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The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 09
March 31st , 2009


Newsletter #9 Robert Lorenz, Ph.D.


Transmutation of the Ego/Pain-Body Complex

Precautionary Note Regarding Disinformation on the Internet

Because of the rapidly growing worldwide interest in the Mayan Calendar over the last few years, there’s been an increasing level of disinformation promulgated on this subject by the groups that are attempting to establish a neo-feudalistic New World Order based on hierarchal control. This is under the guise of re-interpreting the fruition of the Universal Underworld in materialistic rather than spiritual terms. Political globalism, which entails the dissolution of national boundaries, economies, religions, and social structures under the rule of a so-called “enlightened” elite, has absolutely nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment and ego-transcendent global consciousness. With spiritual transcendence comes the dissolution of the social, political, and religious boundaries we’ve lived with for thousands of years—but this is a natural dissolution, not one manipulated by a ego-maniacal few for their own greedy purposes.

Furthermore, the predictions of events during the course of the Days and Nights of the Galactic and Universal Underworlds discussed in Calleman’s works, The Collapsing Tower, and other sources could be used to “explain” planned events, such as economic collapse, depopulation, and war. I find this somewhat amusing, in that the planners of such events likely don’t have the slightest idea that they are inadvertently serving the Divine Plan, and most probably will be the planners of their own destruction.

The Pain-Body

You can think of the pain-body as the emotional engine of the ego. It is, according to Eckhart Tolle, the accumulation of the unresolved past emotional pain of the individual, and as such functions to keep us anchored in the past. The net effect is to keep the painful experiences of the past alive and to unconsciously repeat these experiences in the present, and also to fear (expect) their repetition in the future. Tolle also conceptualizes the pain-body as an “entity” or “artificial elemental” that demands feeding, and what it feeds on is pain. It can also be conceptualized a morphogenetic field (see Sheldrake’s work in The Collapsing Tower) that regulates a habit system that has the goal of creating pain. This topic is examined in greater depth in The Collapsing Tower in the section dealing with Sheldrake’s Morphogenetic Field Theory.

One of the ways the pain-body creates pain is to work in conjunction with the ego to generate negative emotion whenever any present time experience activates past painful memory. The present time experience, however, may not in itself be painful, but its association with past painful memory is enough to cause the ego to interpret it in terms of the past and generate negative expectations. When we view the present in terms of the past we then generate thoughts that stimulate the pain-body and cause us to act in ways we did in the past, and thereby recreate painful experiences, thus feeding the pain body.

How the Pain-Body Operates in Relationships—the Dark Side of Attraction

What dark alchemy transmutes the vibrant aliveness of ecstatic romance into a lonely bitter pit of mutual disappointment, resentment, and failure? Did body-snatchers sneak between the sheets in dark of night and gobble up the soul of your loved one, leaving you with a tormenting clone of who you were certain was your soul-mate? Well, sort of.

Attraction results only partially from conscious factors. You may be attracted to someone because of his or her values, character, intelligence, or beauty. These attractions are conscious and understandable. They don’t necessarily, or even usually, lead to the intense magnetic erotic and romantic attraction that underlies the experience of “falling in love”. The element of fire is missing. They form the basis of good partnerships and friendships, but typically don’t go beyond this. This is true even for beauty. You may be attracted to someone’s physical form, but unless that inscrutable quality of “chemistry” is present the attraction won’t go beyond the aesthetic level. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a client say that he or she “should” be attracted because of someone’s physicality or outstanding characteristics, but complain that “it” just isn’t there. No “chemistry”. Many people form a committed relationship and hope that chemistry will develop. This is like waiting for Godot. Or they seek out some way to “work on it.” Did you ever try to work on getting sexually aroused—with someone you’re not really attracted to? Most resort to erotic fantasies to create the appearance, but in the end both people become disappointed.

