THE SEVEN ATRIBUTES OF SELFHOOD
THE SEVEN ATTRIBUTES OF SELFHOOD
Norman W Wilson, PhD©
We come into this world as a self and over time, there are significant developments in what constitutes that self. Leaving behind the myriad discussions about the ego, superego, and the id there still remains an area worthy of thought. First, what is an attribute? Simply, an attribute is any characteristic that distinguishes. To become complete, the human being needs to embrace certain attributes to attain wholeness. There are seven attributes of Selfhood.
Mindfulness---Mindfulness involves being aware of all existence and not just one's existence. This is different from the Buddhist tradition and Contemplative Psychotherapy training generally referred to as sitting meditation. Being mindful of all existence means respecting that existence, and paying homage to the rights of all living things. One should look at all existence as an act of creative beauty, and to hold a reverence for the food one eats as well as those other acts necessary to nourish yourself. It is more than 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'—it is a total awareness of your own existence as well as of all extant things.
Delightism---Delightism, as it is used here, is not Tantra Delightism and not erotic focused. Once the state of mindfulness of all existence is achieved, begin to examine its created beauty. Delight will come to you. This is a bit tricky here because it involves more than the pleasure principle. A genuine appreciation for all that exists from the micro to the macrocosmic realities of all that there is, is essential. It is the Maslow "ah-ha" experience of self-actualization, the Eureka, the satori of joy. Accept each blade of grass as a thing of beauty, each existence as a unique work of art. Get involved in that uniqueness, and you will find delight in that existence and maybe—just maybe you will experience a sense of the divine itself. The fundamental question is not "why" but "why not?" Accept the lowest among the low. Even the ant has its place and value.
Doubt free---Achieving a state of freedom from self-doubt is essential if one is to experience the final four attributes of Selfhood. This is perhaps the most difficult to achieve since the culture in which we live breeds self-doubt negates the value of self-worth and preaches a homily of self-sacrifice before an altar called the common good. It is a culture, which creates the illusion of freedom and of choice but in reality, wants total conformity. Being doubt free means freedom from all self-negation, freedom from the abyss of nothingness, freedom from the reductionism that prevails throughout the culture. Have no doubts as to your self- worth, the value of that which you call your own person. Accept the interconnectivity of mind and matter as the expression of Selfhood. To do otherwise, creates dismay and unhappiness.
Love---The attribute of love flows naturally once you have arrived at the first three. Love, and here I am talking about much more than sensual pleasures, and they are important and have their place and value, but love that means giving value to all that exists, beginning with the Self and extending outward to all things big, small, living and non-living. The potential to love all existence is limited only by a refusal to achieve the first three attributes of Selfhood. I say refusal because that means a rejection of the value of Self, and that condemns you to a depraved agony and a mode of self-destruction, which produces an automaton. As these four attributes are realized, the fifth arrives more silent than sea fog rolling in off the ocean. And like that fog, it engulfs you, totally and completely—bathing you in a newfound realization that only a sense of Selfhood can provide.
Centeredness---One must have a central axis of inward calm and steadiness; that is, emotional stability. The absence of a personal centeredness results in a loss of pleasure in living. Without being centered, there is a loss of a fully developed selfhood. Do not confuse selfhood with egocentricity. They are different. Egocentricity is a corruption of the Self and should never be a life's goal. In yoga, for example, one comes to the center through various meditative techniques.
Actualization---Maximizing one's abilities and determining one's life path involves mental consciousness; that is, awareness. Further, this involves connecting to the collective consciousness (The Akasha Record) and manifesting through a union of mind, body, and spirit. In essence, you are to make reality. What a man or a woman can be, he or she must be. It is written in the Akasha. To achieve that becoming, the five previous attributes must be in place.
Inner Peace---Once you master the other attributes of Selfhood, inner peace flows naturally from the center of your being. As value and worth of the Self are openly expressed, there is a wellspring of contentment that rushes over you—a fullness that can only be expressed by singing out, "I am that I am.” And so you are!
As a creation, you have part of the creator within, and it is this Divine element that you must acknowledge for it is that which renders inner peace.
©Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D. 2020