Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Human Personality - Action and Ego

From Seth Session 165:

"I would like to continue with our discussion concerning the nature of the human personality in its relationship to action, and in connection with the matter of illness and health in general.

... "It must be thoroughly understood that under no circumstances is the personality a static or motionless construction. It is, instead, a collection of spontaneous actions. Only when it is viewed in this perspective can you begin to understand how it forms its own health. All basic adjustments to the personality, in a basic manner, must come from within, through regroupings of characteristic actions about unifying principles.

"The personality itself exists in many dimensions, as you know, and it has its reality within many other fields than the physical field, and is indeed basically not nearly as allied with the physical field as you may imagine. These unifying principles of which I spoke are themselves main, dominating groups of actions, about which the main energies of the personality group themselves.

"These unifying principles themselves, however, constantly and imperceptibly change. Upon another occasion we will consider the ways in which these unifying principles may shift. In many cases it may appear as if exterior circumstances formed such inner shifts, changing the whole unifying structure of the personality, and shifting the personality into what would appear to be entirely uncharacteristic activities.

"In such a case, however, the shiftings still come from within. The active gestalt of the personality is indeed so complex, the actions that compose it are so intertwined, that only the deep, interior intuitions of the personality involved will ever come close to a complete understanding of the workings of the particular personality system.

"Such understanding simply cannot follow logical lines. The intellect may indeed grasp some of this understanding from the intuitions, but the intellect itself is aware of only minute portions of the whole personality. Again, this is not meant to minimize the value of the intellect. The fact remains that answers sought by a personality can only be found through a traveling within the actions that compose the self. Within our last session, I explained some of the basic psychological heritage that resides within the action makeup of the personality. There is no escaping this heritage, and it is so important that without it the personality system could not be built up.

"I spoke, for example, of the acquiescence of action at certain levels to any kind of stimuli, indiscriminately, whether painful or pleasurable. Without this basic acquiescence, actions would not have been given the freedom to break patterns down and evolve new ones of them. This is not necessarily a more primitive aspect. It is simply a basic characteristic of action at certain levels, and the human personality, with its complicated ego structure, is nevertheless composed of many actions that operate at this level.

"In a most basic manner, a denial of stimuli is a negative action, if any action could be called negative. I do not, of course, speak in human terms, where every stimuli for example should then be followed or sought out indiscriminately. This is not my meaning. I am talking of deeper biological levels, and indeed of levels that are buried within tissue itself.

"The very nature of the ego and of the personality is formed by the ability to choose between actions or stimuli; but life as it is not connected to a highly differentiated ego, rejoices in all stimuli, as sensation, whether it is pleasurable or painful, for these distinctions do not exist in your terms. In the beginning of our sessions I spoke in a general manner, for example, saying that trees and plant life had a consciousness, but not a developed ego system. The tree, therefore, is conscious of the pain connected with, say, the severing of a limb.

"(See the 18th session, in Volume 1.)

"It does not fear destruction however, as the ego does. It still fights for survival, of course; but the consciousness of plant life involves a consciousness of self as it operates within action. It sees or feels itself as a part of continuing action, and because of this inner atomic knowledge it does not fear destruction, basically, knowing that it will be changed into other kinds of action.

"Its identity is within action. To say that its identity and its continuity or sense of continuity is within action, is not too far off, although the word continuity in this instance would be misleading.

"It is only lately that your psychologists have even begun to understand the connection between biology and personality, and they understand it in only the most simple of terms.

"To begin with, not enough is understood about the biological structure, for the nature of the atoms and molecules that form the biological structure is still largely misunderstood, and very little has been done in this field.

"The personality exists in a diffused fashion within the physical system, and it therefore is most basically composed of those biological heritages, and those heritages that are a property of cellular structure, long preceding multicellular existence.

"We have to some extent explained the reality of the personality within the electrical system. We have to some extent explained its basic origin within inner reality. We have explained the fact that the potentialities of the personality and of the self are basically unlimited. But during its alliance within the physical system, it is diffused within the cellular structure, and interrelating actions between the biological system, the electrical system, and the personality structure actually form the reality of the human individual.

