Remembering Who You Are
This week, people observe Remembrance Day. I share here some words I originally wrote two years ago:
As we move towards Remembrance Day, we are invited to remember the painful choices we have made culturally that have caused the horrors of war. We each carry within the seeds of hate and revenge. Whether or not we choose to fertilize those seeds is entirely up to each one of us. Peace in our world is built upon individual inner peace. And inner peace arises from our natural connection to our true, divine self, which is rooted in a sacred relationship with the Earth.
This Remembrance Day, contemplate how you invite peace into your life in even the smallest of things: offering your seat to someone on the bus; choosing not to react when someone pushes your buttons; courageously following your deepest joys… Peace is a choice based on remembering your true nature. You are a divine child of the Earth. We are all connected as One Earth Family.
THE EGO AND ENLIGHTENMENT
I would also like to take a moment here to acknowledge a comment I received when I shared Parvati Magazine in a Facebook group recently, and share my thoughts in response.
“Dear Parvati, I love how you’ve written about Consciousness here, and the state of spaciousness with and without. I also see the Ego as an important part of us that helps us navigate ourselves in our 3D world. The task that I find at hand, is matching the personality to the essence, so that the ego, while not fully dissolved, has its right place in the way of functioning, serving Creation in the best possible way.”
I believe the comment was in response to the “Enlightenment – Illuminated Understanding” article I wrote for November’s issue of Parvati Magazine. If you have not read it, make sure you do. In it, I encourage us all to experience the dissolve of our ego, which is the source of suffering.
I use the word “ego” to refer to our individual identity that perceives itself as being separate from the whole. There is nothing “wrong” with this perception. It simply is not correct, because it is based on a misunderstanding of reality, or more succinctly, an illusion. Living within this illusionary state is part of the human experience at this time. Yet, so is the call to awaken from it.
The part of us that is invested in the ego would like us to believe that there is value in having it stick around. I fully understand why the comment shared arose for this reader because I have seen the same thoughts arise in my meditation practice. As my mind becomes quiet and the grip of my ego lessens, thoughts arise that make me reach back and grab onto the ego. It is like the ego has a built-in self-protective device. But in order to experience what is beyond its limited perception, we need to find the stillness and the courage to keep going in our practice and even at times, challenge the truth within these thoughts.
For me, I have heard thoughts arise such as, “Who am I without “me”?” or “What would I be if I were sheer space?” or “How could I get anything done if I were always in a oneness state? I would just be a blob!” or “Without an ego, I would be paralyzed, even die!”
From the ego’s perspective, all these thoughts are true. When the ego dissolves, it is a death. The ego no longer exists in our consciousness. But because it is unable to see beyond its own existence, what the ego does not mention is that in its death, we are given the most powerful rebirth. We join with a force much greater than our ego: the force of life itself.
From my experience, the ego only exists because it sees itself as separate from life force. So when that illusion dissolves, we return to the experience of unity. In that process, we gain even greater access to interconnection, which ensures not only our survival, but our thriving.
I experienced this first hand while I was recovering from a severe spinal injury. I had damaged my spinal cord and was fully paralyzed and bedridden for four months. Doctors told me I would have to have surgery if I hoped to walk again, but something within me told me otherwise.
As I went within to listen to the healing rhythms of nature, friends would tell me that I needed to “want” to walk again, to visualize such, in order to manifest that reality. But this popular New Age approach to life was dissonant with what my inner voice was telling me.
I had to find a place of complete equanimity with walking or not, as an expression of perfect balance within a sacred whole. I was one with the universe and just like a child whose mother never neglects her, I would be fully guided into the next moment, if I was willing to enter into a state of absolute trust.
I knew that if I visualized a specific result, I would be imposing an idea upon the moment, rather than receiving it as it was. I would be wanting to change where I was in that moment. There was nothing passive in this, as it was a fully conscious choice to move beyond what my limited mind, or ego, could see.
In a fully surrendered state of trust and acceptance, I opened to utter possibility. Soon, I felt as though I was simply presence within a huge whole, unbound and unconfined. Only my thoughts would hold matter into the shapes I would experience as reality – and these would create the trajectory of my life. If I was willing to have no thoughts, and receive the moment as it was, the force of nature and the consciousness there within would move through me and bring my being into alignment with my highest good, and the good of all. I knew that healing only existed in the absolute state of trust of being in this perfect, harmonious interconnection and unity. The Will of the Divine was not separate from my own.
We tend to think that we have to make life happen. Our ego vocalizes at times when we are close to a breakthrough, to pull us back from entering into a new relationship with reality. It makes us believe that we need it to survive. But the opposite is true. It holds us back.
To see how true this is, all you really have to do is to look around. Look at the trees, the flowers, the animals, how they exist within the rhythm of nature. They have no ego, yet they are completely and perfectly interconnected with the power of evolution, fuelled by life-force energy. We too are within this force, but we think we are not.
We don’t turn to mush when our ego dissolves. We realize our true birthright and fulfill our destiny. We gain access to the wealth of the universe, rather than striving to amass our own personal stash.
I think here of egoless spiritual masters, such as Amma. (She is currently touring Europe and will be in North America in just a couple of weeks.) She has no sense of “me”, to the point that she only refers to herself in the third person! There is no “I” with which to interact. But in her presence, there is such power, such love, such rich consciousness. And look at the huge amount of good she does in the world. Because she is egoless, she manifests more than anyone who has an ego ever could.
May we be inspired by such greatness of absence of ego and allow ourselves to let go of the need to feel we need to control any thing at all. May we know with certitude that the universe’s life-force energy is the source of lasting fulfillment and true joy.
Until next time,
Love our world.
We are ONE Earth family.