There is a force guiding everything in your life, and this force is always communicating with you and attempting to direct and help you. But often we do not hear it, or perhaps we wilfully choose to ignore its subtle guidance. Why? Because there is another voice – a more forceful and alluring voice – drawing our attention. It is the voice of the ego, which speaks to us through the thoughts in our mind. It appears to want to help us, protect us and provide for us also, but it is a voice of deception which can only offer false hope and false promises. And it is totally incapable of bring us the fulfilment that we all deeply need.
When you get to the very root of it, the ego simply wants to be in control of how we think and feel. It is essentially a control mechanism, based on fear, and it uses fearful and divisive thoughts to manipulate and influence us. You can clearly see the collective ego operating on a global scale now, via the realm of politics and the media. It’s all about threat and danger. Yet most of the threat is manufactured by the ego so it can persuade us that we need its help to feel safe and protected. This is the grand illusion of the ego and how it maintains its hold upon us.
The ego is perpetually insecure, because it knows it is built on lies and is always in danger of being found out if we scrutinise it very carefully. This is why it is continuously trying to misdirect our attention, absolutely all of the time. It does not want to be seen for what it truly is: a fabrication of untruths.
So, to be free, this is what we must do: scrutinise the ego with the magnifying glass of our attention, and see through all of its lies. Once we see the complete untruth of the very fabric of the ego, we will laugh at the fact that we ever believed it’s lies; that we ever believed we were threatened when in truth we are divinely protected. And we will see what is really true with our own eyes. We will not have to believe anyone else. We will perceive the divine spiritual truth for ourselves.
So what is the nature of the lies our ego tells us? How can we tell when we are believing it? It’s quite simple. When we are listening to the ego, we feel the need to be in control. We feel the need to manipulate the circumstances (and sometimes the people) around us, to make them work in our favour. We also feel any range of negative emotions, but mainly fear, anxiety, stress, insecurity, hostility, anger or irritation. In our mind, we will be judging, seeing a negative outlook, seeing the problems, criticising how things are and the people around us. There will generally be a mood of negativity or hostility within us and around us.
However, when the ego is not manipulating us with its fear and hostility-based thoughts, we will feel happy, at peace, calm, positive, open, generous, friendly, trusting, optimistic, joyful, humorous or any other positive state of being in our heart. Notice that your heart is more in charge when your ego is not. This is how things work. Either the ego is in control of how you feel, or your heart is.
Our ego continually tries to be in control and manipulate how we feel, because it wants to take the place of our heart, and take the place of God, to make us rely upon it. So it will tell us to DO things that will make us feel temporarily happy, temporarily peaceful and so on. But it will NEVER tell us to turn away from itself, to ignore what it is saying, transcend our thinking mind and immerse ourself in the truth of our heart.
It wants to persuade us that we don’t need our heart, that we don’t need spiritual truth, because we have the truth which it is giving us, which is conceptual, mental, thought based and totally disconnected from divinity. It wants to be our provider of truth, it wants to be our God, it wants us to believe every word it says and take it as gospel.
The ego is arrogant, aggressive, limited, controlling, manipulative and self-righteous, and if we listen to it we simply exhibit these qualities in our character. We will see them manifesting in our thoughts, words and behaviour. This is a good way to tell what part of our being we are listening to.
Our heart however is humble, gentle, flexible, open and allows freedom. It does not want to control. It wants to give love, to care, to help. It is not concerned about being judged, or even about being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It is concerned with being a source of loving warmth and generosity, and being of service to people. The desire to be of service is a sign of genuine humility, because the ego does not want to serve anyone. It will make us a slave to many, but it does not want to serve. It always wants control because it is always insecure, and seeks to generate security in any way it can; primarily with ego-boosting thoughts and by playing ego-games in its communications with others, but also through material means, such as accumulating money, possessions, social status and by building walls around itself – both figuratively and physically.
If we look at ourselves, our life and assess where we derive our security from and what we want from our interactions with others, we can see whether our heart or our ego is more in control. In any interaction with another human being we can witness what part of us is more dominant. Are we trying to get something? Is our ego trying to prove itself, to battle, to dominate, to manipulate the other person in some way, even just to fortify itself in the process? Or are we aiming to give, to show we care, to help, to listen, to love?
We all share the same fundamental core desires in our heart. (Fundamental literally means “deeper than our mind”). These are: the desire for security, the desire for peace, the desire to feel loved, the desire to give love, the desire for purpose, the desire to be of service and the desire to be at one with something greater than our individual self.
Our ego hijacks these fundamental needs and attempts to meet them in its attempt to ‘play God’ in our life. It attempts to make us feel secure with its ego thoughts (e.g. I am better, I am in control, I have power, I am attractive etc) and with the fulfilment of material desires and needs, which are never satiated. It attempts to bring us peace in the same way, and by encouraging us to rely on external substances, such as food, drugs and any other source of pacification, and distraction like television and so on.