"(See the following sessions in Volume 3 for material on the electrical system: 122 to 128, 131, 135, among others, and 162, 164 in Volume 4).

"You cannot probe into the one system without affecting the others. It is basically meaningless to consider the personality as separate from the simultaneous actions of which it is composed. The personality, as you know, has also a reality within the dream universe. It should be obvious that in a most basic and practical manner the personality however is not involved with physical time to any degree. Only a part of the personality, the ego, is so involved. It is obvious of course that the personality system will react to stimuli that seem, to the ego, to be far divorced in time. That is, the personality may react to a stimuli in the present that occurred originally twenty years ago, to the ego's understanding of time.

"But past, present and future as such simply do not have meaning to the other aspects of the personality. The idea and reality of physical time parallels the development of the ego. Consciousness of self, alone, is unaware of your physical time. The physical time idea is a product of the ego's tendency to make finer distinctions in order that it can classify and categorize, and therefore identify and give permanence to its own sensations.

"In most circumstances the arrangement is an excellent working operation. However, when the ego carries its categorizing tendency too far, it may reject whole areas of significant action which has been experienced by the whole personality. It may choose to reject whole areas for various reasons, usually out of a mistaken fear that the actions involved threaten the permanence of itself.

"Such a rejection is definitely an impeding action. It is this rejection on the ego's part that is the basis for so-called neurosis in many cases. The fault is not that a particular action has been buried by the subconscious. The fault is that the ego has refused to accept the action from the subconscious, therefore impeding the natural flow of energy. Naturally, all actions are not recognized by the ego, nor is it necessary in any case.

"It is when significant actions, important to the whole personality, are so rejected that the difficulties arise. It is also true however that these refusals to assimilate action on the ego's part are also an integral part of the characteristics of the personality as a whole action. In each individual, certain categories of action may be habitually denied. As the characteristics of a personality may be somewhat deduced from those actions which the ego accepts, so also much may be learned about any given personality by a study of those actions which the ego habitually denies.

"As a rule, secondary personalities are given their energy as a direct result, so to speak, of a too-rigorous and rejecting ego. In many, though not all instances, such a secondary personality may represent simply the whole personality's quite healthy attempts at expression that have been too long denied. you get a regrouping of unifying principle actions, and a division of energies about two different ego systems.

"It should be obvious that in Ruburt's case no such habitual rejections by his ego have backed up in this manner. The secondary personality, however, is of course a reality in many circumstances. It can be considered as an impeding action in the same manner that an illness can be considered, but its overall value, or detrimental effects must be judged, again, as with an illness, on the overall service or disservice which it performs for the whole personality.

"Without such a secondary regrouping of actions for example, a much more serious open breakage, a deep personality cleavage, might in some cases result. In some cases the secondary personality is, again, an emergency measure that will eventually tide the whole personality over, allow for the expression of actions before their explosion completely disrupts the personality system; and then the secondary personality structure may be dispensed with for all practical purposes, to be recalled however upon another emergency.

"In such a case the secondary personality may represent the best of the available alternatives that can be practically taken by the personality to maintain itself. The impeding action, then, would have a survival value.

"In some cases of course the secondary personality would be a severely impeding one, stealing away the main energies. However, it must be understood that from the whole personality's viewpoint, a strong ego, that is a dependable one, and one that will also allow necessary expression, is a necessity. Therefore from the standpoint of the whole personality, the adoption of a new ego, so to speak, with a more practical grouping of unifying principles, could be the best solution of the previous ego, the previously dominant ego, (if it) had been an incapable one.

"In this case the so-called secondary personality would express the whole personality to better advantage, and actually reinforce its permanence and identity.

"The personality must be understood from all these viewpoints, and it must be understood as an action gestalt.

"The ego must be understood as having certain general necessary characteristics. Again, it must attempt to see itself as apart from action, even though basically the attempt to do so must fail. The attempt however allows the ego to act as a front man, so to speak, an organized and disciplined agent to deal with physical environment for the whole personality.

"A very delicate network of imbalances is here maintained. The ego must not be too rigid, or too much a disciplinarian, or it ceases to speak for the whole personality, and becomes a warden, imprisoning the main expressive urges of the deeper self. It must not on the other hand be composed of too disorganized a system of actions, for in this case it is not capable of maintaining a consistent sense of identify or purpose, and is not strong enough to act in a magnetic manner, that will attract or hold the basic energies of the personality.

