The Hawaiian Concept of the Three Selves

Posted to Subscribers on 25 October 2009


Dear Subscribers,

Morrnah Simeona used to talk about the three selves as a sort of pyramidal structure of the psyche, all powered by the unihipili at the bottom. If the unihipili did not supply the juice, nothing further up worked, but the unihipili works mostly below the level of consciousness. It is instinctual and emotional and often presumed not to mature much beyond the behavior normally associated with a five or six year old. So, it is the equivalent of the inner child, but personally I do not believe this self is incapable of more adult-like expression. Perhaps like everything else, this might depend on the recognition, validation, respect, and encouragement offered. The way Morrnah drew the pyramid suggested that though the unihipili occupied only the first row or two of the pyramid, the base was enormous so it had everything necessary to power the rest of the pyramid. According to her teachings, when the unihipili is consulted and properly related to the rest of the psyche, we would always be in the flow and therefore also going the right direction. We would also know friend from foe, truth from falsehood, and healing from hurtful. Unfortunately, for many today, the tables have been turned and we are relying on outside information to direct us. It's both no wonder that so many are suffering . . . and no wonder that the power elite trivialize the significance of the subconscious. Their ability to control depends on the manipulation of the mind because it — apparently — is easily deceived whereas other parts of our psyche are more sincere and incorruptible.

Disease originates in the unihipili and has also to be cured from this level. Part of the reason for disease is that the illness is a symbolic manifestation of a discomfort in the unihipili. The subconscious is nonverbal and thus has to express itself through emotions, sensations, and sometimes more dramatic attempts to draw attention where it is needed. In a bizarre sense, disease is thus an opportunity to forge a more harmonious relationship with the subconscious, find out what it perceives as necessary and make the required modifications in life style or attitude.

In the middle of the pyramid and occupying all but the base and top is the uhane, also known as the middle self or conscious self. This is the part of ourselves that is objective and rational. It is also the part that operates in the now, often without reference to the past or future, and the part that is most easily indoctrinated by what passes for reality in the third dimension. That reality is, of course, precarious because it is consensus reality and new information tends to shift the consensus. I am saying this because there is an enormous effort to build consensus. For instance, how much effort goes into the global warming thesis or the pandemic scare/scam, the peak oil scenario, the dollar debacle, or any other prevailing wind? These "realities" are not necessarily real much less carved in stone. In fact, they are merely thought fashions and they persuade and entrain only to a limited extent, this depending mainly on the winds that are blowing other directions, but also the support of the unihipili. In short, whether there is Obamamania or Obamaphobia depends almost entirely on how the media covers the "story" — and to the extent that the story is spin, the relationship between the uhane and unihipili acts in a manner that fails to support the reality. Thus, whether or not Humpty Dumpty or any other current reality falls depends not on the spin but the relationship of the spin to the subconscious take on the spin. In a curious sort of way, we then have the opportunity to experience the full measure of reality, but ultimately, this occurs through the invisible and subjective parts of our existence and not the objective.

So, are we crazy to invest so much time and attention to the fuss on the surface? The answer has to be "yes". Yes, we are crazy. We are crazy to believe what others tell us and not what we know for a fact within our own range of experience. We are crazy to give credence to anything in which the purveyor has a vested interest in how we respond to the attempt to influence. Worse, we are crazy to waste countless lifetimes in pursuit of savvy adjustment to the prevailing winds IF there is another wind that would help us to fulfill our destines.

There is a wonderful poem that I have loved above all others:

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

When I first read this, no author was given, but the web seems to attribute the poem to Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1916).

This brings us to the top of the pyramid, the aumakua. This is sometimes translated as higher self, soul, group soul or soul group, guardian angel, or superconscious. I think my bias is in favor of the soul and it is intended to provide the inspiration for the uhane. You can almost think of it as the switch because if the switch is not turned on, there is no juice in the circuits. If this goes on long enough, the lights go out, and we get to go home to our source and refresh our memories of the divine. This results in the demise of the uhane.

Keeping people in fear is a way to volatilize the unihipili in a manner that disrupts the delicate system of interdependencies. People then function as cogs in a wheel, failing to fulfill their destinies and never feeling good about the flow.

We are all mystics. Every time you have a flash, an inspiration, a noble thought, a good intention, you are functioning in the mystical state in which the energy from the soul is flooding your circuits and recharging the batteries of the unihipili. Every time you block that energy, you are giving power to something less worthy. It is really that simple.

Imagine how fast the world would change if 10% of everyone living today were to take one minute to thank the water for quenching our thirst or five minutes for uplifting another person who is dispirited, the world would transform unbelievably fast because the supercharger is really intense!

As an astrologer, I see the symbolism of the three selves in the horoscope. The subconscious or inner child is represented by the Moon, the rational self or ego by the Sun, and the soul by the gateway through which we incarnated, the Ascendant. I have therefore sometimes suggested a little exercise to my students and occasionally to my clients as well. This is to take a while to think about the ideal expression of each of three parts and how they need to work together. Then, go to a really nice card shop and buy one card depicting each. Put these on the table beside your bed, on your desk, by your phone, in the kitchen, wherever you spend time. Try to bring your three selves into harmony with each other. It's not that easy, but it is your destiny is to accomplish this task.

Well, I am reminded now of my age. It might be easier to find suitable pictures online than in a card shop and you can use them as screen savers. Let me give you some tips. We just entered Scorpio, one of the truly complex signs. You might say Scorpio spans everything from hell to transformation, including the snake, the eagle, and the phoenix. It also represents jointly managed money such as funds you do not control unilaterally. How could the management be brought into harmony? It rules sex and procreation as well as degeneration and regeneration. Scorpio as the Moon sign might be complex and conflicted and secretive, wounded, nondivulgent, and inaccessible to others, but Scorpio has an intense desire to relate so breaking through the obstacles to relating is important. In short, you could symbolize Scorpio with the fires of self-recrimination or the fires of transcendence over temptations to live a lesser life. You can symbolize it with serpents crawling on the ground or flying through the sky like Quetzalcoatl or as a family or healer such as Ophiuchus. You could be as abstract as a simple wavy line or a seed of a plant depicting the ability we have to endlessly renew ourselves spiritually and physically. The point is simply to choose something that speaks to a lofty part of yourself and devise a way for that part to work in enthusiastic cooperation with the other two selves. Scorpio as the Sun might indicate the need to be purposeful and to deal with ambiguities and conflicts in order to be clear enough to be focused.

Many blessings,


The Astrology of Healing





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