Reflections on the Ego

What Is the Ego?

By George A. Boyd ©2019

Excerpted from A Compendium of Articles on the Ego

We can consider the ego in seven different contexts:

  1. Function – the ego’s activity as the integration center of the Conscious mind
  2. Motivation – the ego’s nexus of desires arranged in 12 areas
  3. Life story – the history of your significant life events and achievements
  4. Psychological armoring – the layer of defenses that protect you from experiencing painful or shameful memories
  5. Core psychic wounds – these are the painful and shameful unresolved issues that make up your shadow
  6. Wonder child – the aspect of your ego that is in touch with the Soul, and expresses wonder and delight
  7. Spiritualized ego – this aspect of your ego identifies with a spiritual essence, and then compares you to others’ development in this area—this aspect of the ego may generate feelings of superiority or inferiority to others through comparison of spiritual attainment, acquisition of spiritual powers

These layers of the ego are described in greater depth in our article, “Reflections on Eckhart Tolle.”

“When Tolle speaks of the ego, he paints a picture of this essence as malevolent, devious, manipulative, and the source of all human ignorance, misery, and pain. This is an accurate portrayal of the ego as many people experience it in one of its postures, the Shadow, but does not capture the other six postures of the ego—which are not entirely evil as Tolle depicts.”

“These seven postures of the ego are described below.”

  1. The Embodied Ego – This is the structure or chakra system of the ego in expression. These chakras include the waking state of awareness (feet), movement awareness (base of spine), sensory awareness (navel), deep body awareness (solar plexus), emotional awareness (heart), rational mind awareness (throat), “egoic will” (point between the eyebrows), and the sense of identity surrounded by the 12 areas of human life (brain). The egoic will in this context is the ability to initiate individual units of behavior—for example, tie your shoes, stand up straight, walk over to the counter and pour a glass of water. The 12 areas of human life comprise the zone of the Operational Ego, which is the second posture of the ego. At the level of the Embodied Ego, you intuitively experience the present time at each of these centers.
  2. The Operational Ego – This is the constellation of identity that captures the roles the ego plays in your life. These are mapped into 12 different areas—while each individual may label these categories and organize their contents differently, the general structure of 12 areas appears to be a stable component of the Operational Ego.
    1. Physical body
    2. Vitality and health
    3. Emotions and relationships
    4. Home and family
    5. Education and mental development
    6. Career and avocation
    7. Finances
    8. Social life (recreation and social activities with friends and family)
    9. Civic engagement and community involvement
    10. Cultural experiences and travel
    11. Ethical foundation and values
    12. Spiritual, religious, or philosophical life

In the Operational Ego, you experience the ambition to improve yourself and to attain what you desire, and to strive for what you want.

  1. The Developmental Ego – this is the state of identity that develops over time, and progressively integrates and identifies with a broader range of capabilities and abilities. These range from the highly dependent infant, to the capable, independent adult, to the caring parent, to the individual who can look out for the welfare and issues of the entire world. This is the experience of where you are in your life right now, and the capabilities you have developed. You draw upon this level when you summarize your educational and work experiences on a curriculum vita or résumé.
  2. The Defensive Ego – At this level, you attempt to maintain a positive image of yourself. This might be construed as keeping up a positive self-concept, to preserve your reputation and honor, or to adhere to an ideal image of your self (ego ideal). When you are criticized, attacked, or belittled, this defensive ego generates excuses, rationalizations, arguments, and a series of defenses to protect your self-concept. This defensive armor can be stirred to protect any area in which you feel weak or vulnerable, and may be extended to defend not only your reputation, but also to your possessions, your family, your job, your membership in different groups, and your values and faith.
  3. The Shadow – this is the unconscious level of the ego, and comprises the unconscious defenses that keep these painful and shameful aspects of the mind out of awareness. These unconscious mental patterns drive human obsession, craving, and suffering, and may appear to act autonomously, outside the control of your volition and intention. Many spiritual teachers, Tolle included, target this aspect of the ego and promote spiritual practices, such as mindfulness, “being present,” and remaining in “the present time” to overcome this suffering. When you tap this level, you experience identification with your suffering, fear, shame, anxiety, or depression.
  4. Egoic Seed Atom – This aspect of the human mind is tuned up as the Soul evolves. It is a state of wonder, of delight, of a joyful inner child that sees the beauty of everything around you. Perhaps Jesus was referring to this state when he said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” and “you must become as a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” You experience a heavenly world of magic and wonder when you are in this state of awareness.
  5. Subtle Egoic Identification – This aspect of the ego enables you to identify with a spiritual essence, and then to form certain beliefs, attitudes, and judgments about self and others when you are in this state of identification. For some, it gives then a sense of superiority, of specialness, of being a member of an elite group. For others, this takes the form of comparing their progress with others, and being dissatisfied with the rate and quality of their spiritual progress. For others, it is a belief that they are flawed; that they are demented and blind worms that can never gain enlightenment or receive the blessings of God. For others, it can become a sense of narcissism and grandiosity—that they are a Divine Being incarnate, and they are entitled to special treatment, and the worship and obedience of others.

