Thursday, February 07, 2008
MOVING BEYOND THE EGO
When I was in my 20's, I gave serious thought to becoming a psychologist, but after spending some time studying the profession, I decided what it had to offer wouldn't fix what ailed me, or humanity. It just offered a band aid, and I wasn't willing to invest that much time, and energy in something that cost so much, and offered so little.
However, I didn't give up trying to find an answer for my lack of serenity. I started by accessing the source of my discomfort. I've known for years that my ego was the source of most, if not all, of my misery. When dealing with someone who was striking out, because of low self esteem, or because their ego had been wounded, intellectually, I knew that their negative actions toward me had nothing to do with me, but my ego would take it personally, and then I would feel insecure, and in turn strike out at the person which just made them more insecure. It's like watching bumper cars, going around banging into one anothers egos.
I would look at that, and think, how in the world am I ever going to get myself out of this conundrum? The logical solution would seem to be build one's self esteem to the point that one wouldn't be vulnerable to attacks from others, but after years of trying to do that, I knew that I could never build mine to where it wasn't vulnerable. I might have thought it was just my lack of ability, or I just didn't have access to the right building material, but fortunately for me, there were a lot of people for me to look at that had all the building material available for constructing rock solid egos. All I had to do was look at Presidents, movie stars, music stars, professional athletes, etc. that were practically worshipped by their followers, or fans, to see that their egos were just as fragile as mine. So, I came to the conclusion that trying to bolster the ego was not the solution.
So, this left a spiritual solution. I've picked up valuable gems of wisdom from a variety of sources over the years, and have cobbled together a way of living that is bringing me increasing serenity. I have the principles, but I need a lot of practice implementing them. On a daily basis, I'm finding new ways of looking at these principles, which helps me better understand how to apply them. Yesterday, I started reading a book that is encouraging me to put more effort into applying these principles, and it points out in new ways why these principle work.
I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's book, "The New Earth." He talks about the pitfalls of living with ego as the prime motivator, and what one can expect when one is willing to go beyond the ego; peace that passes all understanding. He says, "There are many accounts of people who experienced that emerging new dimension of consciousness as a result of tragic loss at some point in their lives." He goes on to say, "Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield. Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise, and loving. Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego. You are closed. Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance (which we could also call negativity) will create more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side; life will not be helpful. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in. When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up. If action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole, and supported by creative intelligence, the unconditioned consciousness which in a state of inner openness you become one with. Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative. Coincidences happen. If no action is possible, you rest in the peace and inner stillness that comes with surrender. You rest in God."
to be continued