In my own experience, what appears as my true self is layered…
- It can be my personality, my likes and dislikes and habitual patterns. When these are accepted (for instance by others, which allows me to find the acceptance in myself) or allowed their way in the world, I feel that my true self is present and alive. This one is dependent either on my own heartfelt acceptance of it, or on circumstances allowing it to have its way.
- It can be centaur self, the whole of my human self, the Jungian Self, the whole in immediate experience that is clearly beyond and includes body and psyche. The whole human self which is mirrored by everything in the outer world. Whatever qualities and characteristics I see out there in the wider world, in other people, in stories, in landscapes, in the universe, is something I can find in and recognize from this human self.
- It can be the soul level, in its many flavors from alive presence to luminosity to velvety luminous blackness and much more. There is a sense of being an alive presence which is timeless and spaceless, and yet here and now, and in, around and living through this human self.
- It can be a oneness self, a self one with the larger whole… the universe, God, all form as consciousness. There is an I here, one and aligned with the larger whole.
- And it can be Ground, this awakeness absent of any inherent characteristics, allowing all form, and recognizing all form as itself. This is the true self that is absent of an I with an Other.
All the ones up to Ground are transient, happening within time and space, and Ground is not since it is that which time and space happens within.
And all the ones up to Ground have an I with an Other, and Ground is inherently absent of this I with an Other, although it certainly allows for a sense of I and Other.