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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

Joy and Purpose

Rainbow-2The reason for all creation is the joy of creation itself. To create and know the joy of sharing divine unconditional love with the creation; creation so that love can be expanded within the created form, this is the purpose of all existence. Consciousness, existence, is meant to be unfettered joy, it is meant to be love beyond love. What, then, has created this particular reality where we experience many things which seem to be the opposite of unfettered joy and love? Why do we suffer in this universe based on joy? Consciousness can choose any experience, including the experience of being unconscious (meaning unaware of its own nature). It chooses that in order to expand and discover more about itself. Just as light expands into darkness and the darkness must scatter, so consciousness expands into unconsciousness.  The problem, is that many have become ‘stuck’ in unconsciousness. We are like light which has forgotten it is light and does not realize it can make the darkness scatter simply by virtue of its nature, as light. We think we need to be something else, we think we need something, or someone, outside ourselves in order to be ‘saved’ or in order to ‘see the light’. In actuality, all we need to do is be who we really are and the darkness will scatter.

How do we remember and become who we really are? By following our joy. Find what gives you joy and focus on that. The reason this is hard for many of us is that we have been trained out of this. When we were children we followed our joy quite naturally, but at some point we were made to think that doing this was wrong. You were told to do your homework instead of doing what made you happy in the moment, so you began to put aside your joy in order to fit in with the rest of the world. This is why sometimes we have to go back into our child self in order to find our joy again. There may be things that gave you immense joy in your childhood that you put aside and forgot about. Sometimes you need to search through your childhood memories to find that again and bring it back into your reality of now. Perhaps you loved to sing, or to dance, or to watch fish, or to do flips on the trampoline. So when you remember that, then what? If I loved to sing do I quit my job and put everything into singing? Maybe, but in most cases that is not necessary. Just begin singing again, maybe just in the shower, or maybe join a choir, then see where it leads you. It could take you places you never expected, and if you are following your joy and allowing your joy, it will not lead you astray. Once you line up with your own joy, you will find your purpose unfolding, and be forewarned it may not be what you expect, but it will always feel good, and right. This is why allowing is important, if you set up too many expectations or ideas about how it should or shouldn’t look in this process, then you are getting in your own way. Forget about how it should or shouldn’t look and just follow your joy. Your joy and your purpose are the same thing. Let me say that once again: your joy and your purpose are the same thing. When you find your joy, you have found your purpose. Joy is the purpose of the universe, it is the purpose of consciousness and therefore is your purpose.

Blessings on the journey,

Rhea Jamil

Self-Worth and Vulnerability


“Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and the struggle for worthiness, but it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.” -Brene Brown

It takes courage to be imperfect, to be who you are instead of what others want you to be, to allow yourself to be comfortable with uncertainty, to love yourself so deeply that you know your true worth no matter how the world treats you. But doing this is also the key to living fully and living with meaning and joy, it is the key to knowing true connection with others and with all there is.
Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

Non-Judgment and Self Love

nonjudgementThe Dali Lama has said “love is the absence of judgment.” Indeed, judgment can be seen as the opposite of love. Many of us have become conditioned to the idea that love comes with prerequisites; that someone else must behave in a certain manner to be deserving of our love. If we are honest with ourselves we can all admit that we find it hard to love some people, often including ourselves. The reason it is hard is because we are in judgment. Judgment is also a state of being unaware of our connection to divine source, and being in non-judgment helps us remember that source connection.

The traits we deem as ‘lovable’ vs. ‘unlovable’ are defined by our egos, and also by those extensions of our individual egos which include things like the larger society, culture, or religious dogma. These larger collective egos are very good at judging other societies, cultures or religions, even to the point of waging war with them. These collective egos, however, are reflections of the dominate individual ego. If the individual ego disappears in favor of love and non-judgment, then the behavior of society, culture and religion will begin to change as well. World peace begins with us, as individuals, choosing love instead of judgment.

Ego is the domain of the mind, and when we are in judgment, love gets caught up in the mind. In the mind love must be justified, which is what the mind is good at doing. If we can’t justify it, then we reject it as not being worthy of love. Those who fall outside of this matrix of worthiness then become the enemy, the ones we judge, and this can include ourselves. We become our own worst enemies. Often the reason we are so hard on others, the reason we find fault with others and judge them so quickly, is because we don’t love ourselves fully. The others are reflections of us, they will reflect back to us what we often don’t want to face in ourselves. When you move out of your head and into your heart, and you let go of judgment altogether, you find that love has no conditions and no boundaries. This is where you find your connection to source and to all things, this is the place of unconditional love. Unconditional love is love without judgment, love without the pre-requisite of “worthiness.”

