Book Excerpt

From Embracing Our True Self by Paul Ferrini

The Core Self

The Core Self is our essence. It is who we are at the most fundamental level. It is the connection point between our divine origin and our human incarnation. It is the divine spark that we bring with us into this embodiment. It includes all the gifts and talents we possess in their potential. It is what makes us unique. It is the blueprint we are born with.

All of us have a Core Self, but not many of us are in touch with it. That is because the Core Self can be encountered only with unconditional love and acceptance. If we look without love and acceptance, we will not see the Core Self. We will see the wounded self. The wounded self grows up with conditional love and lives in a state of fear. It seeks love but cannot find it.

The Core Self cannot be wounded. That is because it is whole and complete. There is nothing lacking in it. There is nothing in it that needs to be changed or fixed.

When we are connected to our Core Self, we are connected to all that is. We live in relationship to our Source or higher power. We abide in who we are.

The Core Self is our energetic connection to Love. It connects us heart to heart to each other. When we rest in the Core Self, there is no separation. There are no separate bodies or separate agendas. There is just infinite, boundless love.

When we abide in the Core Self, we are incapable of judgment. We cannot trespass or defend. We cannot find fault. We know that we are lovable and acceptable just the way that we are and so are others.

Our Core Self is the resting place of Universal Love. It lives there, breathes there, and moves out from there into the world. The Core Self has been called Tao, Atman, Christ, Buddha nature, and so forth. It has many names and is spoken of in many traditions. We call it the “Core Self ” because it is the essence and the center of our Being.

The Core Self is eternal, consistent, unchangeable. In this sense, it is not subject to the ups and downs of physical existence. Some say it is not born and does not die because it exists beyond the vicissitudes of this world.

The Core Self is there, even though we have not encountered it. It cannot be destroyed or taken away from us. However, it can be disguised, covered over or ignored. And it can take some of us a very long time to remove those disguises and come face to face with our essence.

The Wounded Self

The Core Self is overshadowed by the wounded self. That is because we see everything through our pain. Indeed, the shadow is sometimes so dark that we don’t see the light behind it.

How do we know we are wounded? We know because we have pain or distress of some kind. We are triggered in our relationships. We have reactive behavior. We fight with others or run away from them.

We know that we are wounded because there is a lot of fear that comes up and we don’t know how to hold that fear compassionately.
We don’t know how to be with our fear or the fear of others.

We know that we are wounded because things happen that make us very angry at ourselves or at others. We feel overwhelmed by feelings of grief, jealousy, unworthiness.

We know that we are wounded because we can’t find peace in our hearts or in our relationships. In addition, we may have memories of a traumatic event that altered our life such as rape, incest, the death of a parent or another experience of abuse or abandonment.

Are our Wounds Real?

The wounded self is not ultimately real, but it feels very real to us. We believe that this is who we are. We identify with our wounds. We feel shame and guilt. We feel pain and unworthiness.

We feel less than or more than others. We attack, defend, build walls between self and other. We push away love because it does not feel safe. We hurt ourselves or we hurt others. We shame ourselves or blame others. We abandon those we love or they abandon us. We live inside a vicious cycle of attack and defense. No matter how painful it is, we don’t seem to be able to stop it. We don’t know how to stop being a victim or a victimizer. This is the psychological world most of us inhabit, individually and collectively.

Shame and victimhood operate on many levels. Some are more obvious than others.

Why are we Wounded?

The wound helps us to know who we are. It creates awareness. When we are wounded, we are challenged to understand something about ourselves and others.

Before we experience the wound, we are totally connected with all that is. There is just Oneness. Spirit, God, call it what you will. There is no division, no dark or light, male or female, high or low, good or bad. There is no differentiation or comparison.

Oneness does not allow for growth in consciousness. It is already the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. But as soon as you have two of anything — two people or two flowers — you have differentiation and the basis for comparison and judgment. You have dark and light, self and other, human and divine. You have the opposites. What we know of the world is created out of this inherent duality.

The wound itself comes from this duality. It is experienced as soon as we lose our consciousness of oneness. As such, it represents our fall from grace and our entrance into the world in a human body.

So how do we experience the wound here in the body in the world? We may have been created as equals, but we do not feel that we are equals, nor do we treat each other as equals. We feel “less than” or “more than.” We compare, judge, attack and defend. Wounding is a very real affair in our human world.

People strike out at us because they themselves are hurt or afraid. They abandon us for the same reason. Sometimes we are abandoned and there is no reason. That brings a different kind of pain.

There is no child who is not wounded by his parents. And there is no adult who does not carry deep, unhealed childhood wounds.

If we want to feel “one” with ourselves, with each other, or with our Source, we must learn to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters for the inevitable wounding that happens here on planet earth.

Why are we wounded? What is the purpose of the wound? What is the reason for suffering? These are important questions. The wound enables us to obtain knowledge of Self, to know the part of God that is us. Once we know the part of God that we are, we can see the God-Self in others.

