The adventurer view is one of multiple perspectives on any particular topic and in what follows I offer some ideas on the nature of the self.
Living within the Hu and Na
Your self exists within the Hu and the Na, the masculine energy of movement and the feminine energy of stillness. So the self consists of activity and inactivity ever shifting, as a wave, and changing, never completely fixed and part of the changing nature of the universe in which we dwell. Just as centuries ago scientists posited the atom as the solid building block of matter and the material world as fixed and we now see the idea of a quantum universe exhibiting multitudinous possibilities simultaneously and a world in flux beyond the visible. To exist within this ebb and flow is surely an exciting place to be.
Our personal reality
Now a canny adventurer carries the notion that the self is whatever you believe it to be, for every idea and notion is an invention and a perspective. Of course, your beliefs begin from the moment you exist or maybe from your ancestors before you, as you make up rules and take on the rules and beliefs of others – parents, teachers, friends, things around you, things you read about and hear, your own collective mythology.
You are open to choose your beliefs, although sometimes you don’t notice that you’ve made this choice or it’s not one you feel good about. Your body-mind or Ku aspect provides an unfaltering memory store of the habits and beliefs which you feel make you you. Remember these are just ideas and can be as transient as smoke drifting from a fire. Consider for a moment if you will: to what extent are your beliefs serving you?
A connected whole
Of course, there is a tendency to talk about different selves as though we are comprised of many separate parts. It can indeed appear that way and separation can sometimes be an illusion of the utmost utility. Move beyond this to experience the adventure of connectivity and interrelatedness and your “authentic” self becomes everything you are, do, think, feel and experience – inside and outside your body. As the Hermetic axiom states ‘as above so below’. So ask yourself now: are you dreaming big enough about what you truly are? If you are, how awesome is that?
Defining through focus
The adventurer knows only too well the mighty power of focus both in shaping the direction of the path we take and in defining who we are. Focus is like a laser beam aimed at a specific target to the exclusion of everything else. Focus charged with intent is a sublimely powerful combination. At any given moment, who you are is defined by what is included within your scope of attention. So, where is your focus and do you like where you are aimed?
The 'nowness' of the self
I suggest that now is a pretty important time and place to be wouldn’t you agree? In fact, I am guessing that you are here right now. Now is the point at which we experience everything. All possibilities of what you think of yourself or ‘selfness’ exist in the present moment. Now is truly the moment of power, the point at which you take action and from where you create who you are moment by moment by moment. What choices are you making about who you are right now and who are you creating?
Living within love
Now this really is important. The adventurer values above all everything related to love. The adventurer lives within the beauty of the Aloha Spirit. Love is the primary force within you and around you. One root meaning of Aloha is ‘the joyful sharing of life energy in the present’. Love connects all and holds the key to what it means to be alive. Love brings out the best of your self. You feel you have found a sense of purpose when you are happy with who you are. The sense of gratitude for who you are and for everything around you enables to experience an effortless connection to everything that supports that happiness. Living within love, you experience the sense of feeling right and it is from here that your heart and spirit truly sings about the wonder of being you. So contemplate, what truly makes your heart sing?
Choosing your self
Consider the notion that all power comes from within, so you are in control of what you express as your authentic ‘self’. You have the power to choose. If you don’t consider what you are expressing to be ‘authentic’ and that bothers you, you have the power to make different choices and express something else. Are you happy with the self that you are expressing?
Being an exceedingly pragmatic individual, the adventurer will seek to define the authentic self only to the extent that it is of practical benefit to do so. If deemed beneficial the adventurer, with the end goal in mind, will use appropriate means to get there. And there are many different ways, philosophies and tools to draw upon to achieve something, familiar and new. Sometimes using something new can prove to be the most effective way, and, of course, this life is an adventure so novelty is certainly allowed! So consider if you will, are the definitions you use serving you well? And, if you want to make changes are you using whatever is most effective to do so?
Aspects of the 'self'
Of course, we also have another way of looking at the self as comprised of specific aspects: Lono – the conscious aspect; Ku -the subconscious body mind aspect; and Kane the higher self. These three aspects provide important motivations for this thing we call the self -pleasure; resolution and harmony, respectively. And amidst all the postulating, stances and perspectives we might take, perhaps the clue is in another aspect of the self: Kanaloa or core self. Is it any surprise that this core aspect has the simple yet profound motivation of being and the enjoyment of being? Could this point towards the fundamental nature of the self?
The adventure of being you
Ultimately, we are here and we are here now. And to that end you can be the adventurer and enjoy the biggest adventure of all, which unfolds each and every day, whether you are aware of it or not, that is the adventure of being alive – the adventure of being you. And sometimes just stopping to take a moment to notice, to truly notice, that you are alive and that you are the adventure is a thing of beauty -something to truly make your heart sing.
This article was inspired by an open brief and collaboration with Stephen Russell aka Barefoot Doctor to write something on the Nature of Self. This article presents a Huna perspective and the post 'A Taoist View on the Nature of Self' is Stephen's writing on the topic.
Pete Dalton ©2019
This article first appeared on Aloha International.
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