Why the Ego Is So Tough

The human ego is incredibly challenging to see in action. This mechanism has the ability to blind us to our behaviors and to mask the real intentions under what we project. The ego is so convincing because we think that it is who we are and that it is us who is deciding what to do. In fact, our true yearning remains something we can dismiss or rationalize away. Thus, it is incredibly difficult to transcend the ego.

Nearly every person has an ego whether the person accepts this or not. In fact, it is a rather pointless discussion to convince anyone of this fact. By its nature and function, the ego does not want to be seen – let alone dismantled as the primary driver. While it is more comfortable to believe that one’s ego is “gone,” premature claims just postpone further growth. A person who is ready to move into the work of dis-identifying with ego will know the truth of the situation on some level.

There is also a difference in transcending the ego and dissolving the ego. Transcending the ego relegates its status to a tool, rather than one’s identity-shaping mechanism on the lower planes of existence. Dissolving the ego invokes other processes to configure one’s relationship to life.

The ego is a lens through which we forge an identity that is separate from others. It can be a useful lens for developing oneself in the world. It is necessary to evolve one’s body and mind such that they integrate with the life day-to-day. Without a critical mass of this integration, one cannot feel the boundaries of one’s perception at all. Although our boundaries exist, these boundaries define who we are and we do not feel any calling to push through anything. The majority of the human race is at this stage of not recognizing that one’s entire perspective is custom-made to build a powerful identity.

People without a fully formed identity are seen as unsuccessful in the world – they don’t have good “luck” with earning an income, romantic relationships, and succumb to fear of real-world pressures. Ironically, one first needs to realize one’s ego to be prepared to transcend it. Enlightenment, even in the earliest stages, requires humility. If you think about it, one must be willing to be wrong to be capable of humility. The ego does not like to be wrong, to be “below,” or to be anything other than self-concerned and comparative.

Some common tactics of the ego include fear, hiding, making excuses, blindness to reality, defensive or offensive maneuvering, control of people or situations, and attempts to convince someone of something. These behaviors are so prevalent in humanity that it is easy to assume these behaviors to be “just human nature.” Only when the ego is close to being trascended can one see through it and engage with it on a different level. Then, the ego becomes truly obvious.

The ego is so custom tailored to each being that it must be “decoded” for each being individually. However, it cannot be “diagnosed” by the mind by matching specific behaviors to conclusions. An enlightened being may seem agressive, but the aggression is only the tip of the iceberg of what this being is doing in the moment. An enlightened being may counter a statement without being defensive. Only the intuition of a transcended being can see deep enough to understand the observable behavior, tone, or words. Even written words root down to the person’s core and the ego is visible.

What is a human being like beyond the ego? Open to what’s possible, comfortable with the unknown, both confident and self-questioning, strong, quiet or vivacious, creative without judgement that down-plays the creativity of others, or rational or intuitive. Just like with the egoic persona, it is hard to “see” an enlightened being. The difference is, an enlightened being isn’t bothered by this or any other projections on him or her.

Oddly, one does not need to dedicate hours to meditation, yoga, or chanting to let go of the ego. What happens is that attention becomes tuned to this device throughout the day – maybe on and off – until it is finally felt as something “other” and not oneself. This attention is incredibly difficult to sustain. Unless a teacher is helping to bring internal dynamics to the fore, people eventually convince themselves of a comfortable truth and move on. That is the dilemma.

The ego is not only localized to an individual consciousness, but operates on different scales. Groups have an ego. The human race has an ego. However, without seeing the personal ego, it can be difficult to imagine what is going on at these scales. Each person that is free can assist with global transformation in a way that can be described as one’s unique life, but without all the drama.

The Oldest Story Ever Told

You are this…

Are you looking at the reflection, or is the reflection looking at you? It’s not obvious.

You are the Milky Way reflected in the myriad spiral galaxies all around…Does this seem different from watching the world from atop a mountain? From inside a living cell? What are atoms, really?

Perhaps you think enlightenment looks like this…

But, that’s too limited a view. Stereotypes are too easy. There is no archetype for freedom.

