Excerpt About Self Image

Dissolution of the Self-Image

The final outcome of the process of disidentification is the experience of the dissolution of the psychic structure or self-image. This is the experience of space, of what is sometimes called the void—when self-image is dissolved, the person will experience the loss of boundaries, both physical and mental. The nature of the mind is then revealed as an emptiness, a void, an immaculately empty space. The void and the absence of the identifications that form the psychic structure are the same thing. There are various depths and levels of empty space. We can say that the beginning of the void is the absence of identification with the self-image. There is self-image but there is no identification with it. What results is the inner sense of expansion and spaciousness. Then, at a deeper level, the self-image is gone, dissolved. There is only the experience of empty open space, which is boundless, clear, and crisp. The focus is not on the content of the mind but on the spacious emptiness that is its nature. However, this is not yet the deepest level. There might still be identification with an image, but unconsciously. Parts of the self-image might remain in the unconscious. These will surface, in time, and the experience of space will be lost. Dis-identifying with these aspects of the self-image until they dissolve will deepen the experience of space. So we see that the experience of the void does not necessarily require the end of self-image or of the personality. It means only that during the experience the personality is not there, is not running the show. This experience is of the utmost importance, for it shows us that we are not the personality. It creates room for expansion and essential development.

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