Real Spiritual: One Self

As a minister in a New Thought teaching (Science of Mind / Religious Science) I’m constantly hearing people make reference to the idea that there are two different “versions” of themselves. There are multiple variations of the idea too but there is always a “better” one than the other. It may be the Divine, God or even “Higher” self on one hand and the Conditioned, Human or Emotional self on the other. No matter how you slice it… you’ve sliced it.

The problem to me is that this concept seems completely inconsistent with one of, if not THE most important principle of all New Thought teachings. The Oneness Principle. God, Spirit, The Universe (or again… whatever you want to call it) is all there is and each of us is one in it and an expression of it. We are whole because we are the living expression of this one. So… why would there be two of us?

I can see why some folks might like this concept. When we have it in our heads that we can be whoever we want and then don’t live up to our own standards it can be… tough. It’s not easy to admit when we fail to match our every thought and action with the version of ourselves that we desire to be all the time. The problem I see here is a simple one though. If we create a part of ourselves that is the good part then we’ve left a space for us to have a bad part too.

This is very convenient for us when we make a mistake or fail to rise to our desired potential because, “Hey, that was just my human self that treated that person unkind. Not my TRUE self!” That might make us feel better in the moment but where’s the accountability? It takes real discipline to understand that mistake happens and then to be willing to make up for it. The graceful practitioner might say, “Wow. I wasn’t very kind to that person. I should do something to make up for the way I failed to meet my own desired potential.”

After all, how genuine is our desire to fully live up to our own understanding if it’s not fully embodied? Having an intellectual understanding alone doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly embodied our potential. The “idea” that we have discovered our own divinity is a powerful one indeed… but when was the last time that knowing or seeing your potential was in fact the actualization of that potential?

I can see that I have the potential to be a phenomenal minister. However, when I find my thoughts being judgmental or dismissive then I’m hardly “walking the walk” am I? Just because I know I have the potential to be an amazing spiritual leader does not assume that I am one right now. Unless my thoughts and actions are also in perfect alignment with that idea then that idea is one that I am still working to fully realize and practice. While I would like to say I’ve embodied the minister I see in myself 100%… I’m actually a work in progress. And maybe that’s the key.

Being a successful practitioner of Religious Science is not about knowing or understanding how these spiritual principles work. It’s about doing the work of practically applying them to our lives and to do so unceasingly until they penetrate every aspect of our being. Until the idea of acting, thinking, speaking or being any other way feels completely foreign to us. We are better served to recognize we are one self; whole and complete unto ourselves.

There is no better or worse version of ourselves… only who we actually are. To see things we want to change is OK. It doesn’t mean we’re going from worse to better it just means we’re choosing to be more deliberate about the person we want to be. The more we actually hold ourselves accountable by not letting anything outside of our desired self be acceptable, and to do it with grace and love, the sooner that potential is realized.

So stop sorting yourself into bins and thinking that there’s a place for the things you like and the things you don’t like. The Law is already manifesting exactly who you are according to your own belief. So if you see something you don’t like, don’t stuff it in a bin of acceptance. Take the time to deliberately make a choice that feels good. This is the work of our teaching. Simple… not easy.

About Rev. Brian Akers (62 Articles)
<p>Rev. Brian Akers has been involved in the New Thought Movement since the age of 12. He has been involved in programs for teens, young adults, and all other ages of New Thought practitioners during his 18 years as a member of what is now the Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL, previously known as International Centers for Spiritual Living, Religious Science International, United Centers for Spiritual Living, and United Church of Religious Science). In July of 2014, Rev. Brian Akers was accepted as the Senior Spiritual Leader for the Columbia Center for Spiritual Living in Columbia, Maryland and has been providing Sunday services, teaching classes, and providing spiritual and ecclesiastic leadership for the community since arriving in Maryland in August of 2014.</p>

4 Comments on Real Spiritual: One Self

  1. My take on it is that the “higher self” is not separate from oneself. It is
    more like a higher layer of consciousness than the egoic consciousness.

    Similar to the way we in NT know that there is no difference between us and God
    – “there is no spot where God is not”, “there is no point where God ends and
    you begin” – we still refer to God as “He”, or “You”, as though it were something
    separate from who we are.

    Thus the reference is not to a “separate self”, but to a hierarchy of consciousness within oneself.

    • Rev. Brian Akers // November 11, 2015 at 11:24 am // Reply

      Thanks for the comment Neal!

      While I completely understand the idea of a “hierarchy” of consciousness I’m of the opinion that, as an individual, we have only that consciousness which is our own (be it conscious or subconscious) and as such there is no difference between one thought and the next. Also, to convey that all the way, this means our consciousness is not lower than God’s consciousness either it is simply the cumulative whole of all consciousness.

      Again, this is just my opinion but I still would never prescribe to anyone that they should buy into the idea that there is more than one self. It just doesn’t jive for the practitioner that is looking to close any loopholes in consciousness.

  2. Greetings Rev. Brian, thanks for responding. Anyway, I’m not sure if Dr. Holmes speaks of it, but a term we often hear in New Thought is “Christ consciousness”. (I think in Buddhism they refer to “Buddha nature” which I presume is the same concept.) How would you define Christ consciousness, and is it really the identical to the consciousness of the ego?

    • Rev. Brian Akers // November 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm // Reply

      So there are a few concepts mixed in together here so I only hope the perspective I provide can help clear some things up (as far as my perspective is concerned) and maybe even inspire some “New Thoughts”! 😉

      So the “Christ Consciousness” is not an individual consciousness. It is a state of consciousness. So to demonstrate the Christ is to align your own consciousness with that of the divine knowing of complete oneness and absolute wholeness. So in actuality, being in a state of Christ Consciousness would inherently mean that you had one brilliantly unified state of being in perfect alignment with the highest expression of yourself. So think of it less as a tool that can be added or taken away and more like a skill that you have and can use when you consciously choose to.

      The Ego is not a state of consciousness at all. It is actually a function of the mind or intellect. It can weigh and measure and it can bring forth whatever it has been given but it has no volition of it’s own. All the volition it has is given to it by you, be it conscious or subconscious. Imagint that it is the automated retrieval system of your mind. If your tendency has always been to react to the unknown with fear then whenever you are faced with the unknown it will bring fear forward. Here’s the awesome news. The Ego is not your enemy. In fact, through the conscious use of your own though and practice you can retrain the Ego to do the same thing it already does only instead of bringing out the automated things you have taught it to bring forward you can train it to bring forward the deliberate thoughts you decide you want to have. So… if you want courage in fear, every time you choose courage in the face of fear you are retraining your Ego. Eventually, with persistence and practice, you can program your ego to be your greatest inner champion.

      So… Your Ego is a function of the mind and Christ Consciousness is a state of being. They aren’t mutually exclusive at all. You can even program your Ego to be the harbinger of the Christ Consciousness. In my opinion that’s exactly what Jesus did! He was so convicted in his belief in his wholeness and oneness with God that his very word carried that authority. And in his mind there was not a single argument from his Ego. In fact, when faced with making decisions his Ego was most likely one of his greatest allies as I am sure it always brought forth a kind, loving and powerfully convicted thought to his conscious mind no matter what the situation was. That;s pretty powerful stuff!

      Hope that helps give some perspective, at least of my understanding and opinion, as I have based in in the Philosophy of Religious Science and the teachings of Ernest Holmes.

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