What has historically been called the “ego” may be more correctly referred to as the “false ego”, because the term ego is synonymous with “identity” and is used in many spiritual texts interchangeably as meaning the same thing. Our identity is formed by whatever we associate with, and how we enter into relationship with everything else as a means of creating our experiences. As we create experiences, we simultaneously sense ourselves within or “as” those experiences, and we relate and identify with them. This doesn’t mean that we “are” our experiences, but rather that we are always the one creating ourselves by way of our experiences, which we also create as the means of self-creation. While we only have a limited control over the events of our life and other people, how we “experience” those events is something we have complete control over.
What we call our personality is an aspect of the “lower mind” that comes more as our natural way of being, regardless of what role or position we hold, and our identity arises naturally out of our personality when we go out into the world as young adults and begin naturally falling into certain roles, social or professional positions, economic classes, begin acquiring material possessions, and maintaining relationships of various sorts. Our personality is something that comes in a completely natural and unconscious way as the natural expression of our subconscious mind, whereas our identity is formed when our self-conscious mind starts coming into play at puberty, when we begin separating from our parents and exercising our will by “thinking for ourselves”, and we begin taking an active role in our own self-development.
Our identity is not something to be killed, shed, or let go of, but rather to be used as the tool it is for evolving ourselves through our natural ability to self-create through relationships and who and what we associate with. When we form our sense of self through our body by believing that we are a body, a real basic form of mistaken identity takes place, where the soul perceives itself as the body, and thereby “bonds” itself to the mortal life of the body, which lives a short period of time, then dies. Everything of the material plane is temporary, transitional, passes away, and exists as a basic form of illusion or dreamlike state that the soul partakes in as the means of self-creation. Our perception of what we call reality, is a product of the mind which acts as a transducer that turns a vibratory frequency into a holographic (Imagined) reality as a form of virtual simulation. Our perception and experience of reality is a product of the mind as fractal patterns played out on multiple scales and magnitudes simultaneously, creating a cohesive inner and outer reality of the same nature, character, and thematic storyline.
Vibration has an auditory and optical aspect inherent in it and propagates through space as a wave of potential that has a self-organizing mechanism inherent in it as sound or words that divide and form an electromagnetic field as a holographic image of the ideas the words represent. Words contain ideas that are imagined as forms that produce a 3-D structure of that same idea on multiple scales as greater and smaller versions all interlaced and interconnected to form a biological system that produces a consistent experience as a background and setting for an idea to be played out by a character as a thematic story. Whatever vibratory frequency we exist as serves to completely produce the reality (both inner and outer) of that idea as the means of the soul experiencing itself within its own virtual creation. When the soul “forgets” or fails to realize it’s creating its own reality as a form of self-expression produced out of accumulated memory, it begins associating itself with its own imagined experience, and becomes lost in an illusion of its own making that’s attached to a linear time-frame.
When we build our sense of self out of material things as a form of false-ego or mistaken identity, our ego as our soul dies (has the experience of dying) with our body and the dissolution of the material world it existed within. Once the body dies, leaving the soul without an identity, the soul remains within the Earth’s astral plane that it has become “one with”, and is left to seek out another body in order to create and know itself through or as a body. The ego identification with our material existence bonds the soul to the material plane as a form of “bondage”, or being held captive in a cell (confined to a body), as a prison of its own making. While in the material world all things exist as an established or created form of some kind, whereas in the spiritual world, all things exist in an energetic state as the potential for an “idea” or archetype without form, and is what serves as the basis for creating a form as its twin or reflection.
When we become identified with material ideas, such as our race, gender, physical appearance and looks, ethnic background, family dynamics and ancestry, economic status, possessions, positions we hold, roles we play, our self-made image, and so on, we form ourselves out of something that can be lost, taken away, laid to ruin, or used to control us. We become determined by others and our life conditions, circumstances, and situations. When this happens, everything we built our life out of and around begins falling apart, and it throws us into a state of turmoil that produces a deep sense of insecurity and foreboding fear that can diminish and devastate us at the most primary level of our being.
