Way of the
Peaceful Warrior


Sacred Journey and the Three Selves

This month H J Kramer/New World Library is publishing a newly-revised edition of Dan Millman's groundbreaking book, Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior, whose new cover was painted by Terry Lamb, the same artist who created the classic cover to Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

Summary: In Sacred Journey, through a story of his meetings with a Hawaiian kahuna named "Mama Chia," Dan learns of the three selves that make up a complete human being, and learns how to access enhanced powers of healing, energy, motivation, and intuition -- even "past life" experiences and abilities.

This model of the three selves is as profound and sophisticated as any proposed by Freud, Jung, or others in the western traditions. Although these selves have been described by Max Freedom Long, Serge Kahili King, and others, in Sacred Journey Dan directly encounters each of these selves for a visceral understanding.

To clarify their fundamental nature here, he has graciously allowed us to excerpt the following description from his book, No Ordinary Moments:

The Three Selves

Body, mind, and emotions form one kind of trinity that comprises the human being. Another powerful trinity, called the three selves, provides a useful model for appreciating the scope of our lives. The three selves are comprised of the basic self (or subconscious), the conscious self (or ego), and the higher self (or spiritual consciousness). Insight into these three distinct forms of consciousness provides powerful leverage for attaining greater awareness, motivation, enjoyment, and inspiration in our lives.

The Basic Self

The basic self has sometimes been called our "inner child" be-cause the qualities, motives, and characteristics of this consciousness closely resemble those of a four-to-seven-year old child. Like young children, basic selves share common qualities, yet some basic selves show more strength, confidence, and understanding than others. Separate and distinct from the conscious mind, the basic self closely identifies with the physical body and manifests as our body wisdom -- our instinct, intuition, gut feelings, latent drives and abilities, and memory. In charge of our body, the basic self works through the autonomic (involuntary) nervous sys-tem to maintain our body's functions and generate our energy for life.

Like most children, the basic self remains highly open to sug-gestion (hypnosis), programming, visualization, or any form of healing that works with the subconscious. If secure and happy, the childlike basic self demonstrates playfulness, energy, inspi-ration, loyalty, determination, and spontaneity. But if our conscious mind ignores, devalues, or suppresses the basic self (as often happens), then it tends to withdraw, block energy, lower immune response, and sabotage our endeavors. By becoming more conscious of how our subconscious works, we can access energy and courage and improve our health and sense of well-being. The basic self serves as a foundation from which we can leap to higher states of awareness.

The Conscious Self

The conscious self serves as the center of logic, reason, and discrimination -- all necessary tools for life. Its major function involves conscious learning so that we can better adapt to and thrive in our environment. I use the terms conscious self, conscious mind, and ego interchangeably.

When working in harmony, our conscious self guides, educates, and reassures our basic self as a parent would a child, helping it understand life while allowing the basic self to express its own unique capacities. When out of balance, the conscious self tends to use logic and reason to devalue the feelings and intuitions of the basic self the way some adults tend to devalue the feelings of children. This results in an estrangement between mind and body; we lose touch with our feelings and our deepest intuitions. To heal this imbalance, our conscious self can learn to reestablish rapport with our basic self, which leads to a renewed sense of vitality, pleasure, and health.

We need to value and use our powers of reason, logic, and the other functions of the conscious self, but also recognize its limitations. As we see our conscious self in perspective, we recognize that life works better when our basic self and conscious self cooperate under the loving dominion of the higher self.

The Higher Self

The higher self, a radiant aspect of our consciousness sometimes referred to as our "guardian angel," completes the trinity of the three selves. The higher self awareness manifests qualities of selfless courage, love, compassion, wisdom, altruism, and joy. It serves as a "cheerleader to the soul," reminding the conscious self of the spiritual possibilities beyond the material world and the limits of the conscious mind.

The higher self has deep empathy for the conscious self and basic self but exists in a state of loving detachment; it gently guides without interfering, allowing the conscious self to make its own choices and learn whatever lessons it needs.

By mastering the powers of the basic and conscious selves, we can enjoy great success in the world, but staying in touch with our higher self adds the dimensions of joy, love, and an experience of the higher possibilities of life.

Basic selves evolve into conscious selves (just as children grow into adults); conscious selves are here to mature into higher selves, even as we live.

© 2007 Dan Millman

Related Books
Interview with Dan Millman

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Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. - Samuel Johnson

Dan Millman is a former world trampoline champion, Stanford gymnastics coach, and Oberlin College professor. Dan has written eleven books - two novels, seven non-fiction guides, and two children's books. Each book provides a new and different facet of a peaceful warrior's approach to living wisely and well. In a sense, each book is another piece of the puzzle of personal and spiritual growth. Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior, No Ordinary Moments, Secret of the Peaceful Warrior (for children) and Quest for the Crystal Castle (for children), The Life You Were Born to Live, The Laws of Spirit, Everyday Enlightenment, Body Mind Mystery, Divine Interventions, Living on Purpose, Warrior Athlete (out-of-print), The Peaceful Warrior's Path to Everyday Enlightenment: 12 gateways to your spiritual growth, and The Journeys of Socrates due out April, 2005. His books have inspired millions of readers in 22 languages. His talks and seminars have influenced people from all walks of life and all ages, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, and the arts. www.danmillman.com

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