Friday, May 25, 2007

How the Ego Blocks the Divine Mind


Enlightened people call the usual human identity the "ego." When a person says, "I am Mary Smith," she is identifying her social and recognized human self, her ego. The ego is the person (identity) that we have always thought ourselves to be; it is the name on your birth-certificate and driver's license. It is whom everyone, including parents, assumes you to be.

But spiritual tradition has always held that we have a "secret identity." This identity is not conscious, but is hidden deeply within the Unconscious.

This secret identity is based on the spiritual premise that "our" minds are all part of a greater Mind-- a Mind that is a galaxy of infinite Love, joy, beauty, wisdom, and truth. Deep down, these traditions hold, we all "grow out of" this great shared Mind, as a thousand million flowers all grow out of the single earth. This beautiful and magnificent shared Mind, you might have guessed, is the "Mind of God."

What Jesus said about Himself, then, applies to all of us. For He said, "The Father [God] and I are one." (Jn. 10:30) Deep within the Unconscious, we are all in touch with a vast Mind that is pure Love. (This is called "Lovemind," "Coremind," or, "Godmind.")

The ultimate goal of enlightenment is to fuse, meld, merge, unify, or unite with this Mind of pure Love. This is the highest human act of worship. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the attempt to "become one" with this perfect Mind is the sincerest form of Love for God.

For to see God as a part of one's own mind is to have a transformative effect. This God cannot be "distant," or "gone," relative to His/Her human children. For, by definition, wherever they go, He is.

The spiritual tradition teaches that this entire world is the dream, or "virtual reality," created by this one Mind. So, this God is everywhere, and within all hearts, and within all things. For just as when you dream of a blue ball and a red wagon, you are "in" the ball and the wagon, for they are part of your dream (and thus, of your mind), so, in an analogous way, God "indwells" all creation. This makes the entire world beautiful, and sacred.

When you identify strongly with the ego, or lower human nature, you are in essence denying the higher nature, the indwelling Holy Spirit. You are turning away from your own higher nature, your Love-nature, and identifying with the time-bound, terribly limited, and merely human, identity. People who make a career out of their egos, who spend all their time trying to inflate them, to get attention, praise, notice, accolade, approbation, and "strokes" for their ego are denying their deep interior higher Self, the God-Self. So, people in our society, whose goal is almost always to inflate, and gain attention for, the ego, are sabotaging their deepest spiritual plans. For the ultimate reason that we incarnate on earth is to overcome the illusion that we are merely animal-bodies and merely egominds. We come here to vanquish, overcome, and conquer ego-dominance and also ego-identification ("I am only Mary Smith").

The Scriptures make it clear that Jesus was not a freak, but a "model...for you to follow his footsteps closely." If Jesus was a model, this means that he was not a different species than are we. He truly was, asthe old formula said, "true God and true man." He had become a full incarnation, not of "another person," but of Love. He had fully "traded in" his old human identity for the realization, "I am a temporary incarnation of the principle of Love."

To become Love incarnate, we must fully de-identify with the ego. Mary Smith must say, "I am not only Mary Smith, although that is a small part of my mind. For I am also a vessel for the Holy Spirit of Love." Gradually, with the passage of time, and with the continued consistent practice of humility, Mary Smith's ego begins to disappear into her fuller identification with God (Love). This is the final and ultimate destiny of all living beings, to fulfill the words of Paul, writing about a time when "God will be all in all."

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