The next great leap in human evolution will come from a recognition and awareness of the many aspects of the self. The following is a visual road-map of the many different dimensions that encompass who we are as unique individuals. Most of these aspects are beneath everyday awareness and require journeying into the self as a discovery process and subsequently expanding the ego to encompass awareness of them.
The information in this post is summarized & paraphrased from The Seth Material. The entire material totals over 7000 pages spread across 20+ books and can be a daunting task to read. This should provide a helpful overview.
In most spiritual systems the term soul, spirit or mind are ambiguously used to describe the non tangible aspects of self. However that language is extremely limiting and creates serious problems in understanding the important differentiation about what the nature of the self really is. The self is one thing composed of multiple things in a multidimensional fashion layer upon overlapping layer. The divisions are somewhat arbitrary and distortive, nonetheless they are a useful way of navigating and making sense of the various aspects of the self.
All reincarantional personalities exist simultaneously for time is an illusion. Reincarnational selves unfold outwards from the central inner self to infinity much like a flower that never stops growing. Certain subconscious layers connect one personality to another. Communication between the various aspects of selves happens primarily via dreams, emotions and intuitions. Awareness and growth in these areas is critical to spiritual development. The thinking “I am” intellect is merely a portion of the outer ego.
Seth refers to consciousness as a “gestalt of patterns of perception”. The following then would be the patterns.
Multidimensional aspects of the Self
- The Entity – A gestalt or grouping of the present personality and all reincarnational selves sharing the same Inner Self/Ego. The term “entity” in the context of The Seth Material is synonymous with the term “Oversoul” (term used by Jane).
- The Inner Ego – Also referred to as the “Inner Self” or “Source Self”. This is your core self. This is the source of your inner most intuitions & creativity.
- The Personality – This is the unique you, separate and distinct from your other reincarnational selves. Also known as the current “Incarnational self”, “Psyche” or very loosely as the “Soul”.
- Reincarnational Selves/Personalities – This includes past and future selves; physical and non-physical. There is a potential for a near infinite number of these.
- Probable Selves (not shown on picture) – These would be additional layer selves that grow out from each individual personality.
- The Subconscious – While technically not a “self” it is the layers of information that connects you with all other aspects of your self, as well the as the rest of All That Is.
- The Dream Self – This self is your sleeping counterpart which constructs the dream universe and looks inward through the subconscious to the inner self.
- The Outer Ego – Also referred to as the “Outer Self”, this is the thinking/feeling “I” that is self aware of life in the physical universe. The intellect is an aspect of the outer ego. (more on the ego)
Jane Roberts coined the system “Aspect Psychology” to describe these various selves. Much like ancient understandings of archetypal divinity, divinity was understood to be something with multiple aspects. These multiple “gods” or personalities were merely aspects of a greater underlying unity.
Seth describes two primary ways to facilitate communication between the ego and the other various aspects of the self.
- Emotional Mastery – Most inner communication occurs via emotions. Our deeper intuitions arise from inner emotional impulses. Becoming aware of our emotions and how they move/change is important.
- Dream Mastery – Our dreaming self is in direct contact with the subconscious and deals with information on a more archetypal/symbolic level. Understanding emotions and the symbolic forms they take on in our dreams here are critical for understanding what the dream self is trying to communicate to the waking outer ego.
“Many of you keep searching for some seemingly remote spiritual inner self that you can trust and look to for help and support, but all the while you distrust the familiar self with which you have such intimate contact. You set up divisions between portions of the self that are unnecessary.
Some correspondents write: “I realize that I am too egotistical.” There are many schools for spiritual advancement that teach you to “get rid of the clutter of your impulses and desires,” to shove aside the self that you are in search of a greater idealized version. First of all, the self that you are is ever-changing and never static. There is an inner self in the terms of those definitions, but that inner self, which is the source of your present being, speaks through your impulses. They provide in-built spiritual and biological impetuses toward your most ideal development. You must trust the self that you are, now.