"As far as Ruburt's personality structure is concerned, we are extremely fortunate. The ego is secure enough, and strong enough, as an organizing agent, for the basic personality energies, so that it can allow me to communicate without fear that the personality structure will be in any way disrupted.

"Indeed as you may have observed, the personality continues in a rather unruffled fashion, considering the circumstances. This is why valid communications can occur between us, and it is also the reason why such communications rarely occur, generally speaking. In the case of an insecure ego you have two immediate problems, and are involved instantly with difficulties:

"The basic personality would be fearful of such communications, knowing instinctively the weakness of the ego. The ego would be extremely insecure. On the other hand, the personality would almost welcome a strong organizing force, regardless of its source, and could tend to latch onto it as much as possible. A study of secondary personalities is most fascinating, since such a study would give you an excellent idea of the manner in which the ego in general is formed, for it is but a unity of energy under auspices of the strongest actions characteristic within the given personality system.

"These energies are naturally drawn from within the whole personality. What is not generally recognized is the fact that the ego itself constantly changes. It is only when the change is unusually vivid, and definitely perceivable, that you speak of secondary personalities. But the main characteristic drives of any given personality shift continually; for all its attempts in the opposite direction, the ego must change just to exist, and its very permanence is dependent upon its flexibility.

"The ego, then, is as much characterized by those types of action which it habitually denies, as by those types of actions which it habitually accepts. It is not the only organizing aspect of the personality, however. It is simply the organizing aspect of the personality in its dealings with the physical environment. The inner ego is another organizing feature of the personality in its dealings with inner environment."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Illness as Impeding Action

From Session 164 of Seth's Early Sessions:

Impeding Actions

"Impeding actions represent actual blockages of energy or of action, dead-end accumulations. In one manner of speaking this does not mean that the action is terminated, however.

"It does mean that action is turned into channels that are not to the best interests of the whole personality. The energies appear concentrated and turn inward, affecting the whole system. They represent offshoots, again not necessarily detrimental in themselves, but only when viewed from the standpoint of the other actions that form the personality framework.

"Such actions naturally possess all the characteristics of action in general, and therefore will seek other methods of materialization and expression. An attempt at discipline will be made. The structure will seem, that is the impeding structure will seem, to maintain itself. The whole personality at any given time, because of its own nature and characteristics, has only a given amount of energy available to it in practical terms, though ideally speaking its energy is not limited.

"However, a certain portion of the energy practically available to it is therefore spent in the maintenance of this impeding action. It is obvious therefore that less energy is available to the personality for actions more beneficial to the personality system as a whole.

"This situation can be serious in varying degrees, according to the impetus and intensity of the original propelling cause behind the impeding action. If the impetus is a powerful one, then the impeding action will be of more serious nature, blocking up large reserves of energy for its own purposes. It obviously becomes part of the personality-psychological structure, the physical structure, the electrical and chemical structure, invading to some extent even the dream universe.

"It is, momentarily, literally accepted by the personality as a part of the self, and here lies its danger. It is not just symbolically accepted, and I am not speaking in symbolic terms. The impeding action, as seen in an illness for example, is quite literally accepted by the personality structure, and by all corresponding systems, as a portion of the self. Once this occurs, a conflict instantly develops. The self does not want to give up a portion of itself, even while that portion may be painful or disadvantageous. There are many psychological reasons behind such a psychological truth.

"For one thing, while pain is unpleasant it is also a method of familiarizing the self against the edges of quickened consciousness. Any heightened sensation, pleasant or unpleasant, has a stimulating effect upon a consciousness to some degree. It is a strong awareness of activity and life. Where the stimulus may be extremely annoying, and humiliatingly unpleasant, certain portions of the psychological framework accept it indiscriminatingly because it is a sensation, and a vivid one. The acquiescence to even painful stimuli is a basic part of the nature of consciousness, and a necessary one.