Many of the attractions we experience, however, are subconsciously driven by the pain-body. This phenomenon is discussed in Tolle’s A New Earth, and also in The Collapsing Tower. These attractions may or may not have erotic components. Even when the attraction is erotic or romantic it’s very common for the pain-body to hijack the romantic/erotic attraction for its own purposes—the creation of pain. For example, two individuals who suffered neglect in childhood share similar pain-body dynamics. Each has unfulfilled need for emotional nurturance coupled with a fear of intimacy. Both want love but subconsciously fear hurt and disappointment. On the conscious ego level they could easily confuse the deep emotional hunger each feels with love, and from this they form a bond.

As Firestone says in The Fantasy Bond:

Most couples start off feeling real friendship, caring, tenderness, and genuine affection. Their relationship is characterized by mutual respect and separateness. They enjoy sharing and are intensely interested in each other. These characteristics are observable in couples who are not yet in a bond. However, as the partners attempt to achieve permanent security by making emotional commitments and guarantees to each other and themselves, they cease to relate as individuals. They no longer know each other in the true sense. They no longer know each other objectively, having converted the other into a significant figure from the past. Their emotional responses are no longer appropriate to real situations and events, having converted the other to a significant figure from the past. Their emotional responses are no longer appropriate to real situations and events but contain elements and distortions based on the frustration and pains of their childhood. Each merely implements the other’s neurosis.

A bond can become a “death” pact in which the relationship has a narcotic effect on the individuals, killing off their pain and feelings of hunger. Often the bond serves as a license to act out destructive behavior because the individuals “belong” to each other and have implicitly agreed that their relationship will last forever.

When bonding occurs the dysfunctional relationships of childhood become the filters through which the ego views present time relationships. This is even more pronounced when we’ve been unconsciously attracted to people who remind us of parental or other significant childhood personages that have abused, neglected, or dominated us in some way. We then begin to experience the painful memory forms of the past. On the conscious level this is experienced as anxiety and creates negative (usually erroneous) interpretation of the present and negative expectation of the future. Because thought structures energy, the negative interpretations and expectations generated by the ego in response to the painful emotional memories of the pain-body serve the purpose of not only maintaining the past negative emotions but, also, add additional charge to them. By fearing, dreading, or taking anxious measures to prevent a repetition of some past painful experience we are, in fact, creating, such a recurrence. This is one of the main methods by which we inadvertently feed the pain-body.

When we expect the repetition of a past painful experience (and the more you don’t want it to happen, the stronger will be the expectation that it will happen), we are inadvertently intending it to happen. The emotionally charged memory of the past, then, serves as a template for manifesting a similar experience in the present. It is through this mechanism that the dark alchemy works to transform romance to misery.

There are a number of ways the pain-body becomes activated. These are discussed in The Collapsing Tower. The most usual path of activation involves something in the present activating a painful memory from the past. But regardless of how the pain-body becomes activated, thought is the common element. If we didn’t attach thought to an activated painful memory it would simply come and go. We wouldn’t attach it to the present. However, when we do think about (or imagine) how the present situation is somehow like a painful one from the past, we bring the past into the present. We essentially validate the thought forms of the past and make them structure the present.

It’s the thought-facilitated imposition of past painful memory on the present that maintains the integrity of the ego/pain-body. The only good reason to think about what we’re feeling is to get clear on whether what we’re feeling is in response to an actual present time stimulus, past memory, or, via empathic induction, from others or the general human collective. Making this discrimination is essential, and has been covered in depth in The Collapsing Tower. Simply put, unless there is actual evidence in your face that can account for what you’re feeling, it’s likely that you’re picking it up from others or it’s a product of pain-body activation. In either case it has nothing to do with you in present time. You can then use the energy transmutation method outlined in the last Newsletter to transmute that feeling to free energy.

What I’ve found useful since the writing of the last Newsletter is using your out-breath to embrace the negative energy and, then, using your in-breath to pull the energy to you and fully accept it. By “accept” I mean acknowledge only. It doesn’t imply agreement or liking in any way. Now, there are two reasons to accept it. The first is that it’s there. The second is that you can’t change anything you don’t first accept. There’s no judgment involved here. Regardless of the quality of the structured energy field or its origin, the purpose of the method is to detach your thoughts from it so that it can transmute to freely flowing energy.

