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Where would I start in the self exploration of my Self/self?

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Where would I start in the self exploration of my Self/self?
PostPosted: March 7th, 2006, 11:10 pm
User avatarJoined: February 22nd, 2006, 6:41 pmPosts: 1Location: Southwestern Ontario
What is the first and foremost important beginning to the self exploration of the mind and how do I go about practicing? How does one start? Has anyone else started on this journey? I'm trying but it is going slow. Could that be due to stress and how does one learn to relax and focus?

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Bingo! That's the most important question we can ever ask..
PostPosted: March 24th, 2006, 1:34 pm
User avatarJoined: May 13th, 2005, 4:16 pmPosts: 122Location: Guelph area, Ontario, Canada

Bingo! That's the most important question we can ever ask!

How wonderful to see, here on this forum, that someone has thought enough about this self-to-Self proposition to clearly ask about "a place to start" with self-to-Self inquiry!!

In-and-of-itself, this question represents a break through in our own thinking. (And this question is the theme of a small book I am currently writing, titled "self-to-Self: The Art of Inward Listening".) The highways and byways of mind that we move along in learning how to open and use this process of self-to-Self inquiry in a practical way for all of our life's living, offers us an amazing experience of self discovery all on its own! Just to ask this question means we have opened our mind to a new possibility of learning about ourselves.

Under the Conversation tab, in the Speaker Material section named "Elegant Tools...." (and then, midway, at the 8th paragraph after the "break") you will find it starts with ..."When you deliberately mobilize your conscious thinking in active pursuit..." This is a good place to begin doing the directed focusing of our own thinking about the way to ask questions as a process of clarification - for to learn how to "ask the right questions" will help us accurately aim towards getting us "what we actually want to know" as personal answers.

What does this mean, to "deliberately mobilize conscious thinking"? It would seem that simply to "think" about something is not quite enough. While aware thinking as a recognition of the specific content or the actual thoughts that are in our mind, does require a certain kind of focus, to be conscious of both the content of our thinking and the focus of mind that we are using for that thinking, requires something more from us. Focus is as much about creative tension as it is about relaxing. Focus is about the deliberate aiming of our energy, that requires us to bring into view or "mobilize" our mind's ability, shaping it into a particular, precise alignment toward a specified outcome. Speaker Material has much to say about "directed focus" as a learned skill.

Certainly we've all had the experience of suddenly stumbling upon (hearing, seeing, becoming aware of) a particular private insight when we least expected it; usually when we are involved in some "other" kind of focusing where we've been paying attention to something entirely different than any open questions we are asking our Self about. These experiences are about using our different focuses of mind (however less consciously), and learning how to open and adjust those focuses. You could see this idea as though the adjustments of mind-angles have to do with relaxing our tight hold on one focus in order to apply our mind's energy more directly or clearly to another.

But more than that, this process is about learning how to regulate and co-ordinate the various angles our minds see from. Self-to-self listening is about modulating the significances that are the value priorities we assign or choose from our aware consciousness, as those priorities mesh with the priorities of our inward nature of spirit, where these two meet in the arena of psyche. Self-to-Self conversation is rather like adjusting a pair of binoculars for your clearest view as you aim them at various objects near and far. Everything in the periphery doesn't actually disappear - we just modify the the various specifics of our viewing.

Generally, when we begin self-to-self investigating, I think we all, often, "want to seek but not to find" (a line in the poem on site here: The Unison of Circles . Most of us come to understand that the deeper answers to our life's questions, and the paths to real enlightenment, are not only down the road of least resistance (doing what makes us most immediately happy, or only what is the most fun). Many of us realize that there is an unparalleled "pay off" of life's enrichment that lies down the road of the most challenge. We may have a multitude of very good reasons to want to look for our answers, but we may also have a multitude of very good reasons for not entirely wanting to actually find our answers. Self-to-self, we each come to the door of inward discovery when we are individually ready - and we cannot walk through that door one minute before we are ready, self-through-Self.

