I’ve spoken here before about the “3 am-egos“, the 3 layer structure of the sense of individual self. In our culture, we typically speak of “self” in terms of our body. We are encouraged to be very body-centric as this lower expression of ourselves is very sensate. It loves experiences of things. So we spend to experience and to own. This is good for the economy, but not much else. (laughs)
|Based on a Photo by M.V. Jantzen|
This is not ego, it is ego’s identification with body. And what does our culture, what does science make of feelings? Of the mind? Of our sense of self? Much of this is left out of the equations as its too vague for a person too closely identified with the physical world. It requires a little introspection to realize we’re much more than this “meat suit”, as James Ray puts it.
However, if we try to point to the location of the ego, we’re challenged. Some suggest its “in the head”, others the gut. And what of the mind and feelings? Usually people will gesture to the head and heart but is your mind inside your skull? Do you always feel in the heart? What of a ‘pain in the neck’, or a ‘gut feeling’? What of an idea that seems to originate in the torso? And where are our memories stored? These are basic to our experience of life, yet remain outside the box of our culture.
In fact, our feelings and thoughts originate in fields. Our memories are stored in fields. They are not physical things but rather pre-physical or what might be called meta-physical. (though that word is loaded) The feelings arise in a field structure around the whole body, what some call auras. The mind is an even more subtle and larger field, also surrounding the body. Fewer people can see mind fields. And then more subtle than that is the fields of awareness that give rise to the mind, then feelings, then pre-physical, then matter itself. Each are progressively more dense and expressed.
We tend to identify with mind in the head as thats the source of some of the energy that drives it. We tend to identify feelings with the heart or gut for the same reasons. But both surround the whole body and and interact with it throughout. The brain is better understood as a kind of transponder. An interface, if you like.
It is commonly thought that the brain gives rise to awareness. Progressively more complex brains have evolved to the point where awareness becomes self-aware. However, its the other way around. Consciousness has evolved and developed more complex interfaces for expressing itself into the world. I’m not saying this as a point of philosophy but of experience. Quite simply, this is reality, from this perspective. And its one shared by many people through the ages and in the present. In many ways, as observed here, it is a much better and more satisfying and inclusive perspective. But I digress…
Even in understanding this structure of consciousness, mind, feelings and body, there still remains the enigma of where is the ego? It has no location as it doesn’t have any real existence. We could accurately say it is a figment of our imagination, but its more useful to describe the ego as an idea of the mind. An idea we develop naturally but then fail to outgrow. I talk about that elsewhere here.
When we see the ego full on, we see through it and the ego “dies”, the idea is seen as incorrect (crazy even) and is as if forgotten. (amazing how quickly we forget how we once were)
The core identity is the same way. It is sensed more in the gut, where its fear energy is sustained. But it remains simply a resistance to what is. Again, once it is seen, it is seen through and the fear resolved and dissipated. Like many other resistances, it simply must be experienced to be resolved.
The point of this post though is that it is decentralized. There is a core ego idea. And there is a core identity. But they are surrounded in the field by supportive stories and ‘infrastructure’ to sustain the illusion. This is why when people first wake up, they often have a period of time after loss of the ego resolving all the previously unseen noise and stories that have been playing in the background. Of course, there are always some who have done the work and simply step through the door and into being. But as Adyashanti and others observe, most people who awaken have some of what I call “ego shrapnel” to toss out. Different teachers have different names for it.
These support stories, the things we tell ourselves about ‘how it is’ are to sustain the illusion. What a complex web we weave. That’s one of the aspects of the ego most noticeable; it constantly has to retell its stories and look to the experience for events that reconfirm the stories to keep them alive. Not unlike a compulsive liar you may have met. Such a colossal waste of energy!
The same thing happens with the dropping of the identity in the second waking. The core identity is seen, the fear is experienced and resolved (Adya calls this the BBQ), and the whole sense of “I” is lost. (in time it returns as the cosmic) There is now no “other”. But that core identity also usually has a remaining support network of fears. Fears that have been deeply sub-conscious for a very long time. (as in thousands) But because the hub is gone, they are much weakened and simply await their resolution with awareness.
Whats notable is how these deep sub-conscious blobs of fear roil. Like a pot of water, just before it boils. They are really lively, constantly generating signals. Before, the emotional and mental bodies would pick up on this and act accordingly, run by the unknown “dark side”. The “sub-conscious”. But as we take the ego off-line, then awaken the heart, the core identity begins loosing things to drive. It’s left thrashing in its on little vat of pointless pain. Pain that arose in the process of a drop in consciousness in the drop of time. (the cycles of awareness) Pain that cannot be experienced fully and thus ends up buried until the awakening process. (my we live in a fine time for life!)
In either waking, it can be a curious dichotomy to have these bits of individual habit floating around in a field of being or oneness. It typically takes some time to swab the decks.
Hope I didn’t dash any of your dreams of instant enlightenment. (laughs) Awakening is a process, not a goal. Indeed, it is the beginning of real life. The start of a whole new learning about whats really up. And a whole new progression of opening, of expansion, of fullness. But now rooted in peace and happiness, in a far more vast world of potential.