Certain key words are capitalised because I’m using them in a specific way. Words mean different things to different people; the effectiveness of language depends on a consensus of meaning between speaker and listener. To communicate this material effectively I have had to be clear on exactly what I mean by the use of these key words in the context of this enquiry.
I explain and define these capitalised words as they arise. For easy reference they are also summarised in this Glossary.
ABSOLUTE LEVEL – A level of reality where energy exists in an unmanifest form (as a potential to be something). This formless ground of everything manifests as the phenomenal world – the Relative Level – in which time, space and form appear. From the point of view of Non-Duality there’s only the Absolute Level (the Relative Level simply arises within it) but from the human perspective there appears to be these two Levels of reality. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 3)
ADAPTATION – The process by which – after the Shift – the bodymind system adjusts to living without being under the governance of Personality. (See Chapter 20)
AWAKENING – An instantaneous, temporary Seeing beyond Personality; a direct experience of the Absolute reality. (See Chapter 8)
BEING – The essential nature and essence that we come into this world as (rather than the Personalities we become). It has four attributes: Joy, Stillness, Choice-less Awareness and full feeling engagement with life. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 5)
CHARACTER – The qualities that make you individual: your talents, quirks etc. All this comes with you at birth; it is your nature. By contrast your Personality is the product of nurture.
CHOICE-LESS AWARENESS – Perception that sees with absolute clarity because there’s no Personality involved selecting what awareness falls on or whether it’s turned on or off. We all start our life with Choice-less Awareness; it is one of the four attributes of Being. (See The Infinite Journey Chapter 2)
CONSCIOUSNESS (With a capital ‘C’) – The universal intelligence that is behind all things. In some eastern religions they call it the ‘Self’ or ‘Atman’; in western religions it would be called God. (See The Infinite Journey Chapter 3)
CONSCIOUSNESS (With a small ‘c’) – Having awareness of one’s own existence through the senses. This consciousness is personal in nature, whereas Consciousness is beyond the personal; it is Universal. (See The Infinite Journey Chapter 3)
CONTRACTION – A spontaneous reflex action of self-protection; a pulling back from full-feeling engagement with the world which originally arises in childhood to protect us from painful feelings of the Wound. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 15)
DISTRACTION – A strategy the Personality uses to prevent us engaging with unwanted feelings. By being occupied in activities that we like, that make us happy, we temporarily escape our unhappiness. Whereas the Contraction cuts us off from painful feelings, Distraction simply turns our attention away from them. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 32)
DOING – Any action that arises from either the need to Distract oneself from feeling or to prove oneself worthy, loveable or acceptable. (See also Non-Doing)
DUALITY – Refers to the Relative Level in which the formlessness of Oneness becomes form. In Duality there is the appearance of separation, relationship, cause and effect. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 2)
DREAM OF PERSONALITY – The building blocks of Personality – desires, beliefs, hopes and Emotion – combine to produce the particular psychological reality you inhabit. This version of life seems real to the Personality, and in a sense it is real because it is being experienced. But it is subjective – no one else is experiencing that version of life – so in that sense it is like a Dream. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 23)
EMOTION – In their effort to be heard, over time, repressed feelings become exaggerated, distorted and incessant; they become Emotions. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 17)
GROUP PERSONALITY – The tribe we’re born into and its collective consciousness: an amalgamation of its constituent Personalities. There are many levels and factors influencing Group Personality, including: species, race/nationality, gender, geography, income, politics and religion.
HEALING – After The Shift the bodymind system cleanses itself of the Residue from the years of being identified as Personality. Healing is the process by which the history of Personality is brought out and eventually cleared from the bodymind system. (Chapter 22)
HEART CENTRE – The centre of Love in a human being. While still in the Natural State we are located primarily in the Heart Centre.
JOY – The original feeling that arises simply from the enjoyment of living what you are. A natural outcome of Being interacting with life in all its different forms.
LOVE (With a capital ‘L’) – refers to the unconditional Love that is perceived beyond the perspective of Personality. What Rumi is referring to when he says: ‘Love is the bridge between you and everything.’
LOVE (With a small ‘l’) – The Personality’s version of love, which is what Love becomes once we’ve lost touch with unconditional Love. It’s based on need, it’s often sentimentalised and romanticised, and it’s conditional, meaning it can be turned on or off.
MASK – The false face that all Personalities, to a greater or lesser extent, wear to hide the parts of themselves they do not want others to see. ‘Persona’ is the Greek word for ‘mask’. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 26)
MYSTERY – Knowledge can take you so far, then you’re left in the Mystery: the inexplicable, wonder of life.
