One way of knowing if you are acting from Spirit or from "personality" is that everything related to the personality has survival value. It takes self honesty to see the root of our behaviors, but that is because we have taught to be so judgmental of ourselves and others. There is nothing wrong with survival, and survival behaviors are something we develop when we are too small, or too young, or too abused to know know our own power. There should be no judgment in this, but there should be awareness of our own truth.
I was given a list to work with, and a format.
The list is: pain, insecurity, fear, doubt, success, failure, lack, prejudice, and war.
The format is: "My survival is enhanced by_____ because..." and "but my spirit is hurt by ____ because"
My survival is enhanced by pain because... when I am in pain other people help me, and they seem to feel good about doing so, sort of superior. So, it also puts me in their good graces.
But my spirit is hurt by pain because... it tells me convincingly that I don't have already what I need to be happy. It is a denial of my own strength.
My survival is enhanced by insecurity because... when I do not assume my worth, then I overcompensate, and this false humility usually cools down any hot egos who may, in turn, need a bit of groveling to feel secure.
But my spirit is hurt by insecurity because... I forget my worthiness. I forget that my God sees the world through my eyes and that without my seeing the beauty of the world there is no reason for it to exist around me. In insecurity I drive away the good things I am worthy of.
My survival is enhanced by fear because... it keeps me out of dangerous situations
But my spirit is hurt by fear because... it keeps me in the known, in stagnation, and stagnation is equivalent to dying.
My survival is enhanced by doubt because... if I am not trusting the it gives no one, and no thing, the opportunity to hurt me.
But my spirit is hurt by doubt because... doubt is not knowing, so that if I hold onto doubt I never know the truth of the beauty, and frailties of other people. Doubt, in terms of doubting God's power, and my power through my God, to do the miraculous, keeps the miraculous away as well.
My survival is enhanced by success because... it enhances my standing in the eyes of others, as well as bringing material comfort and security.
But my spirit is hurt by success because... it encourages me to see the world in terms of competition, and to stratify the worth of everyone, including myself, in terms of material possessions. It is also very addictive to have a great deal of comfort. It keeps us in a zone of comfort that is stagnating.
My survival is enhanced by failure because... in failure I do not arouse the jealousy of those more or less powerful, both of which may have the power to harm me, or mine.
But my spirit is hurt by failure because... it is founded in weakness. I would have to deny the power of my spirit in order to stay in failure.
My survival is enhanced by lack because... like pain, it attracts the help of others. Also, most of us are familiar with lack, and to throw it off is a step into the unknown, and survival's reasoning finds anything unknown to be fearful.
But my spirit is hurt by lack because... it tells me I am not able to meet my own needs, and is a denial of the power AND love of my Spirit for me.
My survival is enhanced by prejudice because... it allows me to associate unknowns, to things that I have experience with, and may at times provide me an early warning; for example, if my pet cat is at times vicious, I might suspect all cats of having this potential, and save myself from a lion.
But my spirit is hurt by prejudice because... I am, by doing this, telling an unknown how it must be and denying myself a virginal experience. And the point of life, as I understand it, is to make known the unknown.
My survival is enhanced by war because... when we defeat others we secure a commodity for ourselves, perhaps status, a mate, or financial advantage.
But my spirit is hurt by war because... we are all connected. To defeat, or, more sneakily, besmirch another's reputation; I would have done it to myself and would feel that pain I caused. Also it is based on the assumption that God hasn't provided enough, so that what there is has to be won.
It is as if survival was a squid, that has a tentacle wrapped around all the various neuronets relating them back to survival. I am fortunate that I have to look back at my past to see what survivalist theme each of these once played in my life. Not that I am completely without, but life is ever so much sweeter now. These examples are a good illustration of why the personality needs to be tamed, rather than gotten rid of. Because survival is important too, it just can't take precedence if one desires to be a master.