~ Matrix for the Heresy of Separateness ~
The Path is one that has many hindrances and obstacles along the way. Such things as emotional glamour, mental illusion and the deflecting power of maya pose much challenge to all who struggle to transform themselves into selfless servants in support of the soul. Yet these psychological deterrents to enlightenment are actually rooted in a single factor facing the disciple—the problem of ahamkara.
Ahamkara is a Sanskrit term related to the “I” consciousness that naturally conditions the human personality. Through its psychological influence, the individualized ego arises within the human mind. It is the force that leads the personality to see itself as uniquely separate from others. Through its influence, the individualized ego is birthed within the human mind. Closely associated with the mental body of the personality, ahamkara produces a sense of the “personal,” seeing oneself as quite separate and distinct from others.
Prior to stepping onto the Path, ahamkara is a positive and essential influence in the development of human consciousness. Indeed, one of the crucial human qualities to be cultivated is the capacity to be self-consciousness. From an evolutionary point of view, it is this that distinguishes human from animal consciousness. In this light it can be seen that ahamkara is fundamental to developing the mind—specifically, the lower mind.
However, when one has consciously stepped onto the Path, ahamkara becomes an obstacle to further growth. To awaken to the soul is to begin to sense that underlying the apparent diversity and separateness of human consciousness is a living singularity. We recognize ourselves as cells within the consciousness of the greater life, the One Life. We then slowly fuse the personal self with this greater life. As such, the Path is one that requires decentralization, which is quite contrary to the self-centralizing role of ahamkara.
Ahamkara is a needed evolutionary influence in the first phase of human evolution. It gave us an ability to develop our individual way of being in the world, and greatly supported the integration of our personalities (egos). Yet once we are inwardly touched by the soul’s downward gaze, ahamkara starts to become a hindrance and prison to further growth. Because it emphasizes separative perception, it prevents us from sensing the Oneness that underlies our individuality. When this awakening occurs we become increasingly aware that ahamkara is actually the seed from which the heresy of separateness comes forth.