The wound is a tool of consciousness. It creates separation and with it understanding of oneness. How can you understand what oneness means if you have never felt separate?

The wound causes us to believe that we exist as separate entities, that we are born, that we suffer and that we die. Yet, as we learn to heal the wound, we discover the truth about ourselves and each other. We discover that there is a Core Self within us that is beyond birth and death.

The Law of Attraction

Many people think that the Law of Attraction means that they can create anything that they want.  So they set out to create their dreams and they end up with a huge mess.  Then they start beating themselves up. They are convinced that there is something wrong with them or that they are deficient in some way.   
     That’s why for most people, the Law of Attraction turns into the Law of Detraction. It is yet another concept that they use to crucify themselves. It brings up not the abundance that they wish for, but the unworthiness that drives their lives at an unconscious level.
     So it is important that we understand this.  When you are wounded, you create from your wounds.  You create unconsciously. And generally you are pretty unhappy about what you create.
     Until we heal our wounds, we are going to create suffering. It’s that simple.
     The tricky thing is that when our ego gets hold of the Law of Attraction it goes crazy. Not only does it begin building a bigger and better rocket ship to heaven, but it also decides to invest its life savings in the plan.
     When the ego and The False Self go into the attraction business, what they attract is basically “false” or unfulfilling.   That is because there is no connection to the Core Self.
     So let’s backtrack a little and see how the Law of Attraction can and does work. 
     First, for the Law of Attraction to work, you must create through your connection with your Core Self. That means that you are creating out of awareness that you are loved and you are worthy. 
     Second, you must know what you really want. That means the False Self has to shatter first. Because what you think you want while the False Self is intact is not what you really want. It is what others want for you.  The False Self is created to appease others or to win their approval.
     That is why I tell the Mastery Students, “As long as you are trying to run your life through your ego structure, as long as the False Self is in charge, you would be wise “to refrain from creating” because you aren’t going to like what you create.
     You will not be creating for your highest good or the highest good of others. That can be done only through the connection to the Core Self. It is this connection that enables us to understand who we really are and what we really want. 
     When we are connected to the Core Self, the False Self falls away and we begin to be authentic and step into our life purpose.  The True Self understands the law of attraction and uses it on a daily basis.
     The True Self knows that she does not create in a vacuum, but in cooperation with others. Often she must surrender her expectations so that common goals can be achieved.  She is flexible about the small things. She adapts to the situation that presents itself. But she is very clear that she cannot betray herself or her purpose in life. So on the big issues she stays committed, focused and clear.
     The True Self naturally attracts what it wants, what it cares about, and what it is committed to.  But let us remember the True Self exists only because the False Self has shattered, the ego has abdicated its throne, and the connection to the Core Self has been firmly and irrevocably made.
     So yes, it is true. The Law of Attraction is exciting, marvelous, delightful, but only for those who have cleared the channel. If your channel has not been cleared, your creation is likely to be muddy in more ways than one.
     I have to keep telling the Mastery students, “Stop building that rocket ship and come here and get back in the sauce. You are still an uncooked meatball and you are out there pretending to be Gandhi or Martin Luther King!”
     We don’t realize that they were meatballs too and they had to stay in the sauce until they were cooked. They had to stay on low, persistent heat until God smelled the aroma and knew they were ready.
     The same is true for you and me.  We all have an assignment here and we will begin doing it when we are ready.  If we try to do the work before we are ready, we will create such a mess that we may lose our desire to show up for the assignment we have. 
     So, please, leave the Law of Attraction alone until you know who you are and what you want. Until then, do nothing.  Just stay in the sauce. Otherwise you will turn the Law of Attraction into the Law of Detraction and it won’t feel very good to you. 
     Don’t detract from yourself by seeking to attract.  Indeed, don’t do any math at all.
     Don’t seek to add on because there is nothing lacking.  And if you don’t add on, you won’t have to subtract it later on when you realize you don’t need it.
     Addition and subtraction are part and parcel of the dualistic drama of life.  Don’t waste your time with the drama of ups and downs, pluses and minuses. Get back in the sauce and cook for a while.
     When you are a cooked meatball, you will no longer try to get something that you don’t need and you won’t have to give it back once you get it. You save yourself a lot of heartache and a lot of guilt.  When you don’t create a mess, you don’t have to clean it up.
     Here are some common misunderstandings to avoid.

     Misunderstanding #1   I Can Create What I Want.

     Ultimately true. Wrong for right now. Right now you will create what you don’t want and don’t need.  If you could create what you really want right now you would be doing it. So if you aren’t doing it, admit temporary defeat and get back in the sauce. You aren’t cooked enough yet

   Misunderstanding #2I Know What I Want.

     Think again.  Most people haven’t got the slightest idea what they want.  They have just borrowed ideas from their parents and other authority figures. It works better to get clear on what you don’t want and see what’s left over. On the other hand, if you know what you want, better make it your top priority.

