Many teachings on psychology, self-help, personal growth and even spiritual teachings talk about the ego. How can you connect the concept of an ego to HAP’s concept of subconscious selves?
The concept of an ego goes back to the ancient Greeks, but it was introduced in modern times by Sigmund Freud, and his definition is still the most common in mainstream psychology. According to Freud, the ego is the conscious personality, what we are aware of when we think of ourselves. This is what HAP calls your conscious mind and your sense of self.
Many self-help or spiritual teachings use ego in a different way, namely as something that resides in the subconscious mind and makes people selfish, even evil. This ego works directly against your growth towards higher levels of awareness. This is more comparable to the concept of subconscious selves, but HAP gives a more nuanced description of what goes on in the subconscious mind.
So why does HAP talk about subconscious selves instead of ego? There are several reasons.
The ego is not uniform
If you study teachings about a subconscious ego, you will see that the ego is not described as a unified thing or entity. It has many facets, and they are often contradictory and inconsistent. This means there is a certain contradiction in the concept of an ego. By naming it “ego” it seems to be some unified entity hiding in your subconscious mind, but how do we then explain all the contradictions and inconsistencies? This can be quite confusing for people, as it seems difficult to pin down what exactly the ego is.
HAP avoids this by talking about a multitude of subconscious selves that were created out of the dualistic consciousness, which always has two polarities. Thus, from their inception selves had contradictions and inconsistencies. This makes it less confusing to grasp what goes on in the subconscious mind.
However, HAP is not in any way negative towards talking about ego. One could say that the ego is made up of a multitude of subconscious selves. One could even say that the core of the ego is a self that gives you a specific view of yourself. Thus, studying the many teachings about ego can indeed help you expose your subconscious selves and overcome them. If you have found teachings about the ego that appeal to you, you can use them in conjunction with HAP.
It can seem overwhelming to deal with the ego
When you start studying teachings about ego, it can seem confusing, abstract and overwhelming to deal with the ego. You read one teaching and think you have some grasp of the ego, but then you read another teaching and now the ego seems to have a different face. It can sometimes feel like the ego is this huge, confusing conglomerate that is hard to pin down. It can also seem as if the ego constantly morphs so that it can always stay right beyond your conscious grasp.
HAP makes it easier to deal with the ego by breaking the task down into many smaller components. By dealing with one or a pair of selves, it becomes easier to see the specific illusion that created these selves.
This gives you a much more manageable approach, because you can start invoking higher energies to transform the energy created through a pair of selves. You can study teachings that specifically expose these selves and the illusion behind them.
Once you see that illusion and consciously let it go, you have taken a decisive step forward and can allow yourself to feel you have had a victory on your path. You just can’t allow yourself to think that overcoming one pair of selves means you have overcome the ego.
The ego is not necessarily evil
Some teachings make it seem like the ego is the cause of all evil, which makes it sound like the ego is always evil or at least selfish. HAP gives a more nuanced view by differentiating between several types of selves and linking them to the 144 levels of consciousness:
- It is only selves from the lowest level to the 7th level of consciousness that can be said to be evil, in the sense that they turn people into mass murderers, serial killers or psychopaths.
- Selves from the 8th to the 15th level cause people to become completely selfish and self-centered, turning them into narcissists.
- Selves from the 16th to the 47th level do not make people evil. It just makes them very focused on themselves as separate individuals. Such people cannot see any connection to their higher selves or to other people. Thus, they constantly feel threatened and their actions are driven by the desire to feel secure from threats (real or perceived). The lower the level of consciousness, the more aggressive people become in defending themselves.
- Selves from the 48th to the 96th level of consciousness are not evil or self-centered. They are based on an intuitive sense of being connected to something larger than your own mind, meaning your higher self. These selves have a dichotomy between the sense of connection and still seeing yourself as an individual being. As you climb towards the 96th level, you increase your sense of connection to your higher self and even to the ascended masters. Yet you also separate yourself from the mass consciousness in your society. Obviously, these selves are not evil, they are simply illusions to overcome as you climb the path.
- From the 96th level and up, you still have selves, and for each step you climb, you overcome one illusion. Doing this means you take your increasing connection to your higher self and use it to realize that all people and all physical circumstances sprang from the same source. Thus, you expand both your vertical connection to your higher self and spiritual teachers (the ascended masters) and you expand your horizontal connection to other people and all life, even the material universe.
You do not become ego-free on earth
Some teachings about ego claim that you can become ego-free while you are still in embodiment. Some people are said to be enlightened, and various examples have been given, such as the Buddha, Jesus and some modern spiritual gurus.
HAP has a more nuanced teaching. HAP agrees that if you define ego as what makes us evil or selfish, it is possible to become free of this ego. You become free of the lower levels of ego, or rather subconscious selves, when you reach the 48th level. You overcome another level of selves when you reach the 96th level and shift from being focused on raising yourself to raising the all.
So from this perspective, it can be said that people have become ego-free, yet this is not some ultimate stage of personal growth. HAP teaches that in order to start taking embodiment, you need to first descend to the 144th level of consciousness, and here you create a self based on a specific illusion. The same happens for each step you descend further until you eventually reach the 48th level where you can take physical embodiment.
This means that even at the 144th level of consciousness, you are not completely free from selves or illusions. What you have left at the higher levels is by no means evil or selfish, yet it is still an illusion. It is this illusion that allows the conscious self to start the process of accepting itself as a being in embodiment on earth. As you overcome the last illusion at the 144th level, you can no longer hold on to a physical body and enter the ascension process.
So from this perspective, you never become ego-free on earth because the highest self is necessary in order to keep the conscious self inside a physical body and the emotional, mental and identity minds. Of course, at the higher levels of awareness, you are no longer identified with the body or the mind, and this is a much higher level of consciousness than most people have. Thus, HAP does not invalidate saying that a person is enlightened, as long as it is not seen as an ultimate state. If you are still in a physical body on a dense planet like Earth, you have not reached an ultimate state.
Take note that HAP will sometimes use the term ego to refer to the central self that keeps you in a physical body. You can also refer to this as the first or original self.