by Grand Councillor Fr. Johnson A. Ikube.
As humans, we are spiritual beings on a human journey. This journey is Self Realisation through the Mastery of Life with its stages of self-discovery and self-mastery, culminating in full consciousness of the Cosmic and our union with the Absolute.
In our Rosicrucian parlance, Self Mastery is the penultimate goal to the Mastery of Life. It is one of the most important attainments we must have to live well and succeed on the mystical path.
The Aspects of Self
On this plane of expression, this journey demands that we honour all of the following aspects of the self; the physical, emotional, rational, spiritual, and economical.
The Physical Self concerns our bodies with their needs for shelter, nutrition, fresh air, water, and exercise.
The Emotional Self concerns our feelings towards the people and situations we encounter daily.
The Rational Self concerns our thoughts about the people, situations and challenges we face daily.
The Spiritual Self concerns that part of us residing within that connects with humanity, the world and the universe. It responds to beauty and includes our higher purposes in life.
The Economic Self concerns that part of us that connects to the world of money and financial dealings.
We must work tirelessly to discover our nature, harmonise the various aspects of self into an integrated whole and deploy the integrated self for the mastery of life’s myriad challenges on this plane of self-expression. This is the work we must do to attain self Mastery as a penultimate goal to the Mastery of Life.
Given the importance of self-mastery on our mystical journey, we should consider how well we are progressing on the path to Self Mastery.
Signs of Progress
In my thoughts, reflections, meditations and attunements, I have recognised several fundamental signs of progress on the path to Self Mastery in a world of relative existence. Some of these are as follows;
- We develop an evolving sense of what we are, manifesting through a strong sense of humility and contentment. Strong awareness of the functioning of the Cosmos grows and manifests as a strong sense of orderliness, timeliness and space mastery. Increasing awareness of the factors that limit our progress will manifest as a strong sense of vision and focus and avoiding procrastination and distraction. A rising understanding of how the self must be the platform for mastering life’s challenges will manifest as a strong sense of sincerity, integrity, responsibility and accountability. Increasing awareness of who we really are will manifest as a strong sense of detachment.
- We will gain financial freedom manifesting as the absence of unproductive debts and absolute confidence in our ability to honestly meet our future financial needs. A doubt-free sense of the power of our feelings, thoughts, words and deeds will show through our successes (attainments being what we have become and achievements being what we have acquired). A conscious realisation of the role we must play in the individual and collective affairs of humanity will manifest as a transformation of our posture from a position of “how we save our neighbour and the world” to that of “how we serve our neighbour and the world”. You serve the world; God will save the world.
The story is told of how Abraham Lincoln ordered his buggy driver to stop so he could remove a thorn from the foot of a pig he saw limping down the road. The driver was surprised but even more impressed when Lincoln told him, “The thorn was in my heart”. As we progress toward self-mastery, we will gain a growing sense of universal citizenship, manifesting a strong sense of tolerance, compassion and selfless service. We will gain an increased understanding of the spiritual path as the reflection of Light from the world of the Creator to the heart of the created, resulting in our stronger sense of the unique approach to spirituality known as “the way of the heart”.
The journey to wholeness cannot be accomplished once and for all. We will always have times of challenge, regression, alienation and fear. But once we have tasted the fulfilment that comes from working through our issues, we can return to the place of wholeness more easily as we mature in the spiritual dimensions of our reality. Let us take counsel and courage from the following wise quotes;
“To have abundance, we need only to consciously receive what has already been given” – Sufi saying.
“It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well” – Rene Descartes
“The winners in life think in terms of I can, I will and I am” – Denis Waitley
“A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future” – Richard Denny
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood” – Marie Curie
“All that man knows changes. That which does not change is that which man is yet to know” – Anonymous
Self Mastery is the ability to control our feelings, thoughts, words and actions. How we react to a situation is usually based on how we feel about ourselves and what we feel we deserve. When you have Self Mastery, you can control yourself in all situations and are disciplined enough to do things in a focused way to reach your goals. People that do not have Self Mastery are impulsive. They might very well let their emotions control them. They get angry easily and say things that may have long-lasting consequences on relationships. Since they are unpredictable, they are viewed as being untrustworthy.
Our feelings, emotions and attitudes can be leveraged to play a large part in Self Mastery. How can we do this? Focus on the positive. Unpleasant things will happen to us; there is no way to stop them on the path of evolution. Instead of getting angry, look at them as learning experiences. Every negative has a positive lesson to be learned when you take a second look. Beware of self-sabotage. When something goes wrong, it is very easy to blame yourself. Negative self-talk can quickly bring you down.
Bernard M. Barouch puts it this way: “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them”. The Mastery of Self empowers us to formulate, attain and achieve success while maintaining our stability as we climb the ladder of illumination, self-realisation and ultimate union with the absolute.
Step into every day determined to experience more progress, beauty, purity, happiness and peace.
On a daily basis, ensure that you let go of your previous experiences and be prepared for new experiences of who you really are. Before you think, listen to your feelings. Before you speak, listen to your feelings, and before you act, listen to your feelings. Also, make sure you think carefully before you speak or act. Listen to your feelings again after thinking, speaking or acting. Finally, always think over what you have said and done.
The human journey is a continuous progress from what we now know to what we once knew. We should always focus our efforts on those manifestations of Self Mastery for which we need significant improvement so that the light of spirituality we carry in our hearts can more fully reflect the light and power of the deepest consciousness of our source.