Recieved: 2000/05/22 13:45
Subject: Re: [K-list] Ego
On 2000/05/22 13:45, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
In a message dated 05/22/2000 10:40:42 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
To me, "ego" is a sense of oneself as an individual, a distinct "me" in
relationship to the world. It's a water droplet in the ocean. To the degree
that the water droplet is aware that it exists as part of something greater
than itself, it has a spacious ego-identity. There is a joy and freedom and
sense of awe that comes of experiencing one's vastness and belonging to the
whole of life.
The idea of ego as a bad thing is a misunderstanding of our spiritual
potentials. There is nothing inherently negative in experiencing oneself as
a discrete "me" and expressing individual characteristics. People who accuse
others of displays of ego are usually using this as a cover to say "I don't
like you" or "I don't like what you said". This has nothing to do with the
size of egos; it's just interpersonal conflict. The word "egotism" gets
thrown into concepts of ego, thus muddling the concept further. An egotist
is self-centered (my dictionary defines it as "devoted to his own interests
and advancement") and flaunts a superiority attitude which can be abrasive to
For me, having a sense of "me" isn't the problem. It's being unconscious to
so much of myself and the world. When my self-awareness expands, so does my
awareness of everything else because it's all interrelated and inseparable.
The more conscious I become, the more magical and surprising and incredible
life reveals itself to be. To the degree that I shut down my consciousness,
I experience myself and the world around me in a sort of stupor of
"normality" where things are pretty much predictable and "same old, same
old". In that shut down state, I'm oblivious to my connection with
everything else in existence. I may intellectually know I'm connected, but I
don't experience it.
When I'm in my most constricted ego identity, my perceptions get frozen
around whatever story I'm telling myself about who I am and what is
happening. In THAT sense, I agree that "your beliefs create your reality."
When you're hunkered down into a tight little mental scenario you've
concocted to explain yourself to yourself, you're living inside a privately
scripted world which is "reality" only to you. This is where most of us are
in ordinary consciousness. But when you open up and begin to experience life
and yourself as something beyond anything you believed or ever dreamed to be
true, you realize that your beliefs were obstacles which prevented you from
awakening. I don't mean so-called negative or limiting beliefs, but ANY
beliefs whatsoever. All beliefs are defenses against direct perception and
experiential knowledge. By this I mean that beliefs create a distance
between what is and what we tell ourselves "is," so instead of being
immediately and intimately engaged in life, we live as spectators, standing
on the sidelines delivering a narration of what we think we're perceiving.
It is very, very, hard not to do this, even in powerful mystical/altered
states. And as with the ego, there is nothing inherently bad about doing it.
It just reduces the spectacular vitality of life and keeps us in the role of
commentator rather than true initiate.
I'm not saying that to live fully requires us to turn off our minds or never
try to articulate our experiences, ideas and perceptions. These have their
value, but can't compare to direct experience. It's the difference between
saying the words "I love you" and actually feeling the overflowing heart of
loving. (Yes, sometimes they are simultaneous, but often not.) Angelique
wrote: "Part of the difference is the process of "thinking about" is replaced
by a Zen-silent mind that acts without thinking.. Goddess does the thinking,
and the body is a vessel of that Will." This is the "no-mind" or hollow tube
way of direct, unobstructed experience. If you're not at that level of
clarity and ability to vacate the mind at will, it can also be done as a
brave and curious explorer, letting life reveal itself to us moment by moment
rather than trying to lead it with our expectations and preconceived notions
of what things mean.
So, in my opinion, if you want to experience quantum leaps in spiritual
growth and awareness, forget about dropping your ego and work at dropping
your beliefs. Better yet, ignore anything I or anyone else says to do and
let life/Spirit show you the way.
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