We start keeping a journal at about this point. There are endless seeds and we think it all belongs to us.

Here is another way of saying the same thing…

The next is just another Fool, perhaps further down the path. Many Fools camp here for a grand old time, reveling in their ability to manipulate the unseen…. It’s a common rest stop and a trap, stalling further evolution.

The campground has many of these too…

The next guy looks cute… Got most of the anger out and stopped trying to “save” himself by trying to save and fix the world, whatever that is….

We might as well be aliens when there is a shift in relating to reality, seeing things with unfettered eyes.

Dirty Money?

There are people who view money as a bad influence, and others see money as the currency of life that guarantees involvement. With free will, we can and do choose how we relate to money. Deeper introspection is often needed to understand how to heal our relationship with whatever money signifies for our lives.

When I was little, my grandmother told me not to touch money – it was “dirty.” My mom carried forward the same message. True – money changed hands, some of which could have been laden with bacteria. However, I also got the message that money was something unclean. Because I grew up in poverty, I considered people who had money “dirty” – in my country of origin, it was unlikely that money was made in “clean” ways.

Then, there was my father – a stepdad who took us to America. He went to a computer programming bootcamp upon arriving in New York to retrain himself for a new career in the U.S,., took English classes, and persistently applied for jobs. I was told that he sent out hundreds of resumes and got the one interview that landed him his first job. Because of him, I was able to attend college. He raised us out of poverty.

My father liked his job a lot. He also taught me that supporting family was the most honorable thing one could do. We didn’t talk about it – he lived it. Family and education were the most important things to bring one out of poverty. People who have not experienced poverty have no idea how powerfully it can drive one to seek a better life.

For a long time, I resisted my father’s push to get a stable job. I wanted to help people and, without giving it much thought, still believed that helping people and money were diametrically opposed. At one point, I asked a guru to live in the ashram, and she said “No, you are needed in the world. You must be out there on the frontlines.

When I was a single mom with my first child, I quickly realized that we would not live well on a teacher’s salary. I listened to my dad and got a corporate job. I rapidly climbed up the “ladder” and eventually made a moderate income. However, I had not realized that – at the time – I also carried a great deal of unconscious fear regarding losing money and not having enough to support my family. Poverty leaves an impression.

Even while bringing home a substantial paycheck, I felt fear about losing my job, about spending too much, and about not having enough. Eventually, I realized that no matter how much money I made, I still had fear of not being able to provide for my family or losing my job. My fear-based relationship to money brought conflict into my household, where my perception was that nothing is enough and no amount of hard work is too much.

It has now been years since I had my high-paying job. I am making a teacher’s salary again and have my children, now as a single mom once more. Although I have come full circle, my perspective is not the same. Although I still have financial pressures, I realize that things can be made to work out for my kids – but not without my active involvement and work ethic. It is possible to work hard without becoming negative and jaded.

My older son started college this year and I am fighting to secure money for his education from his dad. My younger one is still in his formative years and needs stability. I will need to fight for his stability. And, I will pick up whatever worshop “gigs” and summer school that become available to help make ends meet.

It took me time to accept that our world is set up a certain way around a currency and “market demands.” But these are just overt signs of a more profound universal process at play. One thing became clear to me: The pursuit of decent living and helping people are not incompatible. Regadless of what else I was doing, I made myself available to people.

I have enough life experience to now plan ahead and adapt to what’s needed. To live, most of us must be practical and work hard enough, but without the baggage of fear. The world needs skills and dreams – such people will always make it.

As a teacher, I see about 150 students a day. Some come from wealthy homes, and others are homeless. Many are getting a free lunch because of their family’s low income. When I ask them what they want to do with their lives, many say “I want to make lots of money.” When I ask “What will you do with this money?” Many say “Pay off my parents’ mortage” and other statements regarding rising out of poverty. Of course some also dream of having wealth, and expensive and luxurious things. Our culture seems obsessive about having things. Yet, all unanimously want to have a job that they enjoy and one that also provides.

I was fortunate enough to be persistent in my education and learn skills that were in demand. Others were not so fortunate and had impractical college majors, which ensured that someone else would always have to support them.

