Updated: Aug 1
We each are a person with three parts. Those three parts are spirit, soul, and body. Our physical body is just a tent, a dwelling for our true self, which is spirit. Our soul is the space between the spirit and body through which each communicates with the other, and through which also comes the data of the outside world. That data can be represented by the three Knowing Centers. Put all that together and you have a person, you. And that's the point. The point is to distinguish all these parts in order to better understand the whole. Segregation of all these parts should lead to better integration with all these parts. After all, we are one person with many parts.
The goal of personal transformation is the movement away from selfishness, towards selflessness. An over-domineering, oppressive focus on ourselves can be described as an awkward self-consciousness. It is our uncertainty about ourselves that makes us feel insecure. That insecurity makes us more focused on trying to assert who we are. If I don’t know myself, I will constantly push back against others trying to assert themselves, because it makes me feel insecure about who I am. When I know myself, then I have no need to assert myself, because I am confident and content in being who I am.
When you know yourself, you are free to engage in the joy of knowing others. When you know who you are, you don't have to focus on who you are. Then you are free to just be. That is the goal, and why selflessness is one good way of describing where we are trying to go, and what it will look like when we get there. Getting there has to do with getting back in touch with our whole self. That’s what the three Centers of Being and Knowing are about. These are the means by which we are able to accomplish the goal of selflessness. You can’t become selfless by trying to be less selfish. Healing must focus on where we are going, not what we are getting away from. There is a process by which you get to that healing; a number of steps, practices, and actions which you must take. The road by which we come to that greater self is by being more fully engaged with ourselves, and with the world. But the vehicle by which we travel that road is always an encounter with the Divine. God leads the way because God knows the specific path of healing we each need to take.
When it comes to pain, we tend to numb instead of deal with the source. As a result, we can end up with a lot of hidden inner wounds. We can also end up withdrawn in ourselves, and from ourselves.
The goal for every person is to become as fully engaged in their fullest self. This is how we become more fully alive. This is the process integration. The first step of integration is recognizing the reality of where we are. The three Centers of Being and Knowing help in that process. Understanding what we are meant to be helps us assess where we are in that journey of becoming. What we are becoming is more fully ourselves. What we are addressing are the wounds and experiences that have caused us to withdraw into ourselves, and from certain aspects of ourselves. Most people lean towards one of the three Knowing Centers; head, heart, or body. Most people have withdrawn from the parts less dominate because of traumatic experiences. Integration is learning to strengthen those weaker parts by addressing the wounds that have led us to withdraw. But because those parts and their wounds are often in the dark, we need the help of a higher mind on that journey.
No matter your religious background, it’s important to working out how you feel about God. You won’t get very far at all down the path of integration and personal transformation if you haven’t yet figured out who you think God is, and whether or not you think you can trust Him. If you don’t have a God you can trust, then you won’t be able to surrender enough to get very far in the process of personal transformation. We don't walk the path of healing alone, and we don't just walk with other people. It's good to human counselors and companions on the journey, but's it's better to have a God who sees everything much better than we do. That's why religious traditions exist, to help us get in tune with a God who knows who we are and who we are meant to be.
The process of coming to know and trust God is a journey all its own. But we can only come back to our truest self by coming back to God. God has led me on my journey of healing. I couldn't have walked it without Him. That doesn't mean I didn't have my doubts and struggles with God along the way. A part of wrestling towards healing is wrestling with God. But it's worth the wrestle to come back to God and ourselves in the proper way. As I've wrestled through all these things, I've learned more about myself, how I work, how I'm meant to work, and how to find healing for my brokenness. That's what integration of our three Centers of Being and Knowing are about.