Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Quotes about Essential Identity
A Delicate State of the Essential Identity that is Very Vulnerable to Obscuration by Concepts and Ideas
When one is completely being the Essential Identity, the experience no longer takes the form of being or seeing a point of light. The sense of size disappears, even the feeling of identity disappears. Self-realization becomes a matter of being, purely being, with an increasing understanding of what this means. There is a sense of simplicity and innocence, of just simply being. It is not a matter of being oneself and knowing this by reflecting on the experience of oneself. There is no reflection on the state, no desire to analyze it. There is a sense of being alone, without the concept or feeling of aloneness. The aloneness is the perception of oneself as pure, undefiled and uncontaminated. There is lightness and freedom. The mind is quiet and sometimes without thought. This is a delicate state of the Essential Identity and is very vulnerable to obscuration by concepts and ideas. Concepts and ideas—even those of enlightenment and liberation—tend to obscure this state, even to eliminate it. Words cannot totally capture it. It is being prior to conceptualization. More than all the discourses in the world, the clarity of this pure being illuminates the barriers against realizing it, gross and subtle. We begin to see that locating ourselves anywhere within the self-structure separates us from this simplicity. Any motive, any hope, any desire, any ego movement means identifying with the structured self, with the ego-self. Thus, any movement of rejection, choice, desire, motive, hope, preference, holding, grasping, trying or effort will separate the self from this simplicity of being.
The Point of Existence, pg. 345
Becoming Objective About the Essential Identity
This clarifies a particular aspect of our understanding regarding the realization of Essential Identity. The realization of any essential aspect beyond mind and concepts means the objective understanding of this aspect of Essence. To be objective about it means to see it from its own perspective, independent from mind. This objectivity always reveals the aspect in a diamond-like form, giving the experience clarity, precision, and sharpness. When we become objective about the Essential Identity, the point of light, when we recognize it just as it is, it appears as a diamond point. This is an amazing perception, unexpected and unimaginable in the conventional dimension of experience. We behold the Essential Identity as a faceted point of light. There is then a certainty about our identity, without this having anything to do with a conceptual or self-reflective knowledge. This objectivity, however, is not related to the color the point manifests itself in.
The Point of Existence, pg. 454
Essential Identity and Essential Self: Two Names for the Same Presence
To recognize the factor responsible for the sense of identity, one must recognize a certain essential quality, the essential aspect of Identity. The Essential Identity is one of the pure forms in which presence manifests in the soul. (In previous books we have referred to this quality as the Essential Self.) When we know the Essential Identity, the Self of Essence, it becomes possible to see and understand the behavior and attitudes that express it.
The Point of Existence, pg. 134
Experiencing Presence by Being Presence
The Essential Identity is not an image or representation, nor is it dependent on an image or representation. One directly experiences Presence by being Presence. The Essential Identity is a definite Presence with no boundaries. This is inconceivable under ordinary circumstances in which we assume that we are a bounded entity. But imagine a radiant point of light, definite, precise and clearly differentiated. A point is nondimensional, without separating boundaries. It is the source of light, and it is the light itself. The radiant light goes on for ever; it is not bounded by spatial distance. If we now imagine the light to be consciousness or awareness, then we have a very good impression of a definite conscious Presence which is boundless. One experiences oneself as a brilliant point of light, conscious and aware. Since one is a dimensionless point, one feels singularly definite, but with no sense of boundaries. The Essential Identity feels like a concentrated Presence, a precious and pure Presence of consciousness, with the characteristic sense of self and identity.
