Knowledge of the world and the psyche
At the end of last month's post, the strong differences found in our days in the destinies of individual humans were highlighted, and some of the theories of psychic origin advanced to interpret these differences were examined, all – in one way or another – unsatisfactory in the light of human reason and intelligence. Obviously, the natural origin of man implies that its way of functioning and behaving is also influenced by the psyche's dynamics that do not submit to reason or intelligence. Some people have the destiny – and, one might say, the fortune – of being able to increase humanity's heritage of knowledge, through a process that requires an expansion and refinement of the operational skills of consciousness. It seems to me correct to speak, in this case, of a smart consciousness, because intelligence can unfold its cognitive faculties only by being associated with a sufficiently evolved consciousness. Even a brilliant intuition – which can be considered as the product of an unconscious intelligent mental activity – can be recognized as such only when it becomes conscious, and must then be consciously processed to be transformed into knowledge.
Smart consciousness can direct its activity towards an aspect of the physical and natural world, and in this case it will aim to deepen our knowledge in one of the fields of investigation covered by science, or towards an aspect of human activity, determining thus an enrichment of cultural knowledge. But in a relatively recent era, consciousness began to investigate the psyche's functioning, applying itself to a very insidious and uncertain field of investigation, precisely because the same object of cognitive research has a decisive influence on the resources on the basis of which knowledge is processed. Indeed, the observation and interpretation of the various aspects of physical reality, while still being based on mental processes, can rely on the stability of the observed objects and their interactions, which do not change overnight in an unpredictable way. Scientists can therefore count on the stable and objective coherence, at least within certain limits, of the observed phenomena: this fact gives them the certainty that, although they cannot investigate the very essence of things but can only operate with their mental representations, the knowledge of the natural laws that results allows them to gain an effective control over the real world.
When, instead, the conscious Ego decides to turn its cognitive activity towards the human psyche, everything becomes considerably more complicated: first of all, direct observation can be exerted only in relation to the psychic events of our inner world, while – as regards all other people – their behaviors can be observed, and the descriptions and reports of the psychic events they want to communicate to us can be listened to and interpreted. We can perceive, and therefore feel, the psyche's dynamics that enter the illuminating beam of our consciousness, but if we want to describe them to others, or even to ourselves, we must resort to the resources of language, or – if we are capable of it – to imagination, meaning by this term precisely the ability to translate the psychic events of which we are conscious into storyboards through images. The fundamental role of the mental activity of the person who interprets the psychic events observed – both their own and those of other people – results in a marked subjectivity of the psyche's knowledge, much greater with respect to the knowledge of the events and laws of the physical world. Therefore, in the present situation, it cannot be affirmed that a scientific knowledge of the psyche can be reached.
This does not mean that the commitment and resources invested in understanding the psyche do not produce any results and are therefore to be considered useless. The study of the phenomena of the psyche translates into a form of knowledge that we could define empirical in relation to the description of the observed facts, and based on the researcher's personal experience as regards their interpretation. It can be added that today – in our culture – there is a strong demand for assistance and help towards the psyche's dynamics that involve – and sometimes overwhelm – the conscious Ego: this demand determines a diffusion of professional figures identified under the generic label of psychotherapist, to whom a scientific status is often wrongly attributed. Beyond the belonging to one or the other of the different psychological schools that have established themselves over time, the personal orientation of each psychologist leads them to a particular interpretation of the psyche's dynamics observed in the persons that resort to them. Nevertheless, the experience gained through professional practice, and also the inner evolution of their own psyche, can lead over time to a deepening of the knowledge acquired and a better effectiveness of the therapeutic techniques adopted. This is why it can be said that the psyche's knowledge is essentially based on experience in relation to the understanding and interpretation of the observed psychic dynamics.
The activities of interaction between our mind and the objects and events of the real world take place in our waking state, and this guarantees us – day after day – the continuity and relative stability of objective reality. The changes to which even real objects and events are subject occur over time, with a continuity that can determine their predictability, once the laws according to which they take place are known. Our inner psychic experiences, on the other hand, include – in addition to the various moods and fantasies that we can experience in the waking state – also dreams, which occur in the dream state and can be remembered in the waking state (a more detailed information on the different kinds of dreams can be found in the section on non-ordinary states of consciousness). These experiences are lacking the stability, continuity and predictability of real world objects and events: once the oneiric activity of one night is over, we cannot find ourselves – the following night – in the same dream world, to resume the experiences left hanging in the dreams of the previous night. This makes the dream world uncertain and unstable, and therefore substantially different from the real world. These experiences are entirely subjective: however, when we are within a dream – especially if it is a vivid conscious dream – we can get the impression that we are living a very real experience.
The conscious Ego, the real world and the psyche
In the first phase of life, that of learning, the objects and events of the real world – which also includes other humans, and in particular those closest to us – arouse in us psychic reactions which, once perceived by consciousness, involve the Ego in automatic way. During the same period, various operational programs are transferred to our mind – through social interactions – which have the purpose of determining our behavior, also by controlling our psyche's reactions, in the various situations of life. In this phase, the Ego usually relies without reacting to what it is taught and the psyche's dynamics it experiences: the only reactions occur – automatically – when the conditioning programs or the psyche's dynamics caused by certain events come into conflict with some primary drives. In this way, over time, a still unripe personality is formed, which manifests a character destined to influence the first autonomous choices that the conscious Ego naively attributes to itself. But consciousness is still underdeveloped, and the experience of life is too limited for the Ego to rely on its own resources: it would be necessary to count on the guidance and experience of valid teachers, but unfortunately in the current world these are very few, and most humans must grow relying solely on their own psyche's dynamics, often influenced by mediocre or poor quality teachers.
Already since the first autonomous choices, we may observe that some of us orient themselves according to what they consider their advantage in terms of the possibility of having fun, and the pursuit of pleasure or even happiness, while others accepts the commitment to face life as a task, with all its difficulties. Obviously, these are two needs of psychic origin, which should be adequately balanced, but here I want to highlight how, from the first stage of life, the psyche's dynamics – which manifest themselves so differently from one individual to another – take the control of the conscious Ego by forcing it to choose, act, behave, think and feel in one or the other way. In this respect, a human society – considered as a whole – manifests its own vitality determined by the partly organized and partly conflictual and chaotic interaction of all the psyche's dynamics that are expressed through the humans that are part of it. In these conditions, the role of the conscious Ego often remains passive throughout all the life of a person. In effect, they are the interactions between real-world events and the psyche's dynamics activated by an individual's psychophysical system that determine, when possible, an awakening of the conscious Ego from the semi-lethargic state in which it finds itself.
When this awakening begins, the conscious Ego has the perception of its existence as something distinct both from the physical world (to which it is connected through its organism and its nervous system), and from the psyche's dynamics that continuously try to involve it. It can be said that in this phase the Ego changes from a condition of imprisonment and identification towards those aspects of the psyche that destiny has imposed on it, to a condition of connection from the outside – so to speak – both with its own body and with its own psyche. When it has not yet woken up well, that connection system that – almost like an umbilical cord – connects the Ego to its psychophysical system, is not very elastic and rather short, so that it takes very little to bring the Ego back to its cage (to remain in our metaphor), within which its identification with the psychic events is almost total. But, over time, the connecting cable lengthens and becomes more elastic, allowing the Ego an ever wider freedom and the ability to observe and evaluate from an external point of view, and with limited involvement, what happens to the psychophysical system to which it is still connected. Only at the moment of death the connection cable is cut and the Ego acquires its full freedom.
Some people, identifying themselves with their own psychic dynamics, could believe that without these nothing can remain to the Ego, as a consciousness without psychic contents is completely useless. It is not so: if we consider our consciousness as a beam of light, more or less wide and more or less intense, which allows us to perceive the animated objects that move and interact within a certain otherwise obscure environment, the conscious Ego – as the perceiver of these dynamic images – finds itself, so to speak, behind its consciousness, or in the condition of a passive spectator of a movie that is projected on a screen placed in front of its eyes, without it knowing anything about the reasons why that movie was made, is being shown, and manages to involve it even in spite of itself. But if the Ego manages to awaken from its own passive state, it can direct the beam of light of consciousness on itself: in this condition of self-consciousness it will realize that it can rely on a series of psychic dynamics of a well different quality than those in which it had been involved and ensnared until then. It is as if at this point a quite different movie was shown on the screen, of which the Ego itself is author, director and actor.
A more fitting example can be represented by an individual entity closed in a dark room, and connected to a computer, through which it obtains not only all the information about the outside world and connections with other computers, but also the operating programs through which this information must be managed in order to experience certain reactions which – in one way or another – involve it, always through the computer, to which it is connected both as input and output. If the computer were shut down, all the information and programs available on the computer suggest the loss of any possibility of consciousness, experience, and therefore of existence by the entity itself. What each computer produces, with its functioning, is nothing but one of billions of personal stories that as many computers show to the entities connected to them, and connected to each other through the computer network. As a whole, this huge network represents the human psyche, of which every single computer, through its functioning and the programs by which it operates, tunes a limited band of frequencies.
The entity connected to a computer – what we have defined as conscious Ego – can interact with its own computer, influencing its operational functioning to some extent on the basis of the information and responses it gets from the programs inserted in the computer, and the way in which its very essence reacts as a result of its interconnection with the computer. When the conscious Ego wants to know something about itself and its essence, it turns to the computer, because that's how it got used to doing, and obtains the answers that the programs of its computer, always connected to the network, as well as to the Ego, are capable to provide it. The Ego's dependence on the computer is total, and the network formed by the connections between the computers has a huge power over the functioning of each individual computer and the conditioning and subjection of the Ego as an operator. However, precisely the study of the activity of interaction with the computer and of the ways in which the programs respond to the inputs given by the Ego, can lead to a more precise and intense functioning of consciousness, that is, of that faculty through which the Ego's essence is directly connected to the computer, recording and decoding the information and data provided.
In an attempt to obtain information about itself, the Ego may decide to disconnect the computer from the network to some extent, and initially tries to use the programs already present on the computer to better understand its nature and condition. He can also search the net for other programs that will help it in this endeavor, but over time it realizes that its individual essence requires – to be able to express itself via the computer – a direct commitment, otherwise it will have to postpone any possible knowledge in this regard until the computer will stop working. In fact, the computer can be subject to failures of any kind, some repairable, others not, and over time its operation begins to deteriorate, until it shuts down for good. As this information, supplied by the computer's operating system, is acquired by consciousness, the Ego becomes more proficient in the use of the computer, and in particular in the understanding of the programs that are part of it, and begins to autonomously elaborate a program that allows it to better understand its role and its possible autonomy of intervention within this complex and indecipherable system. The progressive elaboration of this program and the verification of its functioning are made possible by smart consciousness, with which some humans are particularly gifted.
Smart consciousness and the psyche
Once a person's smart consciousness has developed enough, over time and through the experiences of a life, that person's conscious Ego must confront the power of the human psyche, which continues to manifest itself, in all its aspects, in the vast majority of humans. The mere fact of being interconnected in that network of brains that forms the social fabric causes one or the other aspect of the human psyche to manifest itself in a person's consciousness, involving the Ego and inducing it to choose and act to try to get something. In many people the psyche manifests its positive and beneficial aspect, causing them to act to improve – as far as possible – the fate of mankind. This condition – which must be considered with particular respect – does not mean, however, that the conscious Ego has freed itself from its subjection to the psyche, as it anyway remains in the service of the psyche – which manifests itself in a good and positive way – without consciousness being able to make a qualitative leap. Smart consciousness realizes that the human psyche has different faces, and that – like a two-faced Janus – the positive and beneficial face corresponds, on the back of the same coin, to a negative and evil face that has an equally strong power of involvement towards many humans.
