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Love Your Ego!

RobotLike many on the spiritual path, for a time I was afraid to love my ego. It seemed like the goal was to push it away, even to “kill” the ego. It seemed that ego was the enemy. But then I also began to realize that this type of relationship with the ego was one of resistance, and I was committed to releasing resistance in all areas of my life. I realized it was strange that I should have resistance to something that was, after all, part of me. I realized this resistance to ego was causing me to be at war with myself.  So I began instead to send unconditional love to my ego. Once I was able to do that it was like I could see ego with more clarity than ever before, which makes sense since love is a kind of light, so the ‘darkness’ of the ego was no longer present in the light of that love. What was present was the pure distilled nature of ego, which is not evil, it is made of love just as everything in the universe is. The purpose of the ego, the reason for its original creation was simply to be a mechanism for spirit to experience separateness, the delicious separateness which allows two people to become lovers, which allows two people to become friends, which allows the human to stand in awe of the night sky. Without ego we are simply a unified flow of energy, which is what we truly are anyway, ego only allows the perception of separateness after all, since true separateness is not possible. The ego is simply a tool for creating the experience or illusion of separateness so that spirit can see itself from another perspective. It is no more or less than that. There is no sense in hating that or pushing it away. It simply is. Furthermore, this separate perspective that the ego creates allows us to learn, explore and create. When I looked around I saw that none of what I was looking at would be here without ego, it is a tool for creation itself.

I saw that when ego was first created, we were able to experience the illusion of separateness through ego, yet we had full memory and full consciousness of what we actually were – a divine flow of energy choosing a temporary form – we never lost sight of that and so it was the true Eden. We were able to play in the divine flow of creation while enjoying the beauty of it all from various distinct points of view. Resistance is something that was completely foreign to us. It was all love, and the ego was part of that, we loved the ego equally to everything else, but we were not attached to ego either, and could move into and out of form with relative ease, almost like putting on a new costume. The ego was more like a beautiful painting in a museum, that you would look at and appreciate, then move on to the next one, equally beautiful and totally unique, without feeling any pain of ‘leaving’ the first painting, just easily appreciating and loving each one that came into your experience. The “fall from grace” was a process of losing our divine memory, our link to the consciousness of our true nature. When we lost this consciousness, the ego then went from being a tool for creation to being perceived as the whole nature of our being, and the illusion of separateness then became complete. The ego was still not evil, but its purpose was to create separateness, and without a link to the wholeness of our true nature as a flow of divine energy, we became lost in the ego state.

I think of it like this – you know all those movies and books about robots taking over the world? In the beginning, the robots are always good. They are good because the serve a purpose, they are built in order to serve humanity in some way and they do it well. When they take over however, everything goes wrong, things are no longer good because the robots can’t really handle the responsibility. Without their connection to the “programmer” they run crazy, but it is more because they don’t know any better, they have no link to any greater consciousness – they are robots after all, just designed to run a program, not designed to be connected or understand the subtleties of love. So it is like that with the ego – when it was a tool to assist us all was well, when it took over however it did not do such a good job because it was never designed for that purpose. Its programming, its original purpose, was separateness, and separateness was never meant to be the force that runs the universe. The ego’s “programmer” is the soul, which is the extension of divine source. So here we are now. Our purpose now is to recover our divine memory, while still in ego. Ego is not something we can give up completely in this physical dimension, it is not designed that way. Therefore as long as we are in this physical dimension we must make peace with ego, we must reconnect to our source, and from our source we turn the infinite love back onto the ego. When we do that it sheds its darkness and we see its grace and its purpose. All things in the universe respond to love, so the ego is no different.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

