Excerpts About Shell
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 43 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 219 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 306 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 365 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 561 • discuss »
The Void, p. 136 • discuss »
In the process of working through our narcissism, we come to realize that to present an image of ourselves, instead of the immediate presence of who we are, regardless of how faithful it is to the original, is to be fake and to live a phony life. It is the life of the empty shell, a life without authenticity, without fundamental truth. This understanding of the sense of being phony that is universally associated with narcissism is more fundamental than that offered by the theories of depth psychology. It demonstrates that phoniness is inherent to the life of ego. It is not only a quality of pathological narcissism or what is called the “false self”; it is intrinsic to the experience of the self in the conventional dimension of experience. The fakeness is simply more obvious in pathological narcissism because the shell is more exposed. The manifestation of the empty shell, with its attendant sense of falseness, tends to arise before the breakdown of the mirror transference, and hence is not dependent upon this breakdown. Becoming aware of the shell results from becoming less identified with the layers constituting the structure of self-identity.
The totality of the processes in the work of self-realization leads to the revelation of the inner reality of this structure. So the empty shell may manifest before or during the breakdown of the idealizing transference, but more definitely after this breakdown and the consequent resolution of the need for support. Several factors may affect the awareness of the empty shell. The breakdown of the idealizing transference destroys the main support for the self-identity structure. The arising essential support, in the experience of the Diamond Will, puts a pressure on this structure for it supports the true identity of Essence, and not ego structure.
The Point of Existence, p. 307 • discuss »
Experiencing the hurt for not being seen as a wound is not merely a metaphor. The student actually feels wounded, not only in the emotional sense, but literally, almost physically, as is clear in Nyland’s report. The wound feels like a cut in the chest, as a gash, as if one’s heart were physically wounded. There is the physical sensation of a painful cut, and this sensation of pain is inseparable from the emotional feeling of hurt. The emotion and the sensation comprise one state, an emotional wound that feels like a rip which hurts emotionally. This gash is not actually in the physical body; it is a cut in the shell, a rip in the structure of self-identity. The shell is beginning to disintegrate as a result of the loss of the mirroring. The wound is the sign of the threat to the cohesion of this structure. In fact, any narcissistic disturbance involves some level of breakdown in the structure of identity. Unempathic or insensitive responses from the environment affect the self like a stab of a knife. We actually feel stabbed, pierced, cut to the core. We naturally feel great resistance to experiencing this wound. We are terrified of falling apart, of losing the integrity of our sense of self, of disintegrating and disappearing. No wonder we feel we need mirroring for the preservation of the integrity and cohesion of this self-structure. The glue that keeps this structure together is missing at this point. This is literally true, almost physically true.
The Point of Existence, p. 311 • discuss »
A certain shell arises at this level of the process; it is reminiscent of the fakeness and emptiness experienced in dealing with the Essential Identity, but there are significant differences. We experience the fakeness not only in ourselves, but everywhere. We feel fake and empty, empty of anything real and significant, and we also feel that everything around us is empty and lacks fullness. We first feel the empty shell as a contraction around the body, as a membrane that separates us from the rest of the world, reflecting the structure of self-entity. Further investigation reveals that the shell is not really separate from others—it is an extension of a larger and universal shell that includes everyone. When we finally experience the shell completely, we feel like part of a universal shell that includes the whole universe. In other words, we see that what we have been seeing as the world—both animate and inanimate—is actually empty and devoid of fullness, nourishment, or significance. This reflects the loss of the non-differentiated self, the state of the soul in which the self and the object world are not yet differentiated in experience. This shell is not only our personal empty self, but the perception of everything as empty and devoid of substance. We perceive that the whole world is only an appearance; everything is only a shell that has no inner truth or reality. Our empty shell is part of a larger shell that includes everything. There is nowhere to go; a painful and deficient emptiness is everywhere. This stage is difficult to go through, especially when there is no experienced guide who can hold the experience as a legitimate part of the process of self-realization.
The Point of Existence, p. 402 • discuss »
When the Absolute is realized, is really established, you can see the whole universe emerge again, but in a more real, more living, more organic way. The mind comes back, but comes back in true thinking. For the first time, you understand what thinking is. The thinking, the mind that we
thought was a problem for spiritual realization—which it was—is now redeemed and functions in a real way. We realize that there is true thinking, liberated mentation, in which the thoughts themselves are an expression of love and peace and harmony. Then there is true feeling. There is true action. True thought. All redeemed. The dream of the human soul is to live in the real world, with joy and compassion, with harmony and peace and love. The dream of the human soul is to live a human life where life, world, and what is thought of as spiritual aren’t separate. We don’t liberate ourselves by leaving the world. We liberate ourselves by living the world. So it’s as if the shell is redeemed. The shell that is the ego, the empty shell, the fake one, is redeemed as the soul. When we see that the ego is not separate, when we recognize its original sin, the shell becomes connected, continuous with the whole. And that very shell, now made of essence and love and truth, we now realize is the soul. In the Christ perspective, the shell that is the apparent world, the empty world, the fake world, is resurrected as the Cosmic Logos, the true living world, the universal soul.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 303 • discuss »