Our Person

Our Person

1343x by fish6633
1343x by fish6633

Our evolution is linear, as in stepping through the stages of development, but also cyclic. We have seasons of great experiences, and seasons dominated by cleaning house. It can be hard to find time for rest and clarity when we are focused on accomplishing tasks.

I was recently reminded of how subtle values of identity can resurface. We have to be alert to what’s driving us. Are we speaking and acting from presence or from some contracted state? The mind is quite contracted compared to deeper levels.

I’ve spoken before about Adyashanti and his discussion of the process post-awakening. There is often a lovely honeymoon period where we can enjoy the new opening. However, this new expansive space loosens up old junk to be seen and processed. This is much easier from a detached witness: we can just observe and allow whatever is arising to complete.

However, because of old habits (samskaras), the mind can try to come up to take control again. It can use what is arising to create a drama and distract us from our Self.

If the awakening is established, this won’t “stick,” but we may have episodes of intermittent drama. We see old stories come up, go through them, and discard them.

Yet, this is just the first level of ego identification. As Adya discussed, there are 3 levels he called head, heart, & gut. I jokingly called them the 3 am-egos. They’re also called the mahamarmas.

Head is the concept and identification of a me that ends with a clear awakening.

Heart is the emotional (energy) drivers of that. Often, our heart has a protective crust that we’re able to break open with the secure platform of an established awakening (leading to God Consciousness). We can release the drivers (vasanas), which winds down the tendency for the mind to come back.

Gut is a core contraction in the solar plexus, often not conscious until it’s ready to release. We describe this as the core or existential identity. I’ve equated it with the Unity shift, but some have it later.

Unless all of this is clear, there is still some ego running the ship. We’re still not fully in the flow.

Recently, I’ve observed that, just like the mind can come up again post-awakening, that core identity can rise again. Unresolved unconscious baggage can revive identity. For example, a subtle desire for security or fear can trigger identification with our awakening or enlightenment. If we’re a teacher, this is even more pernicious as this identity is constantly being reinforced by others.

As this identity is a contraction, it’s a limitation in our full expression and will lead to mistakes and problems.

All of this comes back to our sense of person. Prior to awakening, we experience ourselves as an individual person, distinct from others. This developed early on as we differentiated ourselves from our mother and recognized our individuality. As we deepen into higher stages, we shed our identification with those layers (above).

Renunciates take the approach of denying the person, but most of us live in the world. We need a sense of person to function, to answer when someone calls our name, to know where our foot starts and the floor ends, to know what’s vegetable and what’s finger.

We know this person is just an appearance, a way of relating to the world. It mostly runs on habit. Good actors exemplify this by taking on a different person for a role (good acting is not just mimicking).

The issue is not in having a sense of person, it’s identification with that sense. If there is some identification, there is as an associated sense of I. When we release that identification, we have a person like we have a body. I vs My.

It’s a fine line between being a person and having one. But that slight difference is the difference between being cosmic and eternal and being a small contraction; between bliss and suffering.

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 10

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. Paul

    A beautiful explanation of the subtle but at the same time huge difference between the experience of being a person and having one.
    Can’t wait.
    Thank you, David.
    Love and best wishes from Paul in Bali.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest