Our experience of the Ground
    The ego's situation
Pre-birth  Womb/Universe  Embedded -- ego has not yet emerged 
Infant  Great Mother  "Body Ego" emerges, unresistant to Ground 
Toddler  Good Mother & Terrible Mother  Intense ambivalence 
-------------Original Repression---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Childhood, latency  The Unconscious; source of dreams; occasional moments of marvel alternating with fearful imaginings.  "Mental Ego" now exists, feels separate, but needy. Locks away traumatic incidents from conscious memory. 
Adolescence and Adulthood  Sexual impulses, ecstasy of orgasm; 
occasional "peak experiences" in 
aesthetic and athletic activities, and in 
intimate relationships. 
Ego obtains mastery in external activities: physical, social & work skills. Ego identifies with its thoughts; remains largely alienated from emotional self-knowledge. 
Mid-life Crisis or 
"Dark Night of the Soul" 
Incursions of previously repressed fears, ambitions, transporting impulses.  Alienation becomes intolerable. Old certainties give way to strong doubts. Identity weakens. Original Repression loosens; ego feels assaulted. 
Regeneration in Spirit  Ground appears increasingly attractive as source of holy, comfort, guidance.  Ego able to discern and utilize impulses from the Ground, and rely on them. 
Integration  Strong intuitive voice or visions. Feelings of unity with the cosmos, 
nature, and humanity. 
Ego subordinates to the Ground; "attuned to one's true inner voice".  Ego has choice, but knows that the cost of resisting or ignoring the Ground will be needless injury or waste. 

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