Sometimes, when we seem stuck, it can be helpful to take such situations as an opportunity to show ourselves some often needed compassion. Even in these frustrations there is intimate information about our beliefs and vital lessons about trust that go toward our deepest goals.

It is easy to say we want to understand, but to actually take the necessary "conscious" steps toward that understanding, is very often to uncover our own part of the responsibility for our own "mis-understanding" - not always a fun thing to do. To "understand" is not some automatic magic, for even though we may not be entirely aware of it, our understanding comes about through the constant inward self-to-Self dialogue of sharing and processing information. From personal experience, my own conclusion is that there is little in this life that compares to the utter wonder and joy within taking on this challenge to understand ourselves as vibrantly creative, living energy.

If we believe that we get back what we give out, then it stands to reason that if we give our honest attention to understanding, we will get back "our understanding". That idea implies, to me, that our understanding is something we already have, but do not quite know how to make workable, as a practical, available tool of mind. It's like a beautifully wrapped gift box that is here in our hands - we must have it or we couldn't be trying to open it. So the problem is not about having or not having it, but is about how to get it open to know what's inside it and be able to enjoy and use what we have.

The criterion for the truth isn't whether we like it or not - my liking or not liking the answer to any question doesn't automatically render the question or the answer correct or incorrect. This idea reminds me of the opening line to another book I'm working on that is about how the accomplishment, the goal, the gain of self-to-Selfhood, is more than worth the efforts we make to develop this inward relationship. Experiencing love is always worth the effort, whether we have actualized it in a successfully loving relationship/partnership or not - yet; for what we learn from the effort is our key towards our own life's fulfillment and enlightenment, that will always be rooted in love.

To take a stance, as you have here in asking this question, is to make a commitment to all-that-is-within-us as a vision of all that is possible for us to create our lives into. Such a commitment to ourselves comes from an underlying love for life itself. To embark on the inward journey of selfhood is to already have heard our inward Self urging us toward finding the psychological and spiritual pathways that will unfold our amazing experiences, as the discoveries of self-to-Self knowledge, into our everyday human lives.

The course of our learning is always the course of developing our self-to-Self knowledge into a self-usable foundation for our daily lives, creating the meaning and passion of honestly aimed exploration towards our highest potentials as creative energy.

There is actually a pretty simple short-hand version of specific, clear questions that will help us focus our thinking toward our goals for that thinking - a little list of questions that we can begin asking ourselves, that can jump start our efforts. The first one concerns the clarity of our questions, our reasons for asking and expectations from asking. This is a good way to begin our inward search. What do we want to know about exactly?

Why? What do we think from our own conscious mind's efforts, about whatever we're wondering about and trying to get a handle on? Basically, this is the meaning in Speaker Material of the idea that we need to ask ourselves first - we need to be willing to seriously ask and answer from our own thinking, as the action that opens the door inward. Of course this implies that once the door is open, then we will actually decide to hear what is going on behind that door. It implies that since we ask, we are willing to hear the answer - whatever it might be. It takes courage to hear clearly and acknowledge things we may have been blocking out. Yet, within that hearing is the opening path to change through truthful knowledge.

Just as in "real" life, it is rather pointless to ask someone something when we've already decided we know what they will answer, and this often leaves us unable to hear what they might actually be answering, the same thing applies to inward asking and listening. There are many things we can learn about our own attitudes, our own beliefs, our own connections between our thinking and actions, just from this simple first effort to "start" where we are standing, with our asking - start with what we do know as we identify what it is we are trying to know. The only place to start this process is from within our usual thinking, as we struggle to clarify our questions and formulate our own first line answers. Discovery, insight, understanding, all open inward from this outward position of our general thinking processes as we begin to practice, to learn, to develop our thought processes, allowing them to expand inwardly according to our own needs.

Maybe it does sound corny to some, but as my personal experience, when anyone sets sail toward the shores of selfhood, it's always a joy for me! What we get for our efforts to "understand", is priceless!

Take good care out there,
I'm the world's biggest fan of real explorers!
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