Carl Jung, who is often quoted in spiritual propaganda but rarely actually fully understood, proposes that we encounter three opportunities for birth in our lifetime. I have been reading about these births and considering their application to my own life lately, and I'd like to share some of my thoughts on what I've been reading and here will try to distill it down into my own voice.
The first birth we experience is our physical birth, and with it comes the development of our instinctual, or genetic information. This birth is automated and automatic, as we are not yet capable of self-producing the catalyst that would ignite this change. It is almost purely biological in nature as it concerns the simplest of needs - body function, survival instinct, genetic expression. Patterns in our realities and thoughts that will last throughout our entire lives begin to crystalize in this phase. External factors such as socio-economic status, family structure, and cultural heredity are primary influence in this stage.
The second birth is the birth of the self, or the birth of the many “I’s”. This is ignited from outside of us as well - encouraged and nurtured primarily by the mother influence, whatever the mother happens to be, and by society as a whole (functioning on a mothering or nurturing vibration). This is when you discover how you fit into the group, how you can be successful in the environment in which you are born to, and the family group you belong. You learn how to sink or swim. Our primary aim in this period is to develop a powerful and efficient Ego, which society and the system that governs us makes us believe is the ultimate goal in human life. In other words, you become a producer (of product, work, etc) and a consumer (of other’s products, work, etc) The patterns of the first phase are reinforced here; they are not self-created, they are handed to us. We begin to organize our entire life based around these patterns and they serve as the background to our day to day life. Your energy is fractured and you become a servant to many masters; there is an “I” at home, an “I” at work, an “I” when you are with your family, even an “I” when you are alone. There may be an “I” speaking to you constantly in your subconscious that is not actually in your own voice. This fracturing and splitting of the self into many different “I’s” creates a sort of collective insanity in which most of the world functions. The goal of this period is not only to validate the patterns that have been handed to us, but to reinforce and continually self-perpetuate them. You have survived, and you learn how to thrive. Or not.
The third birth is elusive; very few have the fortitude and find the structure necessary to take the step through this harrowing and destructive birth canal. The first step in this third birth is a “waking up”. It is a severe and deafening shock to the system - something terribly and horrifically incongruent with the patterns, systems, and ego reality that you’ve been living in happens and the effect is so jarring that you can’t ignore it. And what follows is a reverse course - instead of your energy expanding and your attention focusing outward, you begin to see yourself, almost as if outside of yourself and you become interested in what is happening inside of you rather than outside of you. A tiny, tiny bit of your energy turns inward. You being to consider the greatest fundamental question of our species, “Who am I”?
The next step in the third birth is perilous, and usually is where people lose their footing. It is almost always a fact that a teacher or guide is needed, but not a teacher that simply wants to indoctrinate you or program you to mimic their ego patterns. A true teacher in this sense acts as a guide; their agenda is simply to hold space while the patterns and pieces of your many "I's" begin to fall away. These teachers have and hold fast to their own agenda, instead of imprinting their agenda onto you. There is no religion involved, no dogma, only the extremely powerful hello that can be given to your true self, which they can usually see or divine behind your ego patterns and reality. This is perhaps the most vulnerable state - when you reach this point you are almost willing to grasp onto anything that will provide you with an answer. But the only answer that will truly satiate is within. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
In our present time, you can feel the need and grasping for this spiritual or third birth. People are starving for it in their lives. In the past, the church soothed this need with illusions and stories, "helping" us avoid this step of self-actualization, and it is now our economic masters that sooth and offer to fill that need. Just take a look at the industry of spirituality and see how self-made gurus and business are peddling the "answers" - in a book, in an advice column, in a patch, in a yoga method. Look around you at how everyone is trying to "help" you be a "better person" - code for - "Be more socially acceptable and economically prosperous as both a producer and consumer" - They will sell this to us at a cost, paid for by being a consumer of an approved methodology, of course. Simply buy the answer from someone who has it. So those with the most efficient and most developed ego patterns (2nd birth) are elevated and made shining examples. Simply play the game better and you’ll get your spiritual birth. Pay to play. It reinforces the ego patterns developed and propagated in the system of the second birth, the consumer and producer self are - above all - validated.
The patterns set up in our current culture are specifically designed to prevent you from adjusting your orientation by satisfying your curiosity instead with these consumer products (buy your answer) or spiritual development schemes (the 7 holy tenants to enlightenment). These answers can never satisfy - in fact, they are carefully engineered not to. All you are doing is mimicking another "self" - in essence, you are caught in a pattern of constantly repeating your second (ego) birth. Over and over again you are told you are wrong, you need help, and you are groomed to be a new "I". True spiritual (third) birth can only be the result of pure, internal consciousness - it springs from within, not from without. This birth depends solely on our ability to divert our energy and attention from the outside world to the internal world of our imagination, our psyche. This requires you to harness and divert enough energy to say hello to who you really are, in an effort to answer - for yourself - the question, “Who Am I?” Those who have experienced the third birth and done "the work" are able to answer, or are on their way to answering with definition, that question - but not because someone has told them who they are, because they know who they are.
To take that terrible, terrifying first step towards our third birth, we must become consciously alert to our internal world. With practice, we begin to unwind the knot that we have created - in necessity, and unavoidably - through our first and second births. The separateness and gaps between our "I’s" begin to slowly close up, our personality becomes a useful tool but not the governing reality in which we live, and we find who we are and who we always have been - the true essence, energy, and spirit of ourselves. We begin to express rather than mimic.
Only from here can the artist begin to truly create; only from here can the real human being begin to emerge. And like all births, it is messy, messy business! Beware of anyone who claims that they can "fix" you, or provide you with a quick "fix" to your problems. Beware any teacher that claims they have the answer. Because the rub here is that your problem is deep. Your problem is much deeper than you even imagine. But in this, the truth is that there is no problem at all. You must go through the first and second birth to get through the third. If you sense that something is off - something is not right - you're right. But it's not YOU that is wrong, you do not need to be fixed. The problem is that you have fractured. You are waking up in your own mess! You have successfully went through the first two births. You are actually a success. It's time to put yourself back together again. It's time to take a step into the third birth.
This is the space that I give psychic readings from. A reading is not a palm reading or a tarot reading, giving you satiating reactions and responses that will re-inforce and validate your ego or desire and need for a pattern to mimic or an answer that comes from outside of yourself. I won't tell you that you're going to meet a tall, handsome stranger. I won't even tell you what is going to happen to you, because who knows! You have yet to create it. But if the conditions are right, and the energy is set, and you're able to hear - you might get more than all that you thought you wanted. You might get a brief hello to you. A reading says hello to the spirit of you, it says hello to the deeper part of you that exists outside of these three births.