Becoming Bigger and Vaster Egos that are Full of Pride, Albeit Spiritual Pride
But poverty of spirit is still radically different from this. When we hear that poverty is actually the path, is something ultimately desirable and necessary for our realization, most of us cringe. We tend to think of the spiritual path the way we think of any other endeavor, as a way of gaining, a way of accumulation. We believe, directly or subtly, that to progress on the spiritual path is a matter of having spiritual things instead of material things. We believe realization is a matter of accumulating spiritual experiences, insights, visitations, inner riches, inner capacities, inner accomplishments, and so on. Or, even more subtly, we believe it is a matter of having more spirit, vaster spirit, more presence, more immense presence. We are bigger, vaster. But all this amounts to becoming bigger and vaster egos that are still full of pride, albeit spiritual pride. We even become attached to our emptiness, to our idea of emptiness as a spiritual accomplishment. We are still not poor; we are quite rich, quite full, with all kinds of things. We are actually full of ourselves, exactly what the path of poverty is trying to liberate us from. The way of poverty is for us to be so empty, not possessing anything, that the Ultimate Truth, the inner Beloved will find us worthy of beholding it. The inner Beloved is a jealous beloved. It won’t show itself unless there are no other lovers in our heart. When our heart is completely empty, then will it reveal itself as the mystery underlying all of reality. And the way to such inner emptiness is that of poverty, specifically the poverty of spirit.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 7
Being Estranged from the Source of All Meaning and Nourishment, with the Ego-pride that I have, that I Possess, that I Do, that I Accomplish, that I Exist
The sadness deepens, and the tears feel like a dark, cleansing, torrential rain. I am not sad because I must let go of everything that has been dear to me. I am not grieving because I recognize all this does not belong to me, that I am ultimately poor. No, I am sad now about recognizing I have lived a lie, that I have usurped what does not belong to me. The sadness is for the hurt of recognizing that by believing such a lie I have cut myself off from Being, my source and nature. I have estranged myself, throughout most of my life, from the source of all meaning and nourishment, with the ego-pride that I have, that I possess, that I do, that I accomplish, that I exist. What a lie, and what a shame! I am sad, but also willing to accept the truth of my situation. I embrace my total emptiness. I welcome my complete, fundamental poverty. I have nothing. I do nothing. I am nothing. The state becomes a sense of having nothing, being nothing, feeling nothing, perceiving nothing. Darkness deepens, blackness fills awareness. At this point, I notice that the indigent emptiness is no longer indigent; I experience it now as an endlessness of peace, an infinity of release, and a completeness of rest. I realize that by totally welcoming its objective emptiness, the individual self has surrendered its existence into the mysterious depths of the absolute. The emptiness of the self, which I have experienced on many levels as various kinds of insufficiency, and which I have just been feeling as poverty, reveals itself as the complete lightness and freedom of the black crystalline truth. The poverty is nothing but the inexhaustible void, which I have misunderstood by experiencing it through the lie of my independent existence and capacity. As I, the individual self, accept my poverty and relinquish my hold, I in effect accept and embrace the complete voidness of the absolute. Here, I recognize that I am the absolute depth of Being, the source of all plenums. The infinity of silence is what remains: luminous stillness, absolute transparency, and indescribable intimacy.
Luminous Night's Journey, pg. 73
Belief in Her Separateness and Pride in Her Independence Have Functioned as the Primary Obscurations that Disconnected Her from this Heavenly World
The dimension of divine love is the experience of true nature in its fullness, in its richness, in its abundance. The ocean of love is a rich and richly textured medium, like a boundless ocean of ambrosia, fluid and outflowing. Its outflow is manifestation, an unfolding juicy womb constantly birthing the universe. It is a total generosity, a giving out of substance, existence, life, forms, qualities, capacities, all as manifestations of love. The universe is so rich, so abundant with goodness and wonderful qualities and forms, that when the soul beholds it she cannot help but be completely fulfilled and satisfied, overflowing with deep and sweet gratitude. She now recognizes how impoverished her normal world has been, how empty and barren, and how unreal. She recognizes that this inherent abundance and richness has always been lying in her depths and at the base of all manifestation, but she did not see it because she was looking through filters that specifically filtered out the ground true nature. Belief in her separateness and pride in her independence have functioned as the primary obscurations that disconnected her from this heavenly world. Heaven, it turns out, is always here, but only the purified and sincere soul can enter it. And the price is her head, her independent selfhood.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 278
Doesn’t the Feeling of Insult or Humiliation Mean that there’s Someone there Who Has Pride?
