Hi Francis, Thank you so much for answering all our questions. It is wonderful to read your answers and ‘be pointed in the right direction’, if i may call it that. I have a couple of questions (which are probably very silly, but have been on my mind for a while): 1. What is the difference between personality and ego? As I understand, one has to see through the ego or mind to come to a realization of our true selves. But most enlightened masters or sages do have their own styles, teaching way, mannerisms, etc. Does one retain a personality after enlightenment, and if so, what does it mean if one has no self and is only the ONE, consciouslness, the Divine, whatever one may call it. 2. If we have no self, and are the ONE, then how does one get ‘linked’ to one form. I presume that even after realization of our own selves, we still have the sensations, thoughts, etc of one particular being, even though we have realized that we are all the same awareness. How is that? I would really appreciate your answers. As you can tell from my quesitons, I’m still stuck in my egoic mind. Thank you so very much.
In my answers, and for the sake of clarity, I use on purpose the word “self realization” which is, in my vocabulary least, different from “enlightenment”. Enlightenment is a full glimpse of our true nature. Realization is the final stage of the ensuing process in which the residues of ignorance have been dissolved and one abides permanently in the sweetness of the Self..
You asked the following questions:
The personality would be the various qualities of a specific body-mind that make it unique. Ego is a word that I use rarely. I prefer the word “ignorance” which stands for ignorance of our true nature. In my vocabulary, ego would refer to consciousness (erroneously) identified with a personality.
The true answer depends on what is meant by “one” and “retain”. If this “one” is consciousness, the answer is that one retains and lets go of all personalities as they appear and disappear in consciousness. If this “one” is a body-mind, it remains more or less the same with one important difference: there is no more the feeling or the belief to be a separate entity accompanying its manifestation. This explains why realized beings (which means simply here body-minds with which consciousness has ceased to identify) keep some of their mannerisms after realization, just as they keep the same eye color, the same nose shape, the same ability to speak languages and to drive cars.
Your question assumes that the form exists independently of the One. How does the mirror get linked to the reflections that appear in it? The answer is that the One doesn’t get linked to one form for something real cannot really get linked to an illusion.
As long as there is a body-mind in existence, there are sensations and thoughts. That which is not present in a realized being is the belief or feeling of separation, and all the suffering and sense of lack that goes with it.