The EGO: Is it the Enemy to a Person on the Spiritual Path?

‘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

The Greatest Catalyst for Awakening is………… (explained by Adyashanti)

To think that enlightenment only comes through wonderful experiences is to delude yourself. Yes, there are those cases where someone has a spontaneous awakening, and he or she doesn’t have a lot of karmic tendencies to see through. But that is rare. For most of us, the path to enlightenment is not rosy. We need to acknowledge this, because otherwise we’re only going to let ourselves travel toward that which feels good, that which supports our image of what the path of awakening should be.

“The greatest [catalyst for awakening] is found within our lives—the fabric of our existence, the grit of what’s actually happening in our everyday experience. I find that this is often overlooked within the context of spirituality. Many of us are using our spirituality as a way to avoid life, to avoid seeing things we really need to see, to avoid being confronted with our own misunderstandings and illusions.

It is very important to know that life itself is often our greatest teacher. Life is full of grace—sometimes it’s wonderful grace, beautiful grace, moments of bliss and happiness and joy, and sometimes it’s fierce grace, like illness, losing a job, losing someone we love, or a divorce, etc.

Life itself has a tremendous capacity to show us truth, to wake us up. And yet, many of us avoid this thing called life, even as it is attempting to wake us up. The divine itself is life in motion. The divine is using the situations of our lives to accomplish its own awakening, and many times it takes the difficult situations to wake us up.

The irony is that most human beings spend their lives avoiding painful situations. Not that we are successful, but we are always trying to avoid pain. We have an unconscious belief that our greatest growth in consciousness and awareness comes through beautiful moments. We may, indeed, make great leaps in consciousness through beautiful moments, but I’d say that most people make their greatest leaps in consciousness in the difficult times.

This is something a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge—that our greatest difficulties, suffering, and pain are a form of fierce grace. They are potent and important components of our awakening, if we’re ready for them. If we’re ready to turn and face them, we can see and receive the gifts that they have to offer—even if the gifts sometimes feel like they are being forced upon us.

Everybody has their own ways in which life is attempting to hold up a mirror, to squeeze the conditioned self out of us, to squeeze out of us the holding and grasping, to squeeze out all of our beliefs and ideas and concepts and self-images.

If we are willing to look, we will see that life is always in the process of waking us up. When we are not willing to see what life is trying to show us, it will keep ramping up the intensity until we are willing to see what we need to see. In this way, life itself is our greatest ally. It is almost a spiritual cliché to say that life is your greatest teacher. Students nod as if they know what that means. But we can only know what it means when we have been through it, when we have allowed ourselves to have life hold a mirror up, so we can see ourselves clearly.

To think that enlightenment only comes through wonderful experiences is to delude yourself. Yes, there are those cases where someone has a spontaneous awakening, and he or she doesn’t have a lot of karmic tendencies to see through. But that is rare. For most of us, the path to enlightenment is not rosy. We need to acknowledge this, because otherwise we’re only going to let ourselves travel toward that which feels good, that which supports our image of what the path of awakening should be.

For most people, the path of awakening does have wonderful moments, profound moments and realizations. But it is also a gritty thing. It’s not what most people sign up for when they say they want to be enlightened. The truth of the matter is that most people who say they want awakening don’t actually want to awaken. They want their version of awakening. What they actually want is to be really happy in their dream state. [“dreaming to be awake” – Gurdjieff]. And that’s okay, if that’s as far as they’ve evolved.

But the real, sincere impulse toward enlightenment is something that goes far beyond the desire to make our dream state better. It is an impulse that is willing to subject itself to whatever is needed in order to wake up. The authentic impulse toward enlightenment is that internal prayer asking for whatever it is that will bring us to a full awakening, no matter whether it turns out to be wonderful or terrible. It is an impulse that puts no conditions on what we have to go through.

This authentic impulse can be a bit frightening, because when you feel it, you know it is real. When you have let go of all conditions—when you have let go of how you want your own awakening to be and what you want the journey to be like—you have let go of your illusion of control.

In fact, we have to be willing to lose our whole world. That may sound romantic when you first hear it—“Oh, yes, let me sign up! I’m willing to lose my whole world.” But when your whole world starts to crumble, and you start to emerge from unimaginably deep states of denial, it is something altogether different. It is something altogether more real and gritty. It’s something that some people sign up for and some people don’t. [But] we don’t need to have any image about what it is going to take to awaken.

