Excerpt About Self

Four Categories of Self-Experience

We have now differentiated four categories of self-experience: self (or soul), entity, individuality, and identity. Soul is the totality of the human being, primordially a wholeness. In self-realization we recognize it as the experiencing consciousness. In the dimension of conventional experience the soul experiences itself as an entity. This sense of entity is the basis of the self experiencing itself as an individuality. The self, as an individuality, can recognize itself directly because it possesses an identity, which it experiences as the feeling of identity. These concepts are the basic and most general patterns of the experience of the self in the dimension of conventional experience. They are the primary experiences, or psychic structures, of the normal self. We have delineated them so precisely because such precision is necessary for completely understanding narcissism and self-realization. The self-representation influences the self by patterning its experience such that it knows itself as an entity with a separate individuality, which has an identity. This is the result of the development of the self as the self-representation is established in early childhood.

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