Excerpt About Essential Realization

Embodying Essential Existence in One's Life

Many spiritual teachers describe their experience of realization as if they suddenly became realized and the personality just died, or fell away. So it is understandable that you might fantasize that one day you will finish your meditation and there will be no personality left. This idea of enlightenment or self-realization is misguided, although it is true that you can experience sudden revelations or insights that can change the rest of your life. My perception of what happens with people who claim to have lost their personality totally and spontaneously is that there often remains a split-off or suppressed part which will manifest as a distortion or a lack of integration. This means that there has been an essential realization, but the realization has not clarified the personality. It is, rather, a state of transcendence of the ego personality. If the personality is abandoned rather than integrated, the totality of life cannot be lived. We can look at the process of realization from the perspective of transcendence or from the perspective of embodiment. When people talk about getting rid of the ego, they’re talking about a transcendent experience. It is possible to transcend the personality or the ego, or even physical existence. However, there is a more difficult process which leads to the state of embodiment of reality. Rather than simply transcending the personality or physical existence, this state involves actually embodying essential existence in one’s life.

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