NATURAL STATE – The experience of Oneness which we enter this world as. An umbrella term encompassing the Original Relationship to Life and Being. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapters 4 & 5)
NON-DUALITY – While the word ‘Duality’ relates to the Relative Level of form and separation, ‘Non-Duality’ points to its opposite: The non-separate, Oneness of the Absolute Level.
OPENING – A short glimpse beyond Personality. See also an Awakening – a more powerful, longer-lasting experience of life beyond Personality. (Chapter 1)
ORIGINAL THOUGHTS – Spontaneous Understandings of how life works from beyond the viewpoint of Personality. These thoughts are not original in the sense that no one else has ever had them before; they’re original in the sense that you’ve never had them. Original Thoughts are not learnt; you don’t pick them up from parents, teachers or from the Group Personality around you.
ONENESS – Before energy manifests something, it starts out as undivided, potential energy. A more metaphysical word for describing that potential is ‘Oneness.’(See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 1, also Non-Duality, Absolute Level.)
ORIGINAL RELATIONSHIP TO LIFE – Before any human relationship our primal connection is to life itself, which fulfils and sustains us. The Original Relationship to Life is one of surrender; we are all children and life is the mother. As Lao Tzu puts it: ‘I am nourished by the Great Mother’. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 4)
PERSONAL TRUTH – Personality edits its experience and creates its own ‘personal truth’ from what it chooses to see. By believing something it becomes true for you: within your psychology, in your worldview. Personal Truth is subjective, meaning it’s only true for the person or people who believe it.
PERSONALITY – The Personality is the construct of ‘you’; an identity built on the building blocks of the Contraction, Emotion, beliefs, desires and hope. The Personality has a function of self-preservation; it is programmed to maintain its sense of absolute authority. In the Personality the mind is king and all of its thoughts, beliefs and Emotions, which are mostly the product of your past, are in control of your life. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapters 19 & 20)
PERSONALITY AWARENESS – Perception that is governed by the Personality. Unlike Choice-less Awareness, it can be turned on or off; i.e. it is personal. If we don’t want to feel something we can distance ourselves from our experience by cutting off from our feelings. If we don’t want to see something we can look away from it. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 21)
READINESS – When the functioning of Personality starts to break down and its Dream starts to be seen through. See also Yearning.(Chapter 6)
RELATIVE LEVEL – The level of existence where the potential energy of Oneness manifests as physical matter. In this level of reality there is the appearance of separation, relationship, and cause and effect. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 3, also Absolute Level)
RESIDUE – The whole history of the Personality is encoded into the bodymind system. After the Shift, when identification with Personality falls away, the bodymind has to align and adapt itself to living without that Story. Part of that Adaptation concerns the Residue of Personality – thought patterns, beliefs, addictions, Emotions – being purged out of the system. (Chapter 21)
SEEING – The act of perceiving life beyond the viewpoint of Personality. See Choice-less Awareness
SEEKING – Searching for spiritual answers to the problem of Suffering and the quest for fulfilment. Usually involves adopting some form of spiritual practice such as meditation, mindfulness, chanting, fasting etc.
SELF – Our original sense of separateness which allows us to operate in the world. This begins as a neutral, functioning centre but as we grow up it becomes burdened with Emotion and beliefs and turns into the Personality. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 10)
SHADOW – The hidden side of the Personality, the subconscious where we consign everything we do not want to confront. What is hidden behind the Mask. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 27)
STORY (THE) – The Emotional history of the Personality: the hurt of a betrayal, the feeling of achievement in passing an exam, the disappointments when our plans fall apart etc.
SPIRITUAL – Connected to something bigger than ourselves; beyond Personality.
STILLNESS – One of the four attributes of Being which we come into this world with. Not just thelack of action but also the absence of thought. (See The Infinite Journey Chapter 15)
SUFFERING – Psychological pain or ill health which originates from the loss of our Natural State. The Personality’s illusion of thinking that we are separate manifests as neurosis, worry, emotional states, depression, addiction or self-hatred. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 28)
WORLD of SEPARATION – TheRelative Level as seen in the manifestation of form, people and events.
UNDERSTANDING – With Choice-less Awareness we See life as it is; this can manifest as insights of how life works beyond the viewpoint of Personality.
WAKING UP – In the Shift, identification with Personality falls away, and the Dream it creates is awoken from.
WOUND (THE) – Having lost our Natural State we begin needing to receive Love from other people (such as our parents). The Wound is the moment we experience that, unlike Love, such personal love can be absent. At that moment we feel, for the first time, the existential pain of being in the world yet outside of Love’s embrace. (See The Story of ‘You’ Chapter 13)
YEARNING – An innate desire to go deeper, to find out the root of your Suffering and return to the Natural State in which we begin this life. (See The Infinite Journey Chapter 4)