Yea, we know. This one is a bit deeper and more spiritual than our other articles. But life isn’t all looks and swag our beloved readers. There are natural cycles in every living organism’s development. Both at the individual and collective level. This natural process of self-realization is emerging within men. We can sense it. It is the driving force for us and for many others like us to empower men to carry that torch higher than our ancestors did. We believe there are different levels of self-awareness, mind/spiritual awakenings, and self-realization.
So what is self-realization? The short definition is the fulfillment of one’s self. We, Modern Man Advice, define it as the ability to transcend societal narratives and tap one’s essence to reach our full potential.
Self-Realization vs Self-Actualization
There is confusion around the difference between self-realization and self-actualization. They are slightly different but related concepts. As mentioned above self-realization is the fulfillment of one’s self. It is a journey that takes us deep within us and uncovers our unique and powerful characteristics. A journey that inevitably leads us to not only fulfill ourselves but find our true purpose in life. It is a long and hard journey and it does not come easy. There are purpose and beauty in the struggle, the pain life surely has on the road for us.
Self-actualization, on the other hand, is the attainment of one’s capacities and abilities. In layman’s terms, it is the summit of full human maturity as it pertains to one’s full potential. It is often compared to other concepts such as self-reflection, self-realization, and self-exploration. Perhaps the best way to differentiate the two concepts is: Self-realization is an awakening of one’s essence beyond what is tangible. While self-actualization is the fulfillment of one’s talents and qualities.
While the two concepts are closely related, they all are slightly different and cover various angles towards a single purpose: Reach one’s full true potential.
The Western Definiton
To the Western world, self-realization is generally characterized as the activation of one’s full potential when a certain hierarchy of needs is met. This was centered on the idea that the human cannot reach self-realization if certain fundamental needs were not present. This was presented by a Psychologist named Abraham Maslow. If you want to learn more about this study/theory feel free to click here. It states that there are strict and essential requirements for a human to achieve higher levels of existence and fulfillment. As shown in the diagram below:
What this hierarchy order dictates is if one does not have food or water which are labeled as a physiological need, then the next levels of needs are unattainable. Ultimately, self-actualization and subsequently self-realization share the same goal: Reach one’s full true potential.
Self-Realization In Depth
Self-realization beyond psychology, or in other words in a spiritual sense, can be described in more depth. It is the consolidation of the Ego-self (which identifies with one body, one personality, etc) with the Universal-Self. As described at the beginning of this article, self-realization transcends superficial belief systems and taps into more in-depth aspects of our existence. It occurs when you break from the illusion of the self-image of your human body, attributes, personality, and ego. It is the recognition of our essence as waves of the great ocean called existence and the complete merge to the greater powers of consciousness.
A fundamental aspect of the journey of self-realization is the recognition that our existence is a wave in a greater ocean. It is only a manifestation of the greater movement of the ocean which is part of it. However, the realization of its true essence requires merging into the ocean and being one with it. The reason why we strongly feel it transcends various belief systems such as culture, religion, etc is that those systems will only confine and condition you. Perhaps the best way to describe this in a non-western or psychological way is to quote Paramhansa Yogananda in The Essence of Self-Realization:
“Your religion is not the garb you wear outwardly, but the garment of light you weave around your heart. By outward garb, I don’t mean your physical raiment only, but rather the thoughts and beliefs in which you enclose yourself. They are not you. Discover who you are, behind those outer trappings, and you will discover who Jesus was, and Buddha, and Krishna. For the masters come to earth to hold up to every man a reflection of his deeper, eternal Self.“
Why Is Self-Realization Important?
At the surface of what achieving self-realization has to offer is the ability to:
- Have a better understanding of yourself and therefore a deeper connection to your universal self and subsequently develop deeper self-love.
- Have a clearer sense of yourself and therefore increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
- To be fully aware of your thoughts and emotions and therefore maximize self-awareness and mind power.
These are only a few of the many benefits of self-realization but reaching one’s true full potential still lives at its core purpose. But furthermore, it is important because we as humans are reaching a natural stage in our development that requires us to begin a journey toward self-realization. It is significant because to counterbalance the constant battle with modern life’s pain points and struggles we need to tap into one’s essence. We need to transcend the illusion of one self’s image and begin an internal journey toward the universal self.
Self-realization will inevitably guide us to endless possibilities and ultimately collective realization.
The Journey Has Begun: Reach Full Potential
It is worth ending in the same way we began. There are natural cycles in every living organism’s development. Both at the individual and collective level. This natural process of self-realization is emerging within men. We can sense it. It is the driving force for us and for many others like us to empower men to reach new heights. We believe there are different levels of self-awareness, mind/spiritual awakenings, and self-realization.
Modern Man Advice