Posts Tagged ego

This Isn’t It!


This isn’t it.
Isn’t this the phrase that most seekers hear in their heads every time they check in with what is?
Isn’t this the phrase that informs us that we are not yet enlightened and that we may never attain enlightenment?

This isn’t it!
That, pretty much, closes the door on where we’re at right now. It tells us that we are not there.
But, does it tell us that we are not here? We seem to be here but not there. Hmmmmmmmm

The truth is – is that this is it. The truth is the exact opposite of what the mind is saying. So when the mind says, “this isn’t it”, realization knows, “this is it.”

What is really going on here?

If this really is it, then what is telling us, in so persuasive a manner, that this isn’t it? Isn’t that the question we ought to be focusing on?

If we know on one level that this is it, why are we so sure that this isn’t it? It seems that our knowledge, that part of us that tells us that this is it, might be secondary – it might come from what we’ve read and what we’ve heard. It doesn’t have the strength and conviction of the voice that says, “this isn’t it.”

Let’s make one assumption. We can make this assumption now and see if it’s true later in our inquiry. Let’s make the assumption that the character who is saying “this isn’t it” is the ego or what I have call the Fear-Self in my book.

We can see and feel the ego labeling this moment as “this isn’t it”. It has a certain hardness to it – a kind of closing off to the moment.
So who or what sees and feels this?

Is it not the awakened self?
Do it now. Hear LOUD and CLEAR the ego labeling this moment as “this isn’t it!”

Now what happens when the Fear-Self says that this moment isn’t it?

Doesn’t the whole process of seeking begin anew? Doesn’t the endless journey of the ego to attain perfect, contented bliss get re-vitalized?

Now please consider this question.
Who is it that believes the ego when it says, “this isn’t it”? I have found this to be a somewhat trickier question. What we are asking is – Who is the believer? Who is it that believes the statement, “this isn’t it.”?

It might be good to stop reading for a moment and ponder that question. Let’s word it slightly differently.
Who is it that believes in the you that you believe yourself to be???????????

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

Is it not the ego stating a position and the ego believing in its own position?????? Are not the belief and the believer one?

If that is true, then what follows?????

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You are not the person you believe yourself to be. Everything about yourself that gushes ceaselessly from your mind is just a play of your conditioned consciousness. It is the judge, jury, and prosecutor – it is that which espouses positions and that which believes in those same positions.

Now return to this very moment with this Realization. You are not the person labeling this moment as “this isn’t it” – you are that for which there are no words.

Let the ego blab on. The moment the believer element of the ego dies, in that same moment, the voice of the ego becomes just noise.

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This Isn't It!


This isn’t it.
Isn’t this the phrase that most seekers hear in their heads every time they check in with what is?
Isn’t this the phrase that informs us that we are not yet enlightened and that we may never attain enlightenment?

This isn’t it!
That, pretty much, closes the door on where we’re at right now. It tells us that we are not there.
But, does it tell us that we are not here? We seem to be here but not there. Hmmmmmmmm

The truth is – is that this is it. The truth is the exact opposite of what the mind is saying. So when the mind says, “this isn’t it”, realization knows, “this is it.”

What is really going on here?

If this really is it, then what is telling us, in so persuasive a manner, that this isn’t it? Isn’t that the question we ought to be focusing on?

If we know on one level that this is it, why are we so sure that this isn’t it? It seems that our knowledge, that part of us that tells us that this is it, might be secondary – it might come from what we’ve read and what we’ve heard. It doesn’t have the strength and conviction of the voice that says, “this isn’t it.”

Let’s make one assumption. We can make this assumption now and see if it’s true later in our inquiry. Let’s make the assumption that the character who is saying “this isn’t it” is the ego or what I have call the Fear-Self in my book.

We can see and feel the ego labeling this moment as “this isn’t it”. It has a certain hardness to it – a kind of closing off to the moment.
So who or what sees and feels this?

Is it not the awakened self?
Do it now. Hear LOUD and CLEAR the ego labeling this moment as “this isn’t it!”

Now what happens when the Fear-Self says that this moment isn’t it?

Doesn’t the whole process of seeking begin anew? Doesn’t the endless journey of the ego to attain perfect, contented bliss get re-vitalized?

Now please consider this question.
Who is it that believes the ego when it says, “this isn’t it”? I have found this to be a somewhat trickier question. What we are asking is – Who is the believer? Who is it that believes the statement, “this isn’t it.”?

It might be good to stop reading for a moment and ponder that question. Let’s word it slightly differently.
Who is it that believes in the you that you believe yourself to be???????????

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

Is it not the ego stating a position and the ego believing in its own position?????? Are not the belief and the believer one?

If that is true, then what follows?????

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You are not the person you believe yourself to be. Everything about yourself that gushes ceaselessly from your mind is just a play of your conditioned consciousness. It is the judge, jury, and prosecutor – it is that which espouses positions and that which believes in those same positions.

Now return to this very moment with this Realization. You are not the person labeling this moment as “this isn’t it” – you are that for which there are no words.

Let the ego blab on. The moment the believer element of the ego dies, in that same moment, the voice of the ego becomes just noise.

,

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See Your Super-Ego and Then Find the False Guru/Teacher


I’ve been far more interested in writing and speaking about what blocks most people on the spiritual path, than in trying to put into words a universe that is not amenable to verbal description and today I want to address one of the most common causes for failure in the quest to find the Authentic Self.

Many people identify the ego as the most important aspect of our persona to overcome. I do not agree with that statement. The ego never has been the issue. The ego is an essential element of our beingness on this plane of existence. It defines an aspect of the self that lives in this time, culture, and society. For the awakened, it is the ego of love that binds itself to the natural world and is appalled at the war so many human beings wage against her. For the awakened, it is the ego that is brought to life by the many injustices that so many of our brothers and sisters experience in the struggle to simply live their lives as they are entitled.

The problem is not the ego. Rather, the problem is the super-ego.

The super-ego is that part of the psychological self that tells us how we “should” be. It can be thought of as our own, built-in parental voice.

More than anything else, the super ego is a perfectionist and few words fit the false spiritual journey more than the word “perfect”.

I am perfect, the world is perfect. Because everything is god, then everything must be perfect. I can only allow myself loving thoughts and feelings. So when I have envious, competitive, spiteful, critical, and downright hateful hateful thoughts, then I know I’ve spiritually regressed and I must cultivate love in my oh-so perfect being.

Understood this way, it is obvious that the spiritual super-ego is really the ego but now in fancy clothes.

So many fake gurus and fake spiritual teachers are just products of their own clever marketing. How can we know this? We can know this by their dress and their style of speaking. Fake spiritualists speak and dress exactly how our collective spiritual super-ego wants and expects them to dress and speak. By speaking and dressing they way the super-ego expects them to speak and dress, they validate the expectation and demands of our spiritual super-ego.

The super-ego is just another psychological voice. It is part of the body. There is nothing to do with it, but to watch it and wake up from the tiresome trance it induces.

It always comes down to just open seeing and enjoying the show of the false-self.

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The Guide


spirit-guides-2010-08-19-11-09.jpg
Ultimately, there is truly nothing one can say about the awakened life. All that we can really talk about are those paths that are false. So how can we identify a false path from one that is true? Is there a red flag that can guide us on how to avoid errors and dead-ends?

There is. But the red flag I’m talking about is one of the most challenging aspects of the one true path. This is what I present in this post.

Know that the ego is in love with enlightenment. It is tantalized by the happiness and power it believes the enlightened possess. Because the ego is mostly a personality construct that arises out of its own perception and experience of lack, then we can see that the ego is also the prime mover that seeks to become enlightened. To really see this is a great achievement – for it is the ego that is the red flag.

Anything that will draw the ego into its pursuit mode, which it will find as it seeks and hunts through the “spiritual” landscape of videos, books, and blog posts, is precisely the dead-end and error, which we are talking about. In a negative way, the ego, when seen with this understanding, is the near-perfect guide for how not to proceed. The ego is in love with pleasure and power and it will assume the form of pressure and compulsion to be drawn into its identity as hunter and seeker.

Allow me to present you with a subtle example of this principle. The subtle is a better teacher than the obvious, for it is the subtle that is nearly always overlooked.

You’ve made plans with a friend to see a movie, so you get into your car and as you’re driving to meet your friend you encounter a big traffic jam and you’re get stuck in total grid lock. As you realize that you’re not going to make the movie, you get upset and angry with how crappy life can be. Immediately, the spiritual ego chimes in with the thought, “If you we’re more spiritually evolved, you would take this event in perfect stride and not get upset.”

The spiritual ego sounds reasonable and it’s likely that most of us would take its bait and believe what it is telling us. But are its words true? What does it say about us that believes what it is telling us?

Let’s now go through the same scenario, but this time from the vantage point of the awakened self.

Awareness shows that a character in the dream has called our own dream persona to see a movie. We luxuriate in the fun and good vibes that arise naturally through the encounter. We watch as the appearance of our body enters the car and we feel the delicious exhilaration as the car actually moves out in the amazing landscape of the apparent world in this living moment. As we encounter the big traffic jam, we feel the dream drivers upset and frustration and are fascinated by the unexpected turn of events. The feelings possess a quality that is powerful and we can see and feel how they effect the dream and how it manifests in consciousness. We continue, in wonder, as the world re-invents itself in the next moment and the next moment and the next moment.

The differences in these experiences of the very same event should be striking to you. As I type these words, I’m really quite amazed at how it all flowers in its uniqueness and wonder. I am awakened to its remarkableness.

In contrast, the ego is personal. It can assume any personal form. So in the example of the traffic jam it assumes two distinct forms. When the upsetting event happens, it assumes the form of the super-ego. This is its parental manifestation. It has put on its spiritual garb and tells poor me how unevolved I am. It has a bossy quality. It is quite certain about the veracity of its observations.

In its second form it morphs into our apparent selves. This is the self we assume we are. Upset over the unexpected turn of events and listening to the “sage” advice from our super-ego, we convince ourselves that are a spiritual failure. Its acts to stimulate our underlying Wound (to see more about this, please take a look at my book Liberation from the Lie) and make us feel invalidated and crappy about the anger that has expressed itself through our form. In this way, the ego deeply personalizes the whole experience. It is, quite literally, the force that sustains the life of constant seeking and struggle going forward. Sadly, most of us are intimately tied to the ego for the whole of our lives.

If we correctly observe this example, we can also see how the phony spiritual ego manifests in the apparent world as false gurus, spiritual tyrants who preach that everything is love, and just plain business people who use ego manipulation to sell your their garbage (i.e, books like The Secret). Ego manipulation is any product that promises you freedom from pain, want, and suffering.

We see from this example, that the awakened self is not personally identified with anything that seemingly happens in the dream world of the personal self. Even as we might wash the dishes, while the personal ego self might be wanting to finish the chore quickly and get on to more fun activities or is critical of others who are not quite so adept at dish washing, the awakened self is just entranced by the passage of sensations and the quiet theatrical quality of the whole show of which dish washing is a part.

The awakened self has absolutely no need for special clothing, mysterious practices, meditation, or life in a ashram – although it might meditate for its pleasure or live in ashram because its fun. Our “take-away” from all of this is really quite simple and direct: the awakened self is not identified with any form. It is not even identified as the source of all forms. It really is the living awareness that almost ceaselessly takes impersonal pleasure in the whole play of consciousness.

Now let’s talk about tragedy for a moment. How does the awakened self experience pain and suffering?

