Excerpts About Ego Boundaries
Diamond Heart Book II, p. 168 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 132 • discuss »
The Void, p. 18 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 399 • discuss »
Facets of Unity, p. 105 • discuss »
Facets of Unity, p. 104 • discuss »
Given our understanding of mind as space, we can see then that the separation-individuation process that Mahler speaks of not only builds the psychic structure and gives the individual his sense of identity, but more fundamentally, it accomplishes this by erecting boundaries and fixing them in space. In other words, the process of ego development is a process of bounding space, of building static boundaries in the openness of the mind. It is the carving of structure out of space, and the resulting psychic structure then is simply a structuralized space. This explains very clearly why when self-boundaries are dissolved, space appears. What happens is that the structuralization is dissolved, the boundaries are “melted.” When the structure is melted, the nature of the mind with no structure is revealed, and this is space.
The Void, p. 35 • discuss »
Not only does space correct the distortion of body-image and dissolve the psychological boundaries of the self-image, it ultimately dissolves the self-image as a rigid structure bounding experience. This provides a hint regarding the ontological truth about self-image. Since we see that space makes the body-image objective and realistic, i.e., correcting it according to objective reality, we can assume that it also corrects the self-image according to objective reality. That is, ontologically, self-image is simply boundaries frozen in space, frozen by their cathexis with libidinal energy. When the cathexis is undone, the boundaries dissolve into empty space, which is what actually exists as the nature of the mind. Therefore, we can say that pursuing psychodynamic understanding of the self-image all the way to the end will leave us with, among other things, a real and objective body-image and the experience of the mind as open space.
The Void, p. 52 • discuss »
One’s ego boundaries are so much a part of ordinary perception that one never questions them; the sense of oneself as a separate entity is taken to be an objective and absolutely necessary characteristic of being a living human being. However, the ever-expanding development of the Personal Essence gradually puts pressure, by the mere fact of its presence, on the sense of being an ego individual, exposing the ego individuality as unreal Ignorance of this fundamental difference between Essence and ego in terms of the sense of being a person creates a subtle contraction in the psychophysical apparatus that becomes increasingly obvious as one becomes more familiar with the Personal Essence, This contraction becomes a pressure, a resistance or a sense of constriction against the full presence of the Personal Essence. The lack of clarity causes a confusion in one’s mind between the Personal Essence and the ego individuality; one sometimes takes one for the other. One typically attributes to the Personal Essence characteristics that do not belong to it, but to the ego individuality. Eventually one realizes that he has been attributing to the Personal Essence a sense of boundaries, which separate him from others and from the whole environment. It gradually dawns on him that the Personal Essence has no sense of boundaries at all, no sense of separateness whatsoever; and that the separateness one attributed to it belongs to the ego individuality. One starts to see that there has always been a subtle identification with the sense of separateness with respect to being a person. As we have discussed, the sense of being a separate individual develops through the construction of ego boundaries. The ego individuality always has two characteristics: the sense of being a separate entity, and the sense of self, that is, the feeling of identity that differentiates the entity subjectively from other entities.The sense of separateness is different from the sense of identity. The separateness involves the belief in individual boundaries, while the sense of self, which is like an emotional coloring of the entity,differentiates it from other entities.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 392 • discuss »
Ego boundaries create not only a sense of separateness, but, in a fundamental way, a sense of isolation and lack of contact. ..... This is also a subtle perception, requiring a great deal of disidentification. As we discussed in the section on contact, the individuality of ego feels like a kind of personal contact, but only the Personal Essence can make real, direct contact. Our present discussion of boundaries makes it clear why this is so. It is not only because ego individuality is a mental structure and not a beingness, but also because its very existence is based on its boundaries. These boundaries separate it from the rest of the world much more profoundly than is usually assumed. When one experiences the quality of contact of the Personal Essence, it becomes clear how thoroughly ego is shut off within its boundaries, as if behind walls. It is painfully isolated from true human contact It is common understanding that deep contact requires that one relax, let go of one’s boundaries, and become vulnerable. The essential contact of the Personal Essence is made possible by a complete relaxation of defensive boundaries, a total vulnerability. This immediate, real contact is possible only for a personal presence that does not have the isolating boundaries of ego.This quality of the Personal Essence is mysterious, even miraculous.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 398 • discuss »
Ordinarily, we do not experience the true nature of our souls because we have defined ourselves vis-à-vis the boundaries of our bodies. We have taken these boundaries to define our identity, believing that these physical boundaries are a fundamental and intrinsic aspect of who we are when, in fact, they are the most superficial aspect of who we are. This conviction that the body boundary defines us actually solidifies the sense of separateness by creating a layer of surface tension in the skin. When we actually experience the body boundary, we feel it as tension on the periphery of the body. It is not that physical boundaries don’t exist—if that were the case, there would be no differentiation, no color, no action. They do exist, but not as partitioning walls; seen through the fact of Holy Omniscience, they exist as differentiating outlines, articulating many different tastes, textures, and colors, without obscuring the underlying nature of everything as One. It is as though you have dropped different colors of dye into a fluid; many colors are swirling around, but it is still all the same fluid. One way of putting it is that the boundaries define a difference, but not a separateness. So I am different from you, but I am not separate from you; people are different from each other, but they are not separate from each other. The existence of boundaries, then, does not negate the underlying unity. Boundaries are characteristic of the objective concepts or noetic forms, relevant on the level of creation and existence. Boundaries and the forms they define are characteristics of the thoughts of God, as it were. This is why we call the universe a mind.
Facets of Unity, p. 105 • discuss »