Tag Archive | ego

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

Advertisements

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

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

Truth is Within You

Most people tend to look for the truth in the outer world, and they get frustrated with their search.  Most of us are looking for confirmation outside of us of what we already know in our hearts.  This is the reason why most good spiritual teachers when asked questions about the ‘truth’ will point you back to yourself, they will tell you to look within, as Teal Scott does here.  They will also often give you some guidance as to what to look for, and the guidance may helpful, but at the end of the day, you have to find it yourself.  The guidance should not be mistaken for the truth itself.  There is a saying that all religions are like fingers pointing to the moon, not the moon itself. 

You may expose yourself to many differing points of view, but it is your internal examination which leads you to align with it or not align with it.  No one else can do that work for you.  Anyone who says they have all the answers is, in addition to being full of Ego, just trying to get you to fall in line.  No one can possibly have all the answers, they can only have their answers.  They can only share their truth.  If their truth happens to work for you (it resonates with you), than contemplate it within.  If it does not work for you (you do not resonate with it), just set it aside and move on.   

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Evolution of Consciousness

 

English: Conflict Resolution in Human Evolution

There is a lot of discussion about the current shift in consciousness as being the next step in human evolution.  But what does that really mean?  It is becoming clear that the ego-based identification with the mind is not serving humanity anymore, and so this shift in consciousness is our next step in the human evolutionary process.  This is a paradigm shift from identification with mind to identification with heart, which links us to essence, to all that is. 

Evolution works this way:  a species evolves a trait which is useful in a given environment, but when the environment changes, that usefulness dissolves and the organisms must shift to a new way of being, it must evolve a new trait or set of traits to cope with the changing environment – or it will perish.  The ego identification with mind evolved for a reason, it was useful to humans and helped us survive and adapt to many environments in the Neolithic age.  Now it’s lifespan is coming to an end.  It is coming to an end because what it has created in its current paradigm is now out of balance with nature and ready to destroy us; the world has changed since we first evolved the trait of identification with mind, and if we do not change then we perish.  Where we find ourselves right now is on the cusp of moving into a new way of being, we are evolving a new set of conscious traits (identification with heart, ability to connect to the transcendent realm while still in the body, integrating the transcendent and the physical) that will open up a new paradigm that will allow us to continue living on earth in balance.  But just as the first animals which attempted to shift from a paradigm of being earth-bound to taking flight must have crashed and burned a number of times before they were successful, so we are experiencing a similar type of chaos as we shift in to a higher dimension of awareness and consciousness.   

Evolution is not always pretty or easy.  The first fish to come out of the water onto land would have had a very hard time.  They would have struggled to move on land, and struggled to breath.  Thus they would have only come onto land for limited amounts of time before taking refuge back in the water.  Their desire to go to the land in the first place must have been driven by some environmental change which made it difficult for them to be in the water anymore.  Thus, they would have been uncomfortable in the water, and uncomfortable on the land for some time.  It would have been a very difficult time to be a fish.  After time, it would have become gradually easier, the dimensional shift from water to land would have begun to feel more and more natural.  This is what is happening to a lot of us now, and in fact has been going on perhaps for lifetimes.  It is why many of us are so ‘tired.’  We are exhausted like the fish, from the shift from one dimension to the other has taken a lot out of us; the “old” way of being in the world is not working for us, but the “new” way is something we are still adjusting to.  It does not quite feel natural to a lot of us but we know the shift is necessary.  The less you resist this paradigm shift, the easier it becomes, it is already becoming more natural for many, and soon it will be easier and more natural for all of us.  Be in a state of non-resistance, and every once in a while just stop and breath, listen to your heartbeat, quiet your mind, even if only for a moment.  Find the transcendent within yourself, your Eden within, and don’t worry if it is only fleeting.  That ‘fleeting’ feeling will gradually become more and more part of your reality.  Just as when the first birds were learning to fly, the first flights will be brief, but soon we will all be soaring. 

Love and light,

Rhea Jamil

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.

Taming the Ego

woman-horse-mystical   What is this Ego which creates the illusion of separateness?  Ego is multi-faceted, which makes it tricky to define. Eckart Tolle defines the Ego simply as an identification with the mind. I agree, but also I think this is just one aspect of the Ego. The identification with thought and with the mind is indeed the root of suffering. The mind always exists in the past, and can only predict future events based on past experiences. Identification with the mind keeps you stuck in loops, in cycles of self-destruction, in circular thinking. Releasing your identification with the mind is key in the process of enlightenment. The essential self (also referred to as the ‘higher self’), is the part of you that sees life from the highest perspective, is connected to the unified whole essence of creation, can see the biggest picture and knows without needing the mind.  This is what one should be identified with, not the mind. The mind should just be a tool, for the role of the mind should be exclusively to receive information from this essential self. Instead most of us have put the mind in the driver’s seat and thus we repeat the past over and over because that is all the mind can do. The essential self only exists in the now moment, not in the past or future. What you call your ‘intuition’ is a direct link to this essential self. When you have had moments of just ‘knowing’ something, without interference from the logical mind, at that moment you are connecting with your essential self and bypassing the logical mind. The key is to do this more often than not, to be connected to that knowing which is beyond the realm of mind and does not need the past to make decisions in the now. Everything we associate with clairvoyance stems from being in this state, and all humans are capable of it.
     Thus, ego is in one sense this identification with the mind. This is why the quickest way to enlightenment is to stop thinking. When you stop thought, your pure, essential self can be expressed. Most of us think that we are our thoughts. We subscribe to the philosophy “I think, therefore I am.” This is not the case. Thought is what gets in the way of who you are. Thought is what creates the illusion in the first place. Thought creates the idea of “you” which is separate from “me” and separate from the rest of the universe. When you get outside of thought, you are the universe. Thus, Tolle is not wrong, however there is another aspect to Ego which should also be acknowledged. Ego is also that which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate being. Without ego, we would be one unified wholeness, as we were in the beginning. For some, that is the goal. But there is a way in which the wholeness also longs for separateness, since it is only in being separate that we can share in love. It is only in separateness that we can experience the divine lover / beloved relationship. This is Ego’s gift. This is the aspect of Ego which can be maintained even when identification with mind is gone and connection with the essential self is achieved. As long as you are in a human body, you can never fully let go of this aspect of the Ego, except perhaps in moments, but this does not mean that enlightenment cannot be obtained, it is just the opposite. You can be fully aware of your essential self and how it is connected to the unified whole, and yet maintain a separate identity which allows you to continue to be human and to share in love. This is a beautiful state of being. As my Sufi teacher Alim Thompson once explained to me, the goal is not to get rid of the Ego, the goal is to tame the ego. I began to think of the ego as a horse. It can be a bucking bronco, completely in control of you and tossing you around in life. This is the scenario of being totally identified with the mind and unaware of your essential self. The goal is to take the bucking bronco and turn it into a well trained thoroughbred, one which willingly follows your direction out of love and respect for you. Riding such a thoroughbred through life will be exhilarating and fun.
-Rhea Jamil

Here is a video from Bashar lays out the role of the essential, or higher, self more clearly than anything else I’ve come across: