The Trance of Ego,
For the past lifetime, I have watched my mind or ego trying to figure out life. According to our ego, this is the ego’s job; to figure out life. But life cannot be figured out, especially by the ego. Life will always be mysterious. Unfortunately for us, the ego or our mind really thinks that it can find the answers to life. This very function of the ego, keeps us spinning in circles, for lifetimes. If we honestly look at what the ego is trying to do; it is trying to figure out what Life is going to do next. It wants to know with certainty what is the safest plan, for its’ (our) survival. If left unexamined, we might find that the ego,will continue trying (indefinitely) to figure out life. But it never will and anyone who has sat for a long period of meditation know this.
This should be hilarious to most of us. If we have lived long enough, or happen to be really wise at a young age; we will know that our mind, our egos don’t know anything. I can think back to so many times when I thought that I had life totally figured out. And then life would come along and pull the carpet out from under me. If you have any question about this, just make a plan and see what happens. It can be really humbling to realize this for the first time that our egos don’t really have a clue. So it is good to have a very practical understanding of the dance of ego in our mind; the dance of insatiability or never ending searching and onto the next thing. Our mind is never satisfied; that is what keeps it moving. But also wired into the ego, is for us to forget this very realization; which in turn, keeps us held hostage in the trance.
That’s what the ego does. That is why we live in a trance, because even if we realize the ego has no idea about life, about which way to go, or what will happen next; the ego has us forget this so that we go back to the trance of ego. This is why so many of us wake up and go back to sleep, this is why we don’t become enlightened, because the ego soothes us back into trance, with the next promise of……whatever.
It is such a silly character, the mind, it wants us to follow the next thought and continue in its’ trance. If we did not our would stop and we may sit there in Samadhi and lose our jobs. This is an important point, that the ego pulls us back to its’ trance so that we continue to function in the world. Our ego thinks that it needs to be in complete control or somehow life will not go forward. What awakening helps us to realize is that there is a difference between being totally asleep at the wheel, to using the ego as an instrument, to being an instrument of God. These are three very different ways of being. Being asleep is a fully unconscious life. Being conscious means that we decide how to respond, despite our conditioned and habitual minds or we live outside of our conditioned minds. And being an instrument of God means we let go so deeply that the Divine moves through us; we have all had moments of this. But to live from this place all the time, would be a whole different kind of life.
The most fundamental and practical level most of us need to understand is being unconscious. We all know what being asleep at the wheel looks like. It looks like normal life. If someone drives slowly in front of us, we yell at them. If our boss blames us, we become angry at her. In normal everyday egoic consciousness, we are like a ping pong ball. Someone hits us and we go flying. This is why the world is the way it is. This is why we are still killing each other, because we are unconscious and the ego is in charge. Some of us spend our whole life in this state. Yet there is a way out of this state of unconsciousness and into a world where you are alive and awake to choose to create a different kind of life. The other choice is to stay unconscious and be at the mercy of the never ending spinning of your mind. So the invitation is to step out of our current mind state and into something that is big and open, clear and free, beyond our habitual minds; beyond who we think we are…..
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