When we accept that we all have this mental commentary inside our heads, the next question is who are we talking to? The answer is, of course, that we are talking to ourselves.
As transpersonal psychologists, we believe that there are two distinct parts to our inner self. The ego self is what we normally identify with and includes our mind and our personality, constantly seeing and interpreting everything. We also all have a part of ourselves that observes and sees with a neutral and untainted gaze. This is the transpersonal (beyond-personal) part of ourselves and has been called many different names over the years, such as the higher self, the core self and the soul and consciousness. For the ease of differentiating these parts, we will use the terms ego and consciousness.
This internal chatter that constantly interprets the world for us is called our ego self, or our personality. It is through the eyes of this ego self that all of our experiences are filtered. This interpretation, however, is not neutral. We each have a frame of reference through which we view the world and this is heavily impacted by the messages we received while growing up.
These messages about who we are come from a variety of sources: our friends, our peers or our families – in particular our parents. Even our culture or religion may have a part to play in shaping our ego’s belief about the world, and our place within it.