Shine on you crazy diamond: Essence, personality, ego, suffering, Enneagram... And Pink Floyd.Nov 30, 2022
(By Eldad Ben-Moshe ✨ Reading Time: 5 minutes)
❤ Hey there Better Lifers!
Act 1: Essence, personality, ego & suffering
(Many) Musicians, researchers, therapists, and spiritual paths agree on this…
It happened to all of us,
and is happening to all our children as you read these lines.
It is a critical part of the story of our lives and humanity throughout history-
regardless of time, race, nationality, culture, beliefs, or life circumstances.
And yet many of us don't believe it, don't want to believe it, or forget this over and over again.
The story these musicians, researchers, therapists, and spiritual paths tell us goes more or less like this:
When we are born, we are pure Essence.
Some even say we are still remembering, experiencing, and connected to being one with all things and with God/Love/Source/The Big Spirit.
I always remember this when I hear these immortal words by Pink Floyd:
"Remember when you were young
You shone like the Sun."
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", Pink Floyd
(Even if I can't guarantee that's what they meant,
it's a fantastic metaphor for what we're talking about here…)
And as we do, this remembering, experiencing, and connection goes dimmer and dimmer,
fading away like a bright star moving further and further away from us in the dark night sky.
Under the influence of our surroundings, parents, society, etc., we begin to develop a personality.
The personality's primary goal is survival, and it is sometimes referred to as the ego.
Ram Dass called it "becoming somebody," saying we are born as a nobody (no separate individual self, that is) and go through "somebody training,"
learning we are this body, this person, etc..…
They used to say the ego evolves when we are 4-6 years old, but many now believe it starts developing when we are 2-3 years old.
If you are a parent and interested in these things, you can probably see this as it is happening to your child.
Slowly but surely (or perhaps not that slowly?), our awareness, remembering, experiencing, and connection to this perfect Essence, bliss, oneness, and Love keeps fading;
And, at the same time, just like taking weights from one side of the scales to the other lowers one side and elevates the other,
we become more and more identified with, and focused on, our ego, our existence as a separate individual, and our personal survival (both consciously and unconsciously).
Not only that, but we come to believe we are an individual disconnected from all that goodness, and yet worse -
perhaps even left out of it.
Be it because of a mistake, a punishment, or a result of decisions we don't even remember,
we are not part of the whole, the oneness, the bliss, the Love.
And be it due to some form of defense, or for other reasons, we even forget that this oneness, bliss, joy, pureness, etc. - exist.
We forget our ESSENCE and believe we are this FORM, this personality-body-individual.
For better or worse, we come to see ourselves as a separate individuals - and ultimately also alone.
You can call this part "the way down the ladder," "leaving the Garden of Eden," "The big catastrophe," "The great mistake," "The great misunderstanding," or simply "forgetting"...
Many names were given to this in many different traditions throughout the years.
"Remember when you were young
You shone like the Sun…
Now there's a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky"
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", Pink Floyd
Act 2: The Enneagram as an example
But thankfully, the above is only act 1 of the play.
(Yes, I "know" Syd Barrett didn't get better. But it's a metaphor...
And additionally - what do we know about his journey, whether you take it spiritually as the soul's journey or even the person's journey - beyond what we think we know with our limited minds?)
During that act of forgetting and shifting our experience, belief, and focus from oneness to individuality,
from Essence to form, our ego/personality is seemingly fighting for survival in a threatening world.
Seemingly, because it doesn't understand the truth, and in fact, its understanding is the very opposite of the truth.
This misunderstanding of the situation means that what we do to gain pleasure causes us pain;
what we do - consciously and unconsciously - to keep our 'self' safe brings it danger, creates suffering, and gets us into trouble.
The Enneagram provides excellent examples of that -
no matter your personality type/style, your (false) 'defense' mechanism eventually brings upon you the thing you are trying to avoid.
For example, an Enneagram type 9, The Conflict-Avoidant Peacemaker, will typically avoid conflicts believing this will prevent loss and separation,
only to later see that it was this very strategy, taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 9s do, it's not rare, but rather the default state of things),
ended up creating the very loss and separation it was supposed to prevent.
The same is right for any and all other personality types:
An Enneagram type 1, The Critical Reformer, will strive for perfection (morally, as in being 'good,' and in actions, as in avoiding mistakes) to avoid condemnation.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 1s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as people sometimes see them as over-judgemental, petty, righteous, micro-managing, and even inauthentic hypocrites who don't live to their own standard.
(Important note for all types: it all depends on the specific person's levels of development and other factors as well).
An Enneagram type 2, The Proud Helper, will endlessly give to avoid being inconsequential, dispensable, useless, ignored, left out, or unwanted; Being out of the loop of relationships.
But just like the 9, taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 2s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things),
this strategy ends up creating the state it was supposed to prevent.
An Enneagram type 3, The Self-Promoting Achiever, will do and achieve and show us he is #1 to avoid being seen as a worthless failure.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 3s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things),
this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as people can't see, and connect with, the real person behind the 'successful #1' mask.
An Enneagram type 4, The Dramatic Creative, will try to stand out and be special and unique (even though in their mind they are not trying to do that, but rather they are that) to avoid being seen as having no identity or personal significance.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 4s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as people see through their attempts to be special and unique instead of fearlessly being authentic and love them less, not more.
An Enneagram type 5, The Detached Intellectual, will strive to be independent, capable, and self-sufficient to avoid being helpless, incapable, and overwhelmed.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 5s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as they end up having far less connection with people than they want and need, and thus become helpless, incapable, and overwhelmed as you can't really be 100% self-sufficient and totally independent in this world, or even close to 100%.
An Enneagram type 6, The Doubting Loyal, will over-prepare for any possible bad-case scenario to avoid feeling unsafe, unprepared, and unable to cope with life's challenges.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 6s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), living like that only intensifies the feeling of being unsafe, unprepared, and unable to cope.
An Enneagram type 7, The Hedonistic Visionary, will endlessly strive to always have fun and have many fun options all the time (without committing to any of them) to avoid feeling trapped in endless pain (especially emotional pain, but not only).
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 7s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as running away from pain only intensifies the feeling of, and fear from, pain.
An Enneagram type 8, The Aggressive Protector, will do whatever it takes to be and appear strong and in control to avoid being seen as weak, powerless, or vulnerable, and thus avoid being harmed, manipulated, controlled, dependent, mistreated, humiliated, taken advantage of, or at the mercy of others.
But taken to an unhealthy, unbalanced place (as most 8s do, it's not rare but rather the default state of things), this strategy ends up creating the very thing they are afraid of, as a person who does whatever it takes to be and appear strong and in control actually makes more enemies and danger to themselves.
So what's the reason we all do the things that bring what we are afraid of?
Because our ego doesn't understand the truth,
and in fact, its understanding is the very opposite of the truth.
When personality begins to dominate Essence, our way of seeing things becomes the opposite of the truth,
and although we never suspect it, we begin to desire what is bad for us and to dislike what is good for us.
Not because we are masochistic but simply because our actions follow our beliefs.
It's that simple - and that inevitable.
But the biggest problem with that is not only that it creates more suffering and blocks us from remembering the truth;
But rather that it takes us further and further away from it,
as a person that keep digging the hole they are in deeper and deeper every minute of every day.
At times it seems as if suffering, unhappiness,
and becoming enslaved to the ways of the world and life's demands are inevitable, and there is no way out.
Act 3: Real change IS possible
But the ego, with its misunderstanding and fear, can be transcended, and we can return to the state of remembering, experiencing, and being connected to Essence.
Not only that, but having gone through whatever we went through in our lives might help us - or even be the key to - returning to that state.
What it takes is to better understand this process we are going through, to remember the truth of it, and to use life's events - whatever they are - to grow, remember, practice, improve, and wake up.
Whether or not complete 'enlightenment' is real, I do not know, as I have not experienced it yet.
But this I know for sure, from my own experience through my life's unfolding, and from my professional experience helping many people all over the world - a happier, better, more awakened life is possible:
Whatever your path may be, you can do it.
Changes big and small ARE attainable, and while life can be hard - it doesn't have to be that way.
And you certainly are better off not trying to go through all the tough times alone.
Be it professional help or friends and family, animals and nature, not only does having loving, caring, wise support really does helps you,
and make the path more fun and enjoyable, but it also reminds you more and more that you are not a separate individuals self, but rather a Self that transcends that story;
One with it all, rather than a separate individual, alone and not enough;
Love and Essence rather than a lonely, separate, fear-full person fighting for survival.
"Shine on, you crazy diamond…
Come on, you stranger, you legend, you martyr…
Come on, you raver, you seer of visions…
Come on you prisoner, and shine."
- Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd
Practical Actionable Steps- From Information to Transformation:
The Enneagram is just one path, but one that has proven to be extremely accurate and transformational over my many years of working on myself and with others, as their coach.
You can learn more about it and why it is so successful in changing so many people's lives in the Enneagram Blueprint Show™: A free and incredible resource with over 10 hours of detailed, high-quality Enneagram videos to help you deepen your understanding, and practical usage, of the Enneagram.)
It is geared toward helping you use the information to create the transformation you want to see in your life.
Final note: You can do this!
- Baby steps.
Done is better than perfect.
To your better life,
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center
Life is a journey of learning together, learning from each other.
You don't have to do it alone.
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