I find it virtually impossible to distinguish self-esteem issues (i.e., deficiency stories) from the belief in separation itself. They are two sides of the same coin. This is why we don’t just look for a self, but a self that carries certain content around deficiency “(I’m not good enough, I’m inadequate, etc). I’ve seen many people claim awakening while still having these patterns of deficiency showing up in relationship, largely unconscious. Others who we relate to tend to see it before we do.
When the content of deficiency stories is seen through or seen to be not who I am, the belief in separation is consequentially seen through. This is why Western Psychology and Eastern spirituality are not different things, just different ways of looking at the same thing. With the Living Inquiries, we choose to use the Eastern way of looking at the Western notion of psychological deficiency. With the inquiries, it’s two birds with one stone. After all, seeing through self means nothing if one still carries a low self-esteem pattern still rearing its head in relationship. It’s like claiming you are free of a nose while you are sneezing all the time.
Bottom line, take a look with the inquiries, disregard what I’ve said here, and find out for yourself.
– Scott Kiloby
This is my experience as well.
It’s possible to see through the separate self in a general sense, and still have identifications as specific separate selves running alongside it.
Whenever mind identifies as any image or thought, consciously or not, a sense of a separate self is created. A separate self with its identity, its viewpoint, its way of perceiving, its way of living a life, its shoulds, wants and needs, and demands of the world. And these are inherently deficient selves.
The image or identity itself is just an image or identity, and is free of deficiency. And as soon mind identifies with it, takes it as what it is, it becomes a deficient self.
One thing is to see through the sense of a separate self in general, recognizing that any sense of a separate self is created through mind identifying with/as an image of a separate self (a me as a human self, or an I as an observer, doer, chooser), and a conglomeration of images, thoughts, emotions and sensations. Through this, whenever it’s remembered or seen, there is a general awakening.
Another is to see how any image or thought taken as true, whether consciously or not, is mind identifying with or as a small part of its content, and creates a sense of a separate self. This one can – and does – easily run within or alongside the more general seeing or awakening.