The Ego vs. The True Self
“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”
― Alan Watts
There are two kinds of consciousness which correspond to two kinds of "selves" the ego and the True Self (not a "self" at all in the usual meaning of the word). These states of consciousness cause illnesses and health.
Dualistic consciousness corresponds to the tutored ego self. The ego perceives through words. It sees the world as consisting of separate and opposed aspects of reality that function separately with little or no interchange while engaged in various forms of competing. The "self" is one of these entities and, in this consciousness mode, the self is the ego itself. The resulting fears, stress, and other emotions and patterns of thinking, being the common denominator of all life experiences become part of the misidentified "self" - the "ego".
Dualism creates feelings of disconnection, which medical research has linked with tissue inflammation - the foundation of all physical illnesses. Logically, these feelings of disconnection that all our emotions, thoughts, decisions and actions are based on are the "substance" mental illnesses are made of. The existence of the ego-self is defined by separation from other people, things, and the world. Consequently, because it is defined by separation and its existence arises from measuring oneself against others, the ego feels threatened by the feeling of merger of love. In order to continue to exist, such a "self" causes a me-vs-other variations of drama that reassert the separation and, hence, the "self".
In truth, ego is not a "thing", it is the absence of it. Most of us are used to look for "things". When we do not see anything, we are easily convinced that "there's nothing there". We do not look for lack of things and consider that that is a thing in itself. Because the ego is that very LACK of something it fulls us...
For instance, let's say you see a driver in a car moving along the road, which is expected so you do consider it a noteworthy occurrence. However, not seeing the driver in the same car would be a reason for deep concern - maybe the driver had a heart attack and fell on the seat, someone is not paying attention to the road and the car without being controlled could hurt other people. As you see, in this case the lack of a driver is threatening. So is with the ego. Ego is not something. All energy is alive. Ego is a lack of spirit-in-control - the car moves, but is out of control.
Non-dualistic consciousness, verified by Quantum Physics, emerges from the fact that consciousness is not something we have but something we are. All things are fleeting forms of this type of Consciousness-At-Large primordial element. This Consciousness-At-Large is the "Self" of all things. Hence it is a unifying common Self.
Our bodies do not "make" consciousness - they are made of consciousness... and so are all the "things" comprising the world. Consciousness, not atoms or quanta are the primary element from which the particles that form the world arose.
The True "Self" is the Consciousness-At-Large primordial element within us, the hub of existence common to us all. This "Self" is shared by the healer and the client, as well and healing can be founded only on this non-dualistic unifying consciousness. Tips on how to access it can be found in the esoteric wisdom of sages (view list of such quotations), who, regardless of culture and religion, gave voice to the same ubiquitous Spirit-Self hub of existence. The non-dualistic consciousness of the True Self begets healing and is the essence of Esotherapy.