Beyond Self-Image

Sometimes students will say to me: “I want to be a (gentle, strong, wise, happy, etc.) person.” Sometimes they say: “I want to be a person who (is looked up to, makes others laugh, is there for others, etc.).” These are all ego self-images, and they are all equally meaningless.

For a long time I struggled with how to see myself, and with how I was “supposed” to be as a spiritual person. Was I supposed to have strong boundaries with others, or was I supposed to be there for everyone? Was I supposed to be peaceful or fun-loving or serious? Was I supposed to be wise and distant, or goofy and friendly? My values, I realized, were all over the place. Sometimes I valued strength, other times vulnerability. Sometimes I valued detachment, other times closeness with others. Finally I would get so confused as to how I should be I’d ask the Holy Spirit and the answer was always: “It doesn’t matter. You’re not a person.” Of course I’d immediately feel relief that I didn’t have to make myself, and then strain to maintain what I made. But soon the ego would come thundering back and I’d start all over again. I was still way too attached to ego to just “be”, and not worry about my self-image. It bothered me that God didn’t care who I was as a person because I wanted ego to be my reality.

Then one day the awareness that God didn’t care brought more relief than grief. I was finally catching on that I am One with God, and that the ego is not me. I could be at peace and let the ego’s many shapes and forms roll across the surface of my mind. As a person I could be moody, happy, bitchy, gentle, cranky, kind - I could be completely inconsistent and it didn’t matter at all. And with my concern about how I should be went all concern with what “others” thought of me, or even what I thought of them. My detachment from ego in me brought me detachment from ego in all of its manifestations. I saw clearly that there’s only one ego even though it takes billions of forms.

The ego is nothing but self-image. There’s nothing behind it. To just “be” is meaningless to ego because there is nothing to just “be”. It’s all surfaces; it’s all shades and variations and choices to keep you too busy to “just be”. And in God just Being is all there is; there are no shades, no variations, nothing to choose, just Oneness. As always, the ego is the opposite of God in every way.


Thanks perfect
Tom said…
Could be that's whay we're called human beings and not human doings, eh? Just BE!
hannah said…
well, that is pure laugh out loud joy.. bloody hell that is good!

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