If you would know yourself in deepest terms, you must start with your own feelings, emotions, desires, intents, and impulses. Spiritual knowledge and psychic wisdom are the natural result of a sense of self-unity.” (Source – INME Session:872)
“The ego then, is only part of a much larger self, but because consciously you do not perceive the whole self you arbitrarily make a unit from a truly indivisible identity, and call this the ‘I.’ This designation, this classification, in no way affects the nature of that indivisible self. It merely affects your own conscious attitudes. You succeed in cutting off, in theory, one portion of the self from the whole self. This duality then affects your own perception in a most diverse fashion. It sets man against himself.” (ES, Book 3, Session 133)
“Each physically oriented self feels thrust alone into a strange environment, without knowing its origins or destination or even the reason for its own existence. This is the dilemma of the ego, particularly in its early states. It looks outward for answers because this is its nature: to manipulate within physical reality.
“It also senses, however, a deep and abiding connection that it does not understand, with other portions of the self that are not under its domain. It is also aware that this inner self possesses knowledge upon which its own existence is based.
“As it grows, in your terms, it looks outward for confirmation of this inner knowledge. The inner self upholds the ego with its support. It forms its truths into physically oriented data with which the ego can deal. It then projects these outward into the area of physical reality.
“Seeing these truths thus materialized, the ego then finds it easier to accept them.” Seth Speaks, Session 585
“…the inner self has at its command a knowledge of past lives and past endeavors; for the inner self, dear friends, these lives are not in the past, nor is the life of the ego necessarily present to the whole self.
For to the whole self all personalities that compose it exist simultaneously, and personalities that would appear to you as future personalities are experienced by the whole self in the same dimension as it experiences personalities that you would call past personalities. For all your ideas of time are illusion, not merely philosophical illusions, but delusions as far as any basic reality is concerned.” (ES: Book 4)
“The inner ego, however, you may think of as another face that looks inward. We are using an analogy, and an analogy that is for simplicity’s sake only. We may say therefore, starting from the outer environment, that you would have first of all what you consider the ego, which I will call the outer ego.
Then, according to our analogy, you will find the subconscious areas; and these areas may be, briefly, differentiated in the following manner.
The foremost or exterior layers or areas deal with the personal selves. Beyond these you will find areas dealing with previous experiences having to do with your own past lives. Within the next area you will find material dealing with the [species] as a whole.
Each of these areas are separated, and between the memories of each past life, experiments will show a layer that we call undifferentiated.
At the furthest or innermost area then, we come to the inner ego, which would then be separated from the outer ego by the buffer of the subconscious. Now it goes without saying that we speak here merely for convenience’s sake, for all these areas are not indeed so neatly divided; but to explain their various purposes we must therefore speak of them in this manner.” (ES Book 4: Session 162)
“The inner ego is formed about characteristics and abilities that have been dominant in previous personalities, characteristics which the entity has developed through its experience in various lives.
The inner ego is focused inward, with as much intensity as the outer ego is focused outward. This inner ego is in many respects a composite, as indeed to a lesser degree the outer ego is a composite. The inner ego, however, while conscious of itself, has returned to a subjective position within action, and views itself as a part of action. The outer ego, if you recall, views itself as apart from, or separate from, action. The inner ego contains the various purposes toward which the entity, as seen in its various personalities, has been working to achieve.
The inner ego has experienced, then, objectivity, and has returned to a subjective state. It is a relative storehouse of energy, and it is capable of aiding the outer ego when certain conditions arise. The inner ego may be termed the unfamiliar “I”. In many cases it is the I who dreams, bringing valuable information to the personal subconscious, information that may be then used for the benefit of the outer ego itself.
I have often said that all these divisions and separations are arbitrary. All exist one within another. Apparent boundaries are not boundaries, but only differences in the focus of attention. Even this inner ego is not the same from one given moment to another, for it is not a static thing, but is a part of continuing action. It is much more familiar with the subconscious and with the dream universe, and with the inner self, than it is with the outside ego, however.
To some extent it also acts like a director of experience and action. It is not actually composed of the past egos, but of those dominant aspects of the various personalities. The inner ego, as action, thrusts in an inward direction; that is, back toward the originating impulse. The outside ego thrusts outward. They are two faces, therefore, and form one of many spheres of action, one pulling inward and one outward.
