We are all born with minds that develop naturally to include a sense of separation, and thus appreciation of life. We develop a separate sense of self, the ego, so that we become conscious. And within that consciousness, when we are curious enough, we can eventually uncover the baseline of pure awareness. But to then deny the reality of the mind, or to vilify the separate sense of self, is a form of self-hatred and self-rejection. When we focus on nothing, there is a tendency to reduce everything to nothing, and nothing to everything.
Let’s face it, if we truly went past mind, then we could not function in this world. We would be completely passive, a good impression of which is given by those who believe they are awake. Those who have or give these impressions of enlightenment, the fixed stares, the stiff movements, the self-denial and the general emotional numbness. There is not much natural or human about it.
It is much more valuable to ourselves and society to have an integrated healthy ego then it is to be disidentified from an unhealthy ego. And it is time for those in the non-dual spiritual movements to acknowledge this and stop placing awakening or realization as the primary goal for their followers. Denying the ego is much easier than integrating psychologically. And sure, we can wake up, passing beyond an unhealthy ego, but it will come at a price, especially to those around us, when our shadow is unleashed onto them. For if we do not engage consciously with our issues, they will just live lives of their own, while we keep trying to deny responsibility.
If we have faced abuse at some point in our lives, the first step in healing is to identify with being a victim. If we can’t do that, we can’t heal, because somewhere inside there is a child-self that carries the pain from our early life and really is not responsible for it. So if, for example, we insist that we create our whole reality and that everything that happens to us can thus only be our fault, then healing remains out of our grasp for those aspects of ourselves that are victims. Only when we fully accept victim-hood does it become okay to explore the larger picture of why our soul chose this trauma. And once we accept that everything that happens to us is chosen at a deeper level, then we become free to let go of even reality creation to non-duality. These are the layers of healing. But if we deny our trauma by accepting only the reality of our prime awareness, our trauma festers and our awakening becomes a hollow cover for the pathology inside.