That which connects the individual man to the Universal Spirit, I call the Overself. This connection can never be broken. Its existence is the chief guarantee that there is hope of salvation for all, not merely for those who think their group alone will be granted it.
That which I call the Overself is intermediate between the ordinary human and the World-Mind. It includes man’s higher nature but stretches into what is above him, the divine.
… Human beings are rooted in the ultimate mind through the Overself, which therefore partakes on the one hand of a relationship with a vibratory world and on the other of an existence which is above all relations…
That point in man where the two worlds of being–infinite and finite–can be said to touch, is Overself.
We found it necessary, in the interests of greater precision and better exposition, to restrict the term “Overself” to represent the ultimate reality of man, and to introduce the term “World-Mind” to represent the ultimate reality of the universe.
The Overself is the Higher mind in man, his divine soul as distinguished from his human-animal nature. It is the same as Plato’s ”nous.”
Overself is the inner or true self of man, reflecting the divine being and attributes. The Overself is an emanation from the ultimate reality but is neither a division nor a detached fragment of it. It is a ray shining forth but not the sun itself.
Something of that Mind is in us, as a parent has left some legacy in the child, but at the same time we are also in that Mind.
Because the Overself is not outside a man but is his own innermost nature, full faith in its presence and power is essential to experience its healing and help.
That element in his consciousness which enables him to understand that he exists, which causes him to pronounce the words, “I Am,” is the spiritual element, here called Overself. It is really his basic self for the three activities of thinking feeling and willing are derived from it, are ripples spreading out of it, are attributes and functions which belong to it. But as we ordinarily think feel and act, these activities do not express the Overself because they are under the control of a different entity, the personal ego.
There is nothing else like it; nothing with which the Overself could be compared.
The mysterious character of the Overself inevitably puzzles the intellect. We may appreciate it better if we accept the paradoxical fact that it unites a duality and that therefore there are two ways of thinking of it, both correct. There is the divine being which is entirely above all temporal concerns, absolute and universal, and there is also the demi-divine being which is in historical relation with the human ego.
Just as the eye cannot see itself as a second thing apart, so the Overself (which you are) cannot objectify itself…
This is its mystery, that seeing all, it is itself seen by none.
All that he knows and experiences are things in this world of the five senses. The Overself is not within their sphere of operation and therefore not to be known and experienced in the same way…
Everything else can be known, as things and ideas are known, as something apart or possessed, but the Overself cannot be truly known in this way. Only by identifying oneself with It can this happen.
… If anyone could imagine a consciousness which does not objectify anything but remains in its own native purity, a happiness beyond which it is impossible to go, and a self which is unvaryingly one and the same, he would have the correct idea of the Overself…
If we could pin down this sense of I-ness which is behind all we think, say, and do, and if we could part it from the thoughts, feelings, and physical body by doing so, we would find it to be rooted in and linked with the higher Power behind the whole world.
Even the shell-shocked soldier who suffers from an almost total amnesia, forgetting his personal identity and personal history, does not suffer from any loss of the consciousness that he exists. Its old ideas and images may have temporarily or even permanently vanished, but the mind itself carries on.
Mind in its most unlimited sense is reality. A man can know it only by the intuitive process of being it, in the same manner in which he knows his name, which is not an intellectual process but an immediate one.
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