The activity of protection and acquisition depends on the point of view that you are one isolated island that needs to be perpetuated and enhanced. Don’t you spend most of your life either protecting or collecting? Even if you become spiritually oriented, you start collecting spiritual experiences! Collecting money or collecting essence is the same thing. You have the same attitude: you’re afraid of losing it and you work at getting more. If you have an attitude of anxiety and fear of loss, the greed and the suffering will continue. Let’s look at the implications of this attitude more closely. Something happens and you get angry. What makes you get angry? Would you get angry if you didn’t believe there was a self there to support and protect? What’s the point of getting angry? You get angry only if you feel hurt, insulted, or you didn’t get what you want. Someone is there who believes certain things about himself and has a particular self-image. If that self-image is frustrated, hurt or insulted, there is anger. Would there be anger if there were no self which thinks of itself in a certain way? Look at any suffering you’ve experienced: jealousy, anger, hatred, fear. Isn’t that suffering dependent on the point of view that somebody is there being hurt? Doesn’t the feeling of insult or humiliation mean there’s someone there who has pride? Doesn’t the feeling of frustration mean there is someone there who wants something and is not getting it? Not only do you not see reality as it is, its beauty and its majesty and its grandeur, you are also hemmed in and restricted. Don’t you spend hours and hours ruminating, thinking, proving or disproving that you’re good enough or not good enough, as if there is somebody there who is supposed to be good enough? According to whose standards? Your own! Aren’t you always thinking of what you’re going to get for yourself?
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 138
Ego Pride Signals the Belief in One’s Separateness, in One’s Individuality, as Ultimate
As we continue, we will come to challenge even deeper notions than the belief that we are our bodies. We can realize that we are not our body but are our essence; we can realize the essential nature of the world. Although this realization and actualization fulfills much more of our potential, and brings creativity and knowledge, still our suffering hasn’t vanished. If we remain where we are without continuing to deepen our realization and expand our understanding, our suffering might increase again. Ever more fundamental beliefs and concepts about reality will arise and be challenged. We confront not only our belief that we have a body but also our belief that we are a person. You believe that ultimately you are an individual separate from other human beings. Although you have realized that you are your essence, you remain certain that it is your essence, and other individuals have their own essence. You are proud of your individuality, proud of your uniqueness, proud of your independence, even proud of your essence. A subtle spiritual pride tends to arise at this stage. This ego pride signals the belief in one’s separateness, in one’s individuality, as ultimate. You are real now, and the ego can be very proud: “I am not only myself, I am real ego now.” It is true that you are the true ego at that time. Now the ego has an ultimate kind of pride. “I used to be fake,” the ego says, “just an idea. Now I am real presence, and I exist as me. I am a unique individual with my own will, my own consciousness, not conditioned by the past.” And it’s true that you are not conditioned by the past any longer. But that truth becomes a source of suffering if you are attached to it, if you take pride in it. The pride will have to be challenged, which means that you will have to confront the idea of separateness. You will have to confront the sense that you are an individual, separate from other individuals.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 104
Egoic Pride is the Belief that You Have Your Own Will and Can Have Your Own Way and Can Change Things in the Universe
Since Holy Freedom is surrender to whatever you are experiencing, then judging it or trying to change it indicates that there is no surrender to Holy Will. But if you judge your lack of surrender, this indicates a further lack of surrender to Holy Will. Surrender doesn’t require certain conditions. At any moment, there is the possibility of completely letting go of trying to control things and letting the universe be, instead of believing that you can and should rearrange it. Egoic pride is the belief that you have your own will and can have your own way, and can change things in the universe. It is the belief that, “I’m going to do it my way; I’m going to have things be the way I want them.” This pride manifests in the body as a constriction of the fontanel at the top of the head which blocks Living Daylight, and thus, blocks the whole perspective of Holy Will. The specific delusion that arises due to the loss of Holy Will is the conviction that there are such things as separate entities who have their own wills—it is the delusion that there is a separate you who can have things go the way you want them to. We saw that the delusion associated with Holy Transparency is that you have a separate self, and here the delusion is that this separate self has a will and a choice separate from the rest of the universe. We are not saying that you don’t have free will, but that you don’t have a free will separate from the whole. You want your way instead of seeing that the universe has its way, manifesting through you. We have seen that the best approach is to surrender to the universe, thereby actualizing yourself. Then you become who you really are, because you are whatever the universe happens to be unfolding within your consciousness at any moment.
