Unlike lesser-level creatures that are not conscious of their own nature -- and that cannot choose any other world of experience apart from the one they are drawn to by their own lower nature -- we, as human beings, are unique in creation. We are created to be self-conscious.
In spiritual terms this means we may have an awareness of any of the infinite number of qualities that form the character of our own heart, mind, and soul; but that's not all. Within this same special feature of ours is hidden a greater gift. Not only may we enter into and know the undiscovered country that is the content of our own consciousness, but we can also learn to choose at what level of our own being we will live. It's true; unlike any other creatures, we alone may decide and then reside within that reality of ourselves to which we are drawn. If this idea surprises you, welcome to the wonderful world of higher self-knowledge! Let's learn more about our unique gift.
This level of higher conscious awareness empowers us to be one with all that exists in the kingdom of creation, much as one's own mind is created to know the content of its own thoughts. There is evidence to support this assertion.
We have all known that special sense of oneness that comes when we sit silenced by an inspiring sight. The sun sets and the clouds blaze, leaving our heart to feel as its own the multi-colored fire that paints the darkening sky. Who hasn't stood outside on a moonless night and been transported into a state of timelessness with the stars whose ancient light fills our upturned eyes? Even so, as soul stirring as such glimpses are, they remain as gold dust to the mother lode as we enlarge the depth of our self-study.
When Christ told his disciples that "My Father's kingdom has many mansions," he was doing more than just teaching them esoteric principles concerning their own unexplored being. For those who had ears to hear his words were, and still are, an invitation interpreted here: "Choose for yourself that mansion of mind or heart in which you would dwell. Where in the greater kingdom of consciousness would you like to live?" Again, our own experience confirms the possibility of this amazing spiritual potential.
We have all wandered through the many mansions that make up the world of our own thoughts and feelings. These are those psychological places within us that we move in and out of countless times each day. To illustrate just one example, there is that shelter of pride-filled thoughts we have about our self and about how others should treat us. In its west wing are the fiery feelings that race through us when even casual acquaintances fail to fulfill our expectations. And, to enlarge the metaphor, in these very same dwellings that are made up of our demands, living on the floor just beneath them we find their neighbors. These are the negative emotions that not only blind us to the consequence of our own heated reactions, but whose roommates quickly step into the fray, telling us to blame others for the troubles that always follow when we cling to our own mistaken assumptions!
As long as we live within the darkened mansion of these lower-level thoughts and feelings, unconsciously deriving our sense of self from identification with the stuff of our little lives, we must remain captives of their imperfect perspective. But there are other places in our hearts and minds, higher realms in this same interior kingdom, where we are free to live without such self-compromising limitations.
For instance, we can live in the castle of noble ideas about our own higher consciousness. Such enlightening concepts, along with the higher emotions they impart, shed helpful light on the nature of those self-defeating thoughts that trick us into entering their dark domain. These same liberating insights are the front-runner of new and expansive energies that pour into us whenever we are living in some littler world of ourselves and then step out of it into the wide open spaces of our True Nature.
Awakening to who we are created to be is the first step in letting go of all that holds us captive. I have seen wild turkeys throw themselves up against a five-foot high wrought-iron fence trying to get out of the same yard they flew into only moments before. In moments of panic -- such as when my wife would chase them out of her flower beds -- these creatures forget that they have wings! We, too, have forgotten something: we are created to be unconditionally free. As a result of our spiritual forgetfulness we continue to throw ourselves against life, trying in vain to find for ourselves what can only be found through the conscious remembrance of our True Nature.