Week Two Topic: The Components of the Psyche
In week two of the course, Belsebuub describes the three main components of the psyche. He states that these are:
- the subconscious or egos
- the consciousness
- the personality
He also provides an awareness exercise that participants can use to explore consciousness in daily life and see how it works.
Belsebuub explains that the psyche is predominantly made up of the egos, which he characterizes as various desires, drives, and self-centred states that exist within a person. Although conventionally the term “ego” is used in the singular, Belsebuub states that each person in fact has many egos, each one a distinct self or “I”, embodying different traits such as pride, anger, negativity, greed, laziness, jealousy, deceit, and so on.
Different egos appear within a person at different times, Belsebuub explains, influencing our behavior and way of being. The successive appearance of different egos can create contradictory impulses within a person—an example, he states, of how we are not truly in control of our lives, even though we generally think that we are.
When an ego is active within a person, we feel like they are the real “us”, but Belsebuub describes that this is actually not the case:
You may think that [the egos] are permanent parts of you and are necessary for your functioning, however, it is not true. Each human being has the capacity to remove them and to replace them with a different way of being, the third way, of perception, of intelligence, wisdom, and love. With the egos there is no peace; they have to be absent for peace to occur.
~ Belsebuub 1
Belsebuub explains that the egos reside in the fifth dimension, which is the place people go during many out-of-body experiences and also where we go every night during sleep. From the fifth dimension, he states, the egos can manifest within a person in specific ways, taking their food from a person’s psychic energy. We also bring our egos with us at night when we sleep Belsebuub says, describing how the subconscious manifests during our dreams, expressing itself free from the normal restraints and conventions of the physical world. This, Belsebuub states, is why dreams can be very revealing of our true level of consciousness in waking life.
Belsebuub states that nothing truly good can come from the egos and that, through their influence within, they shape almost every aspect of our decision-making and our lives, such as our job, relationships, interests, and so on. He also explains that egos can be the cause of terrible behaviors such as fraud, violence, and addictions. However, Belsebuub says that by changing within we can create a dramatic change in the circumstances of our life as we free ourselves from the internal causes of problematic behaviors and relationships.
Belsebuub goes on to describe the personality, which he states is a vehicle for the egos and consciousness to express themselves through.
Different personalities have different egos that predominate. When it is said that someone has a proud personality for example, it is not the personality that is proud, but that the personality is a vehicle or the means through which the ego of pride expresses itself, perhaps through mannerisms, words, or gestures.
~ Belsebuub 2
Unlike the egos and consciousness, which exist across multiple lifetimes, Belsebuub explains that the personality is formed in the course of one lifetime and is discarded after death.
Belsebuub says that the personality is made up of learned skills and is shaped by our environment, upbringing and experiences. For example, he describes how the influence of our parents, where we live, our school, our friends, the books we read (and so on) all help shape our personality.
The personality is formed by the age of seven, Belsebuub states, after which we are recognizably the same person through the rest of our lives, despite later changes that may occur. However, Belsebuub also emphasizes that the personality—although important for functioning in the world—is really just a way for egos and consciousness to manifest, and that these two components of the psyche are what we need to study and understand for spiritual development.
The final component of the psyche is the consciousness, which Belsebuub explains is “the spiritual part, the immortal essence of a person.” 3 It is the consciousness which gives rise to peace, love, true intelligence, mystical experiences, psychic faculties, and the ability to respond to life with wisdom.
Belsebuub describes how consciousness becomes active through awareness:
Consciousness is manifest with awareness; by being aware of the information from the five senses and/or aware of what is happening within psychologically, then the consciousness is activated. By being aware, we live in the present moment; by being aware, we cause the consciousness to wake up.
~ Belsebuub 4
Belsebuub also explains that consciousness is typically not very active, as much of life is spent lost in the thoughts and daydreams created by the egos. Each ego, he states, contains a small particle of consciousness trapped within it, which allows us to continue functioning even when in a subconscious state.
For a typical person, consciousness constitutes only about 3% of the psyche (with 97% being subconsciousness), Belsebuub states. However, these egos are not permanent but can in fact be eliminated, he says, and when this occurs the consciousness trapped within is freed and a person gradually awakens their consciousness in both daily life and in dreams. Eventually 100% of consciousness can be freed, and Belsebuub describes how it can be transformed and merged with superior spiritual parts of the Being to truly awaken:
The Journey to Enlightenment course also explains how to transform the nature of the consciousness, to merge it with superior spiritual parts, and how to advance along the spiritual path. Consciousness or essence is a tiny part of one larger Being, which is not present within a normal person, but which exists in higher dimensions; it has many parts. To truly awaken spiritually, each of these parts needs to merge one-by-one with that basic essence—this is a long and difficult process.
~ Belsebuub 5
Seeing the Egos
Seeing what is happening within psychologically, Belsebuub says, is a key part of spiritual growth and the first step for inner progress, as it allows someone to begin to understand directly what exists within.
Belsebuub explains that the first step to seeing egos is to activate the consciousness by being in awareness:
At any given moment one must be aware and see everything that is going on inside, every thought, feeling, emotion, in other words any ego that may be manifesting. These egos manifest in specific places at the time that they arise.
~ Belsebuub 6
These specific places, Belsebuub says, are five centers of the body where the egos are able to manifest from the fifth dimension and influence us psychologically and even physically, for example by making the heart beat faster, releasing adrenalin, influencing brain activity, and so on. The five centers he describes are intellect, emotion, sex, motor, and instinct.
Belsebuub explains that the egos cannot be understood with the mind, as the mind cannot understand itself, but that by using consciousness we are outside the intellect and see and understand the egos for what they are. The egos are perceived he says by seeing their manifestations in the different centers as described below.
The Intellectual Center
While the intellect itself can be useful as a tool to plan, communicate, solve problems, and so on, Belsebuub states that much of the activity in the mind is caused by egos. He says the egos produce an endless series of thoughts, images, and daydreams as well as rigid points of view, which, due to the self-centered nature of thoughts, cause people to feel and believe that they are right and others are wrong.
Belsebuub describes how the mind also perpetuates a duality, where each thought has its opposite—for example positive thoughts are opposed by negative thoughts. However, he emphasizes that the truly good and spiritual is beyond the duality of the mind, and that the wisdom and intelligence of consciousness is very different than trying to “think positive” to overcome negative states.
The Emotional Center
The emotional center – the place where emotions manifest – Belsebuub says, is located near the solar plexus, an area approximately between the navel and the heart. Belsebuub explains that emotional sensations felt here can be enormously powerful, even overriding thoughts, morals, and intentions. While thoughts can be fleeting, he states that emotions often persist for extended periods of time in an underlying way.
Emotions give one the sense of being right, he says, and can prevent the intellectual center from thinking clearly; for example with anger, he describes how an angry emotion can spur angry thoughts, which can then justify the anger and further perpetuate that emotion. Belsebuub says that this leaves the body very drained and worn out, as the egos consume energy as they are fed, and also can create terrible environments, since the egos irradiate an energy and can telepathically communicate with the egos of others.
The Sexual Center
This center is the most powerful, Belsebuub says, as it contains the energy of creation and supplies the energies for the other four centers to run on. Belsebuub explains that sex used correctly is a necessary part of spiritual development but that the egos can also misuse this center and give rise to enormously powerful and compulsive egos and even terrible crimes. This is why, he says, egos of lust need to be eliminated and the energies cleaned and purified with a practice called alchemy/tantrism (explained on another course) in order to make meaningful spiritual progress.
The Motor Center
The motor center, Belsebuub explains, is the center of movement and enables the ability to do physical things like walking, sports, driving a car, and so on. This center is necessary to function in the world, Belsebuub states, but can also be used by the egos, which influence the way that we do things and cause us to do them in an automatic or unconscious way that unnecessarily drains our energy.
As examples he describes how people move differently when they are feeling depressed as compared to when they are feeling angry, as well as how egos can cause compulsive movements such as twitching, tapping fingers, nervous habits, and so on.
The goal, Belsebuub says, should be to allow the motor center to do its job in a natural and harmonious way while being aware, so that the center works well and egos do not use it to feed.
The Instinctive Center
Belsebuub explains that instincts are behaviors that exist basically from birth and can occur throughout the body rather than in one specific place. He states these exist in the animal kingdom for survival and in human behavior can be seen in basic things such as jumping when someone startles you, putting your hands out when you fall to catch yourself, maternal instincts to care for and protect children, and so on. However, Belsebuub also explains that the egos can distort and alter basic instincts and lead to horrible behavior and extremely harmful instinctive impulses.
Belsebuub states that although instincts are used for basic survival, these instinctive behaviors can eventually be replaced with the faculties of consciousness so that we need them less and less.
Week Two Exercise: Observation
In the exercise for week two, Belsebuub describes observation/awareness. He states this is a technique for activating the consciousness so that it can perceive what is happening both in the external world, using the five senses, and in the internal world, by observing the five centers described above.
Belsebuub emphasizes that observation needs to go both ways to be complete, so that one is aware of the physical environment and also observing the egos appearing within simultaneously. He says that these two activities are really part of the same exercise of observation.
Observing the Egos
Belsebuub states that observing the egos requires us to first be aware. He explains that the egos appearing will alter the state of awareness, and then the consciousness is able to observe them by perceiving the alterations made by the different sensations of the egos. He also emphasizes that this needs to be done at each moment of the day and requires a continual effort.
Later, when you have the technique to dissolve the ego, you will then be able to apply it to any ego that arises and gradually eliminate them; for now, when you see an ego, keep being aware, without getting lost in the ego. You need to do this again and again, because the egos appear continuously; but by doing it, you begin to get an understanding about them, because when you see something clearly you understand it, and this is a vital step for getting rid of them.
~ Belsebuub 7
Belsebuub contrasts the observation of the egos with thinking about them or analyzing them with the mind. He says that thinking about egos is not the right way to understand them, because the mind itself is used by the egos and is limited in its ability to understand compared to the intelligence of consciousness.
Observing the External World — Awareness
Awareness involves waking up psychologically and activating the consciousness, Belsebuub states, which we do by perceiving the information from the five senses in a simple and natural way.
He describes how to be aware of the place we are in by perceiving the sounds, the physical feeling of our body, the space between things, and so on. He also notes that as we try to be aware, the egos (thoughts, emotions, and so on) will appear to take us away from the present moment, and that when this occurs, once we realize, we should come back to being aware, doing this repeatedly each time awareness is lost.
He suggests practicing awareness as much as possible and selecting activities that can be used to focus deeply on exploring the practice, such as going for walks, as well as exploring awareness during normal activities such as washing, eating, and so on.
Week Two Questions and Answers