21 Apr The Illusion of the Ego – April 22 2020
With absolute humility, the ego dissolves. It is a collection of arbitrary mental processes that gain force only because of vanity and habit. If one lets go of the vanity of thought, it dissolves. All thought is vanity. All opinions are vanities. The pleasure of vanity is therefore the basis of the ego–unplug it and it collapses.
The ego is neither bad nor an enemy, but merely an illusion to release so that something far better can replace it.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.,
Dissolving the Ego, Realizing the Self
When we are identified as the ego, we are at the mercy of things over which we have little or no control. ‘How I’m doing’ is dependent upon my feelings and my thoughts, which in turn are dependent upon whatever ‘system’ I have in place on a given day. It may be the system of success in my chosen field; or the amount of money I’ve made this year; whether or not I think I’m attractive to someone else. It may be what my parents think of me, or what they thought of me 20 years ago.
And this is not even to mention whether or not I worked out today, or meditated, or ate sugar, or drank too much coffee, or not enough.
Or how much traffic there is on my way to work.
Or who the president might be. Or how many days we’ve been ‘sheltering in place.’
All of these things cause me to feel a certain way, which tends my thinking in certain directions, which in turn causes me to feel a certain way, etc.
No matter what we do to balance our thoughts and feelings about the world, perfection at best will be something we pass through only occasionally, never a place we find and keep. It’s simply not possible.
This is why we meditate. To awaken to an experience of self that is other than our thoughts and feelings. And then to begin to know ourselves as this other thing, this deeper thing, this place that is silent and true and never changing.
When I can know myself as the place beyond thoughts and feelings and ego, I am no longer at the mercy of the world. From there I can make choices in my life that are based in the spiritual truth of me, on the values of my truest self, rather than in my reactive, ever-changing postures of feeling and thinking.
Today I will seek the humility to let go of thinking and feeling as indicators of who I am or how I’m doing. I will be open to seeing myself as God might see me, open to seeing the world as God might have me see it, and open to living in a way that could match that vision.
Bud Powell-dandelions, Studio City CA