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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  What is Self-Realization?
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Monday, April 4,2011

What is Self-Realization?

(and why It's so, so good for you)

By Cary Bayer  

LIFE 101 by Cary Bayer

To understand what Self-Realizationis, it’ s essential to understand what the Self is that’s being realized in the first place. It’s not your individual personality, unique though that is. While personalities are largely kept intact throughout life, they still change, to some extent.


It’s also not Self-actualization, as it’s discussed in Humanistic Psychology circles. Humanistic psychologist pioneer Carl Rogers defined that as “the curative force in psychotherapy – man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities…to express and activate all the capacities of the organism.”

The psychologist Abraham Maslow, another of the great Humanistic Psychologists , defined it as “the full realization of one’s own potential.” He also referred to it as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

The Self that I’m talking about is not about potential, though it is highly potent in itself. It’s also not about becoming, because becoming is in the field of change and the Self is in the field beyond change. The Self also doesn’t become anything because it is Being itself.

For C.G. Jung, the great Depth Psychologist, individuation is a kind of self-actualization, and is the gradual integration and unification of the self through the resolution of successive layers of psychological conflict.

The Self that I’m talking about is beyond all conflict, because conflict is in the field of duality, and the Self is beyond that in a Unified field. The Self is located in the part of your being that does not change – in fact, it’s your very Being itself – and it’s outside of the field of time and change, in the field of timelessness. It’s outside of the field of doing, outside of the field of speaking, and outside the field of thinking. The great Persian poet Rumi says it more beautifully:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing%u2028 and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.%u2028When the soul lies down in that grass%u2028 the world is too full to talk about.”

When you connect with this higher Self on a regular basis, your changing personality becomes infused with this nonchanging essence, and you live 24/7 in the non-changing peace of your non-changing higher Self amidst all the changes of the waking, sleeping, and dreaming states of your daily life. A great way to do that is through meditation, because it’s a discipline whose purpose is to transcend the field of change, and commune with the field that doesn’t change. (For the record– or purposes of full disclosure, if you like – I speak of all this nonchange from my personal experience of the Self through the Transcendental Meditation that I did from the time I was 17 until 2009. I now access this field of non-change more easily through the Higher Self Meditation that I developed in 2010.)

On a purely practical level, this brings you great happiness, freedom, stability, creativity, energy, and clarity. Instead of having the stress-filled fight or flight response fired off throughout your nervous system on a daily basis, you have the peace-filled stay and play response coursing throughout your system, enabling you to have increasing fun and delight in this indescribably precious gift that we call Life itself.


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