“The belief that one has been born again and has adopted a new state of identity carries along with it this subtle egoic identification. When people say, for example, they are Christians, Yogis, Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists; they are activating this subtle form of identification.”

“This new state of identification can become a pseudo-personality, as UCLA researcher Dr. Jolyon West called it, and take on a life of its own—divorced from the genuine feelings and issues of human life.

“When people dwell in pseudo-personality, they live a spiritual agenda instead of their authentic lives. They adhere to a sense of purpose that a spiritual teacher defines; or a lifestyle that a Divinely inspired scripture commands, or that is revealed through inner communion with an advanced spiritual being through inner visions, revelations, and channeled or prophetic messages. When they are so “inspired and guided,” they no longer inhabit their own lives; they are committed instead to follow a spiritual path, whose precepts inculcate what they should choose, think, and believe, and how they should act.”

Methods to Transcend the Ego

“There are a variety of inner centers on which you can focus your attention that allow you to transcend your ego. Here is a partial list:”

  • The atom of eternity (vehicular seed atom)
  • The attentional principle
  • The Self (personal integration center)
  • The spirit
  • The wave of the present time on the Akashic Ether
  • The Star Seed in the Psychic Realm (vehicular seed atom)
  • The Moon Soul or Christ Child (nucleus of identity)
  • The Solar Angel (nucleus of identity)
  • The Soul Spark or Soul (ensouling entity)
  • Cosmic consciousness (nucleus of identity)
  • Cosmic soul awareness (nucleus of identity)
  • Astral Soul (ensouling entity)
  • Supracosmic seed atom (nucleus of identity)
  • Supracosmic Soul (ensouling entity)
  • The spirit on one of the Transcendental Paths
  • The ensouling entity on one of the Transcendental Paths

“Transcending the ego allows you to view it from a detached viewpoint, and to dis-identify with it. This shift is from being the actor in your life to a passive spectator of your life.”

“Like a trance state in hypnosis, when you enter these internal focal points, you passively view the content of the mind that makes up the ego, but you don’t interact with it. You retain the ability to objectively observe your ego from this detached standpoint, as long as you remain in this altered state of awareness. When you return your attention to its ground state in the waking state of awareness, your experience of the ego returns…”

Reflections on Worthiness and Self Image

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: From an early age, I have always felt unworthy. I have always felt inferior when I compared myself to others. Now that I’ve begun to do spiritual work, I believe this is holding me back. Can you shed some light on this issue?

A: Worthiness is a judgment people make when they are going to give a gift to someone, offer someone a job, or allow their son or daughter to marry someone. It carries with it the connotation that whoever is receiving their bestowal of kindness, money, or permission must have the requisite positive qualities, good character, or responsibility, so their gift will not be misused or squandered.

When you internalize the judgments people make about you as to whether or not you are worthy shapes your beliefs about your worthiness. It colors whether you believe you are worthy of receiving what you want in life, or whether you see yourself as qualified enough, experienced enough, or responsible enough to work in a career or to care for a spouse and family.

This internal judgment you internalize shapes your sense of what you can, be, and have. It has been called narcissistic entitlement.

If parents, relatives, friends, and teachers love you unconditionally and reward you for simply being and participating, you might get a sense that you are entitled to whatever you want—because people have continually given you this message.

If on the other hand, your parents, relatives, friends, and teachers made you work hard for their rewards and praise, you may internalize a belief that your worthiness is conferred based on your performance, your attainment of standards of excellence, and demonstrating noble qualities and good character.

Alternately, if parents, relatives, friends, and teachers continually abused you and bullied you—told you that you were worthless, inferior, you didn’t measure up, you were deficient, or you were flawed or unlovable—you might internalize these harsh judgments and conclude you are unworthy of love, money, happiness, and the other good things in life.

