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We all have a Beast.

We all have that creature lurking within us that compels us to conjure up deeds we would never commit and to mentally whisper - under bated breath in the darkest corridors of our minds - words that we could never utter aloud.

Or so we believe.

In the darkness dwells the Beast. The Beast finds its home in those regions of the Psyche in which we refuse to peer because we believe they do not exist. On our quest towards perfection, on the graced journey of 'personal development' we fancy ourselves BUT one step away from the angels. And even when we admit that we are 'born in sin', we confess those sins to all but the person who actually needs to face The Beast - our very own selves.

Jung called it 'The Shadow' and Peterson refers to it as the 'loaded weapon'. Eckhart Tolle calls it the 'pain body'.

Unbeknownst to most, however, is just how much energy is required for the Beast to survive. Lurking in those areas where it can escape the scrutiny of the objective mind, it continues in its machinations and wiles. It is the outburst of unexpected anger in the most measured of individuals, that streak of vicious cruelty in the usually sanguine of souls. It feeds, and needs not even hide, because we deny its existence. And it emerges of its own volition because we have handed it a power that rightfully belongs to us. The Beast possesses us.

The human psyche is a veritable repository of inscrutable untapped atomic energy. Much of the work of 'spiritual labour' involves tapping into its dormant, captive energies, to actualize grand visions from the Unmanifest realm of Mind to the crystallised one of matter. Without objective consciousness, this capacity is greatly hindered, and no more so than when the Beast is permitted to hide.

Those parts of yourself that you don't like - find them, look at them, dissect them. In the light, the Beast will not necessarily dissipate, but it will no longer run unbridled in the chambers of the mind. Corralled, its energies - like an atom split - will be accessible for your use in the Great Work of ennobling the world, and it ability to catch you unawares will lessen.

This kind of awareness was referred to by Siddhartha Gautama as Enlightenment, by the Zen Buddhists as Satori, by Gurdjieff as 'objective consciousness', and by Ramarshi, Almaas, Nisargadatta, Aurobindo, Vivekanda, Ramakrishna and many others, as 'Self-Realization'. It is not a destination but a perpetually unfolding process that involves a progressive unfolding of ever deeper regions of the mind. Hence the symbol of the lotus.

'Knowing thyself' involves bringing the Light of inward-sight to the good and the bad, the darkness and the light of ourselves. Not because the light is better, or the darkness is worse, but because understanding, comprehension of it - the 'Viveka' of the Vedantists - is and always has been the ultimate and final goal of the highest of human endeavors - Self-Knowledge.



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