Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain – August 24 2018

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain – August 24 2018

The ego’s survival relies on the defeat of [spiritual] truth… [S]piritual truth challenges the ego’s presumption that it is sovereign.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.d,
Discovery of the Presence of God

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe; to match your nature with Nature.
 Joseph Campbell

It is almost a given that at some time or another, a meditator will stop meditating for a period. When asked why, they will say something like, “It was working for me. It made me feel better. And then I just stopped,” or “It made me feel better. And then I started working out, and that made me feel good, too, so I thought ‘why meditate?’.”

Before meditation, we may have an idea of unseen worlds, beyond the physical. We may believe that one day we will have an experience of other realities. But only rarely, if at all, are we given a glimpse of anything other than the mundane experience of the world. Our experience of life is almost exclusively as seen through the eyes of the ego. Rather than interaction with the world, we have thoughts and feelings about our interaction with the world. We are at one remove. We know ourselves only as separate and apart from. No matter how much we may believe in unity–with our peers, our family, our lovers, or with the world at large–we find that an actual experience of unity is by far the exception rather than the rule.

And then we learn meditation and immediately we drop down below the level from which thoughts arise. We transcend thoughts, feelings, ideas. We transcend individuality. We transcend our sense of separation and loneliness. We feel ourselves at one with something far greater than our self. And we begin to know that we are in fact something other than this ego and its ideas. We are something other than this experience of separation. It’s not that we are getting in touch with our higher Self, but rather that we are our higher Self. Our higher Self is the reality. It’s the ego that is the illusion.

The ego doesn’t like this. The ego hates this. The ego will do whatever it takes to get me to stop doing this thing that is taking away its power and its position. Picture the scene toward the end of The Wizard of Oz when The Great and Powerful Oz can’t come through with his promises and begins to yell at Dorothy and her friends, fire and smoke belching, and then Toto pulls aside the curtain and we see the man there, spinning wheels and pushing levers, frantically trying to scare them away before they discover the truth. Or rather the lie. This is the ego.

Rather than fight it out with the ego, simply ask yourself the question: do I feel better now than I did before I started meditating? If I could revisit myself the day before I learned this practice, would I see an improvement from how I was then to how I am now? Am I seeing the world differently, more benignly? Am I a bit more at peace? Do I have a bit more adaptation energy as I move through the world? Do I have a longer fuse than I used to? Do I have more of a capacity to smile? Is it easier for me to love?

If you cannot answer yes to any of these questions, then perhaps the ego is right and you might as well go back to just working out. But if you answer yes, then you might want to ask yourself this: Who is the ego to tell me what to do?

Today I will love myself enough to meditate morning and evening for twenty minutes, regardless of what the voices in my head might have to say about it.
Sad Angel, Waverly Cemetery, Bronte, Sydney, Australia
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober