KNOW THYSELF XX
THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN BEING AND THE PERSONALITY
Being (spirit self, I AM) is a state, a resonant experience of wholeness as quality, subjective, and intimate. Pure perception without content; I simply Am.
This is difficult to grasp or appreciate in our everyday reality.
Intuitively we fall into this state when in love, reverie or meditation; all fine perception is heightened. Millions of delicate, invisible, and receptive antennae spread into infinity, highly sensitive of space itself. It is about motion and quality.
However Being is not equipped for three-dimensional existence. In order to accumulate experience in energy management of different sorts, a form is required, a structure that enables it to connect with and distinguish itself from its surroundings. The body provides such a form, and through it personality develops. These are almost the same thing, manifesting both the visible and subtle structure that surrounds Being.
In the same way that Being needs a form, Consciousness requires a focal point of awareness through which to manage vitality as it weaves its innumerable textures of experience in matter. Usually, the human being is concerned with physical stimuli and evaluation, and other than to ignite the primary tool of perception – body and personality – awareness is limited.
A person accepts itself as an identity bearing a name, carrying habits and wearing a body, something like a psycho-physical memory bank of reflexes. It has little awareness that the “I” and the faculties, powers, attributes it handles are separate phenomena. We become our world, defined by what we have done, witness, and see through the senses. Impressions become perceptive filters.
Everything surrounding us is shaped, identified and managed through the filters of the personal I as it coalesces into a personality. The senses, faculties, powers and abilities are projected through this focus, according to cultural and linguistic programming, and the filters persist as long as the central reference remains fixed on itself, its surrounding world or reality.
Most people live this way forever.
The Process of Distillation
Some people intuit that life is a lot more; they yearn for the original experience of Being.
Inner Alchemy addresses itself to connecting with this original state in full Consciousness, including everyday awareness. Carefully removing the veils surrounding perception, rather than seeking to change outer reality, the purpose is to identify personal attitudes and predispositions. Once vitality is freed from limiting forms, in sensitivity, there is a greater capacity for discernment and management.
We discover that our functions are enabled by physical vitality, learning the difference between energy and force, and recognising that we are actively engaged in creation and qualification all the time. Layers of constructed imagery appear superimposed upon a greater Reality. There are no labels in the inner worlds. All is discerned by frequency rather than meaning.
Care is taken to distinguish physical from emotional sensations. Both are sensed in the body. Physical sensation tends to be denser and emits pulsations, whereas emotional sensitivity ebbs and flows in circuits extending from the body. Mental sensations are more difficult to perceive, because they are closely linked to heavier physical and emotional sensibilities. We learn that the mind works through conditioned response and activates or directs the quality of sensation. Its frequency is finer, horizontal, laser like. It image-forming characteristic triggers all other sensitivities.
There are levels and kinds of mental activity. Rational and linear faculties deal with physical data, relationships and tangible things, concerning time and space. The abstract range of intellectual activities occurs beyond the brain, as a separate reality, involving extended sensory activity. Intelligence permeates the entire body and ultra sensory perception embraces all sensitivity at a finer, extra corporeal level.
Faculties and powers are identified, manipulated, and processed by the personal I, the ordinary personality. They are so intricately linked that it is difficult to separate effects from cause. Nevertheless, the subjective Intelligence, the “I” who uses the personality, is very different from the mechanisms of the personality itself. This is the first mayor lesson upon entering the spiritual path. Some people never emerge from their symbiotic relationships with programmed content and meaning.
Experience is limited to the flexibility of ego. Invariably, the seeker repeatedly uses his own personality to work on his personality, further polarising himself. Condemnations, denials, repressions and substitutions take place. No matter how lenient, abstract, or philosophical the attempts may be, there is no distance between this I and the meanings it perceives. Disentanglement entails a long process. Once faculties are distinguished as mechanical dynamics occurring apart from the subject, we are in a position to remove the filters.
Objectivity, in other words true “objective-subjectivity” happens when we transfer identity from the personality and ordinary life, to Consciousness, the state of Being within. We “know” this state of being, capable of understanding and feeling. At first it is experienced as a separate level of awareness, disconnected from ordinary life. At some point, however, we discover that in order to express itself in the world, it needs and uses the very same personality we tried so hard to correct, reformulate, or even eliminate. It brings us the first real taste of joy and liberation.
Personality is a set of reflexes built upon the texture of physical, emotional and mental experience. Each layer, or body, has a vocabulary and a repertoire. This is how the ego-self built its seat of power in the world. As long as we are alive, this compound structure is our only means of interpreting and constructing experience. Spirit is constantly seeking to express itself through it. All that is needed is a shift in awareness.
Tension and Attention
At first, contact with the innermost focus of awareness as the Being-I is incorporeal, idealised. Students tend to place it outside of the body, floating in space, or find it in the center of the chest. It is sensed as intimate, vulnerable, and yet beyond personal emotion. The contrast between being in a normal frame of mind-body activity and being inside this inner depth is formidable.
Ordinary life is riddled with tensions, and so students easily fall back on the mechanics of the personality. A struggle with “time” and “doing” results. Even to reach that lovely space within, an effort needs to be made. Often it creates more tension, more separation. The pressure of time weighs on us, and time means performance, a reversal to the automatism of the personality, losing contact with innermost Self. So, we make time to meditate in time, helplessly finding that we have little or no time for the enjoyment of Being. Eventually, something clicks inside. We discover that we don’t need to do anything and we already are there. We are IT.
Inner Alchemy begins when the student is able to hold his or her attention in both “realities” and functions within them through the instruments of a conscious personality. (See AA link: http://www.lamujerinterior.es/en/the-alchemical-alignment/)
The effort in awareness pays off and finally there is relaxation. The focus or source point of reference shifts into a serene backdrop. Integration between spirit and physical reality is possible. Spirit may avail itself of the personality and its talents as strengths and also preview liabilities. Personality becomes a tool. Now we can clean the windows of perception and use the tool without the accumulated and automatic inferences of the ego.
This is the kind of perception that is able to reach different levels of reality coherently. The quality of the personal I determines the kind of world we create, the beliefs we hold, the constructions we devise, how we are perceived, and what we perceive. When linked to egoism, perception and possibilities involve only the self and our world. When emerging from the center of Being, it is unlimited and powerful.
Right management of personality makes for a successful life in both worlds.