     Misunderstanding #3: I am Here to Help Others.

     Yes, that’s true. But first you need to help yourself and heal your own wounds. Until you do that you won’t be very helpful to others.

     Misunderstanding #4: I Can have All the Money I want.

     Well, maybe.  Some people are good at business and finance. Some are not. Even those who are good at it aren’t necessarily happy. If you have trouble making ends meet, take the next step and get a job. Only a handful of people wins the lottery or inherits a fortune.

     Misunderstanding #5: I can have the Perfect Relationship

     If you are being sarcastic here and by perfect you mean “perfect,” then I agree with you. It will be the perfect relationship to push your buttons and make you aware of all the healing you still need to do.  By the way, have you even noticed that relationship and rocket ship both end with the word “ship.” I don’t believe that’s a coincidence!
     Anyway, folks, it’s time to wake up around this Law of Attraction. If you don’t know who you are or what you want, how are you going to attract right livelihood or right relationship?  
     I know you are going to hate this, but I have to tell you the truth.  I have met only four or five people who really know who they are and what they want. Of course, those four or five have no trouble attracting what they want or expressing who they are in this life.
     But that’s only four or five people and they are not necessarily the ones who are talking about the Law of Attraction. Most of the people I know are beating themselves up with the Law of Attraction (I like to call it the Law of Detraction because it sets us up to fail).
     There are a lot of generals who will send the troops out to fight even though they are outnumbered and outgunned by the enemy.  It doesn’t hurt them much. They are watching the war from their skybox and are in no imminent danger.  
     Well, I just can’t be that kind of general.   I don’t want to send a man or woman out to fight before she knows what s/he is doing and has a chance to succeed. So I spend a lot of time on preparation and training.
     Many of our Mastery students have been in training for two to three years and they are just beginning to understand and to cooperate with the Law of Manifestation. In order to learn this Law they had to slow down. They had to transform from being the hare to being the turtle. They had to get off the rocket ship and put some roots in the ground.
     They had to learn to love themselves, moment to moment. They had to keep repeating the question “Am I loving myself right now?” as a mantra to help them remember.
     This is not pie-in-the-sky spirituality.  It’s chop wood, carry water.  Stop spinning out and get grounded.  Slow down.  Move the energy out of your head and into your heart. Breathe. Practice awareness.
     People want to leave the nest before they are ready.  Fledging students need to test their wings and take short trips between neighboring trees. Then, when their wings are strong and they feel confident, they can blast off into the sky and nothing will hold them back!
     If you aren’t ready, don’t leave the nest.  Stay and learn the skills you need to succeed. Practice and prepare.  A great carpenter can do wonders with a few simple hand tools, but a novice will make a mess even with the most sophisticated tools.
     If you are just learning to drive, please refrain from buying a Rolls Royce from the estate of the Bhagwan. Otherwise, it will take you less than an hour to total that car! Instead, buy an older junker and practice driving it. Then you can work your way up to a better car.  
     Some parents buy their kids the best musical instruments as soon as they submit to their first music lesson.  Three months later, the music store buys them back for half price. You would think that by now they would be choosing the rental program!
     Well, what can you do?  As much as you would like to prevent people from battering their heads against the proverbial wall, you can’t force them to stop until they are ready.  Sometimes it’s a rather bloody affair and it’s hard to watch.
     As an antidote -- to try to inculcate some sense into those insecure and unstable minds -- I have decided to make huge billboards and to place them in all the major cities in the world. On each billboard will be a large pot with steam coming out.  And underneath the pot there will be this question: “Are you an Uncooked Meatball?” along with a toll free number.
     I expect that many people will call that number asking why I have placed such a strange add on the billboard in their city and I will ask my friend Hans to explain to them The Law of Detraction.  I can see it now: light bulbs will go off in their minds and they will drop instantly into their hearts.  Suddenly, they will understand why nothing they do works and why Murphy is continually elected president and chairman of the board.
     Of course, if Hans has his way, we will make a movie. And before long, we will be forced to go public.  Meatballs and sauce will be everywhere. We will have more signs than Toyota! We might even take out an add during halftime of the Super bowl. I can see it now, can’t you?
     Now, I don’t want to be too disrespectful to the Law of Attraction people, because many of my friends are in that movie (which perhaps, not surprising to you, I have yet to see!).
     I know that sometimes you can’t make a point unless you water the message down. But being Italian, I have to tell you it hurts when someone puts water in the sauce.
     We have discussed this at length in our Spiritual Mastery Community and come to the conclusion that “Spirituality Lite” is better than “No Spirituality at all.”  
     So when all of your friends come over raving about The Law of Attraction, just smile at them and don’t let on that you read this chapter. And, most importantly, don’t admit that you had that long heart to heart conversation over the telephone with Hans!