The path of awakening is often considered a path of self-transcendence; therefore, what is the role of self-play in how we experience an awakening? And, what is the essence of the self? A self is something we all have, but many of us seem to have different ideas about what it is. The following is a tongue-in-cheek definition of self that I particularly like:
It might be more useful for us to think in a different way about the self. In other words, it can be thought of as a collection of historical impressions of past events that have created habits of perception and behaviour. As we go through life we learn and conclude from all of it. The things that happen to us shape how we experience them and respond to new things. Many of the things we call ourselves are based on habits and conclusions from our past that unconsciously guide our current behaviour. It comes naturally when we follow daily inspirational messages.
There are many aspects of the separate self, or small ‘s’ self, that are referred to as habits. The sense of self is connected to the name that you are given, the birthday you were born on, and the physical body that is anchored to you. It is often said that spiritual awakening involves awakening from the little 's' self to the big 's' self.
Our previous discussion of spiritual awakening has pointed out that it involves the awakening of the big 'S' Self. In this process, you are awakening to the source of all consciousness, to the awareness that knows, and to perception itself. It is not just one person, but the awareness all around them that makes up this awareness. That is what makes up the ultimate witness. Consciousness evolution journey itself is the root source of everything in the universe. We are that awareness, which in turn awakens to itself.
The Spiritual awakening test allows us to recognize our true identity as that source. It allows us to see that we are not a conscious entity. We are aware that we are people. As the scriptures tell us, humanity is that conscious living entity in the universe, and as such, we are it.