What you have to be willing to do is to encounter yourself and to face your own uncertainty. But how many of us want to let go into uncertainty, into the unknown, into the uncontrollable?

This isn’t a journey about becoming something. This is about unbecoming who we are not, about undeceiving ourselves. And so one of the most important steps is to come into agreement with your life so that you’re not turning away from yourself in any way. And the amazing thing is that when we are no longer turning away from ourselves, we find a great amount of energy, a great capacity for clarity and wisdom, and we start to see everything we need to see.”

~ Adyashanti, The End of Your World

Source: The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Found on: https://veilofreality.com/

Revealed: Why We Are ALL Abusers, Why We Are ALL Victims

In every personal relationship we will form throughout our lives, there will be a victim and an abuser. The abuser will push and expect this person (the victim) to do what they have always known as the right thing to do until the victim accepts it as truth. Then this victim now becomes the abuser in another tale.

When I speak of the role of an abuser, remember we are ALL abusers and we are ALL victims.

How can this be?

Since the day you were born, people have abused you.  People have taken from you the deepest, most treasured parts of your being.  Even the people who love you the most in this world have abused you, but they have no knowledge or awareness of this. They have no idea they are abusing you because they too were abused since the day they were born – they do not know any better.  In every personal relationship we will form throughout our lives, there will be a victim and an abuser. The abuser will push and expect this person (the victim) to do what they have always known as the right thing to do until the victim accepts it as truth.  Then this victim now becomes the abuser in another tale.

When I speak of the role of an abuser, remember we are ALL abusers and we are ALL victims.

How can this be?   Well, from here you will need a flexible mind and a strong heart.  If you do not have one or either, I forgive you for calling me the crazy lady who has no idea what she is speaking about.

FB-Betty-Ann-baby-TattoosFrom the moment you took your first breath into this world, this might be the truest moment of your life. You were greeted into this world as the miracle you are – so full of wonder and mystery. You knew nothing but the connection to your mother in her womb.  You felt her heart beat, you felt how every emotion changed this beat to race faster or calm in a soothing rhythm. You felt her sadness when she wept during a sad scene in a romance movie or how she cried out in heartbreak in the aftermath of a verbal argument with your father.   You felt her happiness when she picked out your new bedspread with safari animals or how giddy she felt to see the little socks with penguins on the sides she will put on your feet. These “things” that caused emotions in your mother weren’t real for you in the womb.  What was real for you were the emotions you shared with her – the happiness, the sadness, the anger and the love.  

When you exit the womb and enter your new reality, you will slowly start to realize that people understand emotions differently.  Emotions are unstable and irrational according to the grown adult.  You must learn to control your emotions.  To know how to control your emotions well at an adult age, you must learn to control them at a very young age.  f8f89-crying-baby

Within the next few months, we will start to get upset when you cry for us.  It will make us frantic and stressed out.   We don’t know what you want since the only form of communication we know is verbal.   We do not know that every little being is born with a unique way to communicate with emotions, because we don’t use those anymore to form major decisions.  Adults use their thoughts – our mind.   We do not know that crying means you are sad, uncomfortable or need something and that you have created a different type of crying for each to help us understand.  We do not know that you create little cues with every emotion you have, all the same emotions your mother shared with you in the womb, to help us understand what you need.   We only know control.  So in an attempt to train you to control your emotions we will start sleep training you.  This is called Cry It Out in the adult world.   From here, you will learn to cry until you fall asleep.  We will not come for you until you are done.   We adults have no idea that we pushed away your emotions.  We have no idea that we invalidated your emotions and your attempts to communicate with us.  We had no idea that we abused you. changing_pieces_of_autism_040912

You will grow up and every time you use your emotions to communicate with us, we will feel frantic.  We only know control. We will put you in time-out until you learn to control your emotions. We will spank you until you learn to control your emotions because we had no idea that you were acting out for attention because you are in pain.  We do not know you are in pain because we won’t listen, but still we will lecture and yell at you until you control your emotions.  We will continue to invalidate your emotions and your attempts to tell us something that is important to you.  These little problems seem small to us, but to you they are very big!  We had no idea this feels like abuse to you. 