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The Book of Job

ImageI started thinking recently about the story of Job in the Bible.  I don’t know about you, but I always disliked this story.  The story always left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think many people feel that way about it.  However I recently began to see this story from an angle which makes more sense and teaches us about the nature of the human condition and the nature of suffering.  So the story of Job in a nutshell is:  Job is a happy guy who loves God, has a loving family and lives in abundance.  The devil one day challenges God and says that Job would not love God anymore if he did not have the abundance and happiness that God had given him.  To prove the devil wrong, God allows the devil to take everything from Job.  Job loses his family, his wealth, his land, his health, everything – except his own life.  When Job challenges God asking why, God answers him by telling him that he cannot know the depth and greatness of God, that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  So on the surface this appears to be a story about a mean God who would rather win a bet with the devil than protect one of his own.  But let’s go deeper and look at it from the higher perspective of oneness.  First, we know that in actuality God and self are not separate.  Thus God in the story can be seen as the higher self of Job.  The devil is therefore the lower self of Job.  One thing to notice is that things only start going wrong for Job when the devil enters the picture.  When it is just him and God everything is abundance and happiness, it is the devil’s willingness to bet against happiness that starts the cascade of negative events.  I do not believe in the devil, but there is an energy which the devil represents.  The devil represents the polar opposite of the higher self.  The higher self is always in alignment with the universe, the ‘devil’ is that which is not in alignment, it is that which allows you to believe that you are separate from God, separate from your higher self.  Sometimes this part of oneself is referred to as Ego.  To be clear, Ego is not evil, but Ego is the aspect of you which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate entity in the universe, and therefore can lead to a belief that you are separate from God (though it does not have to).  Ego is the ‘lower self’ not because it is bad or wrong, but only because distinct from the whole, rather than the connection to the whole itself, which is what the higher self is.

Many of us live in relative abundance while simultaneously worrying that if we lose what we have, that we would lose ourselves too.  Who would I be if I lost everything?  How would I survive?  If my happiness is gone, what is the purpose anymore?  In other words, if I lost everything, if the things that make me happy go away, would I ever be able to align with my higher self again (and recognize that ‘aligning with higher self’ could be considered another way of saying ‘love God’)?  We think it’s easy to align with our higher selves (i.e. – be ‘happy’, or ‘love God’) while we are in abundance, and that it would be hard if we are not in abundance.  This however is backward thinking, because alignment with source, with higher self, is where abundance flows from.  Abundance is not required first in order to have connection to higher self, rather connection with higher self is required first to have abundance.  Abundance means happiness, it does not mean material wealth alone.  Remember many who are very wealthy are also very unhappy, so that is not true abundance.  True abundance extends to all areas of life and translates into true contentment, joy and peace in life. 

Back to Job.  This is essentially a story, a cautionary tale of you will, of what occurs when the lower self (ego, played here by the devil) is allowed to challenge the higher self (God).  Because we are free beings, we are allowed to do this, we are allowed to follow our ego instead of our highest selves if we choose this.  From this perspective, Job is not a victim, rather this is a choice Job makes on another level.  This leads to disastrous consequences, in a word – suffering.  Job suffers when the ego is allowed to challenge his alignment with higher self.  Then when he is at the bottom, the lowest point, he asks a logical question: “why?”  God’s answer is that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  This is Job’s higher self trying speaking to the ego, the higher self trying to re-integrate with Job’s ego, by making him realize that the infinite aspect of who he is, is the part which truly has the power in this universe, and that the ego’s power is an illusion.  The ego of Job is disconnected and cannot know abundance, and will only know suffering.  The ego believes in limits, therefore it cannot know the abundance that the highest self does. 

I always find it interesting to put a new spin on an old story.  This story like many in the bible is easier to understand when we look at the symbolic nature of the story rather than trying to take it literally.  Humanity has evolved since this story was written, and the original way it was presented worked for people of that time perhaps, but it does not work for people now because we have evolved past this notion of the human as separate from the rest of the universe.  We have evolved past the notion of a punishing God.  This story still has a fundamental truth hidden within it, but needs to be looked at from a new angle to see it.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Karma and the Law of Attraction

