The Process of Creating Negative Core Images
At the deepest level, creating negative core images is an inescapable part of the human condition, and therefore these exist in everyone to varying degrees, from the normal to the pathological. Therefore, understanding this process is essential for everyone and, no matter how successful and happy we may appear, we can not fully realize ourselves or our deepest striving and yearning until we become aware of and resolve basic false identifications endemic to our thinking. Unacknowledged negativity acts as an anchor that restricts development. Having more acute symptoms can be helpful in that it makes the problem more obvious. Being normal, more healthy and adapted can allow one to underestimate the extent to which normal cultural assumptions and values are implicitly limited.
The process of creating negative core images begins with incarnation. The soul, the inner immortal individual, incarnates through a human being who is an expression of that inner self, but who also, as a human being, embodies a different level of consciousness. The human being naturally identifies itself and its reality in terms of the world it incarnates into. As our dualistic world operates by different laws than the world of the soul in which our being is grounded, the individual adapts to and identifies with these. Our first sense of ourselves as human beings is invariably characterized by attributes distinctly different from the soul:
1. A perception of separation. We identify with the world of differentiated forms in which we incarnate and loose awareness of the unity that persists between our human ego and our soul.
2. A feeling of fear. Identifying oneself as a temporal and vulnerable human being, fear and anxiety arise for one's safety and capacity to fully be. One naturally feels threatened and overwhelmed by the array of forces acting in life.
3. Projection. What one denies, one projects. On this level, the power of the soul, from which all fulfillment is derived, is projected on to the world and therefore experienced there. Because of this, we assume we have lacks that are met by things in the world. (When integration is established, outer needs are met as a reflection of union with the soul, not as an replacement for it.)
This is the fundamental condition of negative images that are created by inability to maintain one's identity with the soul, by fear and projection. There are further differentiations of the basic denial (negativity) and the resultant false images. In the second stage, the ego falsely takes on the authority of the inner self (which intuitively knows what is real and true) in its assumed capacity to judge reality in its own terms. Separation and fear become the reality. The ego's denial becomes reflected in negative judgments about itself -- self-doubt, negative self-evaluations, vulnerability, a sense of lack, etc. -- and it adopts a basic strategy (through aggression, compliance or withdrawal) to gets its felt needs met from the world. There are elements of pride (I need to justify and prove I'm right) and self-will (compensations for the felt sense of weakness and vulnerability) and an assumption that unless I get my agenda met for what I believe I need, I will not be happy. All images of oneself in these areas have implicit negativity.
4. Specific projections of needs for love, security and satisfaction.
5. Adoption of a basic strategy to get these -- primarily using aggression, withdrawal or compliance.
6. Arrogance and self-justification. Beliefs seem to affirm themselves by creating effects that we think have an independent reality.
There are further differentiations of negative images created, because no matter how perfectly parents love and meet the needs of their child, it is impossible to satisfy the unrealistic demands of the infantile ego. Or, even if it were, it is not possible that realizing one's agenda for happiness will substitute for the real need for integration with the soul. The early interactions between child and environment (primarily family of origin) lead to further differentiations of the basic core images when the strategies are found not to work completely or when the child takes on further negativity from its experiences and its environment. Typical negative images at this stage are characterized by:
7. A sense of guilt or shame for one's various imagined deficiencies.
8. An expectation of negative consequences for being "bad", unworthy or deficient.
9. An assumption that one has to deny the truth about oneself and do something special to prove oneself, and be loved and get one's needs met. I can't just be myself and be loved and valued, etc. I unconsciously give my power to others because they have what I need.
10. Various related negative projections about the world and what one has to do to survive and be successful in it.
Depending on one's particular experiences, various specific negative images can be formed, all of which revolve around these same core themes. These images are created automatically in the mind by a preverbal, preconscious process that is both perception and interpretation. The assumptions implicit in these images need to be drawn out and brought to awareness.
You may gage the extent that you hold false assumptions that you accept as true if in reading over these forms of negative images, you notice that you are in agreement with any of them. It is normal to hold some negative assumptions, since, as we have stated, the creation of a separative, fear based ego seems to arise naturally as part of the human condition. However, it is possible to release negative images, although it takes time and effort. It is difficult to be objective since the parameters for analysis are based on the very conclusions that are in question. It's necessary to get outside the entire system of ego thinking. This can only happen in a positive way by calling on the transcendent resources within the Self or soul. This requires deep reflection, inner listening and a certain something -- trust, faith, intuition, willingness or grace -- that can get us over the hump of habit, comfort or inertia.