As you enter school and start to form friendships with the kids in school, you will soon realize that the cycle continues.  You will start to feel this unspoken emotional war of whose parents or adult caregivers emotionally invalidated which child the most because this child will look like a bully to you.  In school, you will share with your peers the abuse you were shown by your parents or adult caregivers.  This will be some of the most traumatic times for you because unlike your family these people do not always love you.  They can come from groups of people or they can come all at one time.  You never know!  So, it makes you feel on edge. Broken-Heart-Backgrounds-Wallpaper

You will adopt whatever you learn as a young child growing into a teenager in your adult life.   You will feel a lack of trust for most people maybe even your own parents though sometimes the reasons won’t make sense to you.  Most everyone will have to earn a place in your life as being someone who does not stir your emotions because if they do, you will not know what to do with them and it will take time for you to recover.  You may struggle in love relationships with people because you find it hard to form a close connection with someone due to how hard it is to remain vulnerable.   Sometimes, communicating your feelings will give you anxiety so to make sense of it all you will over-think or over-analyze your emotions.  Most of the time you will not trust your own emotions so you will seek the opinions or emotional validation of your friends who will most likely tell you this person you are dating is an abusive asshole if he is a man or a psychotic bitch if she is a woman.  You might find a nice person to settle down with eventually who is within your emotional comfort zone and plan a life together.  Maybe you will have kids! Then, you can show them all the control and emotional invalidating tactics the ENTIRE world has shown you your whole life. Wouldn’t that be grand? 

Now that I am off my storyteller’s box and slapping myself in the face for that last sarcastic bit, let’s get to the juicy stuff.  Why has our culture forsaken emotions?   We can say for certain that it is culturally conditioned.  Most everyone views emotions as irrational and something that needs to be controlled.  It is more rational to let your mind make all the major decisions, right?

Emotions are the key to what is wrong with today. Today is a world of violence, war, dissention, segregation, hate, fear, loneliness, power, greed and control.  Yes, we are intellectual and science has offered us many new discoveries, but this is not due to forsaking emotions.  Forsaking emotions is what created the world of today.

Lovers-imageWhat is the most ultimate emotion?  The most powerful?  Love.   I bet most people agree it is love.  Thoughts and intelligence come from the mind while emotions and love come from the heart.  As a culture, have we cut off our hearts and the entire part of ourselves below the head and mind?  Is this why we can poison our food, destroy our earth, kill trees, pollute the air, medicate with unnatural sources – because we do not value our body which holds our heart because we are cut off from it?

Charles Bukowski said, “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”  You can interpret this quote many ways, but what stands out to me is that we will never fix our world’s problems with our mind – our intellect.  We will fix our world’s problems like an artist does, by letting our emotions go free.  In this instance, we can fix our problems by embracing our hearts and by embracing love.

Healing the heart can lead to larger personal spiritual growth.  Every time you pay attention to a triggered emotion of anger, sadness or pain this serves as a cue for you to pay attention.  This is where you need to heal.  We have become used to using pain medications like drugs, alcohol or literal prescribed drugs to deal with our pain, suppress it.  When you validate your own emotions, you will discover that every negative emotion is tied to a place in your heart that was forced to break off so you can continue to live on mostly uninterrupted.  Some people call this heartbreak, but the shaman calls this soul loss.  To heal your soul and reconnect with your heart, you must validate your emotions and allow the pain to surface.  Pull the pain into the light and heal it. Calling back the lost parts of your soul is like putting together your heart to be strong and beautifully vulnerable again.

When love becomes the conductor of your life, meaning love always has the final say in your choices and the mind works only as a trusted advisor to the heart to create your actions, there would be less and less of our current reality – less hate, less cruelty, less war. This is because love connects us to one another.  Love breaks down all the walls you have built to protect your heart from pain and suffering.  Love helps us notice other people and feel what they feel.  Love validates emotions and heals the heart.  People who have freed their heart have a power to spread love and happiness that truly heals this world.

You might be thinking how can I, one person, make that kind of change?  That is impossible!

good-karma-300x166Let me paint you a picture of a reality where you use your heart to make 1 decision:  You are in the grocery line behind a family who is pulling out every coupon for every item in their purse.  The children are tired and hungry, but the mom has a worried face because she sees she does not have enough money.  She starts to put things back.  You have a small amount of money in your account, but it is all you have. You trust you will be ok until your next paycheck and your heart is calling out to this family right now. You pull out your card and pay for the rest of her groceries.  She cries a little because she sees the kindness you shared with her, the heartfelt moment, and the money didn’t matter as much to her as the fact you cared – that you noticed her struggle.  The clerk and the few people surrounding you witnessed that moment and it made their heart open just a bit more.  It made them think “Wow there really are good people in this world.” One person posted about it on Facebook which inspired a few dozen kind acts, one person told her mom’s group which inspired a few more dozen acts.  Those acts inspired more acts and more acts.  

