Excerpts About Ego Identity
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 44 • discuss »
The Void, p. 9 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 52 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 93 • discuss »
So ego identity is seen to originate in this time of undifferentiated dual unity. In fact, the deepest aspects of the personality are seen to go back to this undifferentiated state of the ego. The personality began to be absorbed particularly at that time, between two and ten months of age. In fact, undifferentiation, or merging, is necessary for this absorption of the qualities of the personality. Personality, then, begins with the child's identification with the qualities that the child experiences through merging with the environment. During the merged condition of the symbiotic stage, the child has no conception of what is his and what belongs to the environment represented by the mother. There is still no concept of self and other. This is the meaning of dual unity. So a feeling that might originate in the mother could end up as the child's. The child experiences the feeling because of the merged condition. If in time he identifies with it, it becomes his. In fact it becomes part of his developing personality.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 110 • discuss »
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.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 127 • discuss »
It is possible to see that the process of cathecting the body in the initial stages of ego development is really a matter of focusing Cosmic Consciousness on the body to the extent of feeling and behaving as if one’s consciousness comes from the body. But consciousness is consciousness, and personal consciousness owes its conscious capacity to this aspect of Being. The end result of cathecting the psychophysical organism is, as we have seen, the development of ego identity based on the body. One forgets that he is a boundless conscious presence, and comes to believe that he is a body that has personal consciousness. This insight, that one is basically a conscious presence, but mistakenly takes oneself to be an individual based on the body, is part of some of the old teaching traditions.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 434 • discuss »
At some point we can perceive that the inner child, the ego, the ego identity,the emotional self, the mind, the false personality, the observer, the doer, the actor, the one who resists, and the one who hates, are actually all one. They’re just different faces of the same thing that we call personality, appearing in different forms depending on the situation. We have seen that Essence is a substantial presence, but we are surprised when we realize that it is not only Essence that is substantial; the personality itself is a substantial existence. You can observe that even your personality itself is a material. It has an inner substance. It is true that there are thoughts and feelings and sensations connected to it, but at some point you feel your personality as a kind of presence. It doesn’t have the sense of immediate reality and freshness, the sense of truthfulness, brilliance, and luminosity of Essence; in fact, it is usually felt as a thickness, a dullness, a heaviness. But personality is not just a collection of thoughts; it exists as its own kind of material or medium.
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 4 • discuss »
In the process of inquiry into our sense of self, we first see how our soul is patterned by past impressions. Such impressions perpetuate the past, with its conflicts and ignorance, as patterns of identity and character. Then we recognize that the past continues in representations, which first appear as images and object relations taken from past experiences. Going to the dimension of pure presence, we recognize that these images and representations are composed of reifications, of both basic and ordinary forms of knowledge. Pure presence penetrates these representations by showing that they are reifications, revealing the omnipresence that underlies and constitutes all forms. Yet the tendency toward reification does not disappear, though it may diminish a great deal. The separate self will continue to arise, less rigid and opaque. When true nature presents its nonconceptual dimension, we begin to detect a deeper source of this sense of self. We see that the soul cannot be completely free from the shell of reifications because as long as there are concepts available to it the mind will reify them to create such a shell. Nonconceptual presence exposes the ego identity, the shell of the separate self, as composed not only of reifications but of concepts. We realize that every time we recognize ourselves, even when the recognition is basic and immediate knowing, the mind takes the concepts of this recognition and builds reifications that then coalesce into the shell of ego.
Inner Journey Home, p. 345 • discuss »