I use the term personality for the whole of the personal manifestation. Personality then is divided into true personality and false personality; terms I borrowed from The Michael Teaching/4th Way. (Which Ramesh Balsekar calls, respectively, the “working mind” and the “thinking mind”.) One pertains to the natural functioning of the organism and the person in the world, the other pertains to a distorted and painful view and perspective of self and thus only produces suffering for oneself and others.
But that division is still broad. True personality is of little concern in psychological or spiritual work. It learns and works naturally on its own and does its job in the world. The concept “I” is not only harmless but is a necessity on this level.
The problem we are dealing with in spiritual/psychological work is false personality which only creates trouble on its own. (This is what is referred to as “Ego” in general spiritual jargon.) And false personality does not manifest the same way for everybody, although the common thread is psychological suffering.
False personality has seven known and discernible patterns and it behooves us to know which of the seven patterns is our favorite means of creating suffering. Then we can tackle it directly and eventually become free from its influence in the psyche. These seven patterns are called “chief features”.
Each pattern has its own core belief and fear. These patterns take our peace away. We counteract these patterns with correct thinking and by pointing at what is beyond the patterns: Consciousness. Once we glimpse that we are Consciousness whenever a chief feature arises we know what it stands for and it effortlessly subsides and dissolves through Understanding in Consciousness and Total Acceptance. The compulsion to protect false personality falls away.
Here they are. Find yours from this list. It describes your favorite way of creating suffering for yourself.
If you are honest and have been observant of your psyche you will find it easily. And there is usually a secondary one that is pretty close to the main one which we tend to “slide” to when the main one is challenged.
Main desire: predictability and consistency
Main fear: fear of change
Main wrong work: hardheadedness and wilfulness
Main suffering: restlessness due to imagination and fear of change or actual experience of unpredictable people and life situations.
Main desire: time
Main fear: fear of not being able to do all we want to do within the time we have
Main wrong work: attempts to cram more activity that is possible or wise within the allotted time. Intolerance.
Main suffering: irritation and aggressiveness due to cramming all we want to cram in the allotted time. Anxiety due to the imagination of not being able to do what one wants to do or due to lost opportunities.
Main desire: freedom from oppression.
Main fear: fear of being victimized or oppressed.
Main wrong work: seeks and finds situations where oppression and victimization are likely to occur. Complaint.
Main suffering: being oppressed and victimized.
Main desire: being liked, understood or ignored.
Main fear: fear of being judged wanting.
Main wrong work: seeks and finds situations where judgment is likely. Shyness. Extreme attempt not to make mistakes.
Main suffering: being judged harshly or being disliked or misunderstood.
Main desire: being adequate.
Main fear: fear of being inadequate.
Main wrong work: acquiescing, saying yes when one should say no, low self-worth, self-abasement.
Main suffering: not being able to please.
Main desire: the accumulation of goods and/or experiences.
Main fear: fear of lack or not having enough, fear of loss.
Main wrong work: accumulation of goods and/or experience beyond usefulness. Hoarding. Gluttony.
Main suffering: feeling one never has enough and the need to further accumulate. Unfulfilment.
Main desire: control.
Main fear: fear of losing or not having control.
Main wrong work: seeks situations of danger, challenges, or great difficulty.
Main suffering: loss of relative control and the bitter truth that absolute control can never be achieved. Addictions of all kinds.
Note: any chief features can manifest through any body type and any center of gravity. Although some are preferred by specific ones.