There is a powerful biological drive within every living creature to remain alive. We have a deep inbuilt desire to live and to thrive, because this is the very nature of existence, the essence of being. It is awake, alive, dynamic, energised, and totally conscious.
Yet, what happens when human beings start to choose unconsciousness in various ways? They simply create their own demise, by resisting the flow of Life which is pulling them to return to a state of conscious wholeness, free of the illusion of separation, back to unbound consciousness.
Consciousness is not a finite “thing”. It is a limitless ocean of intelligence; it is infinite, it is all that exists, it is absolutely everywhere and it permeates everything. All that we see in this apparent world of separation is but a wave upon the ocean of consciousness. It appears to have a separate form, but when we explore more deeply, we find that everything is connected, because at the basis of everything is energy. From a tiny grain of sand to the enormous creatures that swim in the ocean. Energy is the substance of all creation, and quantum physics has proved this as fact.
And this is why human beings suffer.. They are an embodiment of an energy that is very alive and does not want to stagnate. It needs to flow, and also to grow in its intelligence. As human beings become more intelligent with their life choices, they choose things which encourage greater inner-harmony and balance, greater flexibility and fluidity, greater consciousness and awakeness, which leads us onwards in our journey towards reunion with the source of life, which is eternally alive, eternally conscious.
Therefore, to make the opposite kind of choices – choices which create dis-harmony and imbalance, stubbornness and stagnation, unconsciousness and sleepiness – is to invite suffering, illness and premature death upon ourselves. Yet this is what most of the world population is doing. Why?
Because of the ego.
As I mentioned at the beginning, our innate biological drive is to live. Our body wants to thrive in good health, to enjoy a sense of vibrant aliveness within every cell, to feel the joy of living. That is the capacity which every living creature has, and there is a strong momentum that pulls us towards experiencing this. It is the pull of Life, calling us to fulfil our potential, in a very simple, effortless and experiential way.
However, the ego wants something completely different, and thus conflict is created within the human being. The ego does not want to jump into the river of life and flow towards full consciousness (which is our destiny). The ego wants it’s own little warm pool, separate and cut off from the energetic and vibrant flow of Life. Thus, the ego chooses stagnation for us, even though we are often not aware that this is happening. But we feel it; as a lack of joy, a lack of energy, a lack of light in our perception of the world, and of ourselves.
Why does the ego choose this? Is it ‘evil’? No, it is not. It is simply afraid. The ego is simply a product of fear. What is it afraid of? It is afraid of being hurt, of experiencing pain and suffering (although ironically it the ego which actually creates such experiences for us.)
In its desire to avoid pain, the ego creates a barrier between us and life – the realm of thought – so that we have a filter through which the powerful force of Life must first go through before it reaches us – a bit like airport security – so that we can feel safe that life is not going to harm us. When we perceive there is no threat, only then do we open up to whatever is coming our way, because the ego is actually very innocent and simple. It’s only desire is to avoid pain (and to choose pleasure instead). It believes that if it doesn’t do this, it will not experience any goodness, any happiness, any pleasant experiences.
You see, the ego perceives Life as a threatening force. It doesn’t see that Life is actually a benevolent force, bringing positive experiences for us to grow in happiness, joy and love. It is blind to this. It sees that life brings mostly painful experiences, so in response, the ego wants to take control of the vehicle and choose what happens to us, choose what experiences we have, what people we meet and so on. It simply wants to choose safety, so that we can feel secure. In truth, the ego just wants to protect us, but in reality it prevents us from feeling the deep joy and happiness that only come from opening up our heart to the experience of being alive.
Yet the ego believes that if we open up to life, pain is inevitable. Why does it believe this? It comes from our childhood. Children are naturally open hearted, innocent and vulnerable. They feel life’s joy and wonder unfiltered. But at some point, they are hurt by the harsher energies that come from the people they love and trust most; their parents. The very first time a young child gets shouted at or scolded by their parent, it is very shocking and painful for them. They burst into tears and the heart instinctively contracts. They are not used to the fiery energy of anger that comes from adults, and it is strong. So every time it comes, the foundations of the protective ego are built up more and more, because the child wants to protect itself from feeling pain. And strong adult emotions are painful and scary for them, like being subjected to a huge tidal wave. Children are deeply sensitive creatures (as adults are at heart), yet we forget this.
The stresses of adult life build up within people daily, and the demanding nature of parenthood stretches them even further, and they lose our patience and tolerance with the ones they care about most. So the child learns to keep a protective barrier around itself, so they can feel safe. The ego comes into play. The child starts to think: “If I behave like this, I am less likely to get shouted at” and they start to control their behaviour. They begin thinking about everything they do, monitoring the likelihood of it leading to good feelings, or bad feelings. Adults do exactly the same. This is the ego choosing its reality, and it is motivated by a fear of pain.
But what happens in our life if the ego is not choosing what we experience? What if the mind is not in control of the steering wheel, but the heart is instead? This is where the word ‘courage’ comes from (‘cour’ being French for ‘heart’). Because it does take courage to allow the heart to be in control of your life, when the mind is telling you a thousand reasons why this is a dangerous thing to do.
But I assure you, it is not dangerous to give the heart control. It is very important we do so. Why? Because the heart is attuned to something that we cannot be aware of through our mind. It is the guiding force of Love, which flows through Life like water flows through a river. It is conscious, it is intelligent and it knows where it is taking us.
From the mind’s perspective, it can sometimes be hard to see that life is bringing us exactly what we need, and leading us in the direction we need to go. But when we come back to our heart and look around us from this perspective, everything makes much more sense. We see that Life is calling us to be courageous, to open up our heart and to experience the depth of Love which is available to us at all times. For this to happen, we need to move away from the fearfulness of the ego, with it’s anxious and doubting thoughts, and once more discover the place of trust and security within our heart.
It is a choice, to be made over and over and over again. Each time we make the choice to trust, our heart becomes stronger, and we restore our faith in something that has been with us since before we can remember. A force of Love, which gives, protects and cares for us deeply. To experience this consciously, we need only to be courageous enough to relax our heart just a little more every day. The reward for doing so is fulfilment on the deepest level of our being. Reunion with Love, peace in our heart, and peace in our soul,