SpiralThe law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of cause and effect are all essentially descriptions of the same law in different terms. What you put out you get back, what you sow, you reap, yadda yadda. Although these laws are framed in different ways, and people hold different beliefs around them, they are in essence the same. Karma is unique mostly because it’s proponents believe that it follows you from life to life; this is not generally what people think about the law of attraction or cause and effect. However, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, and whether you believe that Karma follows you or not, no matter how you look at it, it is undeniable that there is a force which attracts to you the energies which you put out. These ‘energies you put out’ can be thoughts, intentions, words, actions, or a combination of all of the above. I believe that Karma is more forgiving than most people think. This is evidenced by the fact that positive thoughts seems to have so much more power than negative thoughts. Positive intentions often manifest in ways that are greater than what was ever imagined. Most of us have examples of this in our lives if we are paying attention. Aren’t many of the truly good things in your life even greater than what you would have expected? Aren’t many of the bad things in your life not really all that bad when you look at them in perspective? The system is rigged toward the positive. Positive feelings and thoughts will always create more and create faster than the negative. The problem is that most of us are caught in the negative so much of the time that we are still manifesting the negative – what we don’t want. We are still creating negative karma even though it is easier to create positive karma.

Karma often seems like something that we are a “victim” of, but that is only because the negative karma we create is usually done in unconsciousness. It happens when we are not paying attention. Lama Surya Das gives an example of a pickle jar. Imagine that you open a jar of pickles and become distracted after opening them (the phone rings, you get a text, etc.), then while you are distracted you put them back in the fridge without sealing the lid. What happens? The next time you go to the fridge to get the pickles, the lid comes off and you drop them. Now you have shattered glass, pickles and pickle juice all over the floor. You probably curse. If you don’t remember doing this yourself you might even instantly blame someone else like your spouse or child for being careless. Most of us have experienced something like this. Our action that we do in unconsciousness, (while we are distracted) causes an effect that is undesirable. In “The Secret” they discuss how the law of attraction is working all the time, even when we are not paying attention. Karma is the same, since we are essentially talking about the same law in different terms. It is working all the time, each moment of each day, with each thought, each action, each reaction, we are creating new karma, new manifestations. Thus, when you drop the pickle jar, remember that you still have a choice. You can react in anger and blame, or you can simply clean up the mess and move on. The latter decision will not create any more bad karma on top of the mess.

The unconscious stream of dialogue that most people have running through their heads is creating their karma, it is setting the law of attraction in motion. For most of us, it is difficult to pay attention 100% of the time, but regular meditation can help you learn to quiet and control your thoughts. What is going through your head most of the day? Are you thinking good thoughts about others? Good thoughts about the past or future? Or are they disparaging thoughts about others, and negative or fearful thoughts about the past or future? Whatever you are thinking will create more of the same, your thoughts are an energy which will attract like energies. Your feelings are a feedback system, so if you have trouble tracking your thoughts, which most of us do, pay attention to your feelings. They will tell you if what you are thinking in any given moment is in alignment or out of alignment with your highest self. When you feel “bad” it is generally because the thoughts you are having at the moment are not in alignment with your highest self. How do you turn that around? Listen to your favorite music, take a bath, meditate, breath, slow down, laugh, whatever you need to do to find your center. From the still place inside you, from the place of pure presence and awareness, you can hit the ‘reset’ button. Once you’ve made a new choice on where to focus your thinking, you are instantly creating new karma, and attracting new manifestations to your reality. Thank goodness for the ‘time delay’ of these laws. The effects do not happen instantly, and this gives us time to stop and hit the reset button when we need to, in order to create something new and better. This allows us to create from a place of consciousness instead of unconsciousness. That means no more broken pickle jars, it means you become aware that all things are your own choosing.

Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

Self Love as True Empowerment

Joe Dispenza discusses how releasing suppressed energies within you is key to self love and joy. Energy wants to move, movement and transformation is the natural state of energy and thus of all things. When emotions (which are a kind of energy) such as anger, fear, or guilt are supressed within the mind/body, then those trapped energies will manifest what we call disease. When they are allowed to move into the light of your consciousness and be cleansed by the power of your awareness and your forgiveness, than they can be transformed into love, joy and gratitude and naturally contribute to self-love and self-acceptance. This then contributes to an overall state of well being and peace. Those energies can no longer poison you or the things that you create, but instead become part of your strength, character and love.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
– Jesus Christ, Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

What is Ego?

noisy-neighborsEgo is identification with form. Form includes not just the body and physical forms, but also thought forms and mind constructs. This extends to your ‘story’ which is a thought form about your past which you may take to be who you are. Who you actually are is formless. Who you actually are is the observer behind the thought form. Think for a minute about the fact that you can observe your thoughts. If you are your thoughts, how would you be able to step outside of them and observe them? The one who is doing that observation is you. The thoughts are not you. Elizabeth Gilbert in her book “eat, pray, love” mentions at one point that after she underwent her spiritual transformation, she began to think of her thoughts as ‘noisy neighbors.’ These neighbors are not you. They are forms which are temporary, they come into form and out of form and they only linger when you allow them to. When you can get to a point where you are able to observe your thought forms, rather than be caught up in the endless stream of the babble inside your head, that is where you begin to let go of Ego and find your true self and your true source of power.

Going Through “Withdraw”

Enlightenment2On the one hand, changing your thinking is pretty easy.  You just make a choice.  When you encounter a stressful situation, you choose to think “it’s all going to work out” instead of “#@$% why does this always happen to me!!” It is a simple choice, however as you begin to observe your thoughts and change your thinking, you might find that you are met with some internal resistance.  There will be part of you that rebels against “it’s all going to work out” and desperately wants to go to the “@#$%!” place.  You might even feel it physically.  You might feel panicky, or ill, or just not right when you attempt to shift your thinking like this.  This is because you are, in a certain way, addicted to your current way of thinking.  The reason it takes time and effort to change thinking is because your neurons have specific relationships with one another and with certain brain chemicals.  If your knee jerk reaction to stress is anger (“$#@&*”), or self-pity (“poor me”), or self-depreciation (“stupid me”), it is because your body and your brain have become accustomed to, or addicted to, the neuropeptides which are associated with those emotions.  Overcoming that addiction is like overcoming any addiction.  On the surface it seems easy, you just choose something different.  You choose to stop drinking.  However as any recovered addict will tell you, it is also not that easy.  Now, I do not want you to go away believing this is hard, because it is easy once you recognize what you are dealing with.  Just like a drug addict will recognize the withdraw symptoms, and will stay the course in spite of them if they are determined, so you can recognize the symptoms of your own withdraw from patterned thinking and choose to stay the course in spite of them (and they are not nearly as bad as drug withdraw.  If people can give up a drug addiction, you can certainly change your thinking.  If you’ve given up an addition you may even have an advantage here, since this is immeasurably easier).  Recognize the resistance for what it is, a withdraw, and just tell yourself “this is the withdraw, and I’m OK with that.”  Then keep thinking your new thought.  Eventually, the new thinking patterns will become your norm.  When this happens, you will begin to see things shifting all around you.  You will begin to experience synchronistic events, even miracles.  You will begin to realize that you do indeed have a real power within you.  You are no longer at the mercy of patterned, unconscious thought.  You instead are consciously choosing how to think and how to respond to any given situation instead of being at the mercy of your own unconscious wiring.  You will be free from thought addiction, and it is well worth the discomfort of your temporary withdraw.

To illustrate this a bit further, here is an entertaining clip from the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?” about the nature of addiction to thought and emotion.