"Even a quick and automatic rejection or withdrawal from such stimulus is in itself a way by which consciousness knows itself. The ego may attempt to ignore or escape from such experiences, but the basic nature of action itself is the knowing of itself in all aspects; and in a basic manner, in a very basic and deep manner, action does not differentiate between pleasant, painful or enjoyable actions.

"These differentiations come much later and on another level, and in a later evolutionary development. But because the personality is composed of action, the personality also contains within it this characteristic of action, in that it accepts all sensations as expressions of itself, and does not discriminate between stimuli.

"Action accepts all stimuli in an affirmative manner. It is only when action becomes compartmented, so to speak, in the development of highly differentiated consciousness, that such refinement occurs. I am not here saying that unpleasant stimuli will not be felt as unpleasant, and reacted against, by less self-conscious organisms. I am saying that less self-conscious organisms will rejoice even in their automatic reaction against such stimuli, because any stimuli and reaction represents sensation, and sensation is another method by which such action knows and expresses itself.

"On a very basic level, as consciousness with a self (but no conscious "I" exists in the most minute division of consciousness), all action and all sensations and all stimuli are instantly and automatically and joyfully accepted, regardless of their nature. At this level no knowledge of threat exists.

"Action at this level is conscious of itself, but the "I" differentiation is not definite enough to fear destruction or painful stimuli. Here we merely have action knowing itself. And knowing itself, it knows its basic indestructibility, knows its own oneness, and has no fear of destruction, for it is also part of destruction itself, from which further action will evolve.

"The complicated organism which is the human personality with its physical structure, has evolved, along with many other structures, a highly differentiated "I" consciousness, whose very nature is such that it attempts to preserve the apparent boundaries of identity. To do so it chooses between actions, for the very choice, or act of choosing, and ability to do so, represents the nature of identity. But beneath this sophisticated gestalt are the simpler foundations of its being, and indeed the very acceptance of all stimuli without which identity would be impossible.

"Without any acceptance of painful stimuli the structure could never maintain itself, for the atoms and molecules within the structure constantly accept painful stimuli, and suffer even joyfully, their own destruction; being aware of their own separateness within action, and aware of their reality within all action, and not having complicated "I" structures to maintain, there is no reason for them to fear destruction.

"They are aware of themselves as a part of action, and therefore through capsule comprehension, which we have discussed, the simple atoms and molecules are aware of their own basic immortality. All this is basic knowledge, if you would understand why the personality accepts even an impeding action, or pain or illness, as a part of itself, despite the ego's resistance to pain.

"We have yet to discuss pain and pleasure. However the subject will be covered thoroughly, in sessions dealing with the nature of the human personality.

"Now, however, you understand the reason why even an impeding action is literally accepted by the personality as a portion of the self, and why therefore efforts must be made that will coax the personality to give up any portion of itself, if progress is to be made. Once the personality can understand that an illness has been accepted as a portion of the self, then even the ego will be an aid.

"We are also helped here by several characteristics of the personality, in that it is forever changing, and its flexibility will be of benefit. We merely want to change the direction in which it moves, or rather the direction in which some of its energy moves. It must be seen by the personality that the impeding action is a hardship on the part of the whole structure, and that this particular portion of the self is not basic to the original personality structure, but only adopted.

"The longer the impeding action is accepted as a part of the self, the more serious the problem. The impeding action or illness however is not a part of the basic personality structure, or action gestalt, which is composed of action patterns formed since birth. Compared to this truly astounding structure, that is the result of the memory of every atom and molecule, this impeding action is relatively unimportant, and when correct methods are used, it can be dislodged without too much difficulty.

"The peculiar nature of the impeding action or illness has much to do with its persistence. The whole focus of the personality can shift from constructive areas to a concentration of main energies in the area of the impeding action or illness. In such a case the illness actually represents a new unifying system. Now, if the old unifying system of the personality has broken down, the illness, serving as a makeshift, temporary emergency measure, may hold the integrity of the personality intact until a new constructive unifying principle replaces the original.

"In this case the illness could not be called an impeding action, unless it persisted long after its purpose was served. Even then, without knowing all the facts surrounding the personality, you could make no judgment, for the illness could still serve by giving the personality a sense of security, being kept on hand, so to speak, as an ever-present emergency device in case the new unifying principle should fail.