Facets of Unity, pg. 127
Feeling that You are Going to Lose Your Pride
So true relationship, real relationship is based ultimately on love, and does not exclude anything else. The courageous heart does not exclude negativity. If your heart is loving, you do not have to exclude the negative. You do not have to forget what you know about the situation, about yourself, about the other person. If you have to make the situation unreal, then your love is not real yet. It is conditioned by the beliefs in your mind. Your heart is not spontaneous yet, not real, not courageous yet. For instance, if you notice you like or love someone and have a relationship with this person, and then when something happens, you feel hurt, attacked, scared, or jealous, you will realize that your tendency is to not want to love at that time. It is not only that you do not want to love; in your mind you say that you shouldn’t love that person. You feel that if you love that person even though they are doing that, you are going to lose. You feel that you are going to lose your pride. What is your pride? It is your ego. So if the other person responds or manifests anything that you take to be unacceptable, negative, or bad, most of the time your tendency is to not want to be in contact. So you react—you feel hurt, betrayed, angry, hateful, or you want to get even. But why not continue loving? Yes, you might even feel angry, you might feel frustrated in the situation, but why does that have to close off the love? Why not continue loving, continue being open, and let that love, that openness, contain whatever else is there? Why not let it be bigger and stronger than any negativity that is there—whether the negativity is yours or the other person’s? The moment we see the other person as the bad object, the bad person, right away we want to react by closing our heart. That’s it. A desire for revenge comes. Not only does vengefulness or hatred come; when it comes, it is the only thing we want to feel. We do not want to remember the love.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 196
Reactivation of All the Loss of Autonomy and Wounded Pride that We Experienced as Children
The issue of getting one’s own way is a big one for the personality, and the thought of surrendering to God’s will may seem to involve giving up your own will. However, if you are sincere and truthful with yourself, and you stay with your experience without trying to change it in any way, you find out that having your own way is really a matter of surrendering to your inner truth. Your way is following the thread of your own experience. It is not a matter of choosing or not choosing it; your way is something that is given to you. It is the road you are walking on, the landscape you are traveling through. You discover that it is a huge relief not to feel that the territory you are crossing should be different than exactly how it is for you. We unconsciously confuse surrendering to God’s will—which is really just accepting what is—with capitulating to our parents. “Listen to me. Do what I tell you to do,” they demand. When we think of surrendering to God’s will, we tend to think of it as a capitulation to some greater force, rather than just completely surrendering to what is happening. Thus, all the loss of autonomy and wounded pride that we experienced as children gets reactivated. This is the only way that the ego can understand what surrender is: “God tells me to do such and such, so I’ll do it.” This comes from an identification with the belief—usually unconscious and deep within our souls—that we are children who are being ordered about by our parents. As the ego encounters reality, its process is first of all to decide whether what is happening is right or wrong. The belief that such a judgment can be made indicates the absence of Holy Perfection. If the ego decides that something is wrong with reality, what follows is the idea that you can do something about it, which indicates the absence of Holy Will. The movement of ego is a ceaseless attempt to get its own way, to try to feel better, to try to experience this or that. But you can’t change what is, so this ego activity simply brings you suffering and makes you feel entangled and full of frustration. Frustration happens when you want something and are not getting it, when you are trying to impose your will upon reality by pitting yourself against the unfolding current of the universe.
Facets of Unity, pg. 130
Superego Can Manifest Not Only in the Form of Attacks but Also as Positive Feedback: a Pat on the Back, Pride in Your Accomplishments, Self-Congratulation or a Little Bit of Ego Inflation
As we deal with the superego, we learn that the intention of this major coercive agent within us is to try to direct our experience. Basically, the superego is trying to make you feel one thing and not another: “This is acceptable; that is not acceptable. This is okay; that is not okay.” But the superego can manifest not only in the form of attacks, but also as positive feedback: a pat on the back, pride in your accomplishments, self-congratulation, or a little bit of ego inflation. What’s important to remember is that all inputs by the superego are secondary components—reactions within the event horizon. The main event is what’s really happening. If I’m authentically in a condition of realization, why do I need to pat myself on the back? Who’s doing that? If I’m feeling proud, who’s proud? If I’m getting inflated, what does that mean? What it really means is that I’m going beyond the center and traveling again to the periphery. So we need to defend ourselves even against so-called positive internal commentary. When the superego tells us that we did a great job, we can say, “Who asked you?” In time, we won’t care what it’s saying. And eventually, if we are able to deal with the superego in that way, we won’t care whether other people approve of us or disapprove of us either. Resistance is futile, but approval and disapproval become irrelevant. They are irrelevant because you are going to be absorbed into the black hole anyway. That’s where you can be at peace. This side of the event horizon is where the noise is.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 68
Taking Great Pride in Having an Original, Unique and Independent Self
In other words, the specific delusion of Point Four is the conviction in the concept of separate identity—that your “I” is ultimately separate, independent, different, and unique. This is the element of the ego that has to do with the feeling of identity, the sense of self, as opposed to the demarcating boundaries that are the province of Point Five. It is the sense that your identity exists on its own, separately and independently from all other people and all other things. Ennea-type Fours, in fact, typically take great pride in having an original, unique, and independent self. Holy Origin tells us that this is a delusion, since our true identity is the Absolute itself, which is the center of everything. If you believe that you have an independent and separate source, then everyone must have their own Absolute, which, of course, is impossible. Holy Origin shows me that I am connected to the Holy Origin and so is everyone and everything else. While everyone and everything is an expression of the same Source, each is a unique expression of that Source. No wave is exactly like any other wave; no cloud is exactly like any other cloud. When you understand uniqueness from this perspective, you realize that uniqueness is not specialness, nor is it based on separateness. This means that whenever you believe you are original, you are merely expressing the ego identity. What most people call originality is this expression, and most people believe that they are expressing themselves and being unique and original when, in fact, they are expressing their ego identity.
Facets of Unity, pg. 196
Taking Pride in the Self Image as a Humble Saintly Person, or as a Seeker
Ultimately, the desire for meaning and significance is a search for identity. Our activities are meant to give us a sense of who we are. “What gives me significance?” When we explore this we find that it has something to do with a sense of self. “Who am I? I’m the minister of the church (or a doctor, or the wife of such and such a person, etc.)” Although we may dismiss these roles as just social convention and not ultimately important, these identities do have importance in our minds. We cling to these things to give us a sense of identity and security. Even our relationships with people give us a sense of who we are, as if they were mirrors. Or perhaps my success seems to reflect my worth to me. I believe that if I achieve my goal, then I have become something. We all try to become somebody, to live up to a certain image. For some it’s the image of helping others as a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a leader, a therapist, a perfect mother or father, etc. For others it is the image of a big, strong, successful business person, or the image of a sophisticate, or of a brilliant intellect. Some even take pride in their self-image as a humble saintly person, or as a seeker. So we see that our needs for meaning and significance pervade nearly all our endeavors. You feel that you can’t live your life if it’s not meaningful. How can I live my life, if I don’t have meaning in my life, something to give me a good sense of self and identity?
Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 40
The Attitude of Prayer is One of Humility, a Relinquishment of Arrogance, a Relinquishment of Pride, a Letting Go of Wilfulness
The heart of the religious approach is prayer. Traditionally this has meant kneeling, with palms together and bowing one’s head. But prayer can take different forms including chanting, invocation and dance. What is essential is the attitude—that as you pray, the prayer reveals the truth about the one that is praying—that as a separate individual, you are not the source of any goodness. The source of goodness is being itself, true nature itself. We’ve discussed before the question of where essence comes from—how some people might see it as coming from inside them, others as coming from outside. But it’s really coming from the presence of being that is everywhere—whether we call it divine being, supreme being, or true nature. As we pray, the attitude of prayer is one of humility, a relinquishment of arrogance, a relinquishment of pride, a letting go of wilfulness, a letting go of the sense of “I know—I know what to do.” It means accepting one’s helplessness, recognizing that I can’t do it by myself. Because it’s true, the separate soul cannot. The separate soul gets all its qualities and goodness from essential nature. The moment we take ourself to be a separate soul, we disconnect ourself from our source, and then we’re deficient. And prayer shows that; it exposes this inherent deficiency of the ego. So you’re acknowledging that as you pray. The belief that you are a separate entity can be seen as the original sin, the ultimate sin. And you could say that every attitude, every action we take that doesn’t express our true nature, can be called sinful. But that’s sin in the real meaning of the word, according to the Work, not according to traditional religion. According to traditional religion, sin means that you’ve done something bad, something wrong, and you should be punished for it. From the perspective of the Work, sinning means not expressing the truth, not expressing your true nature. It means being inauthentic, being fake, being false. It’s when you’re believing yourself to be something that’s not true, and at some point you realize that you’re experiencing yourself and acting in a way that doesn’t express the truth of reality.
The Issue of Ego Pride is the Attachment to the Belief that You are a Separate Individual
So beyond the identification with the body rests the belief of being an individual separate from other humans and the rest of the universe. This is the main issue of ego. Most spiritual traditions deal specifically with this issue, addressing the movement from ego to non-ego. The transition from ego to non-ego is letting go of the belief in your individuality, your sense of separateness, your sense of uniqueness. This is an enormous transition and a big challenge. After all, you have worked all this time to achieve your reality, your unique reality. You have extricated yourself from your parents, your past, your identification with body. Finally you are real, and now this? Now you have to let go of this great accomplishment? We don’t like this at all. Many of you will recognize this place: you might begin to argue with your teachers, reject essence and reality that is beyond you, fight with God, assert your independence in various ways. You want to do things your own way, to have your own creativity. But that pride and attachment, the belief that you have to have that independence, are simply subtler forms of suffering. The issue of ego pride is the attachment to the belief that you are a separate individual. The ego is deeply invested in its separateness, its uniqueness. Our problem here is with God, with what is beyond our separate self. Who’s going to be here first, you or God? At this stage, human beings want to be a little god. It’s easy to feel, given some essential realization and development, “I’m a god on my own. I’m real. I’m eternal, not the creation of my mommy and daddy. I do my own thing. I work it out by myself. I develop myself. It is all done through my own efforts.” That is true in some way. You have done it through your own efforts. But the issue here is not reward or punishment, accomplishment or failure. The issue is truth. Individuality or the belief in uniqueness is not bad, but ignores fundamental aspects of the truth. Ignorance causes suffering, and truth relieves it. Since there is a deeper ignorance in the belief of separate self, a deeper mode of understanding needs to arise. The movement from ego to non-ego, from the individual to the cosmic, requires a profound understanding.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 105
The Pride of the Ego is the Belief that You Can Choose What Arises in Your Consciousness and that this is Essentially an Expression of the Lack of Trust that Holy Truth Does and Will Function as Holy Will
The impact of this basic tendency of ego on spiritual practice is the often-unconscious belief that working on yourself means making something happen—bringing about a certain state or a particular change in yourself—rather than seeing spiritual practice as a matter of surrender, of getting out of the way. This also means that a true spiritual practice that will ultimately bring about transformation is one that entails a surrender of your own will, prejudices, preferences, choices, and rejections. We have seen that the pride of ego is the belief that you can choose what arises in your consciousness, and that this is essentially an expression of the lack of trust that Holy Truth does and will function as Holy Will. In religious terms, it is a lack of faith in the action of grace. To the ego, freedom means being able to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. Because this isn’t often possible, you come to see the universe as constraining you and limiting your freedom. But from the perspective of Holy Freedom, freedom is wanting whatever the universe wants. When you are aligned with the universe, what you want and what is happening are the same thing. This is true freedom. This is why the Idea of Holy Freedom is fundamental to the methodology of the Diamond Approach, in which a basic part of the practice is to be present with whatever happens to be your state. If you react to it, interfere with it, or try to change it, then you can’t see it objectively but only through the screen of your projections. If you don’t see your condition or the situation in its natural state, you will continue believing your projections about it and won’t be able to penetrate its true nature. If you don’t see its true nature, it won’t unfold and expose itself as the Holy Truth that everything is. Fundamental to our understanding is that while you might have projections upon whatever you are experiencing initially, if you don’t interfere with it, the tendency of the universe is to reveal its own nature through your experience. This, of course, requires basic trust.
Facets of Unity, pg. 136
This Belief that it is Possible to Have a Will that is Separate from the Rest of the Universe is the Pride of the Ego, and when it is Deflated it Feels Like Castration
The specific difficulty and the specific reaction for each point of the Enneagram are determined by the delusion arising from the loss of its Holy Idea. The loss of holding is interpreted experientially through the filter of the delusion, so for ennea-type Two, not getting what you need from the environment (the loss of holding) is experienced as not getting your own way. The implicit belief that there is a separate you who can have your own way creates this sense, and the emotional state that accompanies it is one of humiliated castration. This state is the specific difficulty for ennea-type Two. Because of the belief that you can make things go the way you want them to, the loss of holding is experienced as an enormous blow to your pride, a deflating and humiliating slap in the face. This belief that it is possible to have a will separate from the rest of the universe is the pride of ego, and when it is deflated it feels like a castration, like your vitality and force are taken away, like what you are isn’t effective, powerful, or good enough. In the face of the loss of the sense of holding, your basic trust in the universe disappears. You come to feel that the universe is against you, or at least not with you, and so the specific reaction arises of willfully pitting yourself against what is. The specific reaction, then, for this ennea-type is that of willful action. This stance, which characterizes ennea-type Two, is one filled with pride and stubbornness in which you assert, “I am going to get my own way.” People of this ennea-type have a strong willfulness; it is important to them that things go their way and that what they make happen is important because otherwise, they feel castrated and humiliated. The fake will is very crystallized, and there is a stubborn resistance to feeling that they can’t have their way since that would make them feel castrated. So instead of feeling that whatever is happening is just what’s going on, you feel that your will is ineffective and hasn’t worked if things aren’t happening the way you want them to or think they should. This reaction of willfulness against the sense of humiliating castration implicitly contains not only the belief that you have a separate will and can choose and determine what happens, but also that you know how things should go.
Facets of Unity, pg. 134
What is Hurt are Your Identifications, Your Self-image, Your Pride
Originally, to start with, human beings create all these mind relationships, these mental relationships, these splittings in relationships, to protect the love, to protect the heart from hurt. That protection comes from ignorance. We do not know that our heart is indestructible. The heart cannot be destroyed. Your heart is more permanent than your body. Even when you feel hurt, it is not ultimately your heart that is hurt. What is hurt are your identifications, your self-image, your pride. So to continue loving regardless of what happens is not giving in to the other person; it is giving in to your heart, to your nature. Sometimes we do not allow ourselves to feel loving, and to be loving, and to act loving. This is because we think that loving means we are going to be weak, or that we are going to be taken advantage of, or exploited, or that we are being stupid, or that we are going to lose something. The fact is that the moment you close your heart, you are the one who loses. If you give in to your heart, it does not mean that you are giving in to the other person. It does not mean you are giving in to negativity. You are giving in to your nature. You are surrendering to who you are. To be always loving does not mean that you do not defend yourself. The courageous heart perceives and acknowledges what is there—good or bad. It does not pretend that there is no negativity. It perceives the negativity and deals with it with love. So to continue to be loving does not mean that you are weak. It does not mean that you are going to be dominated by someone. In fact, to have a courageous heart means you are able to be inwardly alone and independent. There is no true autonomy without a courageous heart. And there is no courageous heart without true autonomy. To have a courageous heart means to continue loving in spite of the situation, which means your heart is really autonomous. You have achieved the aloneness of the heart. It does not mean you are weak or relinquishing anything. It does not mean you are being exploited. It does not mean you are a dupe. I am saying all this because that is how most people see it: If someone has done something bad to you, you feel that you shouldn’t love them, that you are dumb if you do. No, you are being courageous.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 201
When You Allow the Black Hatred is when You May Feel Yourself Become the Devil – a Giant Black and Powerful Demon with Tremendous Pride and Destructive Hatred
If you do act out your hatred, of course it is destructive. But many people believe that just feeling the hatred will be destructive. Feeling the hatred can lead some people to act out physically and to be destructive, and that needs to be avoided. But most people—unless they have difficulty knowing what behavior is appropriate—tend to resist acting out the hatred even as they begin to directly experience the Beast. It is difficult to say why the specific experience of the devil arises. I think that the image of the devil that we see in books comes from the actual experience of hatred. It’s not that you get an image of the devil only because you’ve seen it somewhere. That image comes from an original experience, although what makes the original experience take that particular form is hard to say. It might have to do with the tension patterns of the body, or the energy flow in the system during such a state. But it appears to be an archetypal image. The Beast is a very specific issue related to the essential quality of Power. The essential Power of the soul is caught up in, and distorted by, the hatred and pride in the Beast structure. When you allow the black hatred is when you may feel yourself become the devil—a giant, black and powerful demon with tremendous pride and destructive hatred. You might tower over the city, looking at it and laughing. You might be filled with a powerful, destructive, cold, calm, and calculating hatred. You might experience the absolute insignificance of everything you see. Allowing this energetic structure to arise, and understanding its origins, illuminates deep issues about early levels of the soul’s disconnection from love. If you are able to feel the hatred without resistance or acting out, the hatred will transform into essential Power. This Power can penetrate the delusions that keep the ego’s reactivity in place and it can allow the soul to become still enough so that the quality of love can affect its state and its perception.