In chapter 1 we’ve shown you the consciousness model, according to Voice Dialogue. You might remember the process of consciousness in Voice Dialogue consists of three levels. Awareness, Experience of Selves and the Aware Ego Process.
The first level is Awareness. It is often referred to as the witness state in meditation. It gives us the ability to step back and see the big picture. It does not act. It is not attached to the outcome. Awareness does not experience. It witnesses. Awareness without experience isolates us from life.
The second level of consciousness is the experience of the selves. This is the actual experience of the selves, the experience of life itself. On the level of the experience of selves, several changes may occur. Energies with which we have been identified that have become stronger and larger, completely running our lives (the Primary Selves) can give up some control, begin to love their dictatorial quality and be satisfied with a more constructive task.
Experience without awareness keeps us locked in the animal kingdom. Both experience and awareness are essential to an ongoing consciousness process.
The third level is the Aware Ego Proces. This is an ongoing dynamic process that is always changing, it is not a thing but a process in itself. This process evolves between any pair of opposites. Some common opposite sets of selves are power and vulnerability, pusher and beach bum, thinking and feeling, control and release. There are many sets of opposites and the Aware Ego Process emerges from one set at a time. Clarity in one area does not mean clarity in all areas.
For instance, we find that someone develops an Aware Ego process that is capable of holding the tension of opposites between the mental and the feeling selves but – at the same time – has no Aware Ego Process when it comes to spirituality. This same individual who does such a good job of embracing both feelings and thinking, still might be totally identified with spirituality and reject selves that are ordinary or instinctual. For a spiritually identified person to develop an Aware Ego Process in relationship to spirituality, he or she would have to do work that separates him/her from the spiritual self so that there is an Aware Ego Process that can see it and experience it but is not identified with it.
Exercise with the polarities and the aware ego process
Find a quiet room to do this exercise, where you have some space to move around.
- Take a polarity that is active within you at this time. For example the part that is direct and the part that is pleasing. Or another example; Take some decision you’re struggling with: buying a car. One part really desires to have this car, the other part is the rational analytic part and says not to do it.
- Go to sit in the middle of the room. You sit in the middle position (this is the Aware Ego position). On your left and on your right you find your polarities. Each part wants something different.
- Decide which part is left and which part sits on the right. Then feel which part wants to come up first, make a decision.
- Move your chair to that position. How does it feel here? What does this part say? Remember this.
- Now move back to the middle position. And just take a few minutes to feel the difference.
- Then go with your chair to the opposite part. Be aware how this part feels and what it has to say. Remember what it has said.
- Now go back to the middle position. And take a minute to feel the change in energy and see what comes up in your mind.
- Now you have heard from both polarities what they had to say. How does it feel now? And what does Aware Ego have to say? Speak the words out loud.