What Is Self?: A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of by Bernadette Roberts
By Bernadette Roberts
This remarkable philosophical treatise at the nature of self and God follows at the author's now-classic ebook, The event of No-Self. The publication contains attention-grabbing chronicles of her personal spirtual trip.
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Extra info for What Is Self?: A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness
Everything else that can be said of self is secondary to the act or function which IS self-awareness on the unconscious level. Thus 7 What Is Self? the reﬂexive act of the mind is what the knowing-self IS; self is not the result of a reﬂexive act; rather, self IS this act. Because the reﬂexive mechanism or act of self awareness is an autonomous mechanism it is not under conscious control—we cannot stop or start it, or alter it in any way. Thus on a totally unconscious level, self-awareness goes on whether we are conscious of it or not.
The human passage might be compared to a moving sidewalk that is carrying man to his ultimate destiny. The choice is either to tune in and go with this movement or to spend our lives going against it. Either way we cannot get oﬀ or stop the movement, because the passage takes its own course and will be completed whether we wish to go with it or not. Thus the quality of life is our choice, but not life itself. The will as it exists primarily for itself is the “ego,” and though it is the immature feeling-self, it is not the “true” feelingself.
It may be that for centuries our various censors have eliminated any event they did not understand or which they thought too upsetting to their clientele. I can only speculate about this. In general, our contemplative maps of the journey come to an end with the discovery of the true self and its oneness with the divine. This unitive state—known by various terms in diﬀerent traditions—follows the falling away or transcendence of the ego (self-center) and entails a radical change or transformation of consciousness.