A while ago I posted a passage from Lao-Tzu’s Hua Hu Ching:
“The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle: Totally fascinated by the realm of the senses, it swings from one desire to the next, one conflict to the next, one self-centered idea to the next. If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life.
“Let this monkey go. Let the senses go. Let desires go. Let conflicts go. Let ideas go. Let the fiction of life and death go. Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.” (1)
Were we to follow his advice we’d probably “touch ultimate emptiness,” as he phrased it in the Tao Teh Ching. (2) That ultimate emptiness of the Void is full of love, bliss and joy. Not empty at all really.
But void of anything resembling a separate self.
Or perhaps I should say separate selves because, at each level of density, we seem to encounter yet another “self.” In Third Dimensionality we encounter the ego. “Ego” is simply the Latin word for “I.” The ego is one of our many “I’s.” Its function is to keep us safe, to help us survive. In higher dimensions, we encounter one higher version of Self after another, including the No-Self of the Universal Subject, the One.
Lao Tzu tells us that if we threaten the ego, it fears for its life. Yes, and only the knowledge of the Self beyond the ego can keep a person from going off balance and retreating into fear when its life seems threatened.
The ego has no spiritual depth perception and so has to be asked to step down from the driver’s seat to allow another level of the One Self to drive. Then that level is surpassed or transcended as we rise up through another dimensional frequency and another.
Kathleen, who travels the path of love, made another suggestion the other day: “Make the ego your amigo,” she told me, in one of those felicitous phrases you wish you had said yourself!
On the path of love, we love everyone and everything, equally and unconditionally. I’d imagine that the ego, loved, would agree to almost anything, even stepping down. Love is beyond and more powerful than the ego.
Lao Tzu travels the path of awareness, as I do. There one just observes the ego without identifying with it. In Third Dimensionality, identification is the equivalent of donning the whole costume and speaking the lines. We’re consciousness at base and what consciousness identifies with, in a sense, it “becomes.”
But that which we simply observe can find no foothold and passes away from us. It needs us to commit ourselves, to identify with it, to put it on and speak from it. So long as we do, we energize the ego and prolong its career.
Archangel Michael has often said to me that the Company of Heaven has no desire to get rid of our delightful personalities, which we call the ego: “No, we have no desire to eliminate your ego or your personality. That is part of the delightful package of who you are.” (3)
To those who speak of “ego death,” (4) Sri Ramakrishna reminds us that the ego never completely dies.
“‘I-consciousness’ persists. It disappears in the state of samadhi, no doubt, but it comes back. … You may cut down the aswattha tree, but the next day sprouts shoot up.” (5)
You may drive [egotism] away, but still it appears from somewhere. Then you look sullen and say: ‘What! I have not been shown proper respect!'” (6)
Given that it does not completely go away, a wise course of action is to make the ego the servant of God. The value of humility becomes clear here.
“It is impossible to get rid of the ego. Therefore it should be made to feel that it is the devotee of God, His servant.” (7)
“It is good to have a trace of ego, which makes it possible for a man to feel that he is the servant of God. As long as a man thinks that it is he who is doing his duties, (8) it is very good for him to feel that God is the Master and he God’s servant. When one is conscious of doing work, one should establish with God the relationship of servant and Master.” (9)
You and I have been cleansing, cleansing, cleansing – getting rid of one vasana after another, one core issue, one false grid. These knots in consciousness are the tools of the ego, which it uses to build the constructed self.
The constructed self is a construction in thought that embodies a self-image and provides a means of acting on the conclusions and decisions about life which lie at the heart of a vasana. “Oh, I’ll never do that again.” “Boy, I’m not going to let another person into my heart.” “I’ll never trust a [blank] person again.”
If we had none of these knots in consciousness left, we’d be pure; our insight would be deep; and our ability to love unbridled. The direction we’re moving in as we tread the path to Ascension is from self to selflessness, from ego to higher Self, No-Self and One. In all this, the ego moves from being the guard to being the servant.
Not like I would have seen this, say, six months ago. But there are areas of my life where I’m being called upon to be selfless. It’s hard to be selfless. It runs counter to everything we see on TV, in the movies, in magazines. If we were all selfless, a lot of actors might be out of jobs.
When I look at the assignment to be selfless, I see that that’s what all this cleansing has been about anyways. The combination of the rising energies of love, our purification from vasanas, and the necessities that go with working as teams to build Nova Earth is bringing us closer and closer to life without an ego, without a self.
There’s nothing the ego does that the Self cannot do better so we stand to lose nothing and gain the whole world, so to speak. But that’s the direction we’re headed in: from self to selflessness.
Letting go of the ego’s grip on us is one of the last and hardest hurdles before we embrace higher dimensionality. It’s why I address Archangel Michael as “Lord”: To put the ego in its proper relationship to divine matters as the servant of God.
(1) Lao Tzu, Hua Hu Ching, trans. Brian Walker, Canto 10, at http://www.cheraglibrary.org/taoist/hua-hu-ching.htm.
(2) Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975, 68.
(3) Personal Reading with Archangel Michael and Steve Beckow, through Linda Dillon, March 12, 2012.
(4) “What is the price [of enlightenment]? Ego death.” (Andrew Cohen. In Defence of the Guru Principle. Lenox: Moksha Press, 1999, 13.)
(5) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 105.
(6) Ibid., 210.
(7) Ibid., 788.
(8) Rather than that he does nothing and God does everything; i.e., that life is a dream that God is dreaming.
(9) Ibid., 280.