Chief Features: Primary Fears & Ego Defenses


by Stephen Cocconi © 2011

The Chief Feature is perhaps the most interesting of all the Overleaf types. It’s main function is to reflect a primary life fear and activate an Ego Defense strategy to protect us in situations where one believes that literal or emotional safety is in peril. Unlike other Overleaf categories, which are sampled by Essence to construct a personality matrix for a given life; inner fears combine with outer events during the lifetime and tend to warp, or at minimum shape, the emotional and behavioral expression of that individual.

Chief Features or Ego Defense Strategies as defined in the MIchael Teaching

Self Destruction as defined in The Michael Teaching Greed defined in The Michael Teaching Define Martyrdom in the Michael Teaching Arrogance as defined in the Michael Teaching Stubbornness as Defined in The Michael Teaching

CF is the only Overleaf that we choose within the course a lifetime. We experiment with these energies for up our first 20 years of life. Trying out each CF hurdle allows The Exalted Chief Features Greed, Impatience, Arrogance tend to be karmic, which focuses the individual relating to and interactive with the outward world. They are also very useful for survival because they set tolerance levels for which the person will preserve themselves. The Ordinal Chief Features of Self-Destruction., Martyrdom, Self-Deprecation. tend to be self-karmic, which focuses the individual inward and towards personal experiences will hold one back and be self-blocking.

The paradoxical nature of Chief Feature is that it tells us to avoid pain, while the defense reactions it employs often create pain by initiating a self-sabotaging event. Michael says that we put these “obstacles” in our path because as humans, we often learn more effectively through pain rather than pleasure. Either motivation may promote learning. Pleasure gained through use of CF is short term in nature. Like the drug addict who receives progressively less satisfaction after each “fix”, the only real long run satisfaction can result when we give up the  “drug” that chief feature is.  To do so, is to recognize it, see where the payoff has been, and from a place of awareness, deal with it.

The Chief Feature can be thought of as the “friction” and “impedance” that we put in our personal computing system (i.e our brain). This is why in puberty through teenage years and early adulthood (3rd Internal Monad) we notice such a wide array of “negative” or “egotistical” traits during that period.

Probably the most thorough historic citation of what we call chief feature rests in religion as the Seven Deadly Sins. Though Michael does not recognize the idea of sin, but rather, a trial or experiment, they do speak to the idea that Ego does cling to the notion of higher “virtue” as a label of self-aggrandizing reward for what it perceives as “good behavior.”  In Michael’s view, all fear boil down to a fear of not being able to cope.  Secondary fears of death, loss, humiliation, worthlessness, powerlessness, hopelessness, lack, rejection, inadequacy, vulnerability, all fall under the purview of Chief Feature. Because if you can’t cope with life’s situations, eventually, the body can’t or wont survive.

No part of human endeavor or experience escapes the effects and manifestations of fear.  Exposing fears to truth weakens them. Pre-judgment is the moralistic tool Chief Feature, as an agent of Ego, tends to attack the more nebulous “Self” by using. shame based admonitions. These may undermine or overstate confidence, but in either case the explanations are distortions of the inner truth one is attempting to compensate for or avoid. Chief Feature cannot produce loving people. Because each fear presents the personality with some illusion of a personal deficit or failing, it is quite a simple leap into resentment of others by strongly Ego controlled people. All fearful intentions result from three emotional reactions: hate, shame and guilt. The Ego will play internal messages that says “even speaking to these fears will lessen my survival chances because people whom I count on will either, reject, punish, or abandon me.”

Though some of the Michael books seek to brand Chief Feature as something bad that should be eliminated, many other authors have come to believe that CF, in the positive poles, can be useful and pro-survival mechanism for sublimating fear. Think what would have happened if Winston Churchill were not stubbornly pitted against the Nazi’s?

Sometimes, although rarely, a person is able to cope with their fears in a direct manner and thereby find it more useful not to take on a CF. These people often seem very measured and open, taking little or no offense to things and therefore need not react defensively. Another choice we have is whether we want to “extinguish” chief feature during the course of a lifetime. The choice to do so results from our analysis whether we are willing to become non-attached to the highs and lows of emotional intensity. To extinguish CF, one must learn the ways that Ego keeps us seeing the Maya (the illusion of the physical plane.) Monks have this as their stated goal. However, the older the soul, the greater likelihood they have already decided upon or have a preference for a CF.

On a larger human scale, we see the effects of the Chief Feature of Greed permeating Capitalistic economics. Impatience rears its intolerant head in the racism that is rife on the planet and the Martyrdom it produces in those who are determined to fight back or participate as helpless victims.  We see political regimes arming themselves as they Stubbornly refuse to change.  Daily, we witness the Self-Destructive tendencies of severe drug addicts or marvel at  the death defying feats of people whom, for an occupation, continually throw themselves at death. (e.g. Evel Keneval)


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