I used to write regularly about the 3 am-egos, what Adyashanti called head, heart, gut.
Essentially, with Self Realization the me-concept (head) ends when the Self wakes up to itself through the apparent person. The mind goes quiet for a moment and the Self recognizes itself under the noise.
Another way to frame me-concept is ego identification. Mind identifying its self-sense with our individuality. When the mind settles, it’s seen through because it’s mind-made.
As we settle into Self Realization (even sometimes prior), we discover energetic drivers behind those self-concepts. Even though we’ve stopped believing in our old me-idea, life events may still trigger the emotions behind the supporting concepts. That can bring those self-concepts back up again, even though they’re no longer identified. Our history remains.
This is like samskaras and vasanas. The first are the habitual patterns, in this case of the mind. The vasanas are the drivers that trigger the patterns. Both need to be resolved for the patterns to fade.
From a more neutral place, we can observe the stories and emotions arising and allow them to complete. They fall away.
Some have compared this release to a barbecue as the solar plexus chakra is the fire centre. There can be a sense of roasting our localized I-sense on a deeper level, our given name identity.
The gut release can set the stage for the Unity shift.
However, the shifts are parallel to but not tied to these releases. This means the shifts can happen without them. And that means unresolved ego issues can still be in play in higher stages.
I’ve also written about a 4th level when the process reaches down into the root and a deeper embodiment in Brahman. And I’ve written on the inner child. However, I’ve now realized the two are connected.
The child-self is founded in the lower chakras. It doesn’t disappear as we grow and shift to a mind orientation during our school years. Rather, it gets covered up as the later layers develop over top of it.
This is what the third chakra guardian is protecting. But while it likes to feel it protects the child-self (not really), it doesn’t shield us from the child-self acting out.
We experience this as irrational emotions and needs. The child-self is about the root and second chakras. This is being, survival, and emotions; our primitive and limbic brains. It is pre-rational, so cannot be appealed to by reason and the mind. It’s looking for its needs to be met.
Because it’s emotional, it has a lot of power behind it. It will show up in urges and cravings around things like food, love, sex, touch, fun, safety, and security. (Those vasanas again.)
You may notice an overlap with the Love Languages, the way adults may give and expect love from others. This is a lower love, driven by needs. It’s often unconscious, leading to discord and blaming the partner when the unconscious needs are not being met. As they’re unconscious, we don’t know what it is we’re missing, only that we feel a lack or loss that we associate with our partner. Perhaps they gave us gifts when courting, but then stopped, for example.
There are a lot of reasons many people have a hurt child in there, carefully protected but shadowing our experience of life. Challenges to our well-being – real or imagined – lead to unresolved needs.
Even if hardship and injustice were not visited on us as children, unresolved trauma can be passed down energetically, ancestrally, or through karma.
When we’re young, we’re like energetic sponges, soaking up our environment so we can fit in. But we’re not yet discriminating the good and the bad, so we take it all in. Much becomes part of our makeup and supports or shadows us.
As we step into a family at birth, it’s said we gain the gift of a life for sharing part of the ancestral burden.
Later, even though discrimination comes online, those needs often remain unconscious in the lower centres. Their influence remains. We still come in to relationships with unconscious expectations, still handle stress in some unconscious ways, and so forth.
However, if we do the work, transcend, and clean house, the unconscious gradually becomes conscious and we see even the deepest shadows.
This can seem such a long trudge, but each step you make is another step up in quality of life. The healing stretches out to cover not just yourself but your loved ones, community, ancestors, and progeny – sometimes for generations. The more of us that are healing, the smoother the process gets, and the easier it is for everyone.
For us Boomers on a spiritual path, it’s taken decades. But those coming up behind us, not so much. Storms or not, the sun is rising. 🙂