Sub-personalities

What makes relationships so difficult is the interplay between the various sub-personalities the individuals bring into the relationship. This subject has been covered extensively in Newsletter 02. To truly understand the “dark alchemy” in bonded relationships you must understand how you replay your childhood family dynamics in adult relationships both by acting out and projecting these sub-personalities onto your significant others.

It’s also important to understand that when you adopt parental personas, or ego-types, you also incorporate within your pain-body the unresolved pain of each of those figures. I suspect that by transmuting your own pain-body/ego type the bulk of the work will get done. At least the sub-personalities will become much more apparent after this, and will probably easier to transmute.

The Ego/Pain-Body’s Basic Fear, Desire, and Passion

Early in childhood, as the separate ego develops, we lose contact with our Essential Self. This creates a feeling of deep anxiety—a fundamental sense of incompleteness, awareness of mortality and fear of death and annihilation/nothingness. This is the existential dread is at the foundation of every ego-identified person, and can only be erased by ego-transcendence and identification with the true Self. Riso and Hudson (see Wisdom of the Enneagram) refer to this primordial angst as the Basic Fear of each of the Enneagram types. Although we’ll recognize the Basic Fears of all of the types within us, it’s our own type’s Basic Fear that influences us the most. Thus, when the unresolved pain and trauma stored in the pain-body is activated it is interpreted by the ego in terms of the Basic Fear of the particular ego-type.

The Basic Desire functions to compensate for the Basic Fear. The problem is that the ego attempts to attain the Basic Desire in ways that work to feed the Basic Fear. This may be the primary way the pain-body feeds itself. Riso and Hudson state that the personality will not relinquish its control until it believes that the Basic Desire has been obtained. This is because it believes it will be fulfilled or at peace if this Basic Desire is realized. This is impossible, however. The idea of fulfillment through the gratification of one’s Basic Desire implies a state of permanence—that you can get, achieve, or be something on the desire level that will permanently assuage one’s Basic Fear.

This attempt to solve Basic Fear by attempting to attain the Basic Desire is a fool’s errand. The first two of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are very clear about this. The First Noble Truth is Impermanence. We are never able to keep permanently what we strive for. The Second Noble Truth is that the Origin of Suffering is Attachment—to the idea impermanent things can bring about a permanent state:

The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and—in a greater sense—all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will inevitably follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a “self” which is a delusion because there is no abiding self. What we call “self” is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.
(http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html)

Thus, in order for us to transcend the ego we must not only transmute negative emotional energy forms or states into free Flow, we must also transmute desire.

Transmutation of the Basic Fear, Desire, and Passion of the Nine Ego Types

We’ll now examine how the Basic Fear, Desire, and Passion serve to maintain the ego/pain-body of the nine Enneagram types.

Type One: The Reformer

The Basic Fear of the One is of being bad, evil, corrupt, or defective. To compensate for this Basic Fear the One has the Basic Desire to have integrity. The One attempts to achieve this by attempting to be perfect, which is unattainable. This results in a deterioration to critical self-perfectionism and the need to hide any imperfection from others, as well as a very strong need to be right at all costs. This, of course, alienates others and feeds the Basic Fear of being bad, evil, corrupt or defective.

The One must apply the transmutation technique to both the feelings associated with the Basic Fear and the feelings and impulses associated with the Basic Desire. The application of the technique requires a great deal of vigilance and self-observation, which will take some with sustained practice. This is true for each of the Enneagram types as we go about the day. The One must recognize when feelings of the Basic Fear have been stimulated, breath into them in order to embrace and accept them, and allow thoughts to drift by. The same is true for feelings and impulses associated with the Basic Desire. Striving for integrity is a good thing, but having to be perfect is a set-up for failure. Thus the impulse to be perfect must be transmuted. Similarly, the obsessive needs to be right, hide imperfections, and engage in punitive criticality of self or others must likewise be transmuted. Because the Passion of the One is anger/resentment—felt toward others or oneself for “not doing things right—it’s very important for the One to recognize when these feelings are stimulated and transmute them as well.

