“What would we be without an ego, a self? Perhaps we would be divine” ~ Vimala Thakar
Have you ever tried to look ‘inside’ yourself? If you have, you probably came across a mixture of positive traits of character and unproductive habits mingling with truly praiseworthy aspirations, a crowd of valid insights about the nature and relativity of reality, and a fair amount of junk.
But as you persevered and worked to disentangle the threads, you probably ended up meeting with a genuine inner goodness of being or spontaneous aspiration for being good, feeling good and wanting to do good. Everyone has it although not everyone shares the same idea of what ‘good’ means to them.
Although we have been brought up to see ourselves as insecure, lazy, selfish and competitive creatures, a more direct, intimate and unconditioned connection with our own inner being seems to reveal that the ‘self’ that we are is actually
- Innately self-aware, secure and confident;
- Seeking belonging, togetherness and sharing; and that it
- Appears willing to shake up old habits for the sake of learning, understanding and progress.
We – and the great majority of people – do not consciously want to do wrong. We do it because we lack the awareness and know how required to do ‘right’ or because we have not paid attention to clarify what right and wrong truly means to us. Another reason is that we have identified to painful past experiences or life limiting beliefs.
All of us have experienced loss, failure and pain and some of us have thrived on them because we knew, intuitively or as a result of our education that, beyond its apparent harshness, life is actually consistent, purposeful and caring. We were aware that there are principles operating behind the stage to maintain a universal coherence; we were aware that those principles reflected a form of cosmic intentionality that seeks our own growth in exactly the same manner as it supports the growth of all living things.
We began to relax.
Although we had temporarily felt submerged by fear, grief, pain, anger or self-hatred, deeper inside was the awareness – and with it the trust – that failure is learning; loss, opportunity; and that the ending of old forms heralds the beginning of the new, the renewal of creativity.
We understood that the ways and demands of our egos were inadequate, senseless and uncertain whims compared to the great wisdom of Life or God. We even realised that it was this very ego, like a treacherous friend, who was the actual cause for our suffering – and we decided to abandon it to its own destiny; to stop caring or feeling concerned for it.
We came to terms with the fact that our sense of importance, our insistence on control, our wants and fears and regrets and worries were illusions – thought forms and shadows dancing in our mind.
We accepted to be real, which means ordinary, humble, ‘normal’ and came back to the learning board. We started to live.
As one embraces unwanted or painful experiences and uses them to access the deeper dimension of our being, we chose to withdraw our attention from the events and direct it toward the learning, the growth. We stop giving our attention to that which is dying and shift it to where the new is emerging – which is where the energy and the thrill are.
Suffering subsides and gives rise to a sense of awe, gratitude and wonder emerging from the inner heart.