Excerpt About Shell
A certain shell arises at this level of the process; it is reminiscent of the fakeness and emptiness experienced in dealing with the Essential Identity, but there are significant differences. We experience the fakeness not only in ourselves, but everywhere. We feel fake and empty, empty of anything real and significant, and we also feel that everything around us is empty and lacks fullness. We first feel the empty shell as a contraction around the body, as a membrane that separates us from the rest of the world, reflecting the structure of self-entity. Further investigation reveals that the shell is not really separate from others—it is an extension of a larger and universal shell that includes everyone. When we finally experience the shell completely, we feel like part of a universal shell that includes the whole universe. In other words, we see that what we have been seeing as the world—both animate and inanimate—is actually empty and devoid of fullness, nourishment, or significance. This reflects the loss of the non-differentiated self, the state of the soul in which the self and the object world are not yet differentiated in experience. This shell is not only our personal empty self, but the perception of everything as empty and devoid of substance. We perceive that the whole world is only an appearance; everything is only a shell that has no inner truth or reality. Our empty shell is part of a larger shell that includes everything. There is nowhere to go; a painful and deficient emptiness is everywhere. This stage is difficult to go through, especially when there is no experienced guide who can hold the experience as a legitimate part of the process of self-realization.