Excerpt About Ego Identity
In the process of inquiry into our sense of self, we first see how our soul is patterned by past impressions. Such impressions perpetuate the past, with its conflicts and ignorance, as patterns of identity and character. Then we recognize that the past continues in representations, which first appear as images and object relations taken from past experiences. Going to the dimension of pure presence, we recognize that these images and representations are composed of reifications, of both basic and ordinary forms of knowledge. Pure presence penetrates these representations by showing that they are reifications, revealing the omnipresence that underlies and constitutes all forms. Yet the tendency toward reification does not disappear, though it may diminish a great deal. The separate self will continue to arise, less rigid and opaque. When true nature presents its nonconceptual dimension, we begin to detect a deeper source of this sense of self. We see that the soul cannot be completely free from the shell of reifications because as long as there are concepts available to it the mind will reify them to create such a shell. Nonconceptual presence exposes the ego identity, the shell of the separate self, as composed not only of reifications but of concepts. We realize that every time we recognize ourselves, even when the recognition is basic and immediate knowing, the mind takes the concepts of this recognition and builds reifications that then coalesce into the shell of ego.