The Zen of Real Change

Clarification on the nature of change by A.H. Almass.

“Many authors on inner development write about the void, or ego death, as if it were one definite experience that ends the ego identity once and for all. This is false and misleading. Ego death is a repeated, and in time a continual, experience. The void is a repeated and deepening perception. Writing about it as if it were one definitive experience that will completely end the individual’s identification, and the accompanying suffering, in one shot is not only inaccurate, it is irresponsible and cruel. It will prejudice the student of inner development to seek a perfection or a kind of completeness that is unrealistic and will only add to the attachment to the identifications and to the already existing suffering.

Every realized human being continues to work on inner development. There is no end to the development and unfolding of essence. This development proceeds by exposing more and more, perhaps in time very subtle aspects of the personality. After the basic identification with personality is broken, the process of dissolving the subtler aspects of the self-image usually becomes easier. It is a continual dissolution of the boundaries of self-image, resulting in more expansion. It is not that personality is gone and now essence develops. It is rather that the more essence develops, the more personality is exposed and its boundaries dissolved. The fulfillment and expansion of essence is endless and boundless.”

From Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization, ch. 2, p. 47

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