Excerpt About Weakness
All these observations indicate a direct relationship between individuation and the presence of the Personal Essence. More important for our investigation, there seems to be a relation between the experience of the Personal Essence and ego development, although this relation does not seem to be direct and is certainly not an identity or equivalence. We need to understand this relationship in a way that explains in a satisfactory manner the above observations, and is able to answer the two previous questions. We can get a hint of this relationship by analyzing the processes through which students come upon the experience of the Personal Essence. As we have seen in our case histories, disidentifying with an ego structure often exposes a sense of deficiency, lack or weakness, which is sometimes experienced as an emptiness, or more specifically, an empty hole. Allowing and understanding the deficient emptiness precipitates the emergence of the Personal Essence in consciousness. The most important step for our discussion here, and in fact the most crucial in the whole process, is that of moving from identification with part of the ego structure to the state of deficiency. It is clear in all the cases we have given, as well as in the rest of our experience with students, that this identification, although it gives a sense of identity, is also used for a defensive purpose. It functions partially, in fact primarily, to ward off or cover up the deficiency and its painful affects. When the student abandons the defensive posture, the deficiency is revealed.