Excerpt About Development
In spiritual work, we can progress for some time without fully confronting our narcissism. This is because, for at least a few years, our development deals with issues that do not challenge the deeper structures of the self, such as those of self-identity or self-entity. Pursuing the open inquiry involved in our work brings up issues and conflicts related to the superego, neurotic or character conflicts, the pain and defenses related to early abuses of different kinds, and character distortions. The work challenges our inaccurate beliefs and assumptions about ourselves and reality, and exposes issues of separation and individuation, dependence and independence, and so on. Understanding these issues and clarifying the ego structures underlying them connects us to Essence. (See Appendix G) This process goes on for some time, with varying degrees of accomplishment, depending on our endowment and history, until the connection to Essence becomes more or less established. Then, at some point in our process, we are bound to arrive at the understanding that our development is incomplete because we are still identified with the surface of the self, rather than with its core.