It is easy to talk about careers that make money as being less than noble. It is easy to put down people who work hard to bring opportunities to their children and pay the bills. But practical reality shows how a lack of money leads to unhealthy living, addictions, depression, and even crime.

For the love of our families, some of us need multiple jobs just to make ends meet, living from paycheck to paycheck. This is where I am now. It is likely that I will need to attend a crash course in Data Science and Machine Learning to get a new career and to provide more opportunities for my kids. I seriously prefer not to put back groceries on the store shelf just to meet my budget. That is reality.

Fighting reality by calling money “dirty,” necessary hard work “workaholism,” and the pursuit of higher-paying jobs “ignoble” is rejecting what is needed in our world. While all these labels are possible for some people, they do not necessarily apply to most.

Money can and does help people. Those in the STEM fields have the capacity to create and invent for our future. Those in the service industry have the ability to bring people together.

I like financial independence – it felt great to not need child support from my older son’s dad because I made enough at the time. I prefer an honest job that holds my interest, uses my brain, and pays as much as I can get for my family.

I’ve learned that practical and grounded living is essential to being on this planet. I am not afraid anymore, but neither am I grabbing a begging bowl and stopping my own education that can improve the lives of my kids.

Life on Earth is set up to immerse us in life experiences. Money is just how we exchange opportunities. If it weren’t money, it would be something similar. Spiritual living is more grounded when a person can be deeply immersed in life and with people.

Certainly, our society can improve in how we motivate people to engage in life (and not just look for escape), but calling money “dirty” and hard work unnecessary laughs in the face of our real lives. Why not, instead, ask why life is set up this way, and explore the question with deeper insight? For this is indeed a setup for us….

Beginning the Journey of Ego Transcendence

When making the decision to step onto a spiritual path, it is quite normal to not know what the outcome will be. A transformed state is challenging to articulate because most people will try to interpret it from the untransformed point of view. One thing is certain – the irritating aspects of life cease to be irritating and an individual can navigate situations with greater ease. This is not all that transformation brings about, but it does address frequent life complaints and fluctuating life situations no longer impact our happiness.

The ego is a process that causes us to interpret all stimuli in the context of ourselves. With repeated interactions, life literally becomes about our perspective on life and our view of ourselves. A feedback loop is created, where every occurrence is about and for us as individuals. We filter most of life that does not appear to impact us directly.

If we didn’t have the ego, how would we see life and ourselves? We would see life with greater flexibility of perspective. We would know that not everything is about us. We would have more room to be aware of others and events that have no immediate impact on our situation, even while we are going through our own stuff.

Ego is like flypaper that attracts and glues stuff into a cluge of our identity. No ego? No glue. No stickiness. No self-absorption. An ego-less persona is paradoxically there while no one is there.

To dismantle the ego operation, it is helpful to engage in self-reflection. This is a deeply personal activity that has nothing to do with educating the mind about philosophy or others’ discoveries. The teacher is a sounding board for one’s reflections. The root cause of why someone is struggling is obvious to the teacher but maybe completely hidden from the student. The teacher will provide insights about this root cause and tie a person’s patterns of relationship and life engagement to this root. Then, more and more reflection follows.

Nothing special is needed here except living one’s life. No ceremonies. No incantations. Perhaps journaling and occasional conversations with a transformed being about personal struggles, but that is all.

At some point, the teacher will introduce the student to meditation. Unlike popularized meditation of relaxing the body and observing thoughts, this meditation may be quite different. It may cause some to have a peak experience or a realization immediately. It may also result in release. I won’t say more about this meditation because it’s not about words, but the direct connection that occurs on invisible levels. The teacher is a vehicle for this energy and models its integration and shining, but people mistake the teacher for a person. This, too, is normal.

In short, the path of ego transcendence can occur completely within the context of one’s life. It’s challenging for me to imagine another way. After all, are we not here to live our lives?

Some choices we make will set us back in our evolution, while other choices will propel us forward. But each choice is ours to make.

