It cannot be true, it was still allowed yesterday. Where is this going? Gone is my holiday. It will take months, I am sure about that. Why can’t I touch you. We don’t deserve this. I am angry. I can not take it anymore. I’m right, but no one sees that. The politicians are all criminals, focussed on their own interest. We are gradually living in a police state. It drives me crazy.
Our ego is talking here. The ego likes drama, being dissatisfied, feeling unhappy, blaming others and complaining. If we let ourselves be guided by our ego, we live in the illusion of the past (everything was better yesterday) or the future (where is this going?). The past nor the future have anything to do with reality (I will write more about that sometime), with the now, the present. When we live in the now, our ego no longer plays a role. ‘It is as it is,’ we then say. ‘How could it be any different than it is?’ , we then conclude. If we are aware, living consciously, we see the possibilities of any situation, not the obstacle. We accept what is and by doing so we silence our ego.
I am the last one to say that this is easy. I have been struggling in recent days with the hypocrisy and unethical behaviour of our government, regarding the ban on cigarette sales.
Especially because of the minister’s conflict of interest with criminals who make millions with illegal cigarette trade. Such people are in charge and can determine whether or not you light a cigarette, after all, they are our government, it makes you go ballistic.
‘Yes,’ our ego whispers, ‘go ahead’.
But then you may suddenly realise that these people and many politicians with them are not aware, they are living in the illusion of power and an even richer future for themselves. You ponder on what Jesus said on the cross: Forgive them Father for they know not what they do. He was referring here to his accusers, the high priests, the Pharisees and the people.
Nothing has changed. It is an excellent example of how the ego takes over and we thereby completely loose sight of reality.
In the case of Jesus it is the so called collective ego we are dealing with. The crowd follows the leaders without thinking for themselves. The ones who shout the loudest get the votes. ‘They know what’s best for us’, is what people think if at all.
The collective ego of countries on a bigger scale, as another example, creates the completely meaningless wars (we are right, we will fight and destroy them).
Back to the moment when you realise that this means there is no presence of awareness. You meditate or you just sit still and look around you. A smile appears on your face. You anchor yourself, you become aware, you are completely in the now, far away from all the distractions around you. You reach your essence, you realise that you are free, that nothing or no one can control you or do you any harm, because your essence is intangible and untouchable. (thanks to Loraine for this last realisation).
Another example of an ego playing up is when people rage on Twitter at someone they’ve never met, but whose opinion they don’t share. Foul language all over the place. These people are furious and far from conscious, totally captivated by the illusion that the world will be a better place if everyone acknowledges that they are right and the other is wrong. Or maybe they lack attention in real life and try to get that in the virtual world? Whatever the case, they are not in the now, but in the illusion of the future (you have to listen to me, only then I feel better).
Who are we? A question which we may think about more now than in normal circumstances. Our ego knows how to answer this and eagerly gives us a few options. ‘I am so and so and have a good profitable company,’ it says. ‘I’m a good mother,’ ‘I look good,’ ‘Look what a beautiful car I have,’ or ‘I did very well at university.’ All appearances with which we identify ourselves, but which have nothing to do with our essence, with who we really are. What we find important when we are not living consciously. When we are aware, aware of our essence and therefore living in the now, we immediately notice how different we feel. We can more easily be at peace with ourselves and with what is going on, there is calm and no more fighting.
So, the right answer to the question is awareness. Aware of being aware. We have a body and a brain in which that endless flow of thoughts arises, but we are consciousness.
Scientists are still not sure where to find that in the body. No wonder. It’s nowhere, we are that. And in that consciousness we are all one. Maybe more about that in another blog.
After we have been disappointed many, many times we may finally realise that our ego does not help us, on the contrary, but also that it is still a long way towards awareness. So you actually could say that our ego does help in a sense, it keeps shaking us until we wake up and become aware.
You often hear that prisoners get a better understanding of who they are after being locked up for a long time, that their awareness is activated and that they therefore become a different, better person.
As humanity, we have suddenly become prisoners.
Let’s be still, reflect and thank our ego for the good service, but let’s say farewell to it. Perhaps a better humanity will emerge, a humanity which lives from the heart.
I conclude with the wise words of Mooji, a spiritual teacher, to whom I often listen:
‘All over the world there are problems. Everyone has a problem. But I tell you this; there is only one problem and it is caused by ego. Ego is the one source of all problems. It’s a form of ignorance. It’s just a distraction that prevents you from discovering who you really are. ‘