Of course, all of this can’t be done at once. Practice transmuting an item or two until you feel some success. And don’t expect perfection. This isn’t an easy task, but your persistence will yield enormous rewards.

Type Two: The Helper

The Two’s Basic Fear is that they are unloved and unwanted for themselves alone. The compensatory Basic Desire is to be loved. When the Two attempts to achieve the Basic Desire by acting on their need to be needed a downward spiral of deterioration occurs and leads to the creation of the Basic Fear. When they manipulate others into needing and depending on them, make others guilty for not taking care of them, create emotional debt by giving, and generally express neediness others begin to pull away.

Twos also hide their anger and resentment from others in order to foster the illusion that they are selfless, loving individuals. Also the Passion of the Two is Pride, an unwillingness or inability to acknowledge one’s own suffering while attempting to help others. However, when they feel they have not been properly reciprocated for “all I’ve done for you” they become punishing and further drive others from them.

Twos must practice recognizing and transmuting the senseless pride and feelings and compulsions revolving around manipulative giving driven by their own neediness and fear, and cease the charade that they are selfless and purely loving individuals who have no anger or resentment. When they acknowledge their anger and resentment, apply the method of transmutation to de-structure these feelings into Flow, they can move in the direction of truly loving individuals.

Type Three: the Achiever

The Basic Fear of the Three is being worthless apart from their achievements. They fear that unless they are the best at what they do they will be seen as worthless. This causes Threes to become highly competitive and image conscious, to the point that they fear exposing any inadequacy or defect. They become compulsive about hiding any mistakes. This is driven by the Three’s Passion of Deceit/Vanity—really self-deceit, in that it means deceiving ourselves into thinking we are only the ego self. But it also implies bolstering the ego image with exaggerations and “white” lies.

The Threes Basic Desire is to be valuable and self-worthy. Their fear-based compulsion to live behind the image of “the best”, however, causes them to chase after material success. This creates a terrible addiction to MORE—success, awards, money accolades, fame, degrees, power, etc.—further bolstering the ego at the expense of connectedness to the true Self. This does nothing but feed the Basic Fear and increase feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, and alienation.

The Three must learn to recognize the futility of hiding behind images, and face the self-alienation that results from compulsive denial of the fear of insufficiency by deceit and image building activities. As the Three works to become more authentic by acknowledging impulses designed to fabricate, exaggerate, and hide mistakes and imperfections the Basic Fear is forced into consciousness. The transmutation technique can then be used to de-structure the fear of inherent worthlessness and increase Flow, and with this deepen the Three’s sense of true Self. The technique can also be applied to the compulsion to create and hide behind “superior” images.

Type Four: the Individualist

The Basic Fear of the Four is that they are without personal significance or identity. They are acutely aware of their personal deficiencies and differences. A major problem for the Four is the attempt to obtain a stable sense of identity by basing it on shifting moods and feelings. Their tendency, therefore, is to hold onto past painful feelings because of their strength and persistence—thus leading to the adoption of a “victim persona” in order to attain a sense of stable identity. They then use their imaginations to amplify these negative feelings in order to strengthen their sense of self. This destructive compulsion creates more negative and painful feelings, and further dissociates them from the real world into the world of fantasy and imagination.

When Fours attempt to fulfill their Basic Desire by holding onto and amplifying negative and painful feelings they inevitably descend a downward spiral into victimization, self-pity and self-indulgence. They are thus alienated further from others and the world, thereby strengthening their Basic Fear of being without identity and personal significance.

Transcending the ego/pain-body of the Four entails recognizing the compulsion to hold onto and amplify negative feelings in order to gain a sense of self. They must substitute transmutation for amplification of negative feelings and detach thoughts of victimization and self-pity from them. What I’ve found particularly useful for the Four is the recognition and transmutation of hatred and resentment of others that results from feelings of Envy, the Passion of the Four. This can be difficult and very emotional, but the rewards are great.