The most important person to love unconditionally is yourself. Self love is not selfishness. Selfishness is a focus on lack, a belief that there is not enough to go around and so you must take from others to be complete; but then of course you never are complete because in selfish mode you continue to believe in lack, and thus lack will keep showing up – no matter what you take from others, it will never be enough to fill the void. This is why selfishness is a very unhappy state of being. Self love, on the other hand, is really the opposite of the state of selfishness. Self love is the state of being fulfilled in yourself. You no longer need to find fulfillment in the outer world when you truly love yourself unconditionally. Your relationships then deepen because others are “off the hook” from having to complete you, and they sense that. It makes them feel more at ease with you. Others feel free to be loving and to express themselves around you. In other words, show yourself the love that you wish you were getting from others, and you will attract others who reflect that love back to you.

Namaste,
Rhea Jamil

Imperfection

GrapesImperfection is generally seen as something to avoid.  We prize perfection and strive for it in all things.  However,  I believe the process of creation itself, which is inherent in every moment of existence, requires imperfection (or rather, it requires what we think of as imperfection).  For anything new to come about, something old must be re-made.  Nothing can really be created or destroyed, since everything is energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed; however it can become something new from something old, and such is the process of creation.  Take grapes, in their pure and perfect form, then allow them to ferment – as they ferment they move through imperfect form, and something new is created – wine.  All the universe is made of various forms moving through imperfection, back to perfection, to re-birth and new form.  In the end, the label of perfection and imperfection is perspective.  All is sacred, in whatever form it is in at the moment.  You are not imperfect, you are a work in progress, but you are always a work in progress, and so is everything and everyone else.  There is no end point, there is only the journey itself of creation and moving through form.  The labels of perfection and imperfection therefore are simply judgments we make when looking at something at one point in its overall journey of creation.  If we back up from judgment and instead see the whole process, then we see there is always an inherent perfection within it.  Where you are and who you are at this moment is exactly where and who you are meant to be right now.  Thus, love and accept the form you have now, and continue to love it as it transforms before your eyes through every season of life.  Your sacredness and perfection have never been diminished. 

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

 

 

Discovering Self-Worth

Rumi-quoteYou are divine, therefore your worth is inherent.  You do not need to prove anything, because you already are the proof of divine love.  There is nothing you need to become in order to be ‘worthy.’  The challenge of being human is to reconcile your divinity with your humanity.  Your divinity is the perfection you were made with.   Your humanity is the suffering you have endured, it is the journey you have taken and the scars you have accumulated along the way.   We are perfection, we are made in perfection, then we go through human lifetimes which have both joy and suffering, and we get a little beat up.  We become, on the surface, less than perfect.  We may even be quite damaged, so that the world when it sees us, it no longer recognizes our perfection.  Humans are often not valued by the world, or we may think that our only value is in some tiny part of us that the world sees as valuable, like having a big house or great job.  However, our true value is always in our whole being, scars and all.  The world does not have the final say on what is worthy, because the world is the illusion of separateness, and through this illusion it sees duality instead of unity.  It creates a dichotomy which makes you then believe that what you are is not enough, but that you need to be something else, or something more.  If someone criticized the sky for being blue, or criticized a fish for being unable to fly, you would think them insane.  And yet we do this to ourselves and others all the time.  We decide we are not enough, that we are somehow not alright as we are, and then we project that onto others as well, and likewise others project their own perceived shortcomings onto us.  This is a state of madness.  The way out of this madness is to rediscover the connectedness to divine reality.  Remove the veil of illusion, the veil which makes you believe that you not divine, and you see the perfection, the inherent worth, in yourself, and in others. 

The journey has caused you to be a little beaten up, but the inherent perfection in you is intact, and now in addition, you have a tremendous story, you have the value of your wondrous journey through life as well and the scars to prove it.  Your perfection and your worth are never diminished no matter how many battle scars, no matter how much the world devalues you.  In fact, your worth increases with suffering by virtue of what you learn and what the universe learns through you.  If the world does not recognize your worth, it is not because your worth is not there.  If you feel imperfect, it is not because the perfection you were made with is not there.  What you are and where you are right now, in this moment, is what you are meant to be.  You do not need to justify yourself, or your place in this world, to anyone else.  You can simply be exactly what you are, knowing your value even if no one else sees it.  True self worth is one of those things that the world cannot give you, but that you must give to yourself.  Once you release the need for the world to acknowledge your worth, then you become the person you were meant to be.

Namaste,

Rhea Jamil

Choice vs. Victimhood

choice-sign

Everything in your life is a choice.  What you have created in life is what you have attracted to you, by virtue of your own choosing.  The unconscious or ‘unenlightened’ state is one of being unaware of this fact, and believing instead that you are a victim of the world.  For many of us, it is difficult to come to terms with the idea that we have chosen all of our suffering.  We often feel like victims, and indeed we wonder ‘why on earth would I have chosen that? No one in their right mind would choose that!’  Let me offer an example to help reconcile this paradox.  Imagine you are in a car with some friends and you are driving.  Your friends tell you to drive faster, and you do.  They continue to egg you on to drive faster and you comply.  Then, a cop pulls you over.  Who gets the ticket?  You do. You are the one who pays the consequence (endures the suffering) because you are ultimately the one who’s foot was on the accelerator and thus it was your decision.  However there is another point of view that would say that your friends are to blame, because if they had not told you to go faster, you would not have.  This is also true, however your friends are not the ones who suffer the consequences.  From this perspective, you look more like the victim.  There is also a way in which you are both.  Yes, you should not have listened to your friends, but your friends should not have been egging you on either.  You and your friends co-created the situation, but you did have a choice.  In this analogy, your friends are the larger influence of the unconscious world driven by ego.  We are here to learn to stand up for our truth and say to our ‘friends’ ‘no – I’m not going to drive faster.  This is the speed I want to go, this is my truth.’  It can be very difficult when you friends are yelling in your ear and if you believe your friends are the final authority on everything, i.e. if you believe the power in the world is greater than the power in you, you are very likely to go along.  It is only when the consequences start showing up that we begin to learn that we need to stand in our own truth, even if it takes us out of our ‘comfort zone’ at the time.  When you learn to do this, it will be uncomfortable for a while, because you will have to withstand the ‘friends’ onslaught while standing by your truth.  However, you know that they are not the ultimate authority, and this gives you the strength to do this.  

The world (by which I specifically mean the illusionary world which is driven by ego) will try to push you in directions that do not feel right to you, it will try to convince you that it is the ultimate authority and the ultimate reality.  It can be very convincing.   You could decide to blame the world, as in the above scenario you would blame your friends.  You can decide that you are the victim.  That decision is not entirely untrue as in the example above, from a certain perspective yes, you are the victim, however that is also the position in which you negate your own power.  If you focus on the power the world has over you and decide you are the victim, you give away your own power.  At the end of the day, you – your essential, highest self – is the one who has the power.  You are the only one who can stand in your truth, you are the only one who can control your perception, your reaction, your inner state.  The key is finding your inner knowing, the part of you that is capable of withstanding peer pressure is also the part of you that knows your own truth and knows your own power.  It is the part that knows you are the one in control, no matter what the rest of the world is trying to convince you of.

There is a very real way in which the human race is like a teenager who is finally growing up and realizing, “hey, I know who I am, I know what I’m about, I don’t need to give into pressure from others, from the outside world, or from the ego, I do have my own power, within me.”  We are waking up from the ‘victim’ mode of being and beginning to find our power, which we had the whole time we just did not realize it.  We are like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, who had the power to go home the whole time, she just didn’t realize it.  However by the same token, if she had realized it and gone home immediately, she would not have learned the valuable lessons that she needed to – about her own mind, heart, and courage – reflected back to her by her friends the scarecrow, tin man and lion.  So, we needed to learn some things, and we found the perfect reflections in each life to learn what we needed to, but we have had the power to enlighten ourselves (go home) the whole time, we are just finally waking up and growing into it. 

-Rhea Jamil

Illusion

 

Perception of a Reflection

Perception of a Reflection (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

How can this experience be illusion? How can something that seems so real not be real?  Think about looking in a mirror. Is your reflection real? In a sense it is, you can see it, you can make it move, so in a way it is real. But does it have any power? No. You have the power, you can make the reflection do what you want, but the reflection cannot make you do anything, it has no power over you. Now, imagine that you decide that your reflection is real, and you don’t recognize your “self” which is looking in the mirror, you identify completely with your reflection. You will see your reflection doing things, and you will wonder what is making it happen, it will feel like you have no control, it will feel like you are a passive victim, because you don’t realize that you are making the image in the mirror move. If the image in the mirror starts slapping itself, you will not realize that you have the power to stop it from doing that. This sounds insane, and yet this is the state most of us live in. We do not realize where our true power lies. We are focused on the illusion and think that the illusion is real, and in that state we feel powerless, because in that state we are powerless. It is the state of believing that your reflection is the real. Your true self, which has the power to create the reflection, is completely ignored. The reflection is ‘real’ in the sense that it is what we experience, but it is not real in the sense that it is all there is. There is much more going on ‘behind the scenes’ and that is where the true power lies. You will never have power in the illusion, in the reflection. Your true self, acting behind the scenes, behind the mirror, is the ultimate reality and where the power lies.

How do you access this true self? This true self is most easily accessed in the stillness. It is the part of you that does not need anything, it does not need to be fed with recognition or accomplishment as the ego does, it does not need to be right and is not worried about being wrong, it does not have an agenda. Its nature is pure love, and it simply is. This is why meditation is so powerful. When the mind is quieted the true self comes through, because it is beyond thought. The true self can communicate through thought, but so much of your thinking is obscured by the false ego self that it can be hard to sort it out. The easiest way to sort it out is to follow beauty. The true self is beauty, since all truth is beauty, so your true self is the most beautiful part of who you are. Everything else is part of your illusionary self. When the true self begins to take the helm of one’s life, things begin to change, and always for the better. True self will always bring you joy, bliss and freedom. The ego self will always have a dark side. The true self itself has no dark side, it is pure light, pure being, pure love. If you stay in touch with true self through everything, you will always be steered in the direction of joy.
-Rhea Jamil