Excerpt About Conditioning
Representations are the stuff of ordinary knowledge, which means the identity ends up being part of ordinary knowledge, not basic knowledge. This means the soul will know herself through representational knowledge. Representational knowledge, especially through memories, is bound to be an indirect knowing. To indirectly know ourselves means, by definition, that we do not know ourselves as presence; to know ourselves as presence is nothing but to know ourselves directly and immediately. The hallmark of our essential presence is immediacy and directness. The development of the ego sense of identity means the loss of this immediacy, which is again a dissociation of the soul from her essential ground. Furthermore, the overall self-representation, with all of its underlying ego structures, patterns the soul by impressing her field with the content of her history. The past ends up determining the forms the soul experiences in herself, conditioning her dynamic creativity to flow in largely predetermined grooves. This again means the soul’s experience of herself is not immediately in the present, but mediated through past experience. This is both a mediation through the past, and a direct loss of the immediacy of the experience of the present moment. Essential presence is both an immediacy of consciousness and a completely present centered consciousness of oneself. This again dissociates the soul’s experience from her essential ground of presence.