Our "Self" - Both Sides
Our untrained, "everyday mind" constantly fabricates & maintains a "conceptual self", "small self" or "ego."
When not distracted by this simplistic, distorted model, we experience our indescribably, inconceivably complex being - the "experiential self."
Meditation practices allow us to gradually "let go of words & concepts" and "awaken" or open up to directly experience the mystery of reality that is utterly beyond all our models, words, stories, concepts, worries, cravings, neuroses, etc.
"The Conceptual self is often called the ego. This is who we have learned to be. This one sees differences and separates through logic and conceptual understanding. This one constructs a story-like personal history, makes beliefs and opinions, has great interest in personal status, achievement, security and money. Anxiety, insecurity, anger, self-doubt, depression, and greed are its inevitable companions.
People take this view just to get through each day but associating with it makes one feel unfulfilled, inauthentic, defensive and aggressive. Taking on this view also means mistakenly and harmfully living in a conceptual world.
The Experiential Self is our perceptual view – occurring prior to conceptualizing our ego. It’s who we are without our concept of ourself, our self-image. Where the ego makes distinctions and separates good from bad, the perceptual self sees wholeness through direct experience. This view has only the immediacy of each moment, acceptance of things as they are and an integrated sense of being. Happiness, kindness, generosity, and ethical behavior are its inevitable companions. Only the perceptual self has the capacity for unconditional love and full self-acceptance.
It’s always there, but it’s frequently blocked out by the mental noise and unwarranted warnings of our boxes of concepts – our thoughts. Returning to the perceptual view means living authentically in a fluid, perceptual world – just as it is.
Becoming disinterested in ruminative thought allows re-engagement with the perceptual world – one in which the stress brought about by conceptual living decreases and both well-being and creativity return.
In terms of wellness, creativeness, insightfulness, education about overuse of concepts / thoughts and how to return to a perceptual, experiential view by developing attentional power are the two basic remedies."
Steven Pashko PhD https://stevenpashko.com/two-selves/
Sam Brown awakeningartsacademy.com