These internal judgments about worthiness appear to lie upon a continuum that ranges from antisocial to grandiose.

  1. Sadistic or antisocial people believe they deserve whatever they desire, and they force others to give them what they want. If they don’t get what they want, they may make the other person suffer for not giving them what they want—showing others abuse, cruelty, and even torture.
  2. Depressed people believe they are undeserving and unworthy of receiving anything they want. People who have been abused may feel this way.
  3. Self-reformers believe they might not currently deserve to achieve what they want, but believe they can prepare themselves to receive the good things of this world by changing themselves through education and training, working on their issues, or improving their habits and character.
  4. Passive aggressive people believe that they deserve to get ahead, but the world is unfair. They perceive Fate gives unworthy people the good things in life, while they are denied. These people harbor resentment, anger, and envy towards those who have what they want, but can’t seem to achieve.
  5. Those who perceive they live in a just and moral universe believe that they deserve what they experience in their lives, and they receive what is just and fair. They are grateful for what they receive.
  6. Those perceive they are in touch with their spiritual core believe they have the ability to manifest or create whatever they desire, and they are worthy of anything they desire. If their magical beliefs do not manifest what they desire, they may blame others or continually look for some flaws in themselves that purportedly block their manifestation.
  7. Those who become grandiose and develop pathological narcissism believe they inherently deserve what they want, because they are a superior or god-like being; that others should recognize their greatness, and obey, serve, and worship them.

If you are dealing with issues of feeling unworthy, it may be helpful if you can begin to adopt the mindset of a self-reformer. Instead of believing you are inherently unworthy and undeserving and that there is no way out—a belief that will paralyze your forward movement with depression, apathy, and hopelessness—you can begin to see that if you can improve yourself, you can prepare yourself to have what you want. This will give you motivation to begin to work on yourself and start improving your lot.

I’m reminded of the story of Jack LaLanne, an exercise aficionado, who was shamed as a teenager, because he was a “97 pound weakling.” This spurred him to become a body builder and world-renowned exercise coach. Those that shamed him came around to admire him and emulate him.

Q: I also believe that my self-image is damaged. Can this be rehabilitated?

A: Self-image is the ego’s inner picture of who and what you are. Like worthiness, there is a continuum of self-image states. These can be broken into personal self-image states and transpersonal or archetypal self-image states.

Personal self-image states are based on your identity with the roles you play in the world.

Transpersonal self-image states appear to arise when your Soul migrates through the Psychic Realm, and you are caught up in the cascade of visions and inspirations that flood the Soul.

Examples of personal self-image states include the following:

  1. Psychotic self-image – At this level of self-image, you feel your world has fallen apart and you are subject to gross distortions of perception (hallucinations), belief (delusions), and mood.
  2. Demonic, criminal, or sadistic self-image – if you have this type of self-image, your sense of entitlement makes you rationalize it is all right to harm or abuse others to get what you want.
  3. Neurotic or anxiety-laden self-image – when this self-image state is present, you may act out self-defeating patterns of behavior that sabotage your happiness and success, or your anxiety and self-doubt may hinder you doing what you want to do. You may be conflicted and confused, and it is difficult for you to make decisions.
  4. Normal or realistic self-image – when your self-image enters this zone, you become adjusted to life and you believe that can get what you need. You are able to secure a job and find a life partner, and you plan for your future. You are realistic and hard working.
  5. Successful self-image – when your self-image migrates into this level, you may be able to get extra education or training that qualifies you for a good-paying job. You accrue some wealth and you can begin to enjoy the good things in life.
  6. Highly successful self-image – those who reach this level of self-image typically are millionaires with abundant wealth, and can get whatever they desire in the world.
  7. Celebrity or leader self-image – those who ascend to the summit of the mountain of personal self-image become the role models for others, and typically have the accoutrements of power and wealth to influence the world around them.

