50 Shades of Ego
This is a tale about fleshly lust, mental manipulation and subtle power plays, all wrapped up in the finely threaded satin sheets of ignorance, attachment and aversion. 50 shades of ego is the story of a rich soul and an evolving ego, dancing through incarnations with the yearning to free themselves from the sadistic bondage of self-delusion.
At some point in one of our many incarnations the light bulb of awareness seeps through the darkness and the absurd possibility that we aren’t the centre of the universe dawns. The revelation that everything and everybody does not revolve around us will rattle the foundations of our world. Just as Copernicus and Galileo battled with the powers of the time to rewrite the rigid and unenlightened beliefs about the Earth revolving around the Sun, we too will be in a torrid, toe-to-toe encounter with the ego to convince it that the soul is the centre of the individual’s birth, and that the ego is there to serve the Soul.
However shocking and absurd the scientific and religious scholars found the Sun and Earth hypotheses, it slowly, very slowly, started to gain traction. The ego will be equally as stubborn regarding its now tenuous position and will replicate the tactics of the scholars and dictators of Copernicus and Galileo’s days to retain power. The ego, now further awoken by the light of knowledge, begins it journey from dark to light, from selfishness to selflessness, from self-indulgence to self-control.
I visualise the evolution of the ego similar to the journey from darkness to light. We begin at the darkest black and gradually, we strip away the heaviness and darkness. We move to a lighter black, and then we slide along the grey colour spectrum, arriving at the slightly off whites. The tractor beam of pure white draws us towards itself, drawing closer and quieter, we peek back down the dark to light colour spectrum in amazement. Gazing past the 50 shades of grey, the soft blacks, we can now see the bondage the ego has divested itself of, the ego’s progression towards its true role as a pure humble servant of the soul.
Each of us will have different forms in which the ego manifests, but most of us will encounter the desire to seek peace and happiness in the external world. Most of us will fall prey to the errant beliefs that we are our personality and other people are their personalities. A good number of us will sit in judgement of others and have opinions of others, as well as falling into the misapprehension that we aren’t all connected.
The ego’s desire for peace and happiness is undeniable, but it has only the material world to use as a medicine cabinet for unhappiness and agitation. The darker our ego, the higher the chance it will use stuff to return us to a temporary level of peace. The dark, unenlightened ego will solve our mental, physical, energetic disturbances with an array of material substances ranging from mildly unhelpful up to the deeply painful. Partaking in these quick fix remedies will having us sliding back into the black of ignorance rather than forward into the light of understanding. Over indulgence in food, alcohol, sex, shopping, coffee, approval seeking, righteousness, channel surfing etc: are warning flags that the ego is headed in the wrong direction. Under indulgence in spiritual practice, speaking up for yourself clearly and calmly and not following our intuitive voice are also sirens sounding of egoic misdirection.
Progression along the dark to light colour spectrum is one of the most fulfilling things I have undertaken in this life. Seeing the ego in its subtle and gross behaviours has allowed me to reorient in the direction I want to travel. Time and again, the ego will offer the easiest, seemingly straight forward approach to a situation, but with a little, and sometimes a lot of inspection, I have become accustom to its short cuts and back alley suggestions. This deeper inspection removes the mediocrity and superficiality of my previously half-hearted nature.
In inspecting the ideas of the ego, I now go deeper than the first page of Google, past the quotes on my Facebook feed, in search of thoughts, words, feeling and actions that are hidden in the undergrowth of understanding. The majority of the time I will sit, lay, walk with only the intention of thinking about the subject. I want to find the wisdom the saints and sages of the past have communicated, I want to hear what the other parts of my mind have to offer regarding the egos interjection, I want to know and feel the depths of subject and the subject matter.
I ask myself, how will my actions/words/thoughts affect others? Are they free from judgement, attraction and aversion? Am I doing this from the purest part of my mind? Will this be in service of my soul and every other soul that has taken birth on the earth plane? Will this reveal more of my soul, the part of the incarnation that vibrates with silent joy and peace and is beyond time and space?
Our spiritual practices are the looking glass through which we will see the egos indiscretions. The body that is well maintained and vital, in combination with an inquiring and clear mind will strip away the bedcovers the ego was lurking beneath. Doing the things that increase physical and mental health for an appropriate amount of time, on a daily basis, with full attention and dedication will break the handcuffs of self-harm and see us to the lighter side of the ego spectrum more rapidly. Querying our previous behaviours and the behaviours of our culture, can also underline the neediness of the unclear, unripe ego, encouraging us in the direction of egoic service. Being kinder, more faithful, and in the present moment, will tip the spectrum in our favour, because the ego likes to dwell in the pleasures and pains of the past and future. Needing to be right all the time is replaced by inner stillness. Constantly telling people your opinions is traded for compassion and easefulness. Harming others in thought, word or deeds cease to arise, keeping us from backsliding into darkness.
Dusting off the blacks and greys of the ego spectrum will bring challenge, however, the cost to benefit ratio is in our favour. Words and thoughts proclaiming I, me and mine pop up less often in our minds word searches. The ego is now less focussed on personality and connection to individuality and is now actively embracing unity. The lighter, more subservient ego works towards positive outcomes, free from negative habitual tendencies. Our ego is now ours, we have taken back ownership, and the ego serves at the pleasure of the master, the Soul.
Differences are dispelled, the similarities experienced, our ego is at one with the mind, a return to darkness, impossible. The soul now walks lightly in the incarnation, the chains of ignorance, desire and karma fall away as there is nothing left for them to cleave to. Light is constant and omnipresent, shades of ego gone beyond the beyond, wholeness is here now.
Love & Strength