Personal Autonomy is Self Directing
Personal Autonomy is Self Directing. In order to be able to be autonomous we must be in touch with our Selves. I'd like now to look at the way Carol K Anthony and Deepak Chopra have described this. Carol K Anthony talks about this break from our genuine self or authenticity in Love, an Inner Connection She talks about our conscious (outer) self and unconscious (inner) self. She says:
"In the baby, these conscious and unconscious selves are one and the same and are experienced as a whole self. This unified self is primarily a feeling self which remains unified until, through its unique power of decision, it decides to accept abstract ideas that are in fundamental disagreement with what it knows and feels within It does this upon the introduction of fears which cause the self to doubt what it knows. This doubt split's the personality into two these two consciousnesses or selves. Although the inner self continues to be all knowing, it is suppressed so long as doubt remains. Control of the personality is handed over to the outer self, which then goes on to construct ways of dealing with the doubts. It is at this point that the two begin to live separate lives.
This seperation is not total, but exists only in those areas where doubt exists. Where doubt has not been aroused, we continue to respond to circumstances from our original, innocent self in a spontaneous, wholly adequate way."
From: Love, an Inner Connection: Based on principles drawn from the I Ching, by Carol K Anthony.
Here is what Deepak Chopra has to say about the same situation in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
"The experience of Self or "self-referral" means that our internal reference point is our own spirit, and not the objects of our experience. The opposite of self-referral is object referral. In object referral we are always influenced by objects outside the Self, which include situations, circumstances, people and things. In object referral we are constantly seeking the approval of others. Our thinking and our behavious are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear based.
In object-referral we also feel an intense need to control things. We feel an intense need for external power. The need for approval, the need to control things, and the need for external power are needs based on fear. This kind of power is not the power of pure potentiality, or the power of the Self, or real power. When we experience the power of the Self, there is an absence of fear, there is no need to control, and no struggle for external power.
In object-referral, your internal reference point is your ego. The ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants to be in control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.
Your true self, which is your spirit, your soul, is completely free of those things. It is immune to criticism, it is unfearful of any challenges, and it feels beneath no one. And yet, it is also humble and feels superior to no one, because it recognises that everyone else is the same Self, the same spirit in different guises.
This is the essential difference between object-referral and self-referral. In self-referral, you experience your true being, which is unfearful of any challenge, has respect for all people and feals beneath no one. Self-referral is therefore true power.
Power based on object-referral is false power. Being ego based power, it lasts only as long as the object of reference is there. If you have a certain title - if you’re president of the country or chairman of a corporation - or if you have a lot of money, the power you enjoy goes with the title, with the job, with the money. Ego Based power will only last as long as those things last. As soon as the title, the job, the money go, so does the power.
Self-power, on the other hand is permanent because it is based on knowledge of the Self. And there are certain characteristics of self-power. It draws people to you, and it also draws things that you want to you. It magnetizes people, situations, and circumstances to support your desires. This is also called support from the laws of nature. It is the support that comes from being in a state of grace. Your power is such that you enjoy a bond with people, and people enjoy a bond with you. Your power is that of bonding - a bonding that comes from true love."
by Deepak Chopra From The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
The only cautions I would have with what Deepak Chopra has to say is 1) coming from your Self, a person has all feelings..that is all feelings including feelings like pain and healthy anger. Emotions such as rage, however do not come from our authentic self. Rage is a cover up for another feeling, often a feeling of helplessness or deep pain. Jealousy also does not come from our authentic Self as it is quite happy with who it is. But we do not deal with these emotions by pretending they are not there. We deal with them by acknowledging them and staying still a moment looking within to see what the feeling is that is underneath them. In this way helpful therapy by not denying our experience helps us to be in touch with our own genuineness and when we are we discover that what is there at the deepest level within us is love.
unfortunately being in this world it is unlikely that many if any of us would be able to stay in this Self or state of consciousness all the time. It is also important that people do not get an idea of trying to be something they are not. His description of Self describes it operating in optiminum conditions. Basically it is a feeling Self which has complete autonomy over itself but no desire to control others. We all have this within us, and helpful therapy will respect that, knowing that life is a journey and helping us find our own way to where we are wishing to go!
I would also recommend reading Person-centred Counselling: Therapeutic and Spiritual Dimensions (Counselling & Psychotherapy Series) Brian Thorne. Brian Thorne is a Christian but it is clear from this book that his Christianity is far more based on a spiritual level rather than on a religious one. In this book he clearly shows how he believes in the inner goodness and original goodness of mankind and how his work continually re-inforces this.