It attempts to make us feel loved by encouraging dependency on the love and approval of others – even our own children. And we can also see that our need to give love is often mixed up with the giving of material things: objects, possessions, money, even empty (and often manipulate) words and compliments.
It attempts to give us a sense of purpose by giving us something to achieve in the temporal realm: a task, a goal, an objective, an ambition etc… It cannot let us perceive that our purpose could be infinitely greater than temporal achievement, because it wants our attention to be trapped in the temporal dimension, rather than exploring freely the spiritual dimension.
It attempts to make us feel like we are being of service by making us a slave. We can be a slave to many things, but ultimately it is to the desires, needs and compulsions of our own insecure ego. We serve our ego by chasing what it tells us to pursue, and like a cruel slave-master it spends our energy, exhausts us, uses us, feeds of us, and heartlessly lets us suffer in spiritual darkness. But it has convinced us all that we need it, that we must rely on it, that only it can make us feel secure and safe. The ego is an extremely deceptive and heartless slave-master for sure. And the bottom line is this: if we listen to its thoughts, and follow the mental path they lead us along, we will only increase our sense of division, hostility, fear, isolation and insecurity. This is the guaranteed consequence of engaging with what the ego is telling us, so it is extremely wise to be aware of when it is active in our mind.
If we are mentally blaming someone (including ourselves), judging someone, criticising them or having any remotely hostile thoughts about another person, we can be sure the ego is active. This is when we should decide to ignore every word and every thought, and come back to our centre, to our self, to our breath and to our heart. Back to our experience of the present moment, and out of our thoughts.
The same needs to be done when we our thoughts are making us feel afraid, worried, anxious, pessimistic or negative in any way. The ego is taking us into its dark reality of negativity, fear and doom, and making us blind to the spiritual truth; a higher truth which transcends all of this mental illusion. A realm where there are no shadows, fears or threats. A realm of light and peace.
And finally, pertaining to our awareness of this higher realm, the ego attempts to meet our deep need to be one with something greater than ourselves by making us desire to belong to a group ideology; a mental belief system that unites us with others. It could be religious belief system, it could be a political one, a scientific one, or something else. It doesn’t matter. What we need to realise is that because we all share different beliefs, such things can never truly unite us in the way that we need to be.
The only way we can feel a sense of oneness with our human family is through our heart, because love is the divine thread that joins us all. And in love is where we experience our unity with that spiritual force which is far, far greater than us all. Some call is God, some call it ‘the Universe’, some call it the Source or Great Spirit. And of course many do not even believe that such a force exists. If you are one of those people, I can assure you that it does. I cannot prove it to you, but I can tell you that 23 years of meditation, healing, fasting, cleansing, and physical and emotional detoxification, has taught me that there is always so much more to be revealed to us than we are currently aware of. We never know it all, and this is the essence of humility – assuming that there is more for us to learn, to perceive, to realise. There is more that needs to heal within our heart, there are finer aspects of control and insecurity that we need to let go of. There is still room for us to grow as a person; our character can evolve and be filled with more love, generosity and selfless desires.
In humility, all of these things can happen, because we are open and receptive to learn and grow. We can open our eyes to greater (i.e. spiritual) truth that we may have previously believed was not possible. All good things can occur when we are humble. Gratitude is more present in our heart, and we are a more agreeable and less hostile person.
The truth is, you are a truly amazing blessing to this world. Your ego may have persuaded you that you are just another person, another one in seven billion that doesn’t really have a purpose, doesn’t really have any significance on this planet. But the truth is that you are extremely important. I am not speaking to your ego here, but to your heart, which has a divine purpose to make a great difference to lives of hundreds, thousands or perhaps even millions of people. We have no idea of who we could become if we just listened to our heart. The love, care and compassion in your heart is the most precious commodity on the planet at this time, and it is needed by so many people. Even if you see yourself as one of those people in need, you still have something deeply valuable to offer to those who are in greater suffering, experiencing greater hardship or pain than yourself. Our suffering brings us wisdom, and this could be seen as it’s greatest purpose.
You are here to love others, to care for others and show them how miraculous the human heart is, when it loves. All you need to do is care. A few generous words or gestures can touch people and restore their faith in humanity. Some people are teetering on the edge and losing hope, and it maybe someone you have a conversation with today. People tend to hide what’s going on inside of them, so it is wise to give all the warmth, compassion and positive energy you can in every interaction. Talk to people, even strangers. Listen to them, hear what’s on their heart.