Those that embark on the Path of spiritual development may sometimes have an ego-death experience that makes them identify with a spiritualized self-image. They die from their role in the world, and they come to regard themselves as an archetypal self that has non-ordinary powers and enhanced intuitive knowledge. Some examples of these forms of archetypal self-image that appear when the Soul crosses the Psychic Realm include:

  1. Reality creator self-image – those whose self-image has polarized at this level believe they can influence reality through their intention and thought. They may believe in the operation of the Law of Attraction.
  2. Psychic powers self-image – those whose self-image operates at this level may be engaged in developing their psychic powers, and experimenting with using them.
  3. Metaphysical practitioner self-image – after much study of the intuitive sciences or non-empirical healing systems, they may become a metaphysical counselor or alternative healing practitioner. They may function as healers and professional psychics.
  4. Channeler and spiritualist self-image – Those whose self-image reaches this zone may believe they can commune with the dead, with spirits, angels, and Ascended Masters. They behold entities that are not in the room, as a matter of course, and may receive odd information from these sources.
  5. Star being self-image – Those whose self-image becomes established at this level may believe in alien abductions, the presence of aliens among us, and might report that they regularly commune with an extraterrestrial intelligence.
  6. Library of all-knowledge self-image – Those whose self-image migrates into this realm believe that they can access the stored experience of the Akashic Records and commune with any person who has ever lived.
  7. Glorified self-image – those who move their self-image close to the top of the Psychic Realm may come to think of themselves as a Master or Christ-like being.

Those whose Souls evolve beyond the top of the Psychic Realm typically identify with their spiritual essences—their Soul, a nucleus of identity, or their spiritual heart. This spiritualized self-image that emerges in the Psychic Realm disappears; grounding in this higher “essence of being” replaces it.

Most people who are struggling with a “damaged self-image” are working out issues from the neurotic or anxiety-laden zone of the personal self-image. You can find help for these issues from a competent psychotherapist or counselor, who has learned methods to help you uncover and eliminate these issues. Your task is to retire enough of these issues, so that you can function normally in life, and begin to work on actualizing your dreams.

Transformations of Memory

By George A. Boyd © 2016

The recent research in the study of memory at the neurological level reports that there is an actual transformation of the cells, and as these cellular changes persist, these memory traces remain. They also have discovered that there are different types of memory—such as visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, and emotional—that are stored in different locations in the brain, and are tied together to create the composite of memory.

This memory composite appears to be different each time it is recalled: different aspects of the remembrance are called forward, so what we remember each time is different than the imprint of the original incident. It has also been shown that with the skillful, intentional suggestion of an interviewer or interrogator that a subject remember something that they didn’t do, or having a subject do exercises that utilize visualization and imagination while they are relaxed, these memory traces can be changed, and false memories implanted.

The emotionalized component of memory—which is implicated in causing the affective dysphoria in phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders—can be separated from the other components.

One novel method used to treat arachnophobia involves exposing a patient to the phobic stimulus, and then giving him or her a small dose of propanolol, which blocks the action of norepinephine. This appears to strip out the emotional component that either freezes someone or makes him or her want to run away in terror—and the patient can then approach the spider without any terror, and can touch it.

It was further suggested that as psychologists learn more about this actual working of memory, they would be able to apply these insights to actually cure phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. This application has been portrayed in movies such as “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Inception.”

The new concept of memory has changed with these new discoveries. It is no longer viewed like a collection of books in a library, but rather it is like a dynamic hard drive in a computer, where data can be recalled or modified as new input comes into the mind.

Meditation and Memory

Meditation builds upon these discoveries about memory that neurologists and psychologists have made. Meditation sees that memory can be utilized and transformed in ten ways:

