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Module 16: On Self

As we get more familiar with essence, and it becomes a regular companion in our daily lives, we can begin to experience a shift in our sense of self. Rather than experiencing ourselves as consisting of the thoughts and emotions of our personality structure, we begin to perceive ourselves as consisting of the felt sense states of essence.

When this happens, we begin to recognise what we used to identify with as mere bundles of thoughts, emotions and behavioural patterns, i.e. as inner parts of our personality. We begin to inhabit these parts without getting lost in them. We can play the parts of the personality, without forgetting that it is a play.

Identifying ourselves as essence brings a sense of perpetual companionship with ourselves and eases any feelings of loneliness. It also restores a sense of relaxed and easeful pride in ourselves and self-love, which is not in opposition to our pride in and love for others. It heals the hurt we have accumulated from all the situations where we were not seen with kindness, understanding and in a positive light, and it enables us to see others with kindness, understanding and in a positive light. When you feel your essential self, you no longer feel the need to demonstrate or insist on your worth. Instead, you will be at ease and free to live the journey of your spirit.

Learning objectives

  • Distinguishing between the essential self and the conditioned selves (ego)
  • Distinguishing between inspiration and compulsion
  • Working with moving point of identification
  • Understanding narcissism as a search for the essential self
  • Working with issues around narcistic preoccupations
  • Working with the ego ideal

The Greater Self – Poem by Khalil Gibran
This came to pass. After the coronation of Nufsibaal King of Byblus, he retired to his bed-chamber—the very room which the three hermit-magicians of the mountains had built for him. He took off his crown and his royal raiment, and stood in the centre of the room thinking of himself, now the all-powerful ruler of Byblus.

Suddenly he turned; and he saw stepping out of the silver mirror which his mother had given him, a naked man. The king was startled, and he cried out to the man, “What would you?”

And the naked man answered, “Naught but this: Why have they crowned you king?”

And the king answered, “Because I am the noblest man in the land.”

Then the naked man said, “If you were still more noble, you would not be king.”

And the king said, “Because I am the mightiest man in the land they crowned me.”

And the naked man said, “If you were mightier yet, you would not be king.”

Then the king said, “Because I am the wisest man they crowned me king.”

And the naked man said, “If you were still wiser you would not choose to be king.”

Then the king fell to the floor and wept bitterly.

The naked man looked down upon him. Then he took up the crown and with tenderness replaced it upon the king’s bent head.

And the naked man, gazing lovingly upon the king, entered into the mirror.

And the king roused, and straightway he looked into the mirror. And he saw there but himself crowned.