The Point of Existence, pg. 141
Implications in the Manifestation of the Essential Identity
It is interesting to know that the essential aspect of identity, which we sometimes call the Essential Identity, manifests as a point, a pinpoint of light and presence.1 This has far-reaching implications that are initially difficult to grasp. At the beginning of our journey, we wonder why the Essential Identity is a point. What does that mean? What does that have to do with our experience, and what does that do to our experience? How does the fact that our true identity is a point reflect in our experience and in our perception, inquiry, and understanding? The Essential Identity means the identity with Essence, the identity with Being. It is the true sense of identity. When we feel the Essential Identity, when we’re being it, we feel we are being ourselves truly and authentically. And there’s a sense of identity, a singular sense of “I” that is definitely, uniquely self-existing. You’re there, present as you, without that “you” being defined by any constructed concept. There is “I,” and you know there is “I” because you are here as “I.” The point is identity, a direct sense of recognition of one’s identity without history or mind. And because the Essential Identity is the prototype of identity, it represents the soul’s capacity to be her true nature, her essential nature. It represents being the essential nature on any level. When we are the Essential Identity, there is effortlessness, lightness, simplicity, and unquestioned preciousness. It is the simplicity of being and recognizing that “Yeah, that’s who and what I am. I’m here.” This is the Essential I as an aspect on its own, as an experiential category within the essential dimension of Being. But just as in the case of all other essential aspects, it has a specific function in relation to the Diamond Guidance. That function is to help us understand our experience through getting the point of what’s going on.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 376
The Essential Identity cannot stand on its own because it is only one of the perfections of Being. For it to stand on its own would mean that it can be isolated from the unity of Being. The Essential Identity is the perfection that represents the total identity of the self with this unity.
The Point of Existence, pg. 271
Location of the Center of Awareness
The Essential Identity is such a deep source of consciousness that, when we are realized on this level, the center of awareness is located at the essential depth of the self; hence, other levels of experience are felt to be somewhat external to that depth.
The Point of Existence, pg. 143
Seeing the Totality of the Ego-Self
This capacity to be the Essential Identity allows a kind of global awareness and understanding of the hitherto normal experience of the self. One can see the totality of the ego-self, with all its images, structures, object relations, ideas, feelings, plans, ideals, hopes, and patterns. It is not a matter of seeing all the specific details distinctly but of seeing the totality and knowing that it is the totality of the familiar self, without completely delineating all of the specific details.
The Point of Existence, pg. 347
Self-recognition in the Essential Dimension
The essential identity is a simple, pure sense of Presence which feels like self, like "I." It is so simple that it is a subtle matter to differentiate it from other feelings. It is what gives the self the capacity for self-recognition in the essential dimension. It is not the typical sense of identity that most of us know. The typical feeling of identity is only a reflection of the essential identity. When we say that the Essential Identity gives the self the feeling of identity, we do not mean that it is the usual kind of feeling, like animation or sensation. The feeling of an essential Presence is part of its very substance; it is a quality of consciousness, a felt knowingness, a state with a recognizable quality. The closest we can come to describing the present quality is to call it a feeling of identity.
The Point of Existence, pg. 136
Shift of Identity
Essential identity actuates the shift of identity from the conventional dimension of experience to that of Being, but that Being is realized in stages that reflect increasing subtlety of its phenomenological properties. These stages appear, then, in actual experience, as the realization of different dimensions of Being.
The Point of Existence, pg. 399
The Absolute, as Identity, Manifesting Within the Individual Experience of the Soul
The Essential Identity functions similarly to other aspects, with the dual function of providing a capacity necessary for the life and development of the soul and connecting her to the Absolute in a specific way that reveals the nature of this connection. The essential aspect of Identity, the point of light and presence, provides the soul with a center and identity necessary for her life, which will at the same time ultimately connect her with the Absolute, as her final and absolute identity. The Essential Identity is the implicit perfection inherent in the Absolute that explicitly expresses in the individual soul that the Absolute is not only ultimate truth, but also ultimate identity. It is the Absolute as identity manifesting within the individual experience of the soul. Therefore, since full self-realization requires the realization of the Absolute as one’s ultimate identity, the realization of the Essential Identity becomes the primary and most important fulcrum towards the completion of the spiritual journey. Realization of the Essential Identity is the expression of the realization of the Absolute, as reflected in individual experience, within the world of space-time. The Essential Identity is the spark of the Absolute within the individual soul, and since the central process of spiritual development is self-realization, its realization begins the realization of the Absolute.
