Seth: "Now: As I have told you in the past, the individual does indeed survive physical death, but there is a reorganization of psychological elements that compose the personality. The personality, even as you know it, is never static, always changing, and even the ego is not the same from one day to the next.
The child's ego is not the adult's ego. As a rule you perceive the similarity, and overlook the differences of psychological patterns of this sort. The ego is not the most powerful or the most knowledgeable portion of the self. It is simply a well-specialized portion of the personality, well equipped to operate under certain circumstances.
When these circumstances no longer exist, then other layers of the self take over the dominant position, and the personality realigns its psychological components. The ego does not disappear, however. It merely takes a back seat in some respects, as your own subconscious does during physical existence.
When you sleep the ego becomes unfocused, but still present, and its goals and attitudes to some extent do color dream experiences. The survival personality has somewhat the same relationship to the ego as the dreaming personality has to it now.
It is a great mistake to imagine that the human being has but one ego, however. The ego represents merely any given pattern of characteristics, psychological characteristics, that happen to be dominant at any givers time. If any kind of a thorough investigation were to be carried on, it would become apparent that during one lifetime any given individual will display several, sometimes quite different, egos at various times, each one quite honestly seeing itself as the permanent I.
A survival personality in many respects is psychologically much different from the individual that he was. The ego is now under the control of what may be loosely called the inner self. When communications take place between a survival personality and a personality who exists within the physical system, then this involves a reshuffling, again, on the part of the survival personality, where the ego is momentarily given greater reign.
There is the same sort of disorientation that the ego experiences within physical reality when an individual dreams. The same sort of psychological reshuffling occurs. If it did not occur, then in most cases communication would not be possible, simply because the survival personality would have such difficulty in impressing the personality who was still ego-oriented within the physical system.
The survival personality, for example, relies mainly upon telepathic communication. The survival personality does not think in terms of words, but experiences concepts in a much more direct manner. This sort of thing simply could not be understood by the physically-oriented individual."
Rob: [Seth began talking about these points in the very early sessions. By the 15th session he was explaining Jane's role as a translator for him, putting concepts into words, etc. See Volume 1.]
Seth: "The survival personality therefore momentarily inserts his ego in its old position. It can then interpret this data in terms that can be received and understood. This reassembly, however, does cause some disorientation on the part of the survival personality. The ego, back in its dominant position, finds the circumstances difficult to deal with. It is being asked to manipulate in a manner unfamiliar to it. The survival personality's inner self gives this reassembled ego concepts in the same way that, often, the subconscious gives the ego concepts in physical existence.
This reassembled ego then attempts to perceive these concepts in terms of sense perceptions, which are sent as communications to the physical individual at the other end. Sometimes the communications are made directly, though they must be sifted through the subconscious of the physical individual. When the physical individual is trained along these lines however, he helps in this process, and a psychological framework, like a bridge, is erected that serves to connect the two personalities.
Now: When you consider that in sleep the ego is not dominant, then it should not seem strange to you that it is not dominant after death.
In sleep there is no need for it to be dominant, nor is there under survival conditions. In sleep other areas of the self are being trained through their own kind of experience, and psychic organizations are built up, dispensed with, and built up again in a sort of practice maneuver.
These levels of the self have known self-consciousness in other existences, before the present one. But they can not be allowed to remain completely dormant, but must continually reassert their characteristics and abilities.
They share physical life with you therefore, whether the ego realizes this or not. After this existence the ego will not remain dormant either. It simply will not be the dominant psychological entity that it is during physical existence.
I am aware of the various egotistical selves that I have been. I am still each of these selves, but the whole self that I am is dominant now. The psychological structure has changed, but it has changed not only in realignments but in quality. For I am aware of all my selves."
Seth, session 242, The Early Sessions, Book 6