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Theory of Holes

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Theory of Holes

As You Grow Up You Get Cut off from Certain Parts of Yourself

One more thing about the theory of holes. As I said, the holes get produced when you’re a child. When you’re a baby, you have no holes; you are complete when you are born. As you grow up, because of your interactions with your environment and certain difficulties you encounter, you get cut off from certain parts of yourself. Every time you get cut off from a part of you, a hole manifests. The holes then become full with the memory of the loss and the issues around the loss. After a while, you fill in the holes. What you fill the holes with are false feelings, ideas, beliefs about yourself, and strategies for dealing with your environment. These fillers are collectively called the personality, or what we call the false pearl. So the false pearl is a result of losses of parts of the self. After a time, we think this is who we are. We think we are the fillers. The personality is trying to take the place of the real thing. That’s why we do a lot of work here on understanding our personalities. We study the development of our personality until we are finally able to experience the memory of the situation in which that particular hole formed. We can look at each quality, see when it was lost, and what results. Sometimes combinations of qualities get lost. For instance, you might lose your strength, your will, and your love, and these would be a composite hole. So a whole psychological perspective can be built around the psychology of holes, which is the psychology of the personality, the false pearl.

Child's Response to the Loss of Merging Love

When merging love is lost, there is left in its place a vacuum, an emptiness, a hole in the being. Merging love of essence is a fullness – something is there. It is a delicate, soft fullness, a substantial presence. So its loss leaves an experience of absence, a lack, that is acutely and painfully felt by the child… Thus the child learns not to feel the loss and the consequent emptiness. He learns to fill the emptiness, to cover it up, to bury it. He not only relegates it to the unconscious, he actually fills it with all kinds of emotions, beliefs, dreams and fantasies.

Filling Holes

…the main islands of self-representations, besides forming the sense of identity, function to fill the holes of essential losses.

Holes get Filled by a Sector of the Personality Related to the Lost Aspect of Essence

We saw in Chapter Three, in our discussion of the theory of holes, that a hole gets filled by a sector of the personality that is related to the lost aspect of essence. We also saw that this sector of the personality is related to its particular aspect of essence by the unconscious memories of the experiences and situations that led to the loss and of the emotions involved in those experiences. In fact, this sector of the personality has in it the memory of the essential aspect itself, and so it is intimately connected to this aspect of essence. Its beginning and development contain the memory of the lost aspect, but the memory is mostly repressed. To remember it consciously involves confronting the painful situations that instituted the repression.

Loss of Essence Creates Deficient Emptiness (Holes)

We will see that as each aspect of Essence is lost, a certain hole or deficient emptiness is created. This is then filled by the development of a certain sector of the personality, a part of the personality determined by the particular aspect of Essence lost, and by the specific childhood situation or situations that led to its loss.

Source of Deficiency, a Hole

Our understanding that the personality of ego is an imitation of the essential person, the person of Being, can be made more clear by what we call our “theory of holes.” This perspective, which was developed in detail in our books Essence and The Void, states that whenever an essential aspect is missing or cut off from one's consciousness there results a deficiency, a hole, in its place. This hole is then filled by a part of the psychic structure that resembles the lost essential aspect. One fills or covers the deficiency with a false aspect in its place.

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