The first thing that the path to self-knowledge establishes is that the sense of unity we have of ourselves is an illusion. The individuality we perceive is the result of an identification with sensations, thoughts, feelings and lived history. There are three aspects that manifest through the physical body, personality, essence and ego.

Personality is an energetic vehicle that is formed during the first seven years of life so that the person can function adequately in the environment in which they were born. A personality from 1800 would be maladjusted to interact with today’s society. Personality condenses culture, personal and family history, learned knowledge, the way of conceiving the world and life, self-image, taboos and permissive behaviors, the story told by traumas, fears and rebellions. Is this a friendly world or is there something to be defended against everyone? Do I feel capable or am I afraid of failing and being rejected? Do I feel that I meet the ideals of weight, image, purchasing power and education to accept myself? Does it seem like there is something inherently damaged in me? Does life owe me? Do I feel that my country is better? Can’t I move forward because of a past that marked me?

The emotional charge that is imprinted on life events during the first years of life later petrifies our thought patterns and the way we relate to ourselves, with others, with nature and with the divine. Once the personality is formed, new events are interpreted in light of that personality. Children raised in families where parents compete with them for beauty or strength are likely to be insecure and see the world as an enemy. A child raised in front of the iPad may turn out to be an irritable person with an insatiable inner emptiness. The child raised with violence possibly transitions from victim to victimizer in adulthood.

Personality is a child of time, and it fossilizes us in time, depriving us of living in the moment. Only in the moment do we find the new. Only in the present moment do we rediscover our existence. Only in the eternity of the moment do we see with new eyes the people and places we frequent daily. Only in the eternal now can we conceive that reality is not as we think, and perhaps out of nowhere, alternatives occur to us. It is necessary to shake off the dust of time that has settled on us and question everything we assume as truth.

To live in the moment it is necessary to question our beliefs and mental programs, awakening to a more conscious way of thinking, feeling and acting. On the other hand, it is necessary to shift the center of attention from personality to essence.

The essence is a portion of our soul, and represents the divine in us. When a baby is born what she embodies is the essence, and since she lacks personality and ego (see below), what she expresses is the beauty of the essence. The soul is a unfolding of our inner Being that directs the processes of self-knowledge at lower levels. The soul of the common man is in a germinal state, and only through internal work does it develop, producing a man of awakened consciousness.

The inner Being detaches itself from the great Source of Life to know and know itself. For example, a fish that is within its element lives in water and does not realize that it lives because of that element. Just take it out of the water to discover the importance of that element in his life. Likewise, so that the divine sparks that emerge from the great Bonfire can recognize the joy, peace and harmony in which they live, they need to leave that environment and begin a downward journey through creation before being able to return with all the experience gained. Some sparks self-realize with conscious work, which turns them into Masters of Life with full control of themselves and nature.
The reason for our existence is to learn from each experience in the great school of life. But something happened between this purpose and our current state of confusion and forgetfulness. We identify with the processes of life, its pains and joys, we cling to memories, and silence the divine principles in us. The essence, which in fact is consciousness or inner light, remains asleep, waiting to be taken out of that dream and the way made to resume work.

The ego is the personification of our errors, pluralized in fears, hatreds, selfishness, envy, pride, gluttony, laziness, anger, attachments, sentimentalism, etc. Each of these selves puts in our minds what we should think, in our mouths what we should say, and in our hearts what we should feel. The Self is the cause of pain, and the errors of the Self reap karma that is then repaid with suffering. The selves and the false personality trap the essence and put it to sleep. Without inner light, man becomes an absent machine directed by a false personality and a bunch of selves. Man alone is the essence of him. The rest is time, and time sooner or later passes.

If you want to see God, look in a mirror, if you want to see the devil, look at your mind. ―V.M. Lakhsmi Daimon