The ego is preoccupied with sharing its own opinions, and making people listen to what it has to say, but the heart spends more time listening. And just to be heard when you are in a place of suffering is more healing than we can understand. Generally, people don’t need more information, they need to be listened to, heard and unburdened from all the thoughts and emotions which seem to be suffocating them. When we share our feelings, our heart is lightened and unburdened, and no knowledge or expertise is needed to just listen to someone. We just need to give our attention. This is our very most precious commodity, and we should give it freely and generously to those who are in need, those who are suffering. This is the heart in action, and it is a deeply beautiful and fulfilling process to take part in.
We have to remember how gentle, how forgiving, how caring and tender our heart is, and do our best to relate others from there. This is what mercy is. It doesn’t seek to punish or teach people lessons like the harsh ego does. It seeks to heal through loving. Yes, it takes practice to not get caught in the ego’s drama and reactivity, but that’s what each day is for. A new day, a new opportunity to grow, to become more forgiving and more loving, to ourself and to others. In fact, each new moment offers us this opportunity. We are of course all making ‘mistakes’ and will continue to do so, but if we bring in the elements of humility and forgiveness, we needn’t punish or berate ourselves for them. We learn to love and forgive ourselves instead, and we heal in the process. And when we stop punishing and criticising ourselves, we will stop doing it to others also. Look at yourself through forgiving and compassionate eyes, because the child you once were is still in your heart, looking for security, happiness and freedom. Be gentle with that child, because it needs healing, not punishment. We all need healing, and that is the only way we can evolve, individually and collectively.
We are now required to evolve beyond the fearful, harsh and controlling ego, and let our heart take the steering wheel. The collective ego is reaching its expiry date, and is undergoing its final death throes. It is desperately trying to cling on to the human mind like a parasite which is losing its grip, and this is why so much fear is flooding into the collective human mind, specifically through the media. The media is now like a pure vessel for the ego’s negative communications. There is very little love or inspiration present. It is dividing people, scaring people, making them anxious and angry. This is the ego’s speciality, as this is how it gets its food from us. Quite simply, it feeds on negative emotions. The ego loves feasting on human hostility, hatred, terror, fear and hopelessness.
So if we want to feed our heart, (simultaneously weakening the ego’s grip upon us) we need to stop feeding our ego with fear, negativity, anger and drama. We can all live without our entertainment screens very easily, if we can just deal with our addiction to them. The antidote is to spend more time in nature, more time being creative, more time communicating with people rather than just consuming information. Communication and community gives us an enormous amount of strength, and we sacrifice it to our great detriment. It feeds our heart and helps us deal with our challenges, because we are not an isolated island, separate from everyone else. We are a cell in the body of humanity, and we need to interact and allow energy to flow between us and others.
The human organism has a serious disease, and that disease is fear, manufactured by the ego purely for its own benefit. As a cell in the human organism, we can help ourselves heal from this illness by disconnecting from the source of the sickness (our ego) and all of its external manifestations (e.g. the worldwide media). We can easily allow love and strength to return to our heart, if we make the right choices – choices which we know are beneficial for ourselves. Choices that are in harmony with nature, that create peace in our heart and health in our body. This requires discipline of course, and this is something so many of us need to learn and practice. But we can do it, and when we’ve truly had enough of making choices that do not benefit our wellbeing, it is much, much easier!
But we must remember that we are not healing alone. We have each other for support and strength. We are all undergoing the same process. When we feel weak, we can reach out to someone whom we know cares about us, who wants to lift us up, or even just be a compassionate ear. We can communicate and share our heart, our emotions and our worries with our friends, and feel the benefit of the compassion and empathy of others. This is why I believe friendship is the most valuable commodity we all have in life. It is precious and deeply valuable beyond measure.
And most importantly, we must also remember that we have spiritual support available to us in each and every moment. The divine force of love, which you could also call God, will always bring peace and healing to our mind and heart if we turn to it in humility. When we are willing to admit we need spiritual help, we can receive it in our heart, just by asking for it.
We get so used to controlling everything in life, that it can be extremely frustrating when we cannot control something which we see is having a detrimental effect, like someone else’s behaviour or thoughts about us. This is when we most need to let go, and trust that it is in God’s hands. We do not need to control everything, we need to trust. Trust is the antidote to control, because we only want to control things because we don’t trust they will work out if we leave them alone. Trust untangles us from the ego’s web of fear and insecurity, and sets us free in such a profound way. There is no substitute for it.
Letting go means trusting. And letting go means that we stop trying to control everything. This is impossible for the ego to do, because its whole purpose is to be in control. But the heart is different. The heart loves to let go and trust, because this is how it experiences its freedom, this is how it soars above the mundane drama of our mind. We have to trust that if we open the wings of our heart, the spiritual currents of love will carry us to exactly where we need to go. Because they will, I promise you.
Shine like the Sun
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