However, I didn’t find his terminology as useful. For example, he described the loss of the ego with waking, then it’s return as an egoless ego further along. While I appreciate that the English language is lacking good terminology for spiritual development, that does not add to clarity.
The way I would describe it is as thus:
The infinite wholeness collapses into a point value. What we might describe as a soul or atman. This soul collects a series of experiences that build what might be called habits of outlook. Incomplete experiences, what are often called karma, draw the soul forward into form to complete. The dynamics of action and intention create.
The mechanics for soul into form is through the Samkhya term Ahamkara. This is often translated as ego, but that is only in its identified state. A better term would be person, although I use it more generally than what some may. It is the expressed individualization of soul, the container for experiences.
Within the container of the person is a series of roles we play on the stage of life. The person playing a mate, a worker or boss, a pianist, a builder, a parent, and so forth. As I mentioned in the last article, these roles can also be more meta or archetypal roles we pick up, like ‘rescuing knight’ or ‘princess’.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
— Shakespeare, As You Like It
Awake or not, this continues. With awaking, we are the observer, observing the form and roles at play. While the person may seem to fall away at first, it’s really our identification with/as the person that is dropping.
When we are not awake, the dynamic is different. The sense of person becomes stronger and we identify with our roles and experiences. This creates a sense of personal identity. Fueled by the emotions, this creates the mental concept of being separate, what I refer to as the ego.
Thus when one awakes, the ego falls away, then the identification with roles and the core identity. As Adyashanti observes, waking is instant, but the falling away usually takes time. While the container is hollowed out, the person container still remains.
Thus we are:
Person driven by
We could say Spirit acts through the roles.
How it is seen pre-waking:
Identified roles in an
covering the soul
It is me playing a role. When the identifications fall away enough, we are spirit-me playing a role. Same process, simply on a much larger stage. As above, so below.