SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that safety is ego's single goal? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to hear your heart over ego's compelling stories? What practice helps you give yourself the gift of stepping into the present?
Dealing with my ego is a daily activity. I agree that it does fear the present. When we are fully present we are naked emotionally and spiritually. We have nothing to clothe ourselves with, not our past successes or failures nor our future hopes, anxieties and dreams. In the present we have the opportunity to be just ourselves and to truly accept and appreciate what is before us and within us. This confuses ego as it continually wants to take us elsewhere. The ability to meditate and just observe this phenomena is the beginning to better understanding and living alongside our ego. Little by little it's hold on us will diminish and our ability to be truly present will become easier and more enjoyable.
In my experience, Ego tries to keep me safe is the core of it's bamboozles. It tries to distract me from this here now which kept me alone with only Ego's thoughts - it is a self preservation machine that can only be uncovered with being present. Wonderful article!
I like the line that ego has a phobia about the present, and I agree. And I agree that ego's job is to keep us safe, though it often peddles an illusion of safety, steers us wrong, working to keep itself safe rather than do what is really best for us. Ego is the connection between unconscious and conscious, between instinct and reason. It can serve as a navigator in the world. The ego has some power, and power often corrupts. Just as power goes to some peoples' heads, the ego easily goes overboard with its own power and operates as though the person works for it rather than it works for the person. Ego often becomes out of control. There have been times that I have related from my heart, related simply, honestly, and openly, and ignored my ego's warnings that I'll look foolish or be embarrassed or be hurt, and such relating has been my happiest. For me, learning to be in the present began in psychotherapy and many psychotherapy related experiences, and now being in the present is its own reward. I've become more aware of the present and am quicker to go back to the present when I get away from it.[Hide Full Comment]
Carolyn Hobbs' writing resonates deeply with and within me. As I understand, each one of us has two identities: Ego Identity and True Identity. Our ego identity is developed in social contexts and social milieu sustained by identifying ourselves with ego identity and living in that socially conditioned bubble. Since all of us are born in a social nest, we all are impacted by our upbringing and social transactions. Such conditioning serves to some extent our practical functions of living. However, it restricts and limits our inherent capacity to develop and cultivate our true identity. Our true identity has its own authentic true voice not suppressed or muffled by the voice of the ego identity.
When we live and behave from the center of our true identity, we feel whole and wholesome, relating to ourselves and others genuinely, empathetically and compassionately. We become each other's brother keepers.It is a relationship in which join our heads, hearts and hands come together. We move from ego bound identity to transcendental true identity. We move from an unawakened and ignorant state to an awakened and enlightened state, from bondage to freedom, from darkness to light. We regain our childhood- a source of pure and joyful energy, seeing our face in other's face.We make wise choices and build and sustain our infra structure of loving kindness, brotherhood and sisterhood.
How do we make a shift from ego identity to true identity? All wisdom traditions have explored this ever present and universal challenge of humankind and have offered pathways to realize our true nature and be happy and blissful. Our challenge is to embrace the pathway that suits our personality and consistently practice it in our everyday living. Following such a path with mindfulness has been a blessing to me.It has helped me to live in the present more fully. When and if my mind goes away from the here and now consciousness, I become mindful of my wandering mind and get centered. With practice, it has been easier for me to walk on this mindfulness path. My daily transactions with a variety of people have become more genuine and compassionate. Now when I go back to "sleep", become unmindful, it does not take much time for me to wake up and be mindful. This is a lifelong journey and I am embracing it with hope, joy, and gratitude.
May we become each other's brothers and sisters' keepers and be grateful for receiving Divine blessings!
Jagdish P Dave'