Main Pages

By Region



Self Entity

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Self Entity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Self Entity

Entitihood is an Illusion

To experience the absolute is to experience the absence of self, person, entity, soul, essence, substance, presence. We realize very distinctly that the sense of the entity of the self is actually a result of holding different things together with some sort of glue. The glue is the concept of entity, giving the illusion of entitihood. When this holding is relaxed, then nothing remains; there does not remain even a sense of being. In other words, when we realize our deepest nature we realize it is pure and absolute selflessness. We have nothing inside, even though we are the source and ground of all existence. We are not a self, and do not have the self. We are the mystery of nonbeing, the absence of any basis for self or personality.

Four Categories of Self-Experience

We have now differentiated four categories of self-experience: self (or soul), entity, individuality, and identity. Soul is the totality of the human being, primordially a wholeness. In self-realization we recognize it as the experiencing consciousness. In the dimension of conventional experience the soul experiences itself as an entity. This sense of entity is the basis of the self experiencing itself as an individuality. The self, as an individuality, can recognize itself directly because it possesses an identity, which it experiences as the feeling of identity. These concepts are the basic and most general patterns of the experience of the self in the dimension of conventional experience. They are the primary experiences, or psychic structures, of the normal self. We have delineated them so precisely because such precision is necessary for completely understanding narcissism and self-realization. The self-representation influences the self by patterning its experience such that it knows itself as an entity with a separate individuality, which has an identity. This is the result of the development of the self as the self-representation is established in early childhood. Developmental psychology explores this process extensively, as we will discuss shortly. However, this exploration has been subject to a great deal of unclarity, confusion and disagreement regarding the above four concepts. Frequently they are used interchangeably; such usage is a result of this confusion, and also produces more confusion. For our purposes it is important to define these concepts clearly, first with respect to lived experience, and then in relation to the various developmental theories.

Limiting the Soul to the Experience of the Body

A human being is not a disconnected entity. You feel differentiated from the rest, but not separate. But if you're feeling yourself as a human being who is a separate entity and vulnerable, you're still looking at it from the perspective of the body. You're looking at the soul from a physical perspective. So the soul is limited to the experience of the body. If you allow the soul to be there as it is, without limitation, the soul will naturally fill up and expand and become everything without changing the quality that is the soul. It becomes what is called the universal soul. That's one way of experiencing the fourth dimension.

Relating to the World from the Perspective of Internalized Object Relations

The most important part of that metaphysics, of that world view, is that you relate to others and exist in the world from the perspective of internalized object relations. No matter what the object relation is, whether frustrating or rejecting or fulfilling, you relate to the world as a separate entity, a separate individual. The world exists for you as various sorts of objects. Whether the object happens to be the teaching, your teacher, your wife, your husband, essence, God, the truth, your mother, the breast, it is always something other than what you are. And you merely relate to it in a positive or a negative way. The central object relation rests on the perspective of not looking at the universe as a whole, not looking at the truth as a whole. We see that the fault is as basic as that. We look at the truth and at the reality of who and what we are as a separate entity, a separate something, a separate existence that relates to other separate existences.

The Relationship Between the Structures of Entity and Identity

The structure of the self-entity is responsible not only for the self’s demarcation from others and from the external world, but also for functioning. We have observed a certain relationship between the structures of entity and identity, in relation to action. Just as identity is the center of initiative and the source of motivation for action, individual entity is the executor of action. More accurately, it is the total self which acts, but action requires two necessary elements: The first is the motivating center out of which arises a direction for action, and the second is the structure of functional capacities needed for carrying out the action. This model is analogous to the functioning of the body, in which it is the musculoskeletal system (corresponding to entity) which acts—such as in eating, but the motivation for the action originates in the inner sensations of the body (corresponding to identity), like hunger. It is also similar to the situation of the amoeba, in which the protoplasmic mass with its membrane is what acts, but the instructions and patterns for action originate from the nucleus. The acting self is a totality, but it has, so to speak, a legislative branch and an executive one: The legislative branch is basically the self-identity and the executive branch the self-entity. Both branches are needed for meaningful action, for the complete action of the integrated self. Disturbances of either branch interfere with action.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter