Excerpts About Self Representation

According to Joseph Sandler, quoted by Greenberg and Mitchell: “Self-representations are not simply perceptions, which are fleeting and imply no enduring impression. Nor are they simply memories of discrete experiences. Representations are organized compilations of past experiences, relatively enduring impressions, constellations of perceptions and images, which the child culls from his various experiences and which in turn provide for the child a kind of cognitive map, a subjective landscape within which he can locate and evoke the cast of characters and events within the drama of his experience.”
The Point of Existence, p. 55   •  discuss »
The normal experience of the self includes the belief that it’s identity is made up of a body, of thoughts, feelings, ambitions, plans, ideals, values, impulses, desires, actions, qualities, and so on. Since the self takes itself to be all these things, integrated and organized in an overall view of itself, it cannot separate from them. This is the experience of the self when it is identified with self- representation. More accurately, it is the self and the self-representation experienced together, as the same reality.
The Point of Existence, p. 58   •  discuss »
The experience of the self is actually determined by the self-representation. The phenomenology of the self's experience presents itself through this representation, and hence, what the self perceives and experiences as itself, in its present experience, is greatly determined by it. The self-representation actually sculpts the forms that arise as the phenomenological particulars of the self's experience of itself.
The Point of Existence, p. 59   •  discuss »
The overall self-representation is the background of any particular moment-to moment experience, the foreground of which is determined by shifting component self-representations. So the identity locates the individual consciousness both in the particular component self-representation the individual happens to be identifying with in the moment and within the overall self-concept with its representational world.
The Point of Existence, p. 109   •  discuss »
When the self-representation excludes aspects of the self, this incompleteness will cause the sense of self to be weak, distorted, or both. This is partially due to the pressure of the actual self on the identity. Any real part of ourselves that is excluded by what we take ourselves to be will create conflicts in the sense of identity, since its mere existence threatens the identity. For example, if our identity does not include our anger, or our love, then our identity will be threatened when anger or love arise forcefully in consciousness. Hence, the incompleteness of our self-representation leaves an identity vulnerable to the truth about our actual self, just as the falsehood of the representation leaves our identity in an untenable position in relationship to all of reality.
The Point of Existence, p. 124   •  discuss »
It is important to note that the self-representations in psychic structures are memories. The Essential Identity is not present in these structures; what is there is the memory of the feeling of self connected with the Essential Identity. This explains how the self-representations become imbued with the feeling of identity.
The Point of Existence, p. 144   •  discuss »

Our view also shows that what the spiritual teachings call the main barrier to spiritual realization—the ego, or what some traditions simply call the self—is nothing but the self-representation, and not the system ego, per se, or the actual self. Depth psychology has rendered a great service to spiritual teachings by providing a clear definition of the form of the self that is the main barrier in the spiritual path.


The Point of Existence, p. 507   •  discuss »

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