Once illusions are shattered, forming a kind of major and life-transforming crisis in our life, we come out of it seeing clearly what completely eluded us before. Things and people we believed in are no longer real, and the reality we thought we knew can no longer be felt or seen, and we become a stranger in our own life, unknown even to ourselves. The pain of loss can crush and diminish us, and the feeling of disdain weakens us to a point where it seems impossible to recover. Appetites are ravishing and relentless while we’re starving, we painfully crave all that’s past, and a deep sense of remorse sets in as we plummet into the unknown depths of despair and loneliness, sinking well beyond the point of return. We literally have the experience of dying to our own false and self-made delusion.
In a state of sheer humiliation and moral disgrace, all power from the outside cut off and no longer available, if we are to survive, we have to begin drawing on a different source. An internal source that’s active and always alive within us. Intimately real as an all-pervading and inclusive feeling that’s never lost, diminished, or taken away, and as we detach from the illusion of our perceived material needs, peeling the outer layers away, revealing the emptiness inside, it begins growing in intensity, softly whispering words of comfort, we turn to it out of sheer desperation and begin drawing on it as our only means of sustaining ourselves through the darkness that has consumed and annihilated us.
A new awareness of ourselves starts coming into play through the intimate embrace of a higher power that we’d lost or forgot, and we feel strangely more alive and vital than ever before. We are no longer affected by other people’s perception of us, or their opinions and behavior towards us. We no longer see or evaluate and appraise ourselves through the eyes of others, but instead sense ourselves as we really are inside. We lose interest in fame, being popular or well-liked, we have no more need to be accepted as a part of a group or supported by others, and we begin living in a much simpler and stream-line fashion. We gain a clear and immediate realization around what’s essential and what’s not, we lose our appetite for excess and waste, and we begin operating as a neutral force in any situation without the need to control or manipulate as a means of fulfilling a need as an agenda of some kind. We no longer get our identity from other people or material things. There’s no more need for illusions as a way of embellishing an imaginary self-image, and everything takes on an objective, “matter-of-fact” quality, where there’s never an emotional reaction to it. We become self-centered in who we really are as a soul, and we easily maintain clear realizations around the true nature of things, and seldom have an attitude of needing to get something by exercising control over others and situations, because we’re exercising control over ourselves instead. In what seems like a quickening as a complete shift in awareness, we become morally purified and serve as a neutral force in the world that works in any situation for the good of everyone involved.
For this reason, higher knowledge can only be accessed and absorbed by the humble. Those without pride or arrogance, greed or envy, that won’t be tempted to use it for personal gain or power, and will instead serve as a clear and pure channel for higher powers to flow into the lower regions of consciousness and illuminate it. A state of Being where we are fully identified with our divine nature that’s universal and powerful in an all-pervading, self-contained way, drawing all its power from within, and serving to neutralize the emotional energy as the magnetic, motivating force of the material plane. It’s the realization of being in this world, but not of it. Only then does the soul reside in its true domain of complete liberation from self-inflicted pain and the moral suffering that death on the lower planes brings.
The path of initiation begins with death of the ego which is necessary in order to birth the Higher, Universal Self within the lower, animal body, which the soul only uses as an instrument and vehicle for actively expressing and self-creating within this domain, without losing its identity by mistaking itself “as” the animal body. To be an Initiate requires self-mastery as the ability to control the elements of the material world, which only comes by not being controlled and determined by them. The Initiate has to master their own emotions, realize the habitual and impulsive tendencies of the body driven by instinct, and the habitual patterns as dynamics being played out by soul as karma of some kind, while intentionally acting on themselves in a deliberate manner to dissolve and resolve the old, while initiating and giving life to the new. To self-create in a conscious and deliberate manner is to take on a position of being the initiator or “cause” of fundamental change by reprogramming the body (subconscious mind) to be a suitable vehicle for the Higher Soul, instead of letting the body degrade the soul to the status of a beast (animal driven by instincts) by taking control of thoughts and creating reality out of emotions that produce insane and perverted delusions, bonding us to the pain and suffering in a hell of our own making.
Integrative MindBody Health Consultant and Spiritual Mentor