As the outer ego is constantly creative, so is the inner ego. The focus in which the creativity occurs is merely different. The subconscious could be thought of as a nucleus, surrounded by the inner and outer egos. Certain tensions are maintained here, and all communications, incidentally, are the results of tensions.
Tension is action’s inherent impulse to know itself through further action. All actions are the result of tension. Without tension there would be no existence. Tension therefore is a creative state. A lack of understanding concerning tension will always lead an organism to fight against itself.
The ego, the inner ego, the subconscious, the whole self, and even the entity, these are all states of tension…
…The inner ego, however, through the subconscious, may at times encourage the development of abilities that will better allow the whole self to achieve balance and fulfillment.
The outer ego is very seldom aware of the inner ego, and the subconscious is indeed a vast area dividing them. We are discussing now the outer ego in relation to the inner ego, and describing a situation in terms of relationships. Other relationships would show both the outer and inner egos in a different light. Relationships are also the result of tensions, and each action sets up a new tension.” (ES Book 4: session 153)
“The ego is only one layer of the self that has self-consciousness. Being self- conscious, the ego attempts to be conscious only of itself. Self-consciousness results in an intense, but necessary limited focus. It necessitates boundaries. It depends upon some sort of inner psychological decision as to what will be considered self, and therefore accepted by consciousness, and that which will be considered notself, and not accepted by consciousness.
Now, my dear friends, your self-consciousness is the self-consciousness of the ego which you know, and which you consider your self. But where this self-conscious self ends, another self-conscious self begins. The two selves, being self-conscious selves, cannot be aware of any reality but their own.
They cannot be consciously aware of each other. Now the ego interprets all it perceives mainly in terms of its self. Other portions of the self, also self- conscious, interpret what they perceive in terms of themselves.
Each layer, or each area of the whole self, imagines that it is the center of awareness, and that the whole self revolves about it. So far you have had little experience with these other “centers”—but before too long we shall give you some ideas so that you may become at least slightly acquainted. Initially this will be done through suggestion on a subconscious level.
Now. You have become somewhat aware of the subconscious. This means that your ego has enlarged its conception of the self, of itself, to include certain activities of which it is now aware. Progress in the development of personality in the long run will be determined by the ability of the whole self to recognize and become aware of all of its self-conscious portions.
The subconscious is a self-conscious portion of the whole self. It is called subconscious because the ego as a rule is not conscious of it.
The subconscious, so-called, is aware to some extent of the ego, regarding it as an extension of itself, over which it does not have as much control as it would like. This is precisely however the way the ego views the subconscious, as a rule. These two self-conscious portions of the self simply happen to coincide or to coexist with some proximity, psychologically speaking.
There are other self-conscious portions of the self however, with which the ego is not at all familiar, but of which the subconscious has intuitive knowledge. These self-conscious portions of the self exist in different reality systems.
….there is a whole self, composed of these various self-conscious selves, and that a portion of the self is indeed aware of the unity that exists to form the whole psychological gestalt.” (ES Book 5; session 235)
“The ego is a very specialized portion of your greater identity. It is a portion of you that arises to deal directly with the life that the larger You is living. The ego can feel cut off, lonely and frightened, however, if the conscious mind lets the ego run away with it.
“The ego and the conscious mind are not the same thing. The ego is composed of various portions of the personality—it is a combination of characteristics, ever-changing, that act in unitary fashion—the portion of the personality that deals most directly with the world. …
“In certain terms, the ego is the eye through which the conscious mind perceives, or the focus through which it views physical reality. But the conscious mind automatically changes its focus throughout life. (So) the ego, while appearing the same to itself, ever changes.
“It is only when the conscious mind becomes rigid in its direction, or allows the ego to take on some of its own functions, that difficulties arise. Then the ego allows the conscious mind to work in certain directions and blocks its awareness in others.”~ The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 613
The fact is, that any given self, as we have described the self, may have more than one ego, though these egos will not be aware of each other, even though operating simultaneously. You have information on the inner ego. There is also a dream ego, in that there is within that reality field a directive part of the self that is concerned with the construction of purpose and meaning.
You can here indeed see where I am leading you. The deeply and strongly dimensioned sphere I used as an analogy for an action, if you recall, for any portion of action; you can now indeed further imagine one entity being composed of such an action, with egos like many faces looking outward in all directions, and each perceiving vastly different fields or reality; looking inward and outward, backward and forward as it were, through and beyond. And yet each action, or entity, is a part of another, and is both within and without another. And none of it is meaningless, and yet in a basic manner all of it has the meaning that you give it. (ES Book 3: Session 141)
“Now. Some personalities can be a part of more than one entity. This is something I do not believe we have discussed before.
The entities, being action, always shift and change. There is nothing arbitrary about their boundaries. The personalities have the same freedom. Like fish, they can swim to other streams. Within them is the knowledge of all their relationships.
Any personality may become an entity on its own. This involves a highly developed knowledge of the use of energy and its intensities. As atoms have a mobility so do psychological structures in their own way. They move through the value climate of psychological reality as freely as atoms move through your time.” (ES Book 9; session 429)
“In almost the same manner some personalities are more remote from the entity than others. They may even move out further into another psychic organization that offers more promising development, or to them a more pleasing psychological climate.
In such instances the entity does not try to hold the personality back. The personality itself may simply pull away, exist by itself. It may become a part of another entity, as it searches for support. It may on the other hand attract, because of its strength, personalities who are searching for support. They may join it in a new formation. This may ultimately turn into another entity.” (ES Book 9; session 433)
“There are several points I would like to make concerning psychological identity. For the sake of analogy only now, imagine your present self at the center of a circle of endless spirals. You are yourself, and yet one of the spirals that form the circle. You are a vortex for the circle. You do not have to contact it nor its other spirals, in that you already belong to it.”
“Now the same is true of other portions of your entity, if you consider any other given portion as being the vortex of its own circle. In any psychic investigations or endeavors you will often gain assistance and support from those others who make up the circle of which you are a part.”
“Now I am speaking simply, for I am speaking of a circle as you understand it in three-dimensional terms, but there are more depths and dimensions to a circle than you can imagine when you picture, say, a globe; and so of course in this analogy identity has other dimensions that do not appear.”
“Give us a moment with this. There are points or identities more easily reached from any given viewpoint within such a multidimensional structure. Imagine a superstructure of a circle, put together like a pie, except that each segment is also in itself a globe, and that the structure is in itself an exterior one, the multidimensional equivalent of the pie’s crust or the apple’s skin.”
“Now the circumference of these circles interlap and bisect each other. Nor are the dimensions of circumference or radius stationary in your terms, for they exist in value fulfillment rather than in space, and their measurements in terms of intensity rather than in inches or miles.”
“They are to a large degree, but not entirely, self-perpetuating, as if the seeds of an apple, instead of falling down to the ground, fell backward into some mysterious dimension within the core of the apple itself. And yet because of the creative abilities of this mysterious dimension, more than inbreeding would be concerned, for it of itself could provide entirely fresh and new elements out of which further creativity could come.”
“Now this is identity as it is not generally known, and in this analogy lies the truth of the nature of identity. Later you will understand it better.” (The Early Sessions, Book 9, Session 442)
“Now. I have some hints, I hope practical ones for both of you, but they will take your attention.”
“Now, with all you have been told about the nature of personality, and of the many of which you are a part, it would now be a help if you could find the center of your larger self.”
“You can intuitively become aware to some extent of your own reincarnation so that you feel a recognizable sense of familiarity. Now there is unity in all. You have been told that there is a point where all dimensions and systems of reality merge. Now the same is true of consciousness. You are a part of a larger self, an entity, and because you are there is a portion of you that has access to the knowledge of your entity.”
“All of it would not be translatable. Some of it would have no meaning for you, but much of this is accessible. There are ways of finding what I will call this center of yourself. It will give you direct experience with many concepts that we have been discussing. I will give you more reincarnational data on your own lives; as you travel to the center of yourself however you will feel and know your own pasts as directly as the circumstances permit.”
“More than this however, your abilities and your challenges will appear to you in a much clearer light, and uncluttered focus. The experience will deepen and reinforce your sense of individuality, and you will know for yourself that you are one in many, and yet many in one.” (The Early Sessions, Book 9, Session 448)