Excerpt About Developmental Psychology

The Sense of Being an Entity is Not Intrinsic to the Self

It is difficult to become aware of the actual soul directly. We usually experience it through its manifestations; the self is always present in the manifestation because the manifestation is simply a particular form of it. So it is difficult to know the self itself because we are usually focused on the form of its manifestation. To become directly conscious of the manifestation of self as an entity is unusual. The sense of being an entity is so basic that we naturally believe it to be intrinsic to what we are, and not an acquired perception. Indeed, although developmental psychology has demonstrated that this sense is a developmental achievement, it is assumed to be not a pattern that is formed, but a reality that is recognized in the course of development. The view is that the sense of being an entity is an intrinsic quality of the self, although to experience it and identify with it is a developmental achievement. In the deeper dimensions of spiritual awareness, however, the sense of being an entity is seen quite clearly to be not intrinsic to the self. One sees clearly that it is an acquired pattern. The sense of being an entity is the most general aspect of the self-representation. It can arise clearly in awareness and be questioned experientially only at deep levels of understanding the nature of the self;

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