This observation by the smart consciousness does not entail – be it quite clear – any indulgence towards evil, which, in all its aspects, degrades the human being, causes suffering, and makes the Ego even more prisoner of the psyche's dynamics; nor does it want to put good and evil on the same level, as if it were indifferent to the pains caused by the latter. The problem that smart consciousness brings to light for the conscious Ego to confront it, is that the human psyche as a whole has often manifested itself to the consciousness of humans in its aspect of God, with all that follows in terms of power of involvement and conditioning towards the conscious Ego. Now it is clear that – once it is understood that the past has been fixed and cannot be changed – the only perspective that can have a certain meaning for the conscious Ego is the one for which time and consciousness are the tools by which the negative aspects of the human psyche are transformed into positive aspects – and therefore evil is transformed into good – thanks to the commitment of the conscious Ego of the humans involved in this process.
But does this future prospect offer concrete guarantees of success or is it just a hope? Already the fact of not having sufficient elements to answer this question puts the conscious Ego in a condition of uncertainty. The history of humankind shows how good and evil have continuously influenced human affairs, affecting in a varied, unbalanced, and above all no longer modifiable way, the fate of people who lived in the past: therefore a possible compensation for the wrongs and the pains they suffered can only occur in a different dimension from that of earthly life. The present of humankind is before our eyes, and each of us is free to evaluate under which aspects it can be considered – as a whole – a progress, if compared to the past. We can also hope for a better future than the present, and engage ourselves, in accordance with what our psyche suggests, for this to happen: but precisely the study of history shows us how, in human collective affairs, good intentions not infrequently have unforeseen consequences, and evil proves to have surprising vitality and remarkable resources.
In any case, the study of the past and the experience of the present show that this process of transforming evil into good needs long times – at least in relation to the normal duration of human life – and does not proceed in a linear and constant way, but rather shows a wave trend, for which periods of progress may also be followed by temporary regressions. Therefore the time factor plays a fundamental role, and in any case a significant amount of humans will have to face, in the course of their life, the good-evil polarity which – as we experience it today – involves injustice, strong inequalities in the destinies of individuals, lies, deceptions and hypocrisy in social dynamics, psychic conflicts of all kinds and physical suffering. Furthermore, to have the certainty that this process of transforming evil into good can be successful, so that we can sustain our possible commitment in this sense, we should have confidence in an entity superordinated to both evil and good – something like an absolute and irrevocable law – which could guarantee that the operation will end well. In this respect, the human psyche cannot be of great help, because it represents both the one and the other aspect of the problem, and its complex dynamics – depending on how they manifest themselves – can even induce a person to cause suffering to others, believing to act for good.
The reason why in our days, in technologically advanced cultures, a certain relativism is spreading towards good-evil polarity, and – when possible – also a kind of hedonism based on the search for immediate forms of enjoyment, however ephemeral and evanescent, lies precisely in the lack of conviction in an existence of the conscious Ego that goes beyond human life: the good is therefore identified with the mental pleasure that we can experience as a consequence of our choices, behaviors and actions, avoiding, as much as possible, suffering and pain. This attitude does not require a particularly smart consciousness, which would immediately reveal its limits: in fact the psyche works in such a way that a behavior that produces mental pleasure in me can involve suffering for the mind of another person, or an action that gives me immediate happiness may result in future suffering, which could involve my Ego much more intensely than the current happiness. Finally, the very decline of mental faculties – which can occur at any age due to trauma or illness, but is inevitable in the final stage of life – makes the instrument that should produce emotional happiness inefficient, with the consequence that in many cases, precisely in the period in which the fruits of a life should be reaped, bitterness and suffering become predominant.
To better understand the reasons why the psyche's dynamics activated by mental functioning in themselves make impossible – at least in some cases – the success of the process of seeking mental happiness (beyond the unhappiness caused by misfortunes of natural origin, including diseases), we may take for example the state of falling in love: the loving one needs, in order to feel happy, that the loved person returns his/her love, which is often not possible, with consequent unhappiness by those who fell in love, a condition that can have annoying effects even for the person who does not return love. Moreover, even in those cases in which love is initially reciprocated, it happens that over time the psyche's dynamics of the people involved come into conflict with each other, causing mutual unhappiness, sometimes with dramatic consequences. After all, the search for emotional happiness resembles a bait on the hook that must tie the conscious Ego to life: the hope of a possible happiness involves the Ego in human affairs, even when it becomes clear that the happiness that I have conquered and am enjoying today is destined to fade over time, precisely because of the mind functioning.
Smart consciousness is able to accurately record these psychic dynamics, which are brought to the attention of the Ego so that it can independently develop a more convincing and effective program about the meaning of life: to come back to our example of the computer and the operating entity connected to it, it is as if the conscious Ego began to practice in the role of creator of a new program, even if using – by necessity – the operating systems and information data already present in the computer. The riddle of life cannot be solved objectively: when consciousness, in its weakness, has not yet developed enough, the Ego can resort to one or the other of the cultural programs – developed by other human beings – which have spread by proselytizing in the social environment, and thus have become part of the collective psychic heritage. In this way, the conscious Ego can be satisfied with a pre-packaged program, which spares it the effort and commitment of creating a new program with which it can be satisfied. But an intelligent and evolved consciousness will not allow it to be satisfied with programs inherited from the past, except to draw from them elements to be studied, evaluated and further elaborated for the purpose of developing a new program intended for its own spiritual development, that is, for the connection between its existence in this life and a possible existence in another dimension.
The search for the program
The way in which everyone is free to decide (or not to decide) about the program on the basis of which they believe they can end their human experience having extracted a meaning from their own life depends – as well as on personal history – on the harmony of the Ego and the degree of evolution achieved by its consciousness, and does not necessarily consist of an activity of intellectual meditation or philosophical reflection, even if a comparison with one's mental activity and with the psyche's experiences that derive from it is, sooner or later, unavoidable. Some people feel satisfied if they can put their mental and physical resources at the service of others until the end of their days, as far as possible. Others dedicate themselves as long as possible to research and knowledge, believing that life should be lived to the fullest, without worrying about what will happen next, since we are not given to know it. The important thing is that each of these positions is not simply due to habits acquired on the basis of cultural programs passively received by the conscious Ego, which remains conditioned by them until the end of its days in this world. If so, the evolution of consciousness over the course of life would have been minimal. Instead, it is necessary that the problem of the meaning of life has been consciously addressed by the Ego, until it reaches the elaboration of a satisfactory answer, which can help it to cross the threshold of death with a conscious dignity.
We can recall here the cultural and spiritual attitude of yoga philosophy, which provides for different paths – suitable to different personal attitudes – which all lead to the same result, that is, the liberation of the conscious Ego. We can therefore refer to a path of action, a path of devotion, a path of meditation and a path of knowledge, which will lead to the desired goal, provided that consciousness actively participates in the process of strengthening and evolution in which it is involved in the yoga practice. On the other hand, among the roots from which yoga developed was the ancient philosophical current of Samkhya, according to which the Ego's liberation could only be achieved through intelligent reasoning, considered as the highest human faculty. However, we must not forget the strong interest and attraction that the human psyche – which manifests in all the different aspects of life – arouses in the conscious Ego, involving it in vital activity despite the pains and disappointments that fate can reserve for it. This attitude of challenge, of commitment and not infrequently of struggle, with which the conscious Ego is ensnared in the dynamics of life, is particularly developed in our current western culture, and in recent times it has also spread into those oriental cultures that traditionally privileged the detachment towards life, regarded as contaminated by suffering.
It would be a mistake, or at least denote a unilateral attitude, to want to attribute this culture of interest to life only to a poor evolution of consciousness. Although in many cases the Ego is actually ensnared in life due to a still poorly developed consciousness, there are many people who invest their intellectual and cognitive resources – of a rather good level – in activities stimulated by the involvement of the conscious Ego in life and by the real interest in one or another aspect of human experience. For this reason it cannot be assumed that a cognitive program should be valid for everyone, and the philosophical systems have been and will always be characterized by our personal psychic attunements. Even in the field of psychology, although the observed events and behaviors can be described objectively – in accordance with the observer's skills – the interpretation of their causes and dynamics, as well as the theories advanced to explain them, will depend at least in part from the orientation of the researcher's psyche. It is therefore no wonder that interest in the psyche, considered in all its often conflicting aspects, is also an interest in life. At the same time, however, the conscious Ego can feel the need to develop its own detachment and liberation program.
