What is the Self in Self-Leadership?: A New Thought Perspective
Self-Leadership is about making choices that reflect the highest version of your infinite essence. From a New Thought perspective you are never leading the Self. Instead, it is leading you. The only question is whether you are choosing for your mind to be aware of this so you can act consciously on the guidance of Self? If not, the default option for your life is to live at the effect of mass consciousness and the experiences that follow.
Discussing the Self may cause two very important questions to surface in the mind. First, what is the Self and who is the “you” that it is leading? The Self is the real You that looks back at your body when you are looking in the mirror (not the commentary your conditioned mind makes about what it sees). It is what hears your thoughts. It is the inner-woven life force that is present within all life. The real Self is one with all that is. This allness gives consciousness to consciousness.
The Self has no beginning or end yet each individual has a localized experience of it with the ability to experience as much of it as he/she chooses. Some would call this individualized experience the Soul. The content that makes up this Soul is the invisible but life sustaining substance called Spirit. The Soul, Spirit, Energy and/or Life force is infinite. It knows no geography, race, gender, nationality, culture, political affiliation or any other defining limitation, except that which is ascribed to it by the collective mind and accepted by the individual.
To put it simply, the Self I am referring to is an infinitely intelligent, indivisible, indestructible, individualized expression of all life that exist. However, most are not taught to relate to themselves in this manner. The “you” most of us speak about is merely a psychosocial construct which we are introduced to at birth and adopt as “ourselves.” Said different, the “you” that you have been conditioned to refer to is not You or the Self. Instead it is a psychological, sociological, and environmentally constructed reality which we label as the self.
For example, one might say he is a doctor, lawyer, southerner, pilot, brother, father, sister, night person, morning person, black person, white person, handicapped person, middle-class person, homeless person, Hispanic, republican, democrat, leader, gay, straight, etc.These constructed identities are no more the real you than a domain name is a real connection to the internet. Behind the domain name is actually a string of numbers and an entire technological infrastructure. They are no more real than a painting is the artist. The “you” or self we are conditioned to refer to is one’s individually expressed psychology further expressed as biology. It is malleable and can be constructed or deconstructed at will.
Its primary concern is the preservation of itself, then the body. Its secondary concern is anything else it has been programed to focus on. The “you” we are speaking about is the mind (not the brain). It is meshed with all other individualized expressions of the mind as one societal mass consciousness yet has the ability to perceive the true Self. In fact this is the mind’s most perfect use; to perceive the real Self.
The mass conscious and the agreements which power this consciousness are the framework for what we call “reality” (family, communities, government, race, religion, gender, economic systems and all other forms of institutions and collective experiences). However, this reality is no more than a false front for the life force which animates it.
One who is led by the Self is able to see the mind, its reactions, and the role it plays in a constructed reality but is not trapped into believing that this perception is the fullness of the life experience. This individual observes her thoughts and knows that they are not her. As a result of daily practice, meditation, and silence, she notices that the mass conscious thoughts expressed around her and the subsequent physical experiences that follow are at the effect end of the cause and effect spectrum. Hence, she is not overly consumed with fear, worries or anxieties about them. She knows the truth of Reality. She lives at the other end of this spectrum and knows the Self as infinite possibility, perfect order, intelligence, power, peace and creativity. This individual is one with the whole of life. She is truly free. She engages the world by choice. She is consciously led by the perfect Self.