Sunday, October 4, 2009

Such a Big Ego

So this post is long overdue, I had a lot on my plate, and now I seem to have very little on my plate, but in any case: here we go!

I have always seen parts of myself as bad or wrong. And looking at those parts, I wanted to change them. I didn't always have a name to call these traits, but having gone through so much spiritual training, I have come to know them collectively as ego.

We can all name traits about ourselves. We can describe ourselves as shy or outspoken, athletic or sedentary. These traits can go still further an become more detailed phrases about ourselves, such as: "I always get in way over my head!" or "I don't know why everyone doesn't just listen to me because I'm usually right." All of these descriptions, when viewed collectively, describe the ego. The ego is unique to each person, and it is supposed to be a reflection of the inner, highest Self, the great I AM. What tends to happen, however, is that we begin to mold ourselves, our egos, into the image of what surrounds us, as opposed to the image of our Creator, as was laid out in the Bible. We become inundated by so many physical things. We become overwhelmed by our thoughts, by our feelings, and over time we begin to believe that they really are us. We lose ourselves to the errant thought or feeling that comes as a reaction to an experience, and begin to define ourselves. And in so defining, we become finite, limited. This definition is often what psychology, sociology, or even medical doctors would term 'healthy.' But they don't realize that it is completely antipodal to our very nature, absolutely opposite of the intrinsic infinite being that each of us possesses, and is our birthright.

Limitations arise from the ego because we end up believing that we are no more than we have observed our egos to be. Many people subsist on this incorrect knowledge of the self. They live their lives believing they can be no more than they already are. Yet they could be so much more if they would just claim it.

I came to awareness of my ego about five years ago. At which point I immediately identified it with Satan of whom we hear tell in the Bible. And while the association is more or less true, my next set of thoughts was incorrect: I wanted to separate myself from the ego.

I'm sure that most of you reading this now are thinking, "Hmm... well, that's exactly what I would do." But the thing is, it's out of alignment with spiritual teachings of all kinds. Spiritual masters teach unity, not separation; they teach unconditional love, not terminal hatred.

Yet for the longest time, I lived life with this sort of hatred for my ego. And unknowingly, I was fostering hatred for myself. My ego is inseparable from me, yet it is not me. It is as much a part of me as the Creator who loved me enough to give me life.

The ego is to be a reflection of the highest Self, but there is so much that gets in the way. It can be a relatively short distance between ego and Self, but there are layers in between them. From the bottom up, we have ego and physical self, emotional self, energetic or astral self, and then mental self. So you see, the energy of the high Self has to make its way down through all these layers in order to express itself physically, and on the way, it can pick up a lot of junk thoughts, energies and emotions, which end up distorting our perception of who we really are. It is distorted, and it is still us. In the end, the distortion is what we come to know as ego. And if we are not wise, we identify ourselves as ego, and live forever in limitation, never knowing the true Self, never knowing the Creator, who is within us all.

Love is the one thing that can right all wrongs. It reveals the truth in us all. Love crosses all borders, all means of separation, and it heals. It creates unity. It creates community. It creates. Love is what gives each of us the capacity to create. We have thoughts and desires, and we love them into existence. Think of all the things you have accomplished in this life, and consider how much you cared about those things in order to make them happen. Against whatever odds, love is the thing that breaks through and restores balance and generates possibility. Just as your Creator loved you into existence, so too do you love each of your accomplishments into existence. Life is a labor of love. It is a lesson in love. And you can create not only physical manifestations, but you can create the self you want to be if you love yourself enough to grow. Guilt, anger, pleading, these do nothing but cause further separation. Only love can give you new life and a second chance. Love because you want to. Just because others don't love what you love, don't let that dissuade you from it. So many dreams are lost because we defer loving ourselves and our desires unconditionally to seeking the conditional terms of love of those who surround us.

So the moral is: love yourself--endlessly, boundlessly, unconditionally, eternally, infinitely.


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