In his teaching, the Master Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov gives us the criteria we need to truly understand ourselves – the knowledge of our two natures, human and divine.
The eternal question: Who am I?
Many people, at some point in their life, ask themselves the question, ‘Who am I?’ For many of us this question inspires the start of our spiritual journey. If we are honest with ourselves we perceive many facets and levels of what we call ‘me’. We have the chattering mind which is leading us here and there and our feelings, emotions and desires wanting this and that. The fruit of these two gives rise to actions reflecting the outward expression of the heart and mind. We know these parts of ourselves very well.
On the temple of Apollo in Delphi, in Greece, there is a famous inscription ‘Know yourself’. This simple phrase invites us to look more deeply at who we really are. It asks us to get to know a side of our being that we know less well- our divine nature. Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov helps us to become better acquainted with this part of ourselves.
Our human nature with its thoughts, feelings and actions is linked to our animal nature, where survival and looking after ourselves is the main focus. This is our ‘personality’ with all its particular characteristics and most of the time we identify with this. However, there are less selfish qualities within us which motivate us to give to others. These spring from unconditional love and good will, which seeks nothing for itself. This part of ourselves the Master calls the ‘individuality’, or the higher self. It is always there, even if we are not always conscious of it or acting from it. He says:
The higher self wants only to enlighten, to radiate light, to give, to help, to sustain others. It is always trying to project something of itself and it emanates generosity. That is why it does not hide its possessions and is not irritated when someone wants to take from it. On the contrary, it is happy to be able to give people what they need: food and drink and light. The individuality also is a trinity of the mind, the heart and the will. But here the desire of the mind, or intelligence, is to shine, the desire of the heart is to shed warmth, and the desire of the will is to revive people, animate them and set them free.”
Manifestations of the higher and lower nature
So, it is possible to recognise when the individuality is manifesting within us: there are moments, in life, when you may have an intuition or a realization about a certain truth or when thoughts of light and peace still your mind.
There are times in life when you may have feelings of love that flow through your heart to such a degree that you make an immense connection with everyone and everything. Then we say that it touches the soul.
On the other hand, the lower nature manifests through all those traits which we have inherited from our animal past- the instinctive fear that leads to separation, hostility and hatred between human beings.
Diagram of the subtle bodies and the two natures
There is no separation between these two selves and they are always connected. However, this graphical representation of their relationship to each another shows that the trinity of the heart, mind and will is mirrored by the corresponding bodies of the individuality. These are the causal (higher intellect), buddhic (soul) and atmic (spirit) bodies. Through spiritual practice, meditation, prayer and a desire to work for the good of the whole word, human beings can develop this divine self. We can identify with it so much that the influence of our personality is reduced and we are guided by our true self, the individuality.
It is important to be aware of the weaknesses of our lower nature. We can even learn to put them to work in service of the higher nature., However, it is with the higher nature that we need to identify. For it is our true self, our ultimate reality. Along the spiritual path, we begin to recognise the divine, immortal spark that dwells within ourselves and within others:
The awakening of the higher bodies
All human beings possess the germ of their higher bodies and one day these will be fully matured. I am sure that you have all felt their presence at one time or another. You hear a snatch of music or glimpse a face that causes something to stir within you. It gives you the desire to accomplish deeds of extraordinary generosity for the good of the whole world. This is a manifestation of your buddhic body which is beginning to vibrate within you.
Or perhaps you feel an inner force rising within you that is capable of moving the whole earth: your atmic body is beginning to stir. Or, again, you experience such illumination that you begin to perceive the structure of the universe and to understand how it functions. This is your causal body which is beginning to filter into your brain. If these manifestations occur frequently, it means that your three higher bodies – causal, buddhic and atmic – are already beginning to take possession of your whole being.
All the methods and spiritual exercises that Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov gives us in his teachings are there to help us purify the lower bodies of our personality so as to make them obedient vehicles for the expression of the spirit, our individuality.
The High Ideal of the Universal White Brotherhood
‘Have a heart as pure as crystal
A mind as luminous as the sun
A Soul as vast as the universe
And a spirit as powerful as God and one with God.’