Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Personality Aspect
An Aspect of Ego that has No Defensive Structure
The personality aspect is an identification that is completely devoid of defense; it is just a familiar sense of oneself, completely undefended and unprotected. That is why the schizoid defense of isolation, which is the most basic defense, must have been dropped before this experience. By staying with this experience one becomes slowly and subtly aware that although this aspect of ego has no defensive structure, it nevertheless has a potential or virtual defense. Whenever there is the possibility of it being touched by any strong sensation it contracts, just as an amoeba will do if touched by a strong stimuli. It will withdraw within itself. It will harden parts of itself whenever there is a possibility of an intense experience. Its attitude is that intense experiences would be overwhelming or even shattering. This sense of personal identity is experienced as the most distilled, inner aspect of the personality, which is usually protected by the defensive structures of the ego. It is this which withdraws in the schizoid withdrawal, avoiding contact, interaction and any strong emotional experience, because it is felt to be too much for one’s structure.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 149
Very Subtle Resistance in the Personality Aspect Against the Presence of Being
This happens in the process of inner realization as the individual works through the various defenses against this withdrawn part of the ego, this sheltered part of the personality. Usually, when this happens, the individual feels lazy, lethargic and uninterested in anything. He feels like just staying in bed, doing nothing and feeling nothing, just being cozy and safe in a warm place. Contact with Being is felt as dangerous because it is very intense and will cause too intense a sensation. However, Being is present in the experience. Observing this, one becomes aware that there must be some way that this part of the personality is keeping itself from contact with Being. When identified with this ego part one feels separate from Being, without a feeling of interest or curiosity about it. One becomes slowly aware of a very subtle resistance in this personality aspect, against the presence of Being, which makes it feel separate from it. One becomes aware that the structure of this part, its very fabric, is pervaded by an extremely subtle posture of resistance; this resistance is part of its familiar sense of identity. . . . . . As this subtle resistance starts dissolving, one starts feeling oneself becoming absorbed in the undifferentiated Being. The experience of being absorbed by something bigger and unknown is quite definite and clear. There is no fear by now, because there is understanding, but sometimes there is some sadness, as if one is losing an old acquaintance. One feels one is being absorbed, as if one is a liquid being absorbed by a sponge. As the absorption proceeds one becomes less the personality and more the impersonal Being.