The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo. According to Greek philosophy, a knowledge of your inner nature is supposed to be one of most important things in existence. This is a view which also occurs in Eastern Philosophy. For example, according to the teachings of the Vedanta, the main problem in the world is that the “Real Self” is not known. If you were to ask a person to tell you about himself or herself; then you would notice that the introduction would likely cover the following aspects:
- Their ancestry.
- Their educational background.
- Their job. Their ambitions.
- Their personal appearance.
- Their likes and dislikes. Their point of view on things.
- Their stuff. Where they live.
- Their circle of loved ones and friends.
People describe themselves with respect to name-form-function. The real problem, according to the philosophy lies is the fact that we are not taught to look beyond the sensory world.
According to Vedanta, the real problem does not lie in bodies, minds, experiences, possessions, thoughts and appearances. The real problem instead lies with what they conceal – the identity of the Real Self. Not having an understanding of the real self makes people feel incomplete. Incompleteness has several outward manifestations. These include a permanent underlying sense of lack, missing something in their lives (people, places, things etc.), and a sense of emptiness. This is also sometimes called spiritual restlessness.
According to Vedanta philosophy, knowledge of the true self is what would destroy these feelings of incompleteness or emptiness. The good question remains, is how to remove these feelings of emptiness.
The Soul Affirmation
As we seek health, success and happiness in the physical world, we are often oblivious to how close true health, success and happiness are, because we don’t look inward. In many cases our interest in looking inwards is awakened by a life crisis, such as a reversal of fortune or tragedy that is difficult to explain, for example, disastrous material loss or the death of someone close. Regardless of how we come to this awareness, we all have with-in us this intrinsic need to “return to the source,” to have contact with our Soul to access that inner peace and health.
One of the ways to experience coming home is through the powerful Soul Affirmation (or So Ham in Sanskrit) which was provided by Master Choa Kok Sui. This powerful affirmation is to constantly reminds ourselves of our true-nature… that we are beings of pure light. As we begin to realize this “truth” we stop associating our true self with our physical body, thoughts and emotions helping us get rid of our pain, sufferings, and chaotic thoughts and emotions. This affirmation is discussed in more detail in the MCKS workshop titled Achieving Oneness with the Higher Soul.
The Soul Affirmation has three parts.
The first is a constant reminder that we are not the body, the thoughts and the emotions. In order to understand this better, let us do some experiments:
- Move your arms. What are you doing? I AM moving my arms. What are being moved? The arms. Are you the arms? No. Who is moving the arms? I AM. I AM is the ‘mover’, the arms are the objects being ‘moved’. The body is the temple or the vehicle of the incarnated soul.
- Think of a car. What are you doing? I AM thinking of a car. Who is the thinker? I AM the thinker. What was created? The thought of a car. Are you the thought itself? No.
- Think of an happy event. Feel the happiness. What are you doing? I AM feeling or creating the emotion of happiness. Who created the emotion? The I AM created the emotion. What emotion was created? The emotion of happiness. Are you the emotion of happiness itself? No.
In fact, the soul uses the mind as a subtle instrument to create thoughts and emotions.
So, when the body dies, what is left? I AM. When the thoughts and emotions are disintegrated, what is left? I AM. You are the I AM. You are the soul.
The second part is a reminder that we are made in the image of God. God has three aspects – the will aspect, the love aspect and the intelligence aspect… which in the Hindu tradition is represented as Lord Shiva (The Destroyer and Restorer), Lord Vishnu (The Preserver) and Lord Brahma (The Creator) respectively. The second part of the affirmation is a constant reminder to the truth that these qualities also exist in us given that our soul is a being of divine intelligence, divine love and divine power; and that we are always connected and one with our divine self (or the Higher Soul).
The third part of the affirmation is a reminder that we are all children of God. Given that the Higher Soul (and the Incarnated Soul) both come from God, every person and every being is also connected and one with God. Since all souls are connected and one with God, even we are connected and one with all.
Benefits of So Ham
Regular use of this affirmation provides multiple benefits.
- This affirmation reminds us of our Divine Nature and helps us channel our Higher Self into our daily lives.
- The affirmation is effective in quickly balancing the aura and chakras.
- We start recognizing other people as Souls and that each is at their level of evolution, so its normal to make mistakes. As we understand this and experience Spiritual Oneness with all, it becomes easier to forgive, let go and love others and oneself, and have more mercy and compassion.
- The spiritual chord becomes bigger and there is an increased connection of the Incarnated Soul with the Higher Soul. This results in more Soul Energy coming down to the practitioner. Soul Energy, simply stated, is the energy of the Higher Soul. More Soul Energy enables the Higher Soul to maintain a greater degree of control over the Incarnated Soul. A person with higher soul contact would not have to struggle much to overcome negative emotions such as anger, fear or irritability. It becomes easier to let go of vices and strengthen one’s character.
The affirmation is also a constant reminder that we are connected and One with the Supreme God. God puts everything in divine order be it the universe, a nation, and an individual. As we gradually become aware of this truth our life would begin to change always keeping us and every moment of our life in divine order.
It is highly recommended that the Soul Affirmation is practiced regularly especially when you are going through a crisis in your life such as depression, anxiety, bad health, relationship problems, financial difficulty, and others. This will help facilitate your process of “coming home” to your Eternal Self and help provide solutions for dealing with life’s challenges.
Those experiencing crisis are encouraged to recite this affirmations three times a day for as long as necessary. thereafter, once a day maybe enough.