Anyway, it is important to recognize that the interest and involvement of the Ego in human life regards this world as it is, in the period in which the Ego is destined to live, with all the conflicts and defects we experience through our psychic reactions. Even the desire, which many of us can intensely feel, to act to improve the general conditions of human life, is determined by a particular psychic attunement, destined to face – and not infrequently to conflict with – other psychic tunings, with ups and downs of successes and failures. Human life, as it has been experienced in the past, and as we can think that will also be experienced in the future, has always provided and will continue to provide even extreme psychic experiences, which in any case have been endured, or will have to be supported, by a conscious Ego. This observation is enough to make us aware of the fact that pain and suffering represent psyche's dynamics intrinsically connected to the experience of life, even if fate distributes them in different degrees in the lives of people: in this world, even the happiest people, when they enjoy their happiness, know that many other humans have suffered or are suffering, and may possibly rejoice in their lucky fate which has spared them the direct experience of various pains.
In a sense, a form of self-love – meant as a particular attention to one's personal destiny – is needed in order to be involved by the interest in life. This self-love should not be confused with egoism, if by egoism we mean the attitude to consciously deceive other people and inflict damages and suffering on them to our own advantage. Without a certain dose of self-love, empathy for other people's suffering and involvement in the pains of humanity would prevent us from any interest in the positive aspects of human experience. However, experience shows that in the final part of life even self-love can transform into a useless and sterile attachment to life, from which the conscious Ego should however be able to part. Not surprisingly, precisely at this stage the deterioration of our body and mind guides us towards a condition of greater detachment from our human experience. So the search for a personal program of understanding the meaning of life is also determined by the need to be able to conclude it without regret and in a dignified way.
The natural origin – linked to the process of evolution of living organisms – of our body, makes so that life can be lived in a perceptive-sensorial way, based on the more or less rapid reactions to stimuli coming from the environment, determined by our instincts and cultural programs that our milieu transmits to us: in this case mental activity, which can also be of a good level, is aimed at obtaining certain results through action towards the environment and interaction with other humans. The dynamics of this kind of mental activity are triggered by commands and desires, which stimulate the psychophysical system to act with the speed and determination necessary to obtain the desired result. This type of vital functioning, although articulated in many varied and complex ways within our current social systems, is already present in the animal world – and therefore in nature – and is based on the three principles by which the process of natural evolution rules the behavior of organisms: pain, pleasure and obedience to the instinct of the species. Just to give an example, obedience to the instinct of the species drives entire populations of salmon to make a long journey, facing various obstacles and risks, so that a part of them succeed in reaching the place of origin where, after the surviving females have laid their eggs and some of the surviving males have fertilized them, all of them die of exhaustion.
In the most advanced forms of the modality of natural functioning, the conscious Ego is still subject to the needs determined by the social development programs in which it is involved, which often absorb all the energies and time available to a person. In the less evolved forms, the Ego is dominated by natural drives, or by the desire for self-affirmation, for social consensus or for power. The perception and understanding of the essence of the conscious Ego require an activity of reflection and meditation that needs time and a certain amount of energy to be directed towards our inner world. It is, in a sense, an activity that goes against the needs of natural life, which require above all that the body is kept efficient and in good health, so that the mind can perform at its best the social functions for which each of us is programmed, in one way or another (and with greater or lesser success). The inner search occurs only when destiny imposes it on a certain human being, and it may involve some difficulties in adapting to the social environment: therefore it is advisable to engage more intensely in it – if we feel that it is important to do so – in the second half of our life.
