The center

It was an early observation of Jung’s—later developed into theoretical propositions—that the psyche consists of many parts and centers of consciousness. In this inner universe, there is not simply one planet, but an entire solar system and more. One can speak of people as having a personality, but in fact this is made up of a cluster of subpersonalities.

Murray Stein in Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction

We have an endless stream of thoughts and emotions, uncontrolled movements and also controlled movements, sexual desires, genius ideas and morbid ideas. An ‘endless parade of unconscious babble’ that races constantly thru our minds when we are not focused on something else other than ourselves. Most neurotic behavior we experience is quite often just an over-consumption of ourselves, and our own little parades.

In the work, we say we have many ‘I’s. Every thought, emotion or feeling is an ‘I’. Many thoughts and emotions are complex groups of ‘I’s. We may have completely opposing groups of ‘I’s that don’t even acknowledge each other. Thus explaining the phenomena of how we sometimes contradict our own selves. In work discussions, it is not uncommon to hear a student start a conversation by saying, “I have an ‘I’ that thinks such and such.”

There is much to gain from this understanding. The most immediate advantage of knowing about man’s dividedness is that it immediately explains why man makes the mistakes and has the misperceptions he does about himself and almost everything around him. To apply this concept to one’s life, is to see a thousand personal instances where our own dividedness has misled us or confused us or discredited us in front of others. To have control over, at least some of this dividedness, can only bring us good fortune.

M. P. Taylor in The Balance of Being

George Gurdjieff used to say that man is a crowd. Personality is just a deception because you are not a person, you are many persons. So when one person speaks in you, that is a momentary center. The next moment there is another. With every moment, with every atomic situation, you feel certain, and you never become aware that you are just a flux – many waves without any center. Then in the end you will feel that life has been just a wastage. It is bound to be. There is just a wastage, just a wandering – purposeless, meaningless.

Tantra, yoga, religion… their basic concern is how first to discover the center, how first to be an individual. They are concerned with how to find the center which persists in every situation. Then, as life goes on moving without, as the flux of life goes on and on, as waves come and go, the center persists inside. Then you remain one – rooted, centered.

Osho in The Book of Secrets




  1. Fascinating… I particularly resonate with the first quote, that the personality is made up of a cluster of sub-personalities, an entire galaxy of personalities, yet not “pathological” as in multiple personality disorder…

    I wonder how the non-dualists would address this…i.e.: there is no “me”, no self, when in fact there is apparently a whole cluster of “mes” 🙂 that cluster around a central “i”. In this case I mean “I” as the True Self… Languaging gets confusing.

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