Awareness is aware of itself both globally and at every point within itself. It is simultaneously fully aware and collapsing to a point at every point. And further, that point is expanding back out again in every moment. This collapsing and expanding in every moment is the very breath of life. Our natural growth process reflects this too. We collapse into a point of apparent individuality and then expand back out again in enlightenment.
From the perspective of a body or person, we experience from one of those points. The intellect then distinguishes here from there and the I-sense arises. I experience from here and am separate from there.
This I-sense or ahamkara is natural. It becomes embodied during childhood as a process of separating self from mother and objects. The trouble arises when we lose wholeness and become identified with the body-mind alone. With insufficient experience of our global nature, we don’t outgrow this stage. Instead, we get stuck, identified with our individuality. Even standard psychological models of ego development illustrate how most people get stuck part way along. That’s where practices like meditation come in.
The identified ego has a 3-part dynamic. On the surface, there is the concept of a me with various stories to support that. Ego feels in control by having an explanation for everything. Driving that energetically is emotions. And beneath that is the unconscious grasping of the core identity: head, heart, gut.
With awakening, Self (global awareness) wakes up to itself through this point. This means we see through the story of a me. Global awareness wakes up to itself in the point value. With the unpacking and healing that follows, the emotional drivers of the me-concept wind down. Then the core identity can become conscious and be released – often with the Unity shift or somewhat later.
It takes time to wind down the habits of an ego. Each role we play has layers of associated stories. Many stories have reactive energetic drivers behind them. And there are the subtle shoulds and musts of an identity. The body itself also carries some of our resistance to what is, plus assorted behavioural habits from living under ego-identification.
As ego is about self and other, it is dualistic and divides us from the world. In its own efforts at self-protection, it also divides us from source. (although it’s loss of awareness of source that leads to ego identification, not the other way around)
This combination of dynamics causes various internal conflicts. For example, our protective drives pull us back from connecting to others while our emotional and social needs call for connection. Our mind judging others wrong to make self right also alienates us from people.
Similarly, we have a desire to be seen and recognized while simultaneously may have a desire to find safety in being “invisible” and unnoticed. The second is common with introverts and sensitives but even more so for empaths.
This is not to be taken lightly. Life with an identified ego polarizes us and creates conflict within and with the world. As Yoga tells us, “opposing the activity of nature” is one cause of suffering. Ego’s tendency to resist pain and grasp at pleasure continues the conflict.
The world plays on this too. Advertising tries to convince us we are entitled to things we can’t afford. Soldiers are trained to depersonalize the enemy and sacrifice themselves for country. Media cultures biases and “truth” has become highly subjective and often polarizing. Confirmation Bias causes us to ignore what disagrees with our stories.
Ironically, many try to fight conflict. But how is conflict going to end conflict? Anti-war is another form of war.
The way to end conflict and find peace is to disentangle from the source if it – the identified ego. And the way we do that is to discover who we really are, underneath the drama and conflict. This awakening from the ego is profound enough to be called a rebirth or second birth. It is a new beginning in a new way of being which leads to further upgrades.
I recently turned 10. (laughs)