It is well to remember that what people normally manifest in their interpersonal relationships are the products of their mental activity, that is, those particular aspects of the human psyche that are tuned by the functioning of the brain, and with which the conscious Ego usually completely identifies. Only the evolution of smart consciousness allows us to feel in the right terms the issue of the essence of the conscious Ego: normal people are able to perceive only the emotional reactions – essentially in terms of pleasure, pain or indifference – that the human psyche imposes on the Ego, and that the Ego is forced to endure (as pain) or to desire (as pleasure). When intelligent consciousness has sufficiently developed, at least a part of the resources and time available to it is devoted to the search for the status of the Ego and the knowledge of its essence, both during human life and once this experience is over. It is a research that may not even reach satisfactory results in the course of our life, which does not mean that it must be necessarily interrupted with death: on the contrary, the heritage of knowledge and information acquired and the program developed by the conscious Ego could result very useful precisely to continue the research in another dimension.
The method that can be used in this research and in the elaboration of our own program has two aspects, one of which can be considered as objective – as it is based on the investigation and evaluation of data and information made available by our cultural system, and which can be discussed through the interaction with other people interested in the same research – while the other remains subjective, given that it is based on an exploration of our own inner world. This exploration starts with a first phase, which can last a long time (in theory it could never end), in which the conscious Ego perceives and evaluates the psyche's dynamics determined by the mental activity of its organism, training in order to remain detached from them, and not to get involved to the point of having to translate them – as usually happens – into behaviors and activities. It is an activity of attentive and participatory reflection of the psyche's events that become part of the range of action of our consciousness, not directly generated as a reaction to facts, people or things that are active in our environment, but produced by our unceasing mental activity. In the course of this meditative activity, the conscious Ego first reflects the products of mental activity acquired by consciousness, but after a certain time the mental activity also begins to reflect the very essence of the Ego. This change – which we could consider as a rotation of 180° in the field of observation of our consciousness – is made possible by the progressive detachment of the Ego from the psyche's dynamics with which it was accustomed to identify.
At this point I no longer feel able to describe the further evolution of the process, also because the same linguistic terms used by me would end up losing their objective communication value, and should be redefined and clarified from time to time to adapt to the subjective experience of each of us: what is evidently impossible. The same term «Ego» (about which you may consult the page on Definitions) – in particular in the expression «conscious Ego» – has been widely used in the pages of this site because it is the one that best corresponds to the individual identity of the subjects who experience their own inner psychic life, differentiating themselves from others, even though they know that every human being have their own Ego, subject to psychic experiences similar or very different from their own. So what differentiates the Ego from the you is the fact that for me the you represents a psychic experience determined by another organism, its behavior, its expressions, its verbal communications and the mental activity that I attribute to them (without any possibility of direct verification), while the other's Ego directly experiences its own psyche, but is unable to tune into my psychic experiences.
So what distinguishes us from each other, from the point of view of inner life, are the psychic experiences to which each of us is subject in the course of life, as a consequence of our own personal destiny, determined by all those variables and resources which contribute to forming the history of every human being: the natural foundation of human life entails that personal destiny manifests itself in this way, at least until the conscious Ego identifies with the psyche's experiences in which it is involved. Based on the above considerations, we – strictly speaking – should define «Ego» only the subject consciously involved in the psyche's dynamics, and therefore not free: this, moreover, is the normal condition of human life. Any form of freedom to experience certain psychic attunements, or not to experience others, and the ability itself to detach ouselves from the human psyche, determine a conscious experience for which the term «Ego» is perhaps inadequate, so much so that in the past classic alternative terms, such as «soul» or «spirit», have been used, or new terms with equally uncertain meaning have been proposed, such as Jung's «Self» (das Selbst).
What could be said is that, when the Ego manages to be sufficiently detached from the dynamics of the human psyche, the smart consciousness – which has increased its faculties by the practice of meditative reflection – manages to orient itself towards the Ego and, instead of focusing a subjective punctiform entity, so to say, finds like a portal that opens and allows to access a new dimension in which each element is pure consciousness that perceives itself. However, these are experiences that cannot be transformed into normal communication with claims of objectivity: nay, just talking about them sounds, in the light of our normal waking state activities, as something inappropriate, since it would be better to maintain a decent discretion on experiences that can challenge the culturally dominant worldview. But it seems to me right to testify how – precisely by virtue of these experiences determined by smart consciousness – the exit from this life (what we call death) may acquire a particular attraction, such as the charm of adventure in a world of dazzling colors hidden from our eyes by a heavy black curtain.