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Ego Alien/Ego Syntonic

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Ego Alien/Ego Syntonic?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Ego Alien/Ego Syntonic

Ego Syntonic and Ego Alien Perspectives

Let's consider a person who is habitually critical and judgmental of other people... The criticalness is seen as "ego syntonic" for this individual; that is, it is in accord with his personality and does not feel alien or undesirable to him. It goes along with, and is part of, the person's conception of himself. It is not felt as disharmonious with his well-being. A trait, like criticalness, has to become "ego-alien" for a person to do something about it, or even to see it as an issue to be understood. "Ego-alien" means that it is experienced as being alien to the ego, as not consistent with the person’s interests, as conflicting with the rest of him.

Emergence of Essential Aspects

The essential aspects are not sought after, but are allowed to emerge on their own. One merely lives fully, in close contact with one’s personal experience, but is continually and deeply curious about, and open to, reality. One’s life is governed by the love of truth, and understanding is experienced as inseparable and indistinguishable from the unfoldment of one’s potential. The emergence of Essence in its aspects can be seen as due to interest in understanding oneself and one’s reality. But Essence can equally be seen as emerging on its own, in response to life situations, and thus influencing one’s consciousness, as it approaches from the depths. As each aspect of Essence pushes towards consciousness it naturally confronts the identification systems that were developed to bury it and to emulate it. It exposes this segment of the personality, making it feel ego alien (contrary to one’s sense of who one is), and bringing about an objective understanding of that part of the personality. This understanding is the truth that is absorbed, which leads to the conscious emergence of the particular aspect.

Need for the Teaching to be Experienced as Ego-Syntonic

Returning to the issue of desire, we see that desire does not become a focus for inner work until the individual sees it as ego-alien. For the average student, desire is experienced as ego-syntonic for a long time, and hence it is not seen as an issue. This is especially so for persons in the human community who have not chosen to follow the path of inner work. These people are very far from seeing desire as being ego-alien. In fact, desire is part of the fabric of everyday life for most of humanity. No wonder then, that so few individuals respond to such teachings. To say to the average man that he must eradicate desire in order to be happy is absurd. For one thing, this has no meaning for him; but more importantly, desire is still ego-syntonic. The form that the teaching is presented in is experienced as ego-alien by most people. The teaching itself is experienced as ego- alien. It will have to be experienced as ego-syntonic for there to be a response. This means it will have to be presented in a way that is ego-syntonic. The teaching must take into account that the student must experience in his own life that desire is an obstacle, that it thwarts him in his purpose.

The Great Service Performed by Essence

This great service which essence performs for us is difficult to appreciate. Neither Kundalini nor any teaching, nor any teacher can do what essence can do. Essence makes us face parts of ourselves that we usually do not face, that we do not choose to face. When an aspect of essence begins to manifest, it changes our perception of the related sector of the personality from ego-syntonic to ego-alien. Sectors of the personality that were never questioned before, start being experienced as an imbalance in our equilibrium, as suffering or causing suffering. As an aspect of essence pushes forward toward consciousness, it acts on the personality. Essence is a force, and the sector of the personality related to the emerging aspect of essence becomes stronger and more forceful in order to be able to resist the emerging essence and to keep it out of consciousness. The very existence of the personality depends on unconsciousness, on maintaining its established patterns and conditioning. The personality does not want to change. As essence emerges, the conflict between essence and personality will be magnified and become more obvious. The conflict between the unconditioned part and the conditioned part becomes the focus of attention. The relevant sector of the personality will manifest more and more strongly now in consciousness, until it becomes imperative for us to look at it and deal with it in a real and effective way. It becomes necessary for us to understand and resolve the issues related to this part of the personality. To avoid or ignore the issues becomes more difficult than to face them.

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