Monday, December 5, 2011

The Personality As Motion In The Spacious Present

From Sessions 166 and 167 of Seth's Early Sessions:

Session 166

Personality Never Isolated

"... the personality cannot be considered alone, but it must be thought of in its relationship to action and to all those aspects of reality of which it is a part.

"When it accepts an illness as a part of its own self-image, then the illness becomes an actual part of the reality that is the self. The personality must therefore be considered as a biological reality. It must be considered as an electrical reality, as a psychological reality, for any experience is automatically translated into all these systems."

Session 167

Personality As Motion In The Spacious Present

"The personality must always be considered as motion, for no aspects of it are ever still.

"With the exception of the ego, the various parts of the personality do not react to time as a series of moments. All is experienced as present. The child therefore within the adult personality is not dead, nor are his reactions considered, basically, as reactions which are part of a past behaviour pattern; but these reactions exist side by side with adult reactions.

"This should be clearly understood, yet the personality is far from static. But what it was always changes, but that which was is always taken along.

"That which was is constantly taken into what you call the present. The ego may choose to use or not use various reactions It may reject various reactions as a part of the past, for it is the ego alone who is concerned with past, present and future. The ego's denial of a reaction however does not cause the reaction to disappear from within the personality, at least as part of possible pattern reaction.

"Many reactions, many patterns or reactions, are rejected by the ego upon some occasions and accepted upon other occasions, but as a rule such alternate behaviour is annoying to the ego itself. The ego deals with cause and effect, and often denies particular reactions because it decides that they are not effective. The ego is fairly rigid, comparatively speaking. Rationalization is one method by which the ego justifies its acceptance of a reaction which it once rejected as ineffective.

"Such alternative reactions frighten the ego because they seem to injure the ego's self-image. Yet all characteristic reactions, whether denied by the ego or not, are kept for use as alternative actions. In many cases actions unacceptable to the ego may be precisely those actions that are necessary for whole other areas of the personality. When too many actions are restricted by the ego, they may begin to form impulse patterns or groupings of various rejected impulses. These then adhere through attraction, and attempt to find expression regardless of the ego's attempts to restrict expression.

"The ego must act therefore as a director of activity in the personality's relationships with the physical environment. The ego is concerned with purposeful action. However when the ego is too restrictive its conception of purposeful action becomes so narrow that many legitimate and necessary impulses are dammed up, forming these rejected action patterns.

"As the number of rejected impulses grows, more and more energy is of course concentrated in this area, the energy that is inherent within the impulses themselves. This sort of grouping together of rejected impulses will occur mainly when the ego's restrictions are too severe, so hampering that very deep and basic needs of the whole personality are being denied expression. It is therefore for the benefit of the whole personality that these impulses be given expression.

"In many instances the ego then feels a lessening of available energy and a definite shortage of energy may occur, so that the ego finds it more difficult to handle its relationships with the outside environment.

"It feels the concentration of energy that has collected to form the rejected action patterns, and indeed it may feel that this unified rejection pattern is then even an enemy to its own superiority. It may, with more force than ever, attempt to hold back the expression of these impulses, and its fear of them grows.

"The rejected action patterns, however, will find outlet. The nature of the outlet will be the result of the nature of the particular action patterns themselves. The quality of the outlet will depend upon the intensity of these patterns, and the necessity or the degree of necessity, for their expression. Unless some adjustments are made at this point, the ego will have nothing to say with the direction that these patterns may take, simply because it will not accept their legitimacy.

"The strength of the ego of course is also a factor here. If the ego is not a particularly strong one to begin with however, the conflict will seldom reach these proportions. Instead the ego will merely be slightly surprised at behaviour which it does not condone, but eventually will accept because it has been forced to recognize its reality.
"When the ego is a very rigid one however, it will not accept the reality of these rejected patterns so easily, and according to the nature of its rigidity it may restrict so many areas of activity that the inside action, or the inside impetus for expression, almost equally balances the ego force itself.

"As this point is reached the ego obviously becomes more disturbed. In very few cases however does the conflict reach this sort of proportion. A lack of communication between the ego and the inner self is obviously one of the main causes for such difficulties."

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