Our ego consists of twelve personas. You could also consider them the twelve limbs of the ego used to engage with the world. Because they are integrated by the soul (you), their seamless transition from one external engagement to the next makes the ego appear as one. The truth is that it is a crowd.
Have you noticed how difficult it is to stick to a decision or resolution? You decide never to drink again, but when the opportunity presents itself, you do. Why does this happen? The answer is simple: The one who suffers the hangover is not the one who indulged the night before. Have you noticed this?
When you are in one persona, you resolutely decide to follow a strict diet, but then another one binges. Yet they all feel like you. Some of them are more emotional, others more mental or physical, but they each span all three beings.
Have you noticed them? From a self-observation perspective, which is pivotal to the spiritual journey, it is imperative useful to become familiar with your inner personas. Some will be more dominant, while others will remain in the background, influencing you subconsciously.
Imagine a country that has twelve kings, each of whom gets a chance to rule for an hour. Imagine the chaos. Or twelve queens. You get the idea. You are only one of these twelve at a given moment of time. Those voices of reason in your head, that inner dialog you can observe, are coming from these twelve personas. Sometimes they band together and give unstoppable momentum to action. But at other times they go against each other, and your life becomes stagnant. Have you noticed these voices inside you? When something dramatic happens in your life, watch: Many of them will weigh in with their comments about it. One moment you are feeling better about what happened, but the next you are in despair once more. This is the differing perspective of the personas you are experiencing. Don’t be alarmed; this is perfectly normal. The only thing these personas have in common is you. You are always there. They are not. But you take them as yourself.
Have you come across a vagrant talking to himself out loud? Most of us don’t externalize these conversations but trust me, they are happening inside us all the time. Before one can rule you, it has to ascend the throne of your ego. Your throne of will, of “I am”. The switching happens fast, so you don’t notice it.
I went as far as giving my personas names to make it easier to identify them. A good astrologer could help you identify your dominant personas quite easily. A lot can be deduced from an accurate natal chart. Remember you have all twelve, but some will be more dominant than others depending on your identification with certain aspects of life. From a personal development perspective, it helps to understand which personas are your weaker ones. If you shirk from confrontation, it means your warrior persona is weak. If you shy from creative activities, your Craftsperson persona is underdeveloped. And so on.
Your difficulties in life are there for the development of your personas.
The better rounded you become, the easier it is for you to engage with life. Our personas evolve in this fashion so that your ego can conquer its environment. To understand the events of your life, it is good to examine the role of your personas and how they have grown in your lifetime. It needs to be pointed out, however, that often when we think someone has changed, all they have done is switch personas.
Through self-observation, you will notice that one persona seldom acts alone. Things gain momentum when one is in cahoots with others. The more personas that band together on an issue, the stronger the impulse and action that comes as a result. When all twelve are in agreement, your action becomes an unstoppable force.
Your twelve personas each have a set program of behaviors that can be observed as distinct values, opinions, habits, and preferences. The personas integrate with each other through you, rather than directly with each other, and in this manner, their differences are preserved. Those differing opinions that arise in you about a certain situation are those of your personas. When you act from their impetus, your behavior follows a predictable pattern, which is steeped in the past (habit) and not the present. Each of them has a life story.
I have categorized these personas according to their assertive roles. Each one of them can also fulfill a receptive role. The teacher for example, then becomes a student, and the provider becomes a dependent.
For the sake of understanding, I will give a brief overview of the twelve personas that rule our lives.
….extract from The Perennial Truth