"This discussion will necessarily involve us with the structure of personality, and the nature of what you call suggestibility.

"It is therefore impossible to consider an impeding action, such as an illness, without taking into consideration the particular structure-unifying devices, subconscious and conscious personality tendencies.

"In other words, an action cannot be judged as an impeding one without a thorough knowledge of the other actions that result in the makeup of any given personality. This is extremely important. To overlook this point is to risk the adoption on the part of the personality of a more serious illness.

"Unifying principles are groups of actions about which the whole personality forms itself at any given time. These unifying principles may change, and do change, usually in a relatively smooth fashion, when action is allowed to flow unimpeded.

"When it is not allowed to flow unimpeded, following the patterns or channels for its expression that have been evolved by the personality, then various blockages of energy occur; with such blockups of inhibited action, small blockages occur frequently, and the blockages or impediments themselves must be understood, not as something apart from the personality, but a part of the changing personality,

"Indeed, oftentimes they serve to preserve the integrity of the whole psychological system, and to point out the existence of inner problems. Often they serve temporary functions, leading the personality from other more severe areas of difficulty. I am not here saying that all illness is good. I am saying that illness is a portion of the action of which any personality is composed, and therefore it is purposeful, and cannot be considered as an alien force that attacks the personality from without.

"This is an extremely fascinating area of study, and one that we shall pursue rather vigorously. The whole personality must be led to choose those actions which are of the most benefit to itself as a whole, and its integrity as a unit is determined by its choices in this matter.

"I will at various times use as an example your friend's ulcer, simply because the ulcer represents an excellent example of an impeding action or illness. It must therefore be clearly understood that an impeding illness is a creation of the personality itself. The very effectiveness and nature of the personality, and health of the personality, is dependent upon the manner in which it handles its ability to choose between various kinds of action.

"Without the choice there would be no personality. The exaltations and triumphs of the personality are as much a result of this ability to choose between actions, as are its illnesses and disasters. In almost all cases, impeding actions are the result of a refusal to allow action to flow unhampered in certain directions. It seeks other outlets, and these outlets are caused by fear.

"Now, while it is basically true that the personality is composed of action, and that its very awareness and identity is a result of action, this is not meant to imply any negation of psychological or psychic values, although these are also actions.

Personality As Simultaneous Action

"The personality structure can be studied from many viewpoints. We are now studying it in relation to its basic reality as action. While it may seem that the personality would be a result of a series of actions, this is not basically the case. The personality in actuality is simultaneous action, that is composed of actions within actions. Portions of it are conscious of its awareness as a part of action, and portions of it attempt to stand aside from action.

"This attempt forms the ego, and is itself action. If illness was thrust upon action, or upon the personality from the outside, then the personality would be at the mercy of outside agencies.

"Now, in so far as everything is basically action, the personality is affected by outside agencies, but in a most basic manner it chooses those actions which it will accept or reject.

"An illness can be rejected by the personality. The habit of illness can be rejected. Illness is sometimes in the overall, however, beneficial. A given illness, that is, may be beneficial. When action is allowed to flow freely, then neurotic rejections of action will not occur; and it is neurotic rejections of action that often cause unnecessary illnesses.

Future Discussions On Illness

"For we will be involved here with a definite classification as to when an illness is beneficial and when it is detrimental. This will be most important. An illness is almost always the result of another action that cannot be carried through.

"When the lines to the original action are released and the channels opened to it, the illness will vanish. In some cases however, you see, the thwarted action may be one with disastrous consequences, which the illness may prevent. The personality has a logic of its own. We will be involved for many sessions to come with these problems, for they are of basic value, and practical value.

"We will, then, later discuss the manner in which the difference can be seen between a beneficial illness, and a severely detrimental one. We will see how a temporarily necessary illness can be greatly lessened, and the symptoms minimized, while the illness is still retained as a temporary emergency measure, and then gradually allowed to disappear when its presence becomes unnecessary.

"We will also see how an unnecessary and detrimental illness, that does not serve much purpose, can be dismissed."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Constructive and Impeding Suggestion

From Session 164 of Seth's Early Sessions (Vol 4):

More on Suggestion

"What you call suggestion ... is but a projection into the physical universe of data that operates constantly, as a basis for, and within, action. It is basically a psychic manifestation that gives direction to action, and to the various manifestations which action may take.

