According to Jungian philosophy, “the self is a pattern of order and wholeness in the human psyche.” (Gareth Hill, Masculine and Feminine)
According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the Shen or spirit initiates all transformation in the world. It is a self-creating, active principle that connects the sacred realm of non-being with the material realm and form on earth. (Dennis Willmont, The Twelve Spiritpoints of Acupuncture)
The Shen exists before we are born. At the moment of our conception it unites with our Jing or Essence and begins to make its way into residence in our heart (not limited to the anatomical heart). Once the Shen fully enters the body, as the umbilical cord is severed, it extends into the physical world through personality to fulfill its destiny.
The Shen functions as the emperor or empress of the body. It sits firmly on the throne and rules all the officials of the body. The officials carry out all the necessary functions to keep the body up and running. An example, it is the pericardium officials job to protect the heart and serve as its guard. If the Shen is centered securely in the heart and able to rule effortlessly by non- doing, then we experience life being in the “right place at the right time (Willmont)”.
In other words the self is congruent with the environment. We know truth when we see it and we operate from our center. We make decisions from our own place of body intelligence and follow our path. Most of us have known this cycle to be interrupted during our existence. Whether through the influence of traumatic events, other personalities, or mixed information telling us what, who and how we should be.
Unraveling, this process is hard work. It takes time, practice, study and a willingness.
A willingness to work with our human nature, to awaken our hearts, to unearth our curiosity and courage.