Excerpt About Contraction
Awareness occupies a very special place among essential aspects. In a sense, inner development as a whole—the work on both personality and essence—can be seen as the freeing and the expansion of awareness. The reason behind this is that the most basic function of the personality is the reduction of awareness. In fact, the deepest aspect of the personality is a restriction of awareness. The ego identity, which normally is called the self, exists on the deepest level as a contraction of awareness, a restriction of consciousness. To say it more accurately, the ego identity (the I) as a structure is on the deepest level a hole of awareness, or a deficiency of awareness, because of the loss of intrinsic and basic awakeness. This is the deepest and most defended hole in the personality. This deepest hole in the personality, around which its identity is structured, is the avoidance (the loss) of the awareness of death. More accurately, the personality does not understand death, and it avoids the perception of its possibility and its existence. It is terrified of death because it means its own annihilation. We are not referring here to the death of the body, although the personality cannot conceive of any other kind of death because of its identification with the body. We mean the experience of nonexistence, which is the absence of experience. But this nonexistence is the deepest nature of the personality, its very center.