Levels of Self

In books today you will find many references to the “Levels of Self” (my term) that we have inside each of us.  For instance, the Levels of Self that authors usually describe include emotional, mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual.  When you hear these terms from an author, it is usually in regards to finding peace or “our center” in each of these levels.  In other words, finding emotional peace, mental peace, psychological peace, physical peace, and spiritual peace as separate and distinct actions.  In many ways, there is a tacit understanding that there is some kind of ranking, whereby the emotional level is at the bottom of the pile and spiritual is at the top.

As far distinguishing between the Levels of Self, for me, the physical level is easy to separate from the pack.  But the rest of these seem like they can all squish together into one big Thing (and honestly, I can sometimes see “physical” squishing in there too).

It’s difficult for me to tease out the various strands as they are conceived and proposed by the notion of Levels.  For instance, let’s say I’m happy.  Going down the list…  is happy emotional?  I’d say yes.  Is it mental?  Um, I’m not sure.  Is it psychological?  Probably.  Is it physical?  It could be.  And how about spiritual?  I would generally say yes.

Great.  But where does that really leave me?  What do I know now that I didn’t before?  How are these Levels of Self helpful to us?  What do they enable us to do (visualize, conceptualize, act?) that we would not be as able or prepared to do if it weren’t for the Levels of Self schema?

I guess what I end up thinking is that, for me at least, these Levels aren’t so much stratified layers with a hierarchy, as much as simply components that seem to fit together (and overlap) to make us Whole.

I would say maybe more of a pie shape.  But don’t ask me whether all the slices are the same size, or whether “emotional” gets it’s own piece or shares part of the psychological slice.  All I know is pie seems to fit better.  All the slices being peers in a way.  Maybe they’d be a cherry pie.  No, blueberry.  A blueberry pie with lots of good crusty love on the top (and maybe a little ice cream, too).

If you have thoughts about this “Levels of Self” hierarchy, like how you see it or whether it’s helpful or not, drop me a line.  I’d like to hear what you think.  Or also about pie.  I’d like to hear about pie too :).

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Till next time.