Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Denial of Ego

In spiritual work its a common theme for aspirants to seek to weed out the ego. This is only partly right.  On the one hand we have enshrined ego within the self in such a way that it crowds out the higher self and its expression and the great benefits that it can bring within awareness, while on the other hand, seeking to destroy ego is against nature.  In truth, ego can never be destroyed. It was put here in order to serve the grand experiment in individuality.  Your individuality is not some demon to be destroyed or banished, but a channel through which the divine consciousness may flow. 
What happens in all awakenings or moments of supreme transcendence is the self collapses within itself, or feels as though it does.  This is a seeming brought on by an over-emphasis upon ego.  Its a necessary condition that is a result of this particular arrangement of the self.  Without ego propping everything else up within you, its absence winds up feeling like a collapsing of all you know that you are. In truth, moving the ego out of its central role is merely a powerful shift of a kind you are not used to feeling, so it winds up feeling devastating.  But its necessary. What emerges out of this new arrangement is that the ego is now more peripheral.  It is not gone or dead as some have suggested.  It remains.  However, in this new position ego cannot become the central deity within the self since this was never what ego was meant to be or can be.  
Ego identifies phenomenon that is like itself, which is to say it identifies other particles of being.  It sees, for example, a house as a distinct element in an integrated landscape of entirely connected elements. It sees the atom, the molecule, the fish, the star, or idea. Ego, however, does not have the power to know how to see how all things are connected.  It merely identifies, and it does a very good job of doing this. Without it, everything would be part of an undifferentiated tapestry with no distinct detail. You would feel all the suffering of the world as your own, and when your neighbor stubs her toe, you will feel it as your own.  Your own nervous system would be entirely overloaded with sensory data.  Ego serves as an important filter to keep this overload from taking place. Even in the midst of “feeling it all” in the moment of transcendence, there is still a filtering happening even though to you it feels as though you are getting way more material than you ever did before. Without ego, you could wind up hearing every thought on the planet, or how every molecule shifts within the cell of an antelope.  
Being able to feel in this way is an important means to relating to the world, but without ego, you would get lost in a world of objects.  The purpose to all of this is to learn how to use consciousness in a balanced way so that you feel the boundlessness of all creation while also seeing the individual effects as being a part of this infinite realm that is your corner of the universe. This, then, is the true challenge to all who awaken. Nothing is a problem, for everything has its place and purpose.  There was no mistake in the divine plan no matter how much fault you see or feel with the world. When you cease seeing fault, you begin to glimpse the perfection.  Some will say that as they heal and awaken they still see the world as imperfect.  This is true, but what is also true is that the world also begins to change as you change. The healing of the world is a massive undertaking and it is why one person alone will not achieve such healing.  This is why as each person mirrors the healing within, it has an effect on the whole. Individually and together, the world changes.  Already the change is underway, and this movement is building steam with each person who awakens.  This is the single most productive thing to have emerged in decades, perhaps even centuries! 
You will save yourself much time and angst by neither worshipping ego nor seeking to destroy it.  If you can learn balance in all parts of your life, you will keep from the extremism that keeps you from seeing the nuanced presence of the divine in all life.  Life exists within the balance.

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