  1. Memory retention and recall – this aspect of memory is the foundation of learning and experience, and is embedded in the neurological substrate of memory.
  2. Imagination – this creatively combines the components of memory composites in new ways, to come up with novel constructions.
  3. Praxis –this uses remembered motor skills to carry out a behavior, or remembered data to solve a problem or communicate an idea. This is the skillful application of memory.
  4. Life recall – this is the autobiographical aspect of memory that appears to be layered in six temporal zones—that which is being recalled in the moment, the life narrative back to the first conscious memory, the memory traces arising the zone before the first conscious memory to birth, the organismic memory of embryonic experience going back to conception, and the experience of eternity, where the Soul views the entire life as a detached observer. This is the aspect of memory that is encountered in the first layer of the Subconscious mind.
  5. Intuitive memory – This is the categorical summarization and application of experience that takes place in the chakras of the Subconscious mind, which enables you to synthesize your associations to create correspondences, analogies, and metaphors, and to group similar associations together. For example, in one of the petals of the second chakra, your diverse and varied associations related to courtship are brought together in one place. This is the aspect of memory that is encountered in the second layer of the Subconscious mind.
  6. Applied etheric memory – This aspect of memory utilizes the dynamic, computer-like functioning of the etheric body of the Metaconscious mind, which has access to the knowledge and experience stored in each band of the mind up to this level. This interface between the Subconscious mind and the executive functions of the Metaconscious mind—commitment, persona, conscience, concrete mind, intellect, personal intuition, and volition—enables you to dynamically draw upon your skills and knowledge to carry out the activities of daily life and work.
  7. Stored etheric memory (Akashic Records) – This aspect of memory is found on the fifth Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane, and it records each moment of life in multiple dimensions—sensory, emotional, cognitive impressions are all recorded here. Process meditation can tap this level. This zone is the level at which you can access remembrance of past lives. This level records the lives of this Cycle of Time; at higher levels of the Continuum, there are bands that retain the experiences of even more ancient Cycles of Time.
  8. Karmic memory (Samskara) – In the causal body of the Soul—and layered on the inner helix that makes up the unconscious mind—the impressions of karma are stored. These desire-laden impressions that underlie motivation and craving influence thought, emotions, and behavior. Transformational meditation transmutes and integrates the positive impressions, and dissolves the evil impressions that are stored in this zone of the mind.
  9. Illumined memory (Buddhi) – This is the eternal knowledge that the Soul retains throughout eternity. As the Soul ascends of the spiral of spiritual evolution, it expands this sphere of illumined knowledge. This zone of the mind has been called mandalic reasoning, spiritual discernment, and viveka.
  10. Gnosis and Path Knowledge (Bodhi) – This is the Soul’s remembrance of its eternal essence and the path ahead to Liberation. Accessing this level of consciousness confers enlightenment.

Those who meditate access the deeper aspects of memory that are contained in the inner vehicles of consciousness. Types 1 to 3 operate in the Conscious mind. Types 4 and 5 come from the Subconscious mind. Type 6 functions in the Metaconscious mind. Types 7 through 10 arise from the Superconscious mind.

If we do not alter our awareness from the waking state of awareness, it appears that all aspects of memory, behavior, affect, and cognition are products of the operation of the brain and nervous system. Those that move their attention on the thread of consciousness behold the working of these inner vehicles and the subtler aspects of memory, conation, emotion, and thought that operate within them.

Those who meditate will be enriched to learn of the neurological substrates of memory and the other functions of consciousness shown to us in the patient and methodical research of the scientists. We encourage them to begin with these foundations, and explore the vehicles of consciousness to extend these understandings into the core of being.

Those who wish to explore the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind can do so in greater depth in our beginning meditation course, Introduction to Meditation. Those who wish to extend their journey of inner discovery into the Superconscious mind will benefit from taking one of our intermediate courses, the in person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Reflections on Dualism

Given the intractable nature of modern politics in many countries, I thought this article would shed some light on alternate ways to deal with conflict. To be able move beyond impasse and arrive at a higher synthesis is an important skill that each of us can employ in our relationships and career.

By George A. Boyd © 2009

The natural polarities you perceive in your mind construct an inner dualism. This dualistic gestalt portrays a lighted zone of integrated, conscious functioning, and a darkened zone of chaotic, desire-driven urges that arise in the unconscious mind. There are several different perspectives that people hold about this interplay between light and darkness.

  1. Light wars against darkness; darkness seeks to destroy the Light. Darkness is the enemy of the Light.
  2. Light and darkness alternate over time in a never-ending cycle.
  3. Light and darkness are relative to the Infinite. Light grows as the Soul moves closer to the Source and darkness recedes; the further you are away from the Source, the greater the darkness that is in you.
  4. Light and darkness are complementary: each is required for the other to exist. The light contains an aspect of the dark; the dark contains an aspect of the light. They are the dual faces of Nature, yin and yang.
  5. Light and darkness are thesis and antithesis in an eternal dialog. Synthesis transcends this tension of opposites, and combines and unites the apparent contradictions.
  6. Light is the fullness of holy virtues that the darkness veils, and expresses as negative passions such as egotism, ignorance, attachment, envy, jealousy, greed, anger, and lust. The Light, sent forth as the Holy Spirit, transforms these dark passions into holy virtues.
  7. Darkness is the raw material that the Light must be transform and shape. This inchoate matter of the mind must be “saved,” “redeemed,” or transmuted and refined through the Power of the Light.

The propensity to demonize another arises when you see darkness is a force that you must battle against. Demonization gives rise to prejudice, bigotry, racism, intolerance of differences, and intractable argument. Over time, this can degenerate into cruelty, violence, and war.

