‘Cause I gonna make you see,
there is nobody else here,
no one like me.
I’m special, so special!
I gotta have some of your attention,
give it to me!
(Pretenders, Brass in Pocket)
“Ego” is a word with a different meaning in psychology than in spiritual communities. Psychologists refer to the ‘I’ experience as an institution that can become aware of our biases and conditioning. We spiritual folks think of the ego as a wrench in the spiritual path; an interference that prevents us from experiencing what lies ‘Beyond’.
A spiritual path is essentially the re-wiring of our experienced nature. Over the years the appreciation of what is meaningful to us changes. We are encouraged to enjoy the magnificence of the “I” just as before but we are shown how our life story fits in the greater good. The Course in Miracles differentiates grandeur from grandiosity, the contrast of a miracle-minded lifestyle and ego delusion. Along a spiritual path we are asked to develop our talents. We are shown how to live a life of purpose, of giving, of helping others, of shining the light for them. Purpose merges with passion. We do not have to give up anything that is meaningful to us, we just have to be open to be stripped of everything that is holding us back on our spiritual quest.
The transition from being ‘I’-centered to walking a higher path can be a tough transition, but it doesn’t have to be. As it turns out, our spiritual aspirations are not quite as kosher as we want them to be. Our craving to be special is very clever. Our ego is especially happy to put on spiritual clothes. Even the craving for enlightenment, for being a hermit, for sexual abstinence, for being a guru to others, can be an ego craving in disguise.
These days it takes more than just being sexually attractive; we also have to be perceived as kind and considerate; we need to have earnings potential or power. We must be considered ‘cool’ in one way or another. We crave to be somebody. We don’t want to be just a body, we want to be looked up to, celebrated, and considered to be cool. Our ego will put a nice story together to make us feel special, and will perhaps even make it sound spiritual. And once we know that we are special in our eyes and that of others, we feel alive.
Please don’t fool yourself and just say, ‘I must not have these cravings’. Being special is a driving force of life. When we lose this ego motivation, when we lose our mojo so to speak, life loses all its charm, spice and sexiness. When our ego gets hurt and feels this absence, life becomes colorless, depressing and meaningless. This ego is us, until the day when we can leave these cravings behind like a worn-out skin. Yet, until this blessed day arrives we have to accept what makes our blood boil.
It took me a long time to understand that by fighting our cravings to be special, we are messing with our life force. There is no need for this whatsoever. Life holds all the answers for us and they come when we are ready to hear them. We can keep our mojo while enjoying a meaningful life at the same time.
I hope you understand that after this insight you already have made it!
You do not need to wait for enlightenment to begin your life. All you have to do is to express your passions and let spirit show you how to steer in a purposeful direction. Suddenly life’s many problems and obstacles no longer stand in the way of your happiness; suddenly they becomes messengers and signs to put you on the right path instead. You do not have to sacrifice anything; abundance is yours to enjoy, just learn what exactly it is that you want.
The Bhagavad Gita as well as Christianity encourage us to put our heart and soul into our work and the services we supply to others. There is only one requirement to spiritual success, we have to let go of all kind of expectations to get something in return. Ironically, our spiritual path takes care of us and showers us with care and attention that our narrow-minded ego never could have fathomed.
Let’s face life with an open mind and a loving heart and see what is coming our way.
About the Author: Christian M. Wiese discovered a wonderful force—the Way—while working in the busy world of financial markets. He shared his ten year Awakening journey in his two books, ‘The Magnificent Experiment’ and ‘The Way of the Meister’. Today, Christian works as author, educator and spiritual coach in Massachusetts, USA.You can follow his work and connect with him at www.christianmwiese.com