Glossary of Terms
Collective: The term collective is used to refer to those energies, and experiences that are contained within all of humanity. The collective is a single body of awareness that contains ancient knowledge, both on conscious and unconscious levels. The collective can transcend individual cultures and boundaries. The collective has the power to effect the psyche of the individual, just as a critical number of individuals can effect the collective.
Impersonal: The term impersonal is used to refer to those aspects of the psyche that are concerned with universal, global, and collective issues. The impersonal implies a degree of detachment from one’s own needs and desires. The impersonal is not without caring and feeling. It is merely directed at another level.
Personal: The term personal is used to refer to those aspects of the psyche that are concerned with one’s own individual world, needs and desires.
Psyche: The term psyche is used to refer to the deeper aspect or essential quality of an individual being. The psyche contains the deepest wisdom of the individual and the most evolved aspect of conscience. The psyche is partly held in the unconscious and speaks to the individual through the symbolic language of dreams, images and intuition. The term psyche comes more from the psychological tradition of Carl Jung. The term, soul, is used more in the metaphysical literature.
Self. The term Self is used to refer to the essential nature of an individual. The Self, or sometimes referred to as the Higher Self, is also sometimes called the soul or psyche. The Self is not the aspect of the individual that is merely concerned with personal needs and desires. The Self is a reflection of the essential expression of Divinity.
Being: The term being is used to refer to the conscious state of existence of an individual. Being implies a high degree of awareness and presence in the moment. One’s Being is always existing in potential, but not necessarily manifesting. Psychological and spiritual work serve to bring the Being into conscious existence.
Bliss: The term bliss is used to describe that state of consciousness that is experienced through the conscious realization of the soul. Bliss is an ecstatic experience that fills the Being with almost indescribable joy. It is a pleasure that surpasses any sexual or physical gratification. Bliss is experienced as one touches the Divine. Divine: The term Divine is used to refer to God, Spirit, the intelligent life force that created the Universe. The Divine is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The Divine is pure love.
Ego: The term ego, with regard to a spiritual perspective, is used to refer to that aspect of the individual that experiences itself as separate from God. The ego believes that it is in control of life and ultimately, totally responsible for all that occurs. The ego is prone to self inflation and self-degradation. Humility evolves from the transcendence of the ego.
The psychological use of”ego” has an entirely different meaning. The ego is a hypothetical construct used to define the processes of thinking, perceiving, synthesizing, and integrating one’s experience. The ego becomes the mechanism for a strong and healthy personality. In psychological terms, it is very positive to have a strong, healthy ego. The latter stages of personal development leading, to an interest in spiritual development, require one to transcend their “psychological ego” and surrender to the Divine. One must have a strong and healthy psychological ego in order to sustain the shift in orientation from the personal to the Divine.
Heart: The term heart is used to refer to the emotional and spiritual aspect of an individual that gives and receives love. The term is not used to refer to the physical heart. The experience of the heart state is felt in the center of one’s chest. The saying, “One has an open heart,” implies that the individual is very available to love.
Higher Power: Same as Divine.
Soul: The term soul is used to refer to that aspect of the individual that is made in the likeness and image of God. It is that part of God that is manifesting in creation. The soul is the individualized aspect of God. The nature of the soul is ever new joy and bliss. The soul never dies. It is that aspect of consciousness that is eternal.