What is the Ego?
Our special theme says:
The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God … of sorrow and of suffering … of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack… the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws, and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails… crucifixion of the Son of God is offered daily at its darkened shrine, and blood must flow before the altar where its sickly followers prepare to die.
Yet will one lily of forgiveness change the darkness into light; the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself. And peace will be restored forever…
The path of awakening is a passage through all that is not true in order to arrive at the destination of truth. As Sister Bernadette so eloquently put it:
I had learned long ago that the essence of life’s movement was not contentment or security; rather it was growth, change, and challenge, wherein the external circumstances of life merely reflected the needs of each moment in the thrust of life’s flow. … We never know the time or place where our destiny will catch up with us…”
In other words, we have to face the darkness if we want to reach the light, but we are not in charge of when, where or how our opportunities to face the darkness will come.
A lot of false believing has occurred, and a lot of it is much darker than our imagination would like to believe. We will face harsh hatred that is directed both outward and inward, deep—seemingly bottomless—guilt, stark terror, and even what feels like the edge of insanity. We will face everything imagined so we may see that it was only imagination and never, ever, anything more than that. All of this imagination is part of the ego.
The way to face the darkness when it comes is to keep one eye on unaffected presence. It would be good if one could keep both eyes on that presence, and maybe some have been successful in doing so, but I have always experienced some split in eyesight when going through extreme darkness. Part of me is watching the passing darkness and part of me is aware of the silent, present unaffected Self.
One thing that is interesting about the unaffected Self during great trials of darkness is that it isn’t doing anything. It isn’t like the hero in the movies who dives in at the last moment with a shiny sword to battle the darkness and win the fight. The unaffected Self does nothing. It stays out of the fight. It doesn’t participate. It’s simply present, being itself, as it always is.
This may not seem like much of a hero from the ego’s point of view, but this uninvolved, silent presence that is way in the back of our awareness is our savior, and all we have to do to let it save us is keep one eye, or at least a portion of an eye, on it as the darkness comes and passes through.
We may experience some of our purification in meditation. Maybe if we were like Buddha and we did nothing but meditate, we would experience all of our purification through meditation. However, since most of us are not destined to 12 hours of meditation per day for years on end, some of our darkness will arise in the throes of everyday life, which means we need to learn to keep an eye on the unaffected Self in the midst of moving about in what at times may seem to be a very dark world.
Keeping one eye, or at least a portion of one eye, on the unaffected Self is the “one lily of forgiveness” that changes “the darkness into light; the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself.”
I will receive whatever I request.
We think we want joy, but what we don’t always see is that we want a shortcut to joy, which is false joy. If we don’t walk through the darkness, we don’t get to the light.
This is why we need to investigate deeply to discover what we really want. Do we want true and everlasting joy, and are we willing to walk the journey that one must walk to that final reward, or do we prefer to piddle around in a pale comparison and call it joy, because we are afraid of the journey?
“Everyone will receive what he requests.”
What do I truly want?
Am I ready and trusting?
We are ready to the degree that we trust. If we need more time to build more trust, it will be given naturally. We do not have to hold back in fear. We can move forward with whatever little trust we have. The process knows how to lead us forward; it knows what we need and it will give that.
Here are two quotes to contemplate today:
The purpose of these verses is to again assure you that there is nothing to fear. The four angels who are holding back the winds represent the holding back of the end of perception. The end of perception is held back…it does not come to you to be looked at and let go…until you are ready and call it forth in your mind. ~ NTI Revelation, Chapter 7
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~ Jesus at Matthew 7:7-11