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 The Spiritual Journey: Stepping into Your Greater Identity 
 
What, on a lower level, had led to the wildest conflicts and to panicky outbursts of emotion, now looks like a storm in the valley seen from the mountain top. This does not mean that the storm is robbed of its reality, but instead of being in it, one is above it.

--Carl Gustav Jung, Alchemical Studies

There's a bigger You who is your constant companion and who sees the overview. This "Observer" Self is who you really are, a wise Self who can think clearly beyond all the twists and turns you travel in your ordinary life. We've not been taught much about this inner Knower who can hold the vision, even in the midst of your "wildest conflicts and panicky outbursts." This part of you feels compassion for all Humanity, so Its motivations are always pure and harmless. It is a Fair Witness consciousness, keyed to your greater life that's unfolding on a larger canvas. This Self never leaves you.

Your true Self's function is to nudge you gently back onto your path anytime you lose touch with your highest intentions. You can fulfill your purpose here now, for our time of completion has come. Humanity is about to move into a whole new consciousness. But as we end this millennium and begin a whole new era of human history, many are still sleeping, not the least prepared for this awesome event!

We've all spent time looking back at who we've been. But unfortunately, when we constantly view ourselves through a rearview mirror, we lose touch with our potential. We don't have an image of our greater Identity. Instead, we're constantly reacting to our past, and this distorts our present interactions. Oprah Winfrey once said, "We all see now that we're from dysfunctional homes. So what are we going to do about it?" Most people haven't yet realized that we need to turn in a whole new direction to move ahead. We are the meaning makers of our lives. Whatever we focus on and give meaning to becomes our reality.

Mythologist Joseph Campbell said that we'd better have a great big story, or no story at all. It's getting caught up in those middle-sized stories that causes so much trouble. When you can see your Bigger Story through a wider lens, you become conscious of larger patterns and storylines that may have kept you hooked into your past.

You might think of this book as your instruction guide for turning inward and reconnecting with your real Story, the one that's unfolding in the much larger framework of your subjective inner life. It's here in this "soul-sized" life that your true ideals take shape. To move beyond where you are, you'll need a new definition for yourself. Little has been taught to us, however, about our greater side, this magnificent potential Self. This One represents your highestexpression as a soul in human form. Certainly worthy of your recognition, wouldn't you say?

Your greater Self wills your actions through two main qualities, Wisdom and Love. What you think: with your Mind and feel in your Heart is ultimately who you become. Jesus said, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

As you read, you'll become reacquainted with these two aspects of your nature that are living through you from inside. And, perhaps, if you are somewhat out of balance here--too cerebral and detached, or too emotional and attached--you may find yourself more balanced. For the Middle Way is the key to peace of mind. It's from the midpoint, not the extremes, that we learn to be in the world, but not of it.

Your Bigger Story is part of a Divine Plan; therefore, it has archetypal significance. Archetypes are Humanity's Divine Ideals. These are the blueprints we're growing into. When your time of completion comes, you'll blossom fully into your whole design.

Our main task, then, while in human form is to be forever willing to interpret our life story within its greater sacred Purpose. Then we'll take on our true spiritual identities.

In terms of seeing this bigger picture, the great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer made this analogy:*

Life may be compared to a piece of embroidery of which, during the first half of our time, we get a sight of the right side, and during the second half, of the wrong. The wrong side is not as pretty . . .but it is more instructive; it shows the way in which the threads have been worked together [to make the pattern).

--Bailey Saunders, trans., Essays from Parergra and Paralipomena (London, 1951).

In these pages you'll meet your most reliable Guides for showing you the wrong side of your tapestry, your wise inner Knower and your compassionate Heart. Your Divine Ideals hold the key.

All of Humanity is passing through a threshold now into a new dimension. This will require a shift in our perspective--a transformation in mind. Once we understand, we can do this in the twinkling of an eye. When your identity is with these Higher Principles, you'll feel inspired with Spiritual Intent. You will claim your full powers as a human soul and be able to rise quite effortlessly to the next place in your evolution. This new One you're becoming is moving into an entirely different world, a world in harmony. And you may be one of those who are choosing to wake up and go first. But before you can transcend your old Self, you must recognize the principles of your Higher Life with an attitude of complete sincerity and willingness to do your part. You must abide by certain rules of the road. Your sincerity and willingness are powers that bring you closer to your highest Spiritual Intentions. Use these well, and you will evolve rapidly along this accelerated path, familiar to the mystics of every age. When you can function more from the Higher Principles, all else falls into place.

To consciously choose to evolve sets you apart. All of nature is evolving, of course, but most people just allow nature to take its course, not really wanting to take on spiritually evolving as a conscious activity. You can feel this resistance in many people, maybe in some of the people closest to you; it's even in society's institutions. If you choose this more accelerated path, you won't be in the majority; but you will make the new Life a Reality--so your mission is sacred. It is a vital function for Humanity as a whole.

You'll find a transformational journey is not for the fainthearted! Inviting your whole Self into your conscious life changes you--forever. It brings you from unconscious to conscious living. Be sure you're willing, for you may never again look at your life in the same old familiar way. Your Higher Mind and Heart will bring a whole new perspective to your personal life.

(Excerpted from Living Your Bigger Story, A Hazelden Book)
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