I recently purchased Our Moments: Conversation Starters for Great Relationships. It’s a deck of cards, each posting a single question meant to spark a discussion with your significant other. I brought them on a recent trip to the beach with my wife.
One of the first cards I pulled from the deck asked, “What have you lost since childhood that you would like to regain?”
I thought for a moment and said, “A sense of playfulness, innocence and wonder.” Only upon thinking about it further did I realize I was describing my essence.
Your essence consists of your body type (in relation to the enneagram), your center of gravity (whether you are predominantly emotional, intellectual, moving or instinctive) and your alchemy (your ability to take in impressions; something I will discuss in a future article). Essence is largely determined by the genes we inherit from our parents, however, there is also a planetary influence (another future article).
Simply put, your essence is who you were as a very young child. It is the ‘real’ you—the you that existed before you began to develop false personality, which are all the qualities of your personality that you acquired from your parents, peers, teachers, country of origin, society, media, etc. When you are stripped of false personality, you exist in your essence.
One reason we work against false personality is to be able to live under less “life” influences. In doing so, it is easier to be present and engage the soul.
If you begin to remove what is false, what is true is revealed. This is an important part of spiritual awakening. Removing false personality allows you to more easily access the spiritual dimension as false personality is the main source of our negative emotions which prevent us from being present. Consequently, false personality is also the root of most of our problems.
When you are living from your physical essence, the soul is more easily accessible as false personality no longer serves as a buffer to experiencing Spirit.
You do not often see someone who is in their essence who has not worked on themselves to remove a certain amount of false personality. Individuals who maybe have grown up on a farm all their lives and lived off the land might naturally be closer to their essence, but it is rare for it to occur without intentional effort.
For most people, false personality is active and essence is passive. Part of being on a spiritual path is to work towards making false personality passive and essence active. In this way, you become the ‘real you’ and can then begin to grow in essence—you become who you were meant to be, not who you imagined yourself to be.
However, it is also possible to crystallize in false personality, meaning an individual “hardens” and their false personality becomes so strong and ingrained in them that their essence is no longer accessible. He or she basically becomes empty inside, akin to a walking dead person. These individuals have passed a “point of no return” regarding any kind of spiritual transformation being possible. This can be especially difficult when it is a family member as we must then accept the family member’s fate for we can do nothing to assist them at this point, as the crystallization process is permanent.
In sum, it is important to work against false personality so that what is real within you can emerge. The primary way in which we work to remove false personality is by resisting the desire to express negative emotions. This allows us to observe false personality. Another way false personality is weakened is through suffering. Both methods of working against false personality are difficult. Leo Buscaglia said, “The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.”
But, the rewards are worth it. As you connect with your essence, you will notice life becomes easier. You begin to see the life you were destined to live, not the life you imagined you would live. There is a great sense of peace in this realization as you begin to no longer struggle with trying to become something you are not, but instead blossom into the person you were always meant to be.
I hope this serves you in your desire for spiritual growth and awakening.