Namaste

Rhea Jamil

Thought Seeds

SeedsThoughts are a lot like seeds. You produce countless thoughts every day, just like a tree produces countless seeds. When the seeds of the tree get disbursed, a few of them will land on fertile ground, sprout and grow. However, most of them will not. Most will scatter to places where they will not be able to sprout, or an animal will eat them before they have a chance, and they never become trees. Our thoughts are much the same. The majority of your thoughts don’t go anywhere, they simply come, then go. They don’t do much harm, nor do they create much. Some of our thoughts will sprout initially, but then wither and die before becoming anything more. Then some of your thoughts will take root in fertile soil and grow into a tree. It may be a small birch tree or a giant sequoia. An example of a thought which became a great sequoia is the Wright brothers’ thought that flight was possible. That thought started as a seed in their minds, was fertilized and fed by belief, was given the sunlight of action and persistence, and became the reality of modern aviation. Any book that was ever written, any work of art, any movie, any company, any invention, any scientific theory, any building or monument, began as a seed in someone’s mind. Look around you right now. What do you see? Especially if you are indoors or in a big city, you are seeing the results of someone’s idea, someone’s seed which was tended, sprouted and grew into whatever it is you are looking at. It all began as a thought, nothing more, nothing less. Likewise, failures begin as a seed in someone’s mind as well. What happens to most of us is that we do not pay attention to the seeds that we tend vs. the seeds we cast away. Some of us give much more fertilizer of belief to seeds of doubt, of insecurity, of ill health etc., than to the seeds which would bring us wealth, health and happiness. Somehow, we just don’t believe those good seeds will sprout, so we cast them away. You have a great idea for a business, but cast it out with the thought “oh, but I could never make that work.” We plant and nurture the seed that says “I can’t” instead of the one that says “I can,” without fully realizing that the choice is ours. We make the choice of which thoughts to nurture and which not to.

Try this visualization exercise: as you begin the practice of watching your thoughts, when you notice a negative one, turn it into a seed in your mind, then thank it for what it has taught you but tell it very clearly that it will not be planted, and cast it away. You can even blow it up in your mind. I like to blow mine up like a pretty firework and watch the sparkly trails fizzle out. The reason for thanking the seed is to release your resistance to it. Resistance to a persistent thought will only cause that thought to come back again and again. When you thank it, it helps you let go of it. That thought is not there to torment you, it is there to teach you. Thank it for that, then cast it away or blow it up. Also, you can put the seed in a rose and blow up the rose. Roses seem to have a unique power when used in visualization exercises, we will explore more rose visualizations in later posts. If you have trouble with the idea of blowing it up because it seems violent, remember that what you are doing is simply transmuting the energy of that thought. You are not destroying anything, for destruction is impossible since energy cannot be destroyed and thoughts are just a form of energy. What you are doing is taking the energy of that thought and allowing it to be recycled back into the greater good. Once you’ve blown it up, it no longer holds that form which was harmful to you, it has the opportunity to be recreated, reabsorbed into the whole and be reformed as something else. Once you’ve done this, then find the thought seed you want to plant, tell it you believe in it, put it in the soil, give it water and sunlight and watch it grow. If you’ve already planted the seed in previous visualization, you can water the sapling or tree it is becoming. Watch it become bigger and bigger in each visualization. Send it love, remind it that you believe in it.

This practice takes time and patience. You may have a lot to clear out. Often, you may not even be sure what you need to clear out, you just have a bad feeling which tells you that your thoughts are not in line with your best interest and with source, since feelings are your best feedback mechanism to let you know when your thoughts or energy is not in line with what you want. In that case, you don’t have to even know what the thought or energies are exactly, you don’t have to name them, just set the intention to rid yourself of the thought, energies and associated feelings that you don’t want and don’t need, then perform the seed and/or rose blowing visualization. Part of what is so wonderful about this is that you are working with the higher intelligence, you are working with the field of consciousness which connects to everything in the universe. This field already knows what you want, need and don’t want and need. You don’t have to be specific, you just have to set your intention toward getting rid of what you don’t want and brining in what you do, even if you are not sure what that is at first.   It will become less muddled with time.  If you feel stressed, edgy, just not right – then start blowing seeds, start blowing roses. You will feel your energy start to lighten.

Namaste

Rhea Jamil