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TAKING OFF THE MASK AS A DAILY PRACTICE - Inner judge, self-image and space - 1

A central aspect of the ego-superego dynamic is the way in which through our inner dialogue we recreate images of the Self and the world, and how they FORCE us to live (and share) suffering and separation.

It is not a simple issue because it involves two very "hot" themes:

a. The first is our attachment to these images out of fear, survival and a desire for security.

b. The second is the fact that this attachment manifestswithall the characteristics of an addiction, such as that to a narcotic substance, alcohol, pornography, work, TV, etc.

When we face these things, fragmentation and de-structuring of the personality appear and they manifest as real withdrawal crises. This is an intense and extremely powerful part of the spiritual journey that needs a solid foundation in our will and strength through the initial work of understanding the dynamics with the superego, the practice of conscious defence, and compulsivereactivity.

Some key points:

1. We rarely experience reality directly, both inside and out. The inner dialogue between ego and superego that takes place at a subconscious level activates a filter (which includes inner representations of ourselves and the world) and through this filter we feel, think and act. By freeing our awareness from the automatism of reactivity and learning to be alert to the attacks of the judge, little by little it becomes possible to be more aware of the inner dialogue and thus recognize our movement of identification with both the judge and the child. This is a huge step forward because, while it is quite easy for almost everyone to acknowledge the presence of the judge and dis-identify, it is much more difficult to let go of identification with the often-idealized child. The reality is that ego and superego support each other in an unhealthy and distorted relationship of complete co-dependence.

2. It is only when we recognize this co-dependence and our preference for one or the other (superego or child) and decide to let go of this preference, that the inner image supported by that dialogue begins to melt and a vision of reality otherwise inaccessible also opens.

3. Our attachment to the judge or the child is therefore the central element to be explored and the best question to use in this case is: "What do I gain by attaching myself to my judge or sticking to my child?". This question must be asked again and again both in general terms and, above all, in the specific situations in which we realize that we have acted our preference and therefore that we are slaves to a limited, partial and fundamentally distortedway of interpreting reality.

4. This process inevitably activates a deconstruction of our image. Identity reference points to which we were accustomed: physical, emotional and mental, tend to disappear or become more transparent and this radically changes our perception of our inner space. In this phase the most essential support is an ongoing and dynamic inquiry also supported, when necessary, by someone who has already walked on this path and is more familiar with it.

Consciously deconstructing one's image requires not only great attention and commitment but above all COMPASSION. Compassion for ourselves and the world we have created and narcissistically continue to create. This radical compassion is what can allow us to reopen the wounds that hide under the frozen images of our past. Compassionmakes us look, without further hurting ourselves, at all the false masks that we wear and protect fiercely. It is compassion that allows us to recognize and feel our isolation, the fear of not making it, the resignation, the sincere and innocent need forthe other.

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