Volume II- Issue I Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I am rereading Ekhart Tolles "A New Earth." Powerful stuff, I must say, and timely for all of us. I loved this idea that he spoke about in Chapter 3 that the classic Rolling Stones pop song "(I can't get no) Satisfaction" should be the theme song of the ego!
“I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no”
Hilarious and oh so true! Everything that keeps us unhappy or discontent is ego. And we try, and try, and try, and try………and somehow always end up missing the mark, forever unsatisfied. Why do we make it such a struggle? Perhaps the answer is that we try too hard, forgetting to trust and go inside to listen to our inner voice. We live in an outer world where we are taught that we “can’t get no satisfaction.” Think about it, when was the last time you remember feeling deeply satisfied? And when was the time before that? How much of your day do you experience contentment and peace? In contrast, how much are you spending stressed, unhappy, driven, exhausted, lonely, confused, or even numb? "I can't get no satisfaction." This is the mantra of the ego. This becomes the theme song to the soundtrack of our lives if we forget about the soul, about our true self. This underscores a life where we are looking for the answers outside of ourselves.
Everything that keeps us reaching for something else or something more... is ego.
Everything that insists that we must be unique, special, stand out from the crowd, and one-of-a-kind... is ego.
Our incessant need to be in control and fear of faith and trust.... is all ego.
Our insatiable appetite for more that leaves us feeling incomplete, madly driven, and discontent... is just the ego.
Our need to be right and defend ourselves.... is the voice of the ego.
Our natural desire to gossip, judge, name drop, condescend, blame, resent, praise, idolize, pity, and criticize...these desires are all mechanisms of the ego.
Ultimately, everything that separates us from our soul, our true essence is ego; all we need to do to break through this cycle is steady awareness. It takes nothing more then a shift of focus. When we can see the ego operating rather than the person (or our self) it’s easier to gain a little space from the ego and not take the manifestations of these egoic patterns personally. It can be an exercise in compassion and understanding. We realize that people themselves, (well, the essence of the person) aren't trying to wrong us or hurt us; it is just the ego operating in that person. All of a sudden, we are able to look at even our greatest enemies or the relationship that we struggle with deeply and see the ego creating the dysfunction. People don't create dysfunction. The out of control ego, housed within people creates dysfunction. The dysfunctions and disconnects that we experience with the people in our lives stem from ego and forgetting that we all share the same essence. This beautiful energy of the creator, or source, makes up the core of every human and everyone on the planet. The ego just makes us forget this essential truth.
As I walked through grand central this morning and into the subway for my trip to work, I really looked around. I really opened my eyes, asking myself to lead with my soul rather than the ego. It was a trip. As I walked with eyes wide open, I saw the ego on every face. I saw the ego on the businessman rushing, slamming into others, panic stricken, looking at his watch; obviously stressing and obsessing over being late. Why could he not see that there was no other possibility for the present moment? Why couldn’t he see that he was in the perfect place at the perfect time; late and all? I saw the stresses, anxiety, disconnect, drive, and irritation on 98% of the peoples faces as I walked through the terminal aware. How many of my fellow commuters were sharing my sentiment and thinking of the heart, of soul, of gratitude, of surrender? Any? I looked around and couldn't see a single person that seemed deeply happy or content. I looked long and hard searching for that spark in people's eyes and hearts, and I couldn't find it. I smiled at the people that uncomfortably, accidentally made eye contact with me and sent them real love from the depths of my being, recognizing that we are cut from the same cloth. I lovingly recognized the ego in the faces of my fellow commuters, and as a result brilliantly recognized the ego in myself.
Today, I set the intention to fall back into the arms of soul, rather than run through my day with the ego. When I started to feel unpleasant in any way, I asked myself; where was the ego? Where was my soul? Where was my relationship with God in that moment? When I felt stressed, rushed, and filled with anxiety, I stopped. I turned my attention back inward and remembered that this was just the ego distracting me. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in this world is impermanent, and therefore unstable and unreliable. The only thing that we can know to be permanent is the formless, the soul within all of us. And for me, this brings me tremendous peace. Why identify with the outer craziness, when complete contentment is mine at the calling?
How do you see the ego and how will you loosen its grasp? The ego always wants "something else." Satisfaction lies in the arms of the soul, never to be found or counted on in the external, ever-changing world. What would happen if we instead remembered the perfect peace that is always there within us?
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