"Suggestion is therefore one of the characteristics of action. The term suggestion is a poor one. As it operates within your system, and within the human personality, the word expectation is a much better term. Nevertheless, expectation is only one phrase, for the same kind of inner directive activity is pertinent within all forms of action.

"What you call suggestion then is but a small aspect of a larger directive characteristic that is ever part of action itself. It is indeed in the nature of an impetus, an inner impetus that belongs to action and is not some force separated from action, and acting upon it. This impetus is a natural and spontaneous movement that springs from within action itself. It can even be termed the direction, or the various spontaneous directions, in which action itself moves.

"These directions are not forced upon action by any laws. They are merely the resultant patterns with which energy expresses itself. You are only familiar as a rule with this impetus, or these directions, in rather shallow manners, for the ego prefers not to perceive them. These motions are merely the flow which action takes. What you term negative suggestions are usually impeding actions, or directions of action which impede the main directive inner flow. They operate then in much the same manner as crosscurrents, setting up blockages, and impeding main energies by dividing them in several diverse directions.

"It is important that it be understood that suggestion, as you know it, is but the manifestation of inner flows and inner directions. Without the inward flows and directions, it goes without saying that action would indeed involve itself in chaotic disorders, without constructive patterns or materializations. It would instead entangle itself within the power of its own energy, and be unable to form any long-lasting patterns or frameworks within which fulfillments and fairly permanent constructions could be formed.

"When you speak of negative suggestions, you are actually referring to a situation where such crosscurrents entangle action within itself, and therefore impede the main constructive impetus that unrestricted action allows. Until the energy, once again, becomes disentangled, action will therefore flow also in the crosscurrents, and the main trunk of energy that gives overall integrity and identity to any given unit could therefore be severely threatened.
"On the part of any human personality, therefore, it is extremely important that methods be learned to let action follow its normal directive bent within the personality, therefore avoiding these abortive offshoots that impede main directives and purposes of the unit as a whole.

"The integration of the whole personality as a psychological unit, and as an effective psychic gestalt, is obviously dependent upon the free and unimpeded flow of action. Any impediments here can be most threatening to the integrity of the personality itself, for one aspect of the personality would benefit at the expense of other aspects.

"The personality itself, as you know, is a gestalt of action, and as such it is necessary that the flow of action within it follow the overall directives of the entity and the inner self. When for example the ego is allowed to apply too tightly and too rigorously its inhibitory functions, then this freedom of action within the personality is seriously divided and impeded."

Illness As An Impeding Action

"Now, as far as our discussion is concerned, we have in the past mentioned that there are no exact duplicates in any circumstances. There are however, obviously, patterns which are set up by action, that may be thought of as pathways composed of action, through which action then flows.

"Once such a pathway has been constructed, we have what you may call an action pattern or habit. Therefore, when cross currents of action are constructed, action will continue in those directions unless it is diverted back to other channels. Then the secondary or impeding channel will automatically be closed off. But all action must be withdrawn from it, for as long as the channel remains, then the possibility remains that the impeding action will reoccur.

"There is indeed no hard and fast rule to tell you which actions are basically impeding actions, and which are not. For what may appear an impeding action may indeed turn out to be the burst of a new and constructive direction, which may eventually represent a new and stronger pattern of identity and integrity, that will completely refresh the original unit and add to its vitality and strength.

"The inner self here, through intuitive insight, can usually recognize whether an action is an impeding or a constructive one for the purposes of the personality involved. Even an action which appears blatantly as an impeding action, may temporarily serve as a constructive one. It may then turn into an impeding action.

"An illness, as an impeding action for example, may nevertheless be a constructive action at any given time, in that it may prevent action within the personality from following more destructive actions. When this destructive possibility has passed however, an illness that is still maintained would therefore become a definite impeding action; for any seemingly impeding action cannot be judged alone, but in the context of other action elements of which any given personality is involved.

"It is extremely difficult, but it is possible for the human system to close off, for all practical purposes, a channel that has been used for the flow of such an impeding action. The channel may automatically disappear, but the action itself can never be withdrawn.

