Huh? Why isn’t our ego on “our” side? Does it have a different agenda? Does our ego just want to win, seek revenge, demand fairness, administer justice, retaliate, acquire, be right, hold on to resentment and fear, and push us toward other things we have gone after in the past (distraction, avoidance, and habit)?
What is our ego missing? What’s wrong with this thing we’ve depended on so long to run our lives? Oh. Maybe it’s suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. We know what Shakespeare meant by taking “arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.” He meant that "ending our troubles" means death. Maybe not suicide, but death of a different sort: death of our desires for what we “want.”If we could stay on that paradoxical, and intimidating thing called death for a moment. There's another way to look at it. When Hamlet says, "To be, or not to be," I wonder if he could be talking about another idea we touched on tonight. The idea of "doing" versus "being." To "not be" is perhaps denying who we really are at our deepest, most genuine level. Not being the real us is easier in the short term, but deadly over time. Our psyche will only put up with it for so long; then, here come the symptoms. Being, not doing. It's a decision we make every day; whether to just go around living, or to live. There is a difference, right? "Doing" is something out ego does, "being" is the soul's realm.
So, knowing all that, is enlightenment really what we need? Well, we have to consider the price. And that’s what we did in our Wednesday discussion. By embracing the paradoxes of our existence; by challenging our identities as sufferers of maladies and instead considering ourselves spiritual beings on an arduous journey toward Selfhood, we need courage. And together, we can feel a lot braver.
Next week: "Flow!"