In the ancient Greek philosophy there was a belief that behind the personality, and behind the mind, there resided a deep and mysterious core existence within each individual.
The ancient Greeks knew that there had to be something that existed behind the visible commonplace self, and they felt that this part had to be the spark of life that made them live. This inner spark was a radiance that animated and brought vitality to what would have been an inanimate body.
Some believed that this inner spark of life, was locked like a prisoner, within this body of matter, but this deeper part was an eternal principle that was connected to the stars, the earth, all the elements of nature and all that existed.
They believed that this core element, which existed within each person, had to be all-knowing, eternal and immortal because it was connected and a part of all things, especially those things that existed before an individual began life and existed after an individual left their life on earth.
The great thinkers of the past held a respect for this inner part that existed within the self and felt it was worthy of their reverence.
In the ancient schools of learning, there was the belief that it was possible that a person could, under certain conditions, contact this inner self through the use of connections built through their own consciousness.
One of the ancient Greeks, Socrates, developed a rapport with a deeper aspect of himself, through a constant energizing and reinforcing of this concept. We today might call this a thought form, but for Socrates it was a thought pattern representing the highest wisdom.
Socrates was wise enough to realize that the wisdom of one day might be the folly of the next. That our earth wisdom is very transitory, we know that there is something we call wisdom, but it can change in appearance at any moment.
Socrates realized that while mortal people did not have the ability, within their consciousness, to grasp the eternal, unchanging ultimate reality that he believed was the backdrop of our transitory reality, that there had to be an all-wise aspect within us that did have this capability. This important key is that once you have the awareness that something greater can exist beyond your conscious self, your striving upward, and desiring to reach something greater, allows your higher essence to come through to you in a clearer channel.
Socrates created the image of a wise inner teacher that had all-knowledge and understanding. This image was a symbol of his own making that represented all that he had learned, and represented the source of an inner-instruction which flows from the deepest part within the self.
It was discovered that once this image is created within the consciousness, something is released into ‘our objective life from the great subjective storehouse of potential which is within all of us.’
So the ancient philosophers who used this tool, did everything possible to transform their common nature into a teacher likeness, and they depended upon the higher principles that they received, to live a good philosophical life of the highest reason and integrity. When we build an image of a wise inner nature, many of the mental and emotional problems become lessened as we resonate more to this superior self which is an exalted aspect of our own nature.
Socrates stated that when he was about to do something that was not in the highest integrity, or safe for his physical body, he would hear from this inner teacher. Socrates also said that he did not hear from his inner teacher when he had made some decision that was representing the highest good.
Socrates was very wise but this inner teacher can be created by anyone. Yours might be that well-liked teacher from the fifth-grade or any other figure that you select that seems very wise. Of course it might be any religious figure that you place within the core of your being.
Socrates had a prayer that was shared by Plato, “Grant that I may be beautiful within, and that those external things which I have may be such as may best agree with a right internal disposition of mind; and that I may account him to be rich that is wise and just.”
This concept of the inner teacher came thousands of years before Socrates. It was a belief that in order to have a mystical union with the highest deity, you must conceive of what this mystical union would look like, and because of the ancient belief of similarities, that which we are like, we cannot be greatly separated from.
In our modern times Ralph Waldo Emerson referred to this inner teacher as the Over-Soul and Paul Brunton referred to it as the Overself.
Emerson said, “The Over-Soul in people is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the will.”
“The highest is present to the soul of individuals…spirit creates…behind nature, throughout nature, spirit is present; one and not compounded it does not act upon us from without, that is in space and time, but spiritually, or through ourselves. Therefore, that spirit, that is, the Supreme Being, does not build up nature around us, but puts it forth through us, as the life of the tree puts forth new branches and leaves through the pores of the old.”
Once you’ve acknowledged this inner, wiser, guidance mechanism, you will find under various situations you will begin to act as your wiser inner self would act. “I can only do what I see my higher guidance doing.’ Eventually you are not checking to see what your higher guidance suggests, you’ve become one with your own higher guidance. That God-like part always resides within.
To inspire and empower with love, in love and through love.