The Point of Existence, pg. 441
The Capacity of the Self to Recognize Itself
The Essential Identity is the capacity of the self to recognize itself without reference to any experience of the past, or any self-image, or even any memory. We recognize ourselves because we are present as ourselves, as the Presence which is authentically ourselves. This pure, unmediated self-recognition is innate, inherent in the self, but it is available only when the self ceases to identify with the content of experience, and thus allows the Essential Identity to arise.
The Point of Existence, pg. 138
The Experience of the Essential Identity as a Differentiated and Unique Existence Does Not Imply Separateness
In ego development, which is the process by which the conventional self develops, the differentiation of the self amounts to, or develops into, separation based on self-boundaries. The experience of the Essential Identity as a differentiated and unique existence does not imply separateness or partitioning boundaries. Differentiation here only means difference and uniqueness. In other words, differentiation is not separateness. It is not easy to imagine how one can experience oneself as differentiated and unique without being separated from others by partitioning boundaries, but this realization is possible within essential experience. It is similar to experiencing oneself as a presence differentiated but not separated from a universal presence, differentiated by qualities unique to it, but not separate because there are other elements that are common. It is like being a unique part of a design, different from the other parts, but not separate from them.
The Point of Existence, pg. 526
The Feeling of the Essential Identity
The Essential Identity fills the consciousness with a special kind of preciousness and with a sense of omnipotence and omniscience. We feel that we are completely wonderful, completely able, and totally indestructible. We feel all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. There is a sense of completeness and totality. When students come upon the experience of the Essential Identity, these qualities are always present.
The Point of Existence, pg. 208
The Purest, Most Specific, Most Differentiated Form of Essential Experience
The Essential Identity is the purest, most specific, and most differentiated form of essential experience. This complete definiteness and delineation of perception is not possible in the conventional dimension of experience; it is specific to the intrinsic discriminating property of the domain of Essence. The Essential Identity is supremely singular and amazingly unique. We readily recognize this unique singularity as our true Self. The Essential Identity, then, provides the self with the capacity for self-recognition in the essential dimension. We recognize ourselves in a very direct and simple manner, with a feeling that we have always known our true Self, even though we have always identified with the vague sense of identity belonging to the ego-self. Thus, the Essential Identity is the capacity of the self to recognize itself without reference to any experience of the past, or any self-image, or even any memory. We recognize ourselves because we are present as ourselves, as the presence which is authentically ourselves. This pure, unmediated self-recognition is innate, inherent in the self, but it is available only when the self ceases to identify with the content of experience, and thus allows the Essential Identity to arise.
The Point of Existence, pg. 137
The True Meaning of Narcissistic Emptiness
This is the true meaning of narcissistic emptiness. Feelings of pointlessness, meaninglessness, purposelessness, absence of center, orientation, significance, and identity arise directly from the absence of identity with the Essential Identity. In fact, the properties of center, identity, significance, purpose, meaning, and so on, are some of the experiential characteristics of the Essential Identity, the precious point of existence. Furthermore, since the Essential Identity is the identity of Being, the narcissistic emptiness has another, greater significance. Since the identity of Being is what gives the self the capacity to identify with Being in any of its aspects and dimensions, the realization of the Essential Identity is tantamount to the capacity to simply be. So narcissistic emptiness involves disconnection not only from the Essential Identity, but from Being as a whole. It is the absence of self-realization. It is the gap between our essential nature and who we take ourselves to be. It is the great chasm separating our experience in the conventional dimension of experience from the fundamental ground of the soul. It is the emptiness of narcissistic alienation itself.
The Point of Existence, pg. 333
The True Sense of Identity
The Essential Identity means the identity with Essence, the identity with Being. It is the true sense of identity. When we feel the Essential Identity, when we’re being it, we feel we are being ourselves truly and authentically. And there’s a sense of identity, a singular sense of “I” that is definite, uniquely self-existing. You’re there, present as you, without that “you” being defined by any constructed concept. There is “I,” and you know there is “I” because you are there as “I.” The point is identity, a direct sense of recognition of one’s identity without history or mind. And because the Essential Identity is the prototype of identity, it represents the soul’s capacity to be her true nature, her essential nature. It represents being the essential nature on any level.