The teacher works with students predominantly on other planes of existence. It still amazes me how many people think they know what a teacher does without having reached that point themselves. How many myopic conclusions are drawn without having even a glimpse of such a life and existence? It is so foreign to everyday conceptions of life that it often frightens others, while simultaneously appearing interesting and inviting. But this is all normal too. People define their own value by having to have answers – even when the answers have no direct experience or knowledge as a basis.

Every life has value, regardless of the level of awareness. In these words is a great mystery…. The mind will try to analyze the meaning of a valuable life, but will fail eventually. Only direct knowledge of this value can reveal a different way of seeing human beings and has no need to compare and judge.

People mostly want validation and mistake that for love. They don’t realize that their constant search for validation is the ego – the very mechanism they wish to trascend. These characters are irritated or collapse into despair when no validation is forthcoming. Unconditional love has no need to play this game to lure someone in. The egoless state is far from a casual exercise in loving kindness.

People who do not recognize such transformed beings when they arrive on the scene will carry on doing what they do. Because they live as their identity, it is unlikely they will break free – it is not their time. Those who are hungry for transformation will recognize the teacher immediately with no second thoughts. If a teacher has not sought you out, you do not need one at this time. Even if one reached out, you may decide to pass by.

The ego does not go quietly. Its dismantling will bring up resistance, doubt, frustration, aggression, defensiveness, justifications, emotional outbursts, and a slew of its other trademark activities. One will either withstand the fire and burn off these faux-human layers, or give up and walk away – justifying their choice throughout. This is normal too.

The ego is not surprising, but highly predictable. It’s been done over and over. It is not unique or inspiring. The true creativity and individual uniqueness runs on a completely different circuit. It is no wonder that engaging creativity is such a powerful catalyst for ego transcendence. But even there are pitfalls. If it were easy to transcend the ego on one’s own, most people would have done it already.

I Live You Too

A friend texted me. We had a brief exchange about our classrooms – I had recently tried incorporating a few minutes for reflection into my classes by students on Costa’s Habits of Mind. My colleague was going to try this too. She signed off with “You know I love you. Right?!” I typed “I live you too.

It was a typo. But then the light tugged at me. I live you too. The light lives all of us. When the Identity is the light, I live you too and you live me.

This phrase struck me as Being itself interacting with Itself through all of us. Conscious relationship at this level is an incredibly powerful synergy.

After the ego mechanism untangles from identity – and ego is just a mechanism or process – the expression runs crystal clear as the light expresses itself through form. Expression of the light is not clear right away – it takes about a decade to get to that after the initial, stable opening.

I live you too.

The light is not an idea. It is living. It enters through the crown of the head and one can feel the pressure of it pouring in. We open to it, and it can enter – poised at the gateway until we are ready.

As it pours in, there is blissful restfulness and the Mind goes empty in a dynamic stillness. The top of the head feels “blown off.” One no longer feels that “I” is the thoughts, emotions, and the body sensations. It may take years to integrate this throughout the entire body, when even the body dissolves in the light.

I am not describing a fleeting experience – it is a permanent change felt throughout the body. Even further transformation may occur – the entry is just the beginning.

When the circuitry is ready, it just plugs in. Getting ready means being aware of what circuitry is blocking the entry. It is unusual and rare for human beings to transform on their own.

The cost of transformation is usually a requirement to change one’s life ways – food, job, relationships, and activities – although much of this work is better done prior to transformation. Life should align with the natural flow of one’s being as much as possible. If life is not congruent with our yearning to express, things just won’t work and changes are necessary.

After the shift stabilizes, touching life is so very different. It’s like seeing the world for the first time and with a new “eye.” I still remember that feeling vividly – the initial entry, where I was and what I was doing. I was riding in a car and looking at treetops.

I fixed the “typo” and signed off with my friend. I love you too.

Asking For Life to Be Forgiving

Every night, I set an intention that life be forgiving to all who are learning and trying to move in this world.

My younger son, who hears me pray this intention, asks why I don’t pray for myself. My son has love for Jesus and reads a Bible-quote book he got somewhere on his own, although we are not a Christian household. My son reminds me of when I started talking about meditation and enlightenment (prior to the Internet), and my family was not an Eastern-philosophy or Eastern-religion household. Something in my son drew him to his beliefs. I support my son in his discovery process.

