There’s a tendency to believe that awakening eradicates all traces of the personality. The unawakened mind holds a picture of an “awakened person” as someone who shows no emotion, who speaks slowly, who never refers to “I” or “me”, who has no memory of their own past (or at least denies that any personal history remains), who keeps a very straight face and looks you in the eye with a fixed stare, who has no interest in the world, and who shows no frailty or vulnerability.
But awakening is not the death of the personality. As long as we are alive as consciousness moving through form, the personality-vehicle – the very unique mind-body vessel that makes up you as a human being – continues to function. This personality-vehicle is the outer expression of your human life – forged on the anvil of pain, trauma, loss, karmic lessons, ancestral burdens, family dynamics, social & cultural conditioning, and cosmic forces set into motion at the moment of your birth into this earthly dimension – and awakening cannot change this fact. In awakening, your messy human expression does not just disappear! You become neither some image of perfection, nor do you become catatonic!
What does happen though – if the realization of awakeness is authentically embraced – is a “flowing into”. In other words, as formless unconditioned awakeness flows into your life, there is on-going and never-ending meeting of the light of awareness with the conditioned knots of mind and body, so that the residue of dark emotions and addictive movements of the mind are seen.
And in this seeing, you are given the opportunity to meet them consciously. This purification of the mind-body vehicle is like polishing the surface of a diamond .. as the dusty layers of habitual tendencies are lifted, the light of unconditioned awakeness can emanate and radiate through you as you. Now the personality-vehicle is given in service to awakeness, now the human form is given in service to the light of truth.
Something dies, yet something is also born .. a whole, integrated human being that lives like a “Zorba the Buddha”, passionately in love with life yet totally rooted in the absolute truth of essential nature.