher part of his being?
”The kingdom of God is within you.” We may rightly take the simple meaning of this sentence, its pointer towards the place and the practice of meditation. But there is a second meaning, seldom understood, its pointer towards time and immediacy: the kingdom is here and now.
With his mind constantly reverting to the Overself (like a silent mantram) as the Reality to which he aspires, the inner work goes on.
He has gone far on this path when his last thought on falling asleep at night is the Overself and his first thought on waking up in the morning is again the Overself.
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