"We will discuss what you call suggestion in more practical terms, for your particular uses. Nevertheless it is necessary that its basic nature be understood. The ego simply cannot judge, as a rule, whether an action is a constructive or an impeding one, for the personality as a whole.

"It can judge whether an action is a constructive or an impeding one for itself. Upon many occasions the purposes of the ego coincide with the purposes of the whole personality, but upon many occasions the purposes of the ego do not coincide with the best purposes of the whole personality. And in such cases the ego is not equipped to judge, except for itself.

"It can however be taught a very valuable function here. The first prerequisite is that the ego understand both the nature of its dependence upon the whole personality, and the nature of its peculiar directive abilities in relation with the physical universe. When there is good communication between all areas of the self, and this is a big when, then the judgment of the ego can be trusted to some greater extent.

Choosing Action Through Constructive Suggestion

"Suggestions given by an individual on any kind of conscious basis have to be given with the cooperation of the ego. Many suggestions bypass the ego entirely. Suggestion however, as you think of it, operates both ways. This is not usually understood. Suggestions may come therefore from the physical world, to act upon the personality. Suggestions may also come from within the personality to act upon the physical environment.

"You can indeed to a large measure train yourself to react to constructive rather than impeding suggestions. This merely means that you will, or may to some extent, choose the direction in which action within you will move. This also implies that some part of the personality does the choosing, and is capable of distinguishing a construction suggestion from an impeding one. And here it is necessary that we discuss more thoroughly the nature or characteristics of constructive suggestions versus impeding ones, for one may turn into the other.

"No one portion of the personality should be allowed to block the free flow of energy or action. Impeding actions are easily recognized by their effects, psychological or physical, upon the human system. An illness is the result of an impeding action, generally speaking, but there are exceptions to this case, as others.

"There are indeed methods by which the flow of action can be turned back, away from the impeding channels, and we will discuss that matter in some detail.

"Again, we will have many sessions indeed, dealing with the gestalt that is the human personality, and at that time much of this material will fall into place.

"We are dealing here, again, merely with the various aspects of action. As a personality itself is an action gestalt, within the inner self there is a capsule comprehension of the purposes and intents of the whole personality. These are indeed within the very structure, both psychic and physical, of the personality itself. The ego, on its own as a separate unit, does not have such data, although since it is after all a portion of the whole self, it does have such information available. But when it acts as a unit it does not use such information.

"The information is not closed to it. It simply does not use it, and there are several quite sufficient reasons for this, reasons that have to do with the necessary apart manner in which the ego, when it operates as a separate unit, views the physical universe.

"When the personality is well integrated, then even when it operates as a separate unit the ego still fulfills the basic purposes of the personality as a whole. It is the communication between the very areas of the self which is so important here, as in many other matters. It is possible for the ego to realize its position as but one part of the whole personality, while it still behaves in a directive manner toward physical manipulation.

"This is the ideal circumstance, for when this is the case then the ego listens to the inner self, and then directs its energy outward in a way that is beneficial for the whole gestalt framework. What you call negative suggestions are often judgments of the ego, for suggestion works from the ego to the subconscious, as well as it works the other way around. Such suggestions made by the ego can indeed be caught, and positive or constructive suggestions given to replace them.

"However, automatic responses can also be set up, so that only constructive suggestions are reacted to. In such instances however, the inner self should be allowed to make the judgment ultimately, as to which suggestions are constructive and which are not.

"There are certain manners that are more advantageous than others in the giving of such suggestions, and we will go into these at another session. We may also, indeed, begin at least a partial study of the framework of the personality as it is related to action, for such discussion will follow along well with our material on suggestion.

"It must be understood that the personality is indeed an action within action, and that it is therefore never stationary. Indeed suggestions, being the directions in which action moves, represent the very impetus that constantly changes the action of any given personality. It goes without saying, once more, that all of these designations imply a separation which does not exist in fact, and imply definite boundaries which are not present.

"For all actions merge one into the other, and none are truly independent; and all units merge one into the other, and all boundaries shift, and are arbitrarily chosen. Boundaries are the results of the limitations of perception, for a unit seems to end where perception of it ceases."