Ralph Waldo Emerson put it best: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
The process of self-actualization is imperative. It is not done simply by “looking into our souls” the way most New Age literature suggests. The New Age suggestion is like looking for a diamond under a gigantic boulder without first chipping away some rock. We can not look into our souls until we remove some more of the ego’s masking influence.
The word “personality” comes from the Latin “persona.” Originally it meant the mask an actor puts on when he enters the stage to play his part. The real person behind the mask, however, remained anonymous, even aloof, from the part he played. Our super-ego, or our social conscious, is this mask worn by the anonymous self. The problem with man is that he identifies so completely with the persona of his worldly character that he loses touch with his anonymous self. This true self often is quite different than the “personality” we present to the world and to ourselves. Few of us know who we really are.
Just as science informs us that our bodies regenerate themselves almost completely every seven years, our personalities undergo similar transformations. The personality of a child is not like that of the elderly. Yet on some level, we remain the same person through all these revisions. As we age, we may put on different masks and play different parts, but who we really are remains basically the same. We get so caught up in the parts we play that we believe the masks define us. But we carry to the grave a sense of a deeper, almost ageless, being. It is this ageless being that whisks off to the spirit world, while all the masks are shed and dissolve.
Phase Two breaks some of the barriers of the super-ego, exposing the actor that the world, our parents, and our associates have turned us into. Through Phase Two we gain full understanding of our false persona and reacquaint ourselves with the beautiful being within. By objectively identifying our false character we remove the mask and separate the persona from the soul. It dismisses the Three Shysters long enough to suspend judgment and light the Way to a Higher Good. The true nature of the soul becomes clear. This reacquaints us with our genuine core values and exposes the light that shines with eternal brilliance.
(An excerpt from the Phases To Spiritual Enlightenment in A Higher Good.)