The building blocks of Voice Dialogue, summarised in earlier sections, can be brought together into a powerful conceptual system. The diagram below shows the structure. The opposites are called Primary Self and Disowned Self. Examples are thinking and feeling, and doing and being but there are many, many possibilities. The Aware Ego Process allows us to accommodate opposites in an expanded sense of self.
There is a fifth element, linkage, not shown in the diagram. As one’s degree of separation from the world diminishes linkage with other humans, with other sensate forms, indeed with the world, seen and unseen, begins to develop.
The golden Buddha is a rhetorical device to show the connection between the Aware Ego Process and a more traditional symbol of wholeness. The awareness looks on without wavering, the vulnerability is held with great gentleness in both hands, and the embrace of the opposites forms a base, which is not easily destabilised.
The purpose of Voice Dialogue as I have expressed it so far can be summarised as the development of an Aware Ego.
The Aware Ego Process takes on several roles at different stages of our development. At first it releases us from the grip of the explicit ego, the habits that I defined as ‘I’.
Spiritual traditions often emphasise another dimension of development. These approaches define the limitation, the distortion, as the ego itself, whether functional or not. So the ego becomes the barrier that is holding us back not the solution to the barrier that is holding us back. At a later stage the Aware Ego Process allows us to be freed from the grip of ego itself; not free from ego, as the sense of self does not disappear, but free from exclusive identification with a separate sense of self. The Aware Ego Process also plays a very important role during those episodes in which we drift into an encompassing awareness and then fall out of it and have no idea what has happened or what to do about it.
The essential issue is that once we identify with an ego we experience ourselves as separate from the (rest of the) world whereas we are actually not. Ego development is simultaneous with the creation of apparent duality, the experience of an objective world ‘out there’ and a subjective world ‘in here’. All the lesser dualities are offspring of this duality. The Aware Ego is a significant step to removing or diluting these barriers and is an elegant summary of even more.
To go further in terms of the model and actual individual development it is useful to see awareness as encircling, as a sphere (ensphering), all the activities which take place within it. It may be just beyond my draughtsmanship skills. But I am not so sure. The Aware Ego Process, from this broader perspective is an expression of the ability to acknowledge form, formlessness and the One which is both and is beyond both. The diagram might then represent individuals awakening to their true nature, watching form arising from formlessness; individual consciousness recognised not as separate but as one centre of many through which the divine as divine explores its own infinite nature and expresses its infinite creativity. This is divine relativity.
Some nice physical models help to see this: the dispersion of white light through a prism produces colours – a rainbow. White light passing through a slit produces diffraction: patterns emerge where there were none. Schrödinger, the great physicist, influenced by Eastern views on the fundamental nature of reality, was clear that his formulation of quantum physics, the wave equation, had room for potential but indeterminate outcomes and actual, specific outcomes once there was somebody to observe them.
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