I cannot give you a specific answer to that question. Now you will say, “aha – I knew this guy was a fake.” But, please allow me to explain why I can’t answer this question, because the answer will give you the key to awakening.

The awakened self is only alive in this very moment. When you bring up a hypothetical it can only deal with the hypothetical essence of the question – thus it can’t address the speculated consequences of the question itself.

I will say this – when my body reads about the agony of war, the terrible suffering of people as their medical coverage is denied, or the rapacious destruction of the earth’s environment, this body feels great sadness and anger. For the body and its consciousness are tied into the same living pathways that support all of life on this planet. When life grieves, it grieves. A lifetime of awareness enlivens awareness with a quality of tentative, modest knowing that stirs the heart. The deeper one releases into the aware heart, the greater grows the connection with all of life and then one day it is realized that everything is alive and we are that life.

So who is the true guide? Life – life itself in this very moment.
Spread the light!

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Exhaustion


Normally waking up means rising refreshed after a long and restful sleep. But, prior to falling fully asleep we must be truly exhausted.

Exhaustion is one thing to the body, but it is another thing in spiritual inquiry. In this sense, exhaustion means to becoming tired and indifferent to our conditioned selves. To put it another way, we loose interest in our own agendas. Only until we become this exhausted with our apparent selves are we ready to allow life itself to become the magic carpet of our lives.

Before this, we are navigating the often troubled waters of our life. Because the underlying theme is nearly always self-deficiency, we are always seeking opportunities to gain in life or, conversely, to avoid loss. Thus every situation presents a win/lose outcome.

It is this very win/lose quality to life to which we must, one day, become weary of. Again to put it another way, we opt out of the game of our small selves. Our investment and interest in winning or losing just falls away.

This is the essential exhaustion of the self that will always precede awakening to the light of this moment.

Thoughts about “me” and what “I” need to do will continue to pop up. Conditioning has its own momentum, but now instead of falling for it and doing our usual psychological routines, their power to control our behaviors and mental life is greatly reduced. The real test of self-exhaustion occurs in those situations that really engage us in either a very positive way, where the ego perceives an opportunity for very substantial gain or negative way where the fear of personal loss is especially vivid. Authentic self-exhaustion will even cancel the emotional charge that these situations have had for us. We stop seeking gain (especially spiritual gain!) and avoiding loss.

We have now moved pass the egotistical concerns of the everyday life. To put it in the clearest language possible, the locus of control moves from “me” to “life”. When this happens we embark on the literal wings of life and allow ourselves to be guided by the substance of life rather than the substance of ego.

Each moment becomes alive for it is our newly created sense of self – so greatly expanded. It is a kind of spiritual molting. Our judgments have become painfully boring for us. The demand for gain and fear of loss no longer weigh us down. We are so much lighter. This is the portal to awakening.

Don’t negate exhaustion of the self. It is the prerequisite to the full awakening that is, even now, happening.


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The Fatal Flaw: The Problem with Eastern Spiritual Philosophy – Part 1 of 3


It’s time to move on from what is simply false in Eastern philosophy (Buddhism, Advaita/nonduality, and some Taoism). Jesus said the truth will set you free and the whole purpose of this blog is to identify the false, so that the ineffable truth of being and life can shine forth.

1. The basic tenant of Eastern spiritual philosophy is that we are not our thoughts and feelings. We are, therefore, not who we “think” we are. So far, so good.

2. Our thoughts and feelings change, but, as these philosophies point out, there is a part of us that doesn’t change. This part is that presence that observes our passing thoughts and feelings. We are, they say, this changeless entity. Now we’re getting on some shaky ground, but let’s continue.

3. This presence, which is our true self is separate from the body/mind. It is neither born nor will it ever die. It is eternal consciousness. Here the philosophies collapse. I will try to show this below.