We had a conversation about how we are all “pieces” of this Divine, regardless of religion. I do not call myself by any religion, but this quote from the Bible seemed pertinent:

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

We honor our true nature by seeing the Divine in ourselves and by attempting to understand our human experience. My son and I get past words by exchanging direct experience of what we feel (not just emotionally, but in terms if awareness). In our conversations we just share with each other. We calibrate our experiences and thoughts directly. And we learn about where each of us is.

Teachings, such as those of Jesus or Buddha, help us to realize the love and compassion of which we are capable. Life is challenging, no doubt, and negativity, sarcasm, vein-slitting wit, and blatant attacks have come to be seen as normal in our society (and for centuries). We are often looking at the “trees,” but there is a “forest” after all.

Back to the question – why do I pray, or intend, or invoke forgiveness of life processes toward humanity? Everyone makes mistakes, often unconsciously at first. Our culture is typically unforgiving toward mistakes. Most mistakes (and I am not talking about crimes that violate or harm others) are about people not knowing how to navigate life situations and relationships.

For mistakes, our culture wills harm and ill-will toward those who are unskilled at life-surfing. Then, the “perpetrators” are hurt emotionally when they are ostracized, marginalized, put down, and laughed at – all of which leads an individual to feel “down” (and, perhaps, “out”).

Forgiveness requires understanding at ever-deepening levels of someone else. Empathy, which has nothing to do with sympathy, must be cultivated for us to be able to naturally relate to the lives of others. Contrary to most scientific views of empathy as a combination of astute observation skills and mental processing to project another’s experiences, there are more efficient ways to be empathic. For example, it is possible to attune oneself to signals another is transmitting (and not just on the physical, emotional, and mental planes), and project those signals onto oneself – to experience another’s experience directly.

Those who are born at a young age with the tendency toward this level of empathy become quickly overwhelmed and may even lose sanity as the result of exposure to the energy of others. Adults who do not know about this phenomenon will not know how to support these children.

I was one of such children. My younger son is another. My older – not so much. All three of us are very close. As a child, I had to work hard to deal with constant “noise.” Movies and shows, which portray the phenomenon of being inundated with “people,” often illustrate this accurately. No, it is not necessarily schizophrenia, although one should be evaluated by a doctor if “hearing” and “seeing” without sound and “light” is happening.

Empath children must be supported in learning how to navigate the turbulent waters of the Astral plane, which is what they are learning to surf. For some, gateways should be temporarily closed, at least, so that they don’t lose connection with the physical plane.

Empaths who are flexible in reflecting others onto themselves, and without invading the fields of others or “digging” within others uninvited, are balanced. They know, first-hand, the pain of making mistakes, the pain of those disappointed or hurt, and the pain experienced by the ones who took the missteps – during the lash-back. From this perspective, it becomes truly impossible to want life to be anything but forgiving for all who are trying to make things right. When someone realizes what they have done to upset another, there can only be forgiveness. But, if a person who feels wronged has limited capacity to understand another, they bite back like threatened animals, or to hammer the nail into the proverbial coffin.

It is true that a person may have to experience repeated setbacks to start reflecting upon oneself. Otherwise, if there are no consequences, people just do whatever.

Our society is a natural symphony of checks and balances, and this is good. People should speak up to advocate for their birthright to be treated as valuable individuals with potential to be developed. People must stand up for what feels right or wrong to them and get feedback from others. However, we – as the human race – are not very skilled at doing this productively and with a woven-in element of forgiveness. Most people do not even know their own value.

Forgiveness is an ancient teaching, and volumes could be written today on what a personal experience of forgiveness could be like, in the face of also holding true to oneself. The common adage that “we all have truth within ourselves” is only partly true – when the gateway to this truth is closed, our “inner” truth is useless or distorted. We must open up first, open to who we are and our possibilities, our individuality, and our lives together with others. I pray for this opening to occur when the time is right, and give energy to the energy “bank” that will be used