Type Five: the Investigator

The Basic Fear of the Five is being useless, incapable, overwhelmed or incompetent. The Basic Desire is to be competent. However, the frequently abstract, highly intellectual, and idiosyncratic manner in which they try to achieve competence deteriorates into useless specialization and mastery of subjects that are of little or no interest to others. This supports the Five’s Basic fear of being useless. Also deriving from their Basic Fear of incompetence is an extreme fear of finishing anything. They’ve got to get it “just right”, but this can easily result in never completing anything, thereby reinforcing the Basic Fear. To ameliorate this tendency Fives must face and transmute the anxiety and fear attendant upon declaring projects complete. This entails tolerating and transmuting discomfort, because they almost never think something is good enough or complete.

The Passion of the Five is Avarice, a stinginess that derives from the belief that they don’t have sufficient resources to meet life’s challenges. This includes psychic as well as material resources. Fives believe, for example, that they have only a limited amount of psychic energy and that interaction with others can cause depletion that can have catastrophic consequences. They therefore withhold themselves from contact, hold onto their resources, and minimize their needs. If they challenge these illusory fears by giving and participating, they can then transmute their fears and actually create energy. Thus Fives must transmute the impulse to isolate—first by recognizing it as destructive and engaging in social interaction in order to stimulate it into conscious awareness.

Type Six: the Loyalist

The Passion of the Six is Anxiety/Worry, which can be thought of as the anticipation of fear—of something bad happening, although nothing of that nature is happening in the moment. This comes from “living in the future” and attempting to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong. Sixes are also given to “catastrophizing and are extremely sensitive to danger signals, which causes them to be unable to relax. This gives Sixes something of a paranoid stance to life. For example even slight misunderstandings or differences of opinion could easily create exaggerated reactions such as fear of abandonment, or that people have turned against them.

The Basic Desire of the Six is to be secure, however the way the Six attempts to achieve this desire, by searching outside of himself, only feeds the Basic Fear of having no support or guidance. Because of the Six’s failure of self-confidence the result is a dependence on others and outer structures for guidance. They fear losing the support of others and at the same time become resentful of this dependency. Such over-reliance on others that is coupled with resentment causes them to alienate others and feed their Basic Fear.

The individual who has a Six ego-type must recognize that his is the primary type of the Thinking Triad. This means that detaching thoughts from negative feelings during the transmutation process poses, at least at first, a more difficult problem than in other types. This shouldn’t be taken as a deterrent but more as a challenge to gain greater internal focus and inner reliance. When the Six demonstrates that he can transmute negative feelings of fear, worry, anxiety and the chronic attendant inner contraction that results from these it becomes a great victory. This, in part, entails transmuting the impulse to seek outside of himself for direction and tolerate the uncertainty of relying on inner knowing.

Type Seven: the Enthusiast

The Passion of the Seven is Gluttony—the need to “fill themselves up” with experiences in an attempt to overcome feelings of inner emptiness that result from being out of contact with their inner guidance. They stay constantly busy and preoccupied with future gratification in order to avoid being in the present and feel the anxiety and psychic pain that would surface if they stopped distracting themselves. Because there is no material solution to a spiritual problem, however, this constitutes a dead-end path.

The Basic Fear of the Seven is being deprived and trapped in pain, and their Basic Desire is to be happy—and when this deteriorates into frenetic escapism their Basic Fear becomes realized. The Seven must recognize this compulsion to maintain a high level of mental excitement and how they require ever increasing levels of sensory stimulation to avoid the inescapable fear and anxiety of the feeling of emptiness. They must stop and allow themselves to experience the feelings they are running away from by transmuting the compulsion to distract themselves. If they can bring themselves to do this they can experience and transmute the underlying fear and anxiety into Flow and experience deep contact with themselves. Failure to do this can lead to serious addictions and mania.