My experience shows that Point 1 is partly correct. Clearly, we are not our thoughts. Our thoughts, do, indeed, change. One day we “think” we love our wife/husband, then something happens and then we discover to our shame and disbelief that we now are not the one who loves this wife/husband. Life has changed completely. But we can also observe that some of our thoughts change constantly, other thoughts change only occasionally, and still others are nearly constant in our life. Within this array of change, we can detect patterns of thought and feeling. These patterns suggest an individuality that is, in fact, real. For example, I know that I love to explore issues, that with all my heart and soul I stand up for those who have been victims of unjustice, I love the music of Brahms and Mozart, etc.

Our Eastern Philosopher will say that my seemingly consistent thoughts/feelings are merely an outcome of my conditioning. They are “mere” appearances on the utterly changeless and characterless ground of being. They will further assert that this is not a theory, but the the outcome of direct experience, it is therefore not an issue of philosophy, but of direct experience. I can respond that the same is true for me. I am able to employ the power of presence, that power that is central to Eastern spiritual tradition (EST), to detect and identify these patterns. I can, therefore, make the same experiential claim. It is something I can directly observe.

But more importantly, I can also experience what is pointed to in EST and assert that the ESTer is drawing a decisive line of separation between “presence” and thought/feeling/experience, in which it is posited that one’s true identity is exclusively on one side of the experiential dimension. Our ESTer posits that Reality is the ground of experience and sensed experience (thoughts/feelings/observations) itself is mere appearance. All objects (thoughts/feelings/sensed objects) are passing and insubstantial. It is highly ironic that a philosophy that eschews separation so depends on this division, that this Maginot Line of separation is posited between one’s true identity and what is mere passing appearance. I can see the mere passing appearance of that tree just outside my window. I can look away and the tree is no longer in view (the tree ceases to exist!), but when I look back – what do I see??? – it’s remarkable, but it appears to be that same tree. Yes, the direction of sunlight might have changed a bit, but I am very sure that it’s the same true – perhaps five seconds older.

Now before moving on, let’s take a deep breath. What is the EST person really doing? Is it not possible that by labeling all sensed objects (thoughts/feelings) as mere passing appearance, he is negating his own role in this sensed life? Consider that possibility. Is this any different from the substance abuser who is also seeking to avoid the challenges of life through booze and drugs? Is this any different from the depressed person who lifts himself out of the anguish of his psychological being by adopting a zealous faith-based attitude on this life? Is this any different from the religious fanatic who believes that this life is just a preparation for the real life that begins at death and he can avoid all of the messiness and unpredictability of everyday life and dream of living an eternity in heaven?

I do not seek to judge the ESTer, but it is possible to detect a pattern in human history that revolves around the negation of everyday life – because life can be challenging, it can be complex, it calls on us to make tough decisions, it brings to light all of the empty faith-based beliefs we might cling to out of fear of the unknown. This is what life is. Wake up to its fantastic messiness. Life calls on us to be challenged. Anyone who has parented a little baby into adulthood knows this is true. Anyone in touch with their heart senses the vapid emptiness of EST.

Welcome to the challenge of your life. Make the best of it, for time is passing.

This is just part one of a three part series. Tomorrow I will comment on Point 2.

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Wu Wei – Doing Nothing and Everything is Done


Wu Wei  Doing Nothing

Wu Wei Doing Nothing


What happens when “you” do nothing?
Did you birth yourself?
Do you choose your death?
Do You do the seeing?
Do You do the hearing?
Do You do the tasting?
Do You choose your thoughts?
Do You choose your feelings?

If you are rigorously honest with yourself, the answer to each of these questions (and so many more) must be “no”, a real emphatic “NO“..
Then – let life live you. Trust!
Fall into life – if we see the truth and I mean REALLY see the truth of life, that is the most transformative, heroic, and loving act we can do.
We sever the ties to FEAR. Sever it fully and see how beautifully you survive the fall.
Wu Wei – Doing Nothing

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