1.2 What is the function of the personality?
From the point of view of normal, day-to-day awareness, reality is experienced through the limitations of one’s personality. The personality acts as a filter through which one interprets and understands the experiences of one’s senses interacting with one’s emotional, intellectual and belief structures. Each personality has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own limitations: bounded by individual limitations, one tries to understand the experience of oneself interacting with the world.
The personality encompasses the whole complex of emotions, intellectual ideas, fears, values, hopes, needs and desires which are accessible to, and form the contents of, ordinary, everyday awareness. Our well-developed psychologies teach us that each individual’s behaviour is to a significant extent influenced by underlying psychological constraints. Normally, one is unconscious of one’s own constraints; awareness of these underlying constraints, which determine much of one’s understanding of reality, usually dawns gradually by means of the long and laborious process of maturing through time.
The key term ‘consciousness’ refers both to one’s level of awareness at any given time and place and to the context within which this awareness operates at that time. In other words, one’s level of consciousness at any time is what one is aware of, understood within the context of one’s conscious and unconscious limitations. Considered objectively, each personality defines a limiting structure to the experiencing of reality.
The personality is a constraint upon one’s level of consciousness. This should be reflected on carefully until it is clearly understood. Put simply, there is much more of reality which you can experience when your level of consciousness is not constrained by the personality.