While it is a natural response to approach that which you perceive as evil from this reactive, defensive, eye-for-an-eye stance, it may be beneficial to switch perspectives and view this emergence from the unconscious mind of another in another way. For example, where outright warfare is not required for collective protection, it may be judicious to see if a synthesis can be found between the polar perspectives of the two parties.

Alternately, it might be helpful to see the potential of what the opposing side can be if the issues creating the conflict can be resolved. Diplomacy, constructive dialog, and mediation seek to find this common ground that can back down this conflict from the brink of violence and war.

Psychotherapists apply this principle to work with the internal conflicts within their clients’ psyche. Through therapeutic exploration of issues, they stop the inner arguments within the mind and the forces that formerly in opposition and tension now work together towards a common purpose.

Aspirants and disciples will find they can diffuse the dualistic, polarized, and antagonistic perspectives within them through active contemplation and reflection. This will enable them to defuse the ego’s reactive propensity to anger, condemnation, and revenge when it encounters opposition or frustration of its desires. The ability to change perspectives, to see the problem in a new light, may help to change these antagonistic beliefs and belligerent behavior. This can lead to constructive resolution of issues and frustrations without escalating to hatred, violence, and war.

Sources of Unquestioned Beliefs

By George A. Boyd ©2008

Many people hold metaphysical and spiritual beliefs without rational examination. These unquestionable, core beliefs appear to arise from seven major sources:

Parental or pastoral admonition – They are told by parents or clergy that a statement is absolutely true and it is not to be questioned.

Attributed to an infallible authority – Their belief cannot be challenged because it is stated in scripture and/or is a statement of a revered spiritual leader.

Oral transmission from trusted and credible friends – In this scenario, friends or relatives or members of their religious or political groups state the belief, and all members of this group believe that it is true

Oral presentation by an authoritative speaker – By using oral argument and disputation, a speaker convinces the listener that the argument is true.

Written presentation in a book – Here, the statements in a book are held to be authoritative and true

Miraculous revelation – In this case, the belief arises from a numinous source, For example, it may come from a vision or revelation received in prayer or meditation

Unexplained personal experience – In this type, the belief arises out of an experience that cannot be explained by their worldview or by science, e.g., encounter with aliens, flying saucers, or crop circles

Individuals who hold these unquestionable beliefs appear to demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. These beliefs appear to act as filters, effectively blocking any alternate opinion or belief from consideration.
  2. Continued association with those who hold similar beliefs tends to reinforce the perceived veracity of the belief.
  3. They may base behavior on these beliefs that leads to ritual or sacrificial actions, e.g., going on pilgrimage to the shrine of a saint or sacrificing their life for a terrorist cause.
  4. They may develop justifications and rationalizations as to why they hold the beliefs, when they are unaware of the real sources of these beliefs.
  5. They may cite as evidence books that espouse fallacious information. For example, anti-Semitic beliefs are based on The Protocols of The Elders of Zion, whose historical allegations have been shown to be fabrications.
  6. When challenged or criticized, adherents may more tenaciously cling to these beliefs. These beliefs are commonly linked to these individuals’ sense of core identity, so an attack on these beliefs is felt to be an attack on their essential person.
  7. Unexplained experiences may lead to intense curiosity and research into the phenomena. Those who have these experiences may become authorities in these phenomena by the sheer volume of research and study they undertake in this area. In some individuals this fascination and absorption into the quest for understanding may become a central pursuit of their lives.

Superstitious Beliefs

Superstitious beliefs often take on a talismanic quality in that sometimes they are held as a means to attract “good luck” or ward off “bad circumstances” or “bad luck.” The ritual behavior of baseball players is a well-known example of this: after hitting a home run, a baseball player may sit in the same place in the dugout, wear the same color socks, and eat the same things for breakfast.

Superstitious beliefs resemble unquestioned beliefs in that they are not examined. But unlike unquestioned beliefs, they are not core aspects of identity, nor are they the wide-ranging reality filtering and reason suppressing effects. Superstitious beliefs appear to be localized and specific; core unquestioned beliefs are generalized more globally in the personality, so their impact is greater.

It is important for the serious aspirants seeking to awaken the Light of Wisdom to examine these nested layers of belief, and to question the validity of “unquestionable” and superstitious beliefs. When this process has been successfully completed, aspirants will discover their core of intuitive knowing that reveals their inner sense of truth, or Dharma. They will also clear their perceptual filters so that they will see and hear what is there, instead of what they want to be there.