It is this trickling affect that is addictive, but in a good addictive way.  And, it starts from only 1 kind act with a loving intention.  Most of us are lacking true kindness and love in our world – in our reality.  When you witness it or are part of it yourself, you will want more!   It feels so energetic like putting a fire in your soul where it was once quiet.  Yet, the act did not put the fire there.  The fire already existed.   The loving act just lit the fire.

There is a lot to think about and absorb here.  What are your thoughts on this?

Why You Really Suffer in Love Relationships

It has happened to the best of us – we find ourselves completely lost in a love relationship with a miscommunication between our heart and mind. The heart wants to love deeply no matter the circumstances and the mind says “Run while you can!” Questioning yourself and your partner with puzzles like “where did I go wrong?”, “what is different? “, and “what can I do to change things?” The love was there. We both felt it! It was undeniable! So, what is the missing ingredient to every relationship that often eludes people?

Lovers-image

It has happened to the best of us – we find ourselves completely lost in a love relationship with a miscommunication between our heart and mind.  The heart wants to love deeply no matter the circumstances and the mind says “Run while you can!” Logic and emotion do not blend most of the time.

If you are anything like me, you find yourself stuck in “over-analyzing” mode.   Questioning yourself and your partner with puzzles like “where did I go wrong?”, “what is different? “, and “what can I do to change things?”  The love was there.  We both felt it!  It was undeniable!

This is a place I have been multiple times in my life.  Sometimes, it takes many mistakes, lessons and lost loves to really understand why it didn’t work.

Over time, I have come to the realization that no matter how much baggage you let go of to be vulnerable in love or how much soul work you do to make sure your heart & mind are ready for love, there is still something missing that is out of your control in a mutual love relationship.

So, what is the missing ingredient to every relationship that often eludes people?  It’s the timing.

Timing – where each person is at this stage in their life.  Timing can include a multitude of factors such as how many life lessons has each partner learned where they will not bring past pains and hurts into the current love relationships?   How emotionally mature and ready is each partner?   Has each person learned enough about love to be receptive to it and to give it equally back?  Do both people want a serious relationship right now or does one of them need to spend more time on him or her first?

Knowing this one ingredient to love, the timing, really can change a person’s perspective.   Your ex-lover is most likely not an evil, bipolar, selfish, emotionally disconnected mess of a man just as much as you were not this unstable, needy, psychotic, overly sensitive, time consuming person.   We have come up with all these textbook words to describe people such as narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, etc., but maybe they truly aren’t.  Maybe we all struggle with being selfish and becoming detached.  When love is there, but it cannot thrive in its environment, people become the worst versions of themselves.   It becomes an emotional stink pot of tainted love.

I am a strong believer in the idea that everyone is genuinely a good-hearted person just trying to make their way and find their voice in this world.  We come along many people who appear to not care for us, hurt us, abuse and abandon us to sort through a mess of emotions on our own.

After many lost loves of my own, I have come to grow in awareness to the fact with the right mind set I can turn these pains into wisdom or as a tool for my personal growth.  At the very least, it is a way to recognize my triggers – the things in this life that trigger extreme negative emotions that require internal awareness and healing.   When you can reach this mind-set, you come to an epiphany moment – you yourself have hurt many people who only wanted to love you in your past when you were the one who wasn’t in good timing for a real relationship.

I had a relationship with this man – we only dated for roughly 2 months.   The love was most definitely there!   He was the first person I had ever met who very easily saw me, the real me, and it scared me enough to activate my fight or flight response.  I started doing things I had never done before just to detach back into my comfort zone, but I had no self-awareness as to why I was doing it at the time.  As a woman who has been in a few relationships where she felt used and emotionally abused by men, I had no idea I was even capable of playing the opposite role.  Years later, I contact this past love and tried to make amends for my actions.  His response was one I had felt myself many times before – when you try to be cool, but really the wound still exists even if it is closed and my mere presence rubbed it open again.

Back to my main point, the cycle of bad timing.  Each and everyone one of us has played their own part as both victim and abuser, but really if the timing was good – maybe it would have been different.

What are your thoughts on this?