Self-Knowledge and self-mastery!
Knowledge of the True Self, what you might call God Realization, accompanied with mastery over the small self, that is the physical body and mind.
What part about the small self exactly requires/benefits from mastery? Those sensations and desires that draw us away from remembrance of our True Self / Eternal Relationship with God.
If our consciousness is consumed with thoughts about acquiring material possessions, building relationships with people, eating delicious foods, exercise, listening to music, etc. – any of these material world activities carry with them the potential to draw us away from consciousness of God. Of course, if we begin with Consciousness of God, then we can engage in any infinite variety of material world activities and experience Perfect Peace and Love all the while.
Mastery over the small self, self-mastery, generally consists of being conscious enough and willing to identify and delay short-term pleasure in exchange for long-term gratification. Small-self-mastery is essentially acting in alignment with the good of the long-term in mind. Small-self-mastery is the expression of abstaining from short-term pleasures that result in long-run negative consequences. One in the consciousness of self-mastery easily says no to activities like drug use and excessive alcohol consumption, overeating, engaging in gossip or frivolous small talk, entertaining negative thoughts and/or judgments, and any forms of selfish consumption, greed, lust, avarice, etc. The one who is self-mastered not only says no to negative indulgences on the physical plane, but also on the mental and emotional planes as well. A negative thought can be just as harmful if not more harmful than a supposed negative behavior like drug use. The one who is self-mastered refuses to make excuses for behavior and refuses to cast blame on others. The self-mastered accepts full responsibility and realizes the Power is Within to create any change desired. And, as already mentioned, the self-mastered values the long-term and the good of all above the short-run and the good of only the small self. The self-mastered acts universally, setting a worthy example for all to follow. The self-mastered also embraces the power to choose thoughts, and therefore chooses empowering thoughts and attitudes, such as those of lovingness, gratitude, kindness, compassion, gentleness, friendliness, service, generosity, and more.
Supposedly, the greatest human addiction is to sugar. And, likely more than one Spiritual Teacher has mentioned that a tremendous step to make along the spiritual path is to ‘Tame the tongue.’ When the tongue is tamed, that means one feeds the body only the healthiest food, in the healthiest proportion. Also, it means one speaks only that which is pleasant and beneficial for all to hear. Mastery over the tongue is so essential because it is a two-way portal; we put things into the body through the tongue, and it is a vehicle for expression. So anyway – eat well, speak well 🙂
Then, once we’ve got the small-self-mastery going on, it is much easier for us to realize the True Self, which is Eternal and Infinite and totally awesome and Supreme 🙂
Mastery of the small self and sense cravings and selfish desires is key to realizing the True Self. If our consciousness is dwelling on wanting material things and experiences, how are we supposed to realize that which is Beyond the Beyond and that which is Pure Love and Peace, independent of all external conditions?]
So then, one step at a time, one sensation at a time, resolve to surrender the short-term pleasure for the long-term gain. For this body, personally, the key practice is moderation and portion control when it comes to eating. This also includes eating from a higher awareness, in the context of God and serving and loving All That Is. And, bringing as much gratitude to the experience as possible, as well as acknowledging the interconnectedness of All and realizing the food as a great gift, not to be taken for granted! Anyway, that’s probably enough sharing for today 🙂
The key to growth is…baby steps! And contextualize all the growth in the light of your Highest Goal, which is ultimately the same for One and All, no matter what we may call it. Some may call it Unconditional Happiness, Perfect Peace, Infinite Love, All Abundance, Perfect Health, Eternal Life, God Realization…all are just words for the same ultimate experience which we seek, whether consciously or unconsciously. The funny thing about this seeking is that ultimately…we are that which we seek! So all we ever have to do is let go and let the Truth shine forth. Let go, let Love. Let go, Let God.
On a side note…
Non-violence starts at home, that is with our physical bodies and minds.
and perhaps my new favorite quotation from Louise Hay…
“The point of power is the Present Moment!” Meaning, in the Present, we have the ability to choose our thoughts and release and overcome any and all past conditioning.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!