Type Eight: the Challenger

The Passion of the Eight is Lust—a powerful need for intensity, control, and self-extension. The Eight’s lust drives them to willfully and aggressively assert themselves, frequently to the point of intimidating others.

The Basic Fear of the Eight is being harmed or controlled by others, and their Basic Desire is to protect themselves and determine their own course in life. When the Eight’s Basic Desire deteriorates into constant opposition and fighting it brings about their Basic Fear. Others feel they need to control the Eight for their own safety. The Eight’s fear/expectation of being controlled or hurt also causes them to reject others before they are rejected. Thus they are blocked in love, since love gives others power over them.

The Eight uses anger to drive fear away and make space. Anger is the instinctual force that pushes things away—whether people or feelings the Eight doesn’t want to feel. He must acknowledge this and learn a better way to deal negative feelings, and particularly fear. Because the Eight unconsciously uses anger to push fear away, when he transmutes the anger he’ll experience the underlying fear. If the Eight does this and allows himself to acknowledge fear, he can then transmute the fear and use his powerful instinctual energies properly.

Type Nine: the Peacemaker

The Passion of the Nine is Sloth—the desire to be unaffected by life by not engaging with full vitality. The Basic Fear of the Nine is loss of connection, fragmentation, and annihilation. Their Basic Desire is to be at peace and maintain their inner stability. As Nines become stressed their peace-seeking deteriorates to stubborn neglectfulness, avoidance, and dissociation.

One of the ways Nines realize their Basic Fear of loss of connection is by being too accommodating, which others experience as inauthentic. This marks the beginning of the Nine’s “disappearing act”. The Nine must understand that it’s he first loses connection with others by disappearing behind platitudes and conventional roles. The the Nine must acknowledge the anxiety he feels when a conflict arises, rather than run away from it. It’s then that he can use the transmutation technique, and eventually restore authentic connectedness with others.

Summary: The Existential Dilemma of the Ego

In both The Atman Project and Up From Eden Ken Wilber traces the evolutionary and ontological (individual) development of the ego as a relatively recent organization of consciousness development—a stage of development rather than the pinnacle of evolution. The problem with the ego is that it emerged several hundred years ago when it declared itself a permanent fixture of consciousness, separate from the body, others, and the universe. This has been discussed in The Collapsing Tower, and formed the basis of the myth of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The ego’s dilemma starts with the arrogant assumption of its permanent separate autonomy coupled with the deeper awareness that it simply isn’t true. The ego suffers from severe existential angst—the terror of ultimate annihilation that will inevitably occur when we evolve beyond it. In order to maintain the illusion of immortal status it does everything it can to hide from its mortality and smallness.

As Tolle so clearly outlines in his books, the ego derives its identity from the past and seeks its salvation in the future. The dilemma is that the ego uses the pain-body to anchor it in the past, and therefore makes the pain-body part of itself. When it looks to the future for salvation it then brings the pain-body with it in order to have a coherent future identity. However, the pain-body is comprised of not only the pains and trauma of childhood, which the ego uses to attain a sense of stability, but it also holds the existential dread of annihilation that the ego doesn’t want to experience. Thus, it futilely attempts to keep itself coherent and safe by inadvertently holding onto the very terrifying existential dread it attempts to avoid.

In Buddhism this existential dread of the void, of nothingness, is called Sunyata. Freud called it the “death instinct”. It is what the ego will experience when it dissolves into the transcendent level of consciousness that the Divine thrust of spiritual evolution relentlessly compels it. This is the root of the Basic Fear of each of the Enneagram types. The Basic Desire of each of the types is the futile attempt the particular ego type uses to avoid Sunyata. It is futile because each Basic Desire, as evidenced by examination of each of the types, inevitably leads to verification of the Basic Fear. Thus, the ego ultimately can’t win. However, its efforts to win can, in fact, destroy us and our planet if we don’t take measures to prevent it. This is also why the efforts of the ego-possessed beings that control our planet can’t win either. And similarly, their efforts to win can destroy themselves, us, and our planet if we don’t take measures to prevent it.

