The Illusion of the Ego – March 26 2019

The Illusion of the Ego – March 26 2019

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 this given day. It may be the system of success (or lack of success) in my chosen field; or the amount of money I’ve made this year; whether or not I think I’m attractive romantically to someone else, in particular or in general. 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.
 
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 how we may work at balancing all these things out, perfection is going to be a place that we pass through only occasionally, never a place we find and keep. It’s simply not possible.
 
This is why we meditate. We seek to awaken to an experience of self that is other than our thoughts and feelings. We seek 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 this place beyond the thoughts and feelings and the ego, I am no longer at the mercy of the world. From this place I can make choices in my life that are based in the spiritual truth of me, 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 would match that vision. 
 
Mural, Clarion Alley, San Francisco, CA