Luckily, the preventative measures are the same in both cases—ego transcendence. It’s important to understand that another term for Sunyata is The Flow. Out of the Flow come all things and, when they have served the Divine Purpose sufficiently, dissolve back into The Flow. According to the Mayan Calendar, the time of ego-transcendence is now. If we work assiduously to transmute our individual ego/pain-body complexes, we will be aided by the Divine thrust of the evolutionary will. We’ll then experience Sunyata as the peace and joy of the immortal Self rather than existential terror of the temporal ego. If enough of us do this we’ll create a morphogenetic field of transcendence that will spread throughout humanity—because it’s aligned with the Divine Plan of spiritual evolution. Those who oppose the Plan will find themselves in the position of someone attempting to hold back the inexorable force of a great tsunami.

 

Addendum to Newsletter 09


Robert Lorenz, Ph.D.


The Essence of who we in truth are, the Higher Self or Atman, doesn’t incarnate on the material plane. It isn’t subject to the cycle of birth-death-rebirth. It’s immortal and derives from the eternal, universal Ground of Being that is the source of All-That-Is. Human spiritual evolution involves a “spark” of Atman coming into physical existence, living and learning for a while, and then disengaging with the physical body (dying) in order to assimilate incarnate experience. In the course of many such incarnations the “spark” grows in intensity and awareness. A sense of individuated self –consciousness slowly develops. This individuation process evolves over further incarnations, at first with a fundamental sense of connectedness with all living things, the Universe, and Spirit. When evolution proceeds to the ego level, however, the sense of conncetedness diminishes as the ego individuates to the point of separateness. The lessons learned from this are assimilated over more cycles of birth-death-rebirth. When we’ve gained all we can from ego separateness, the experiences become increasingly painful with each incarnation. Something deep inside of us and long-forgotten, a poignant longing, begins to emerge and pull us in the opposite direction. We must disentangle ourselves from ego identification, or we’ll be unable to proceed on our spiritual path. And this is where we are now.

As you practice transmuting negative emotions and compulsions you must remember that you are being born into Essence, while at the same time you will experience the death throes of the ego. To the degree that you’re identified with the transient ego, you’ll experience its death terror as your own. You must know that the ego’s death is your liberation.

Although Riso and Hudson indicate a different Basic Fear for each of the nine Enneagram types, there is really only one truly Basic Fear—annihilation. The ego can be conceptualized as a morphogenetic field that acts like an entity. Like any entity it resists death and annihilation. When threatened with imminent dissolution it constricts itself as an act of self-preservation. We experience this contraction as the ego’s fear. If the threat increases the constriction becomes a discordant, incoherent, and even violent vibration. Panic and terror ensue.

The Basic Desire of each of the ego types is to avoid this terror, and each type has a specific way of doing this. Although the methods vary among the types, the same powerful avoidance compulsion underlies all of them. When you do your transmutation work you must focus your attention on the avoidance compulsion itself—the feeling and sensation of the energy—rather than the specific method of avoidance. When you do this you’ll experience the fear that drives the compulsion. By continuing to transmute the feeling and sensation of the avoidance compulsion you will begin to experience the underlying terror. This is the point at which you must remember that it’s the ego’s terror you’re experiencing. Eventually the feeling and sensation of terror will become predominant. It’s at this point that you must transmute the terror.

Because fear and pleasure are mediated by the same brain circuits—which is why people like roller coasters—its possible to experience the ego’s fear as your pleasure—that is, if you understand what you’re doing and keep the ego’s thoughts detached. And as people who do extreme sports know, the ego’s terror can be experienced as your ecstasy. With practice you can get here.



If you have any questions or comments contact Robert Lorenz through the email link below:
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The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 01
April 30, 2008

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August 28, 2008

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October 31st, 2008

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 04
November 3rd, 2008

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November 17th, 2008

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 06
December 1st, 2008

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 07
December 31st, 2008

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 08
February 17th, 2009

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 09
March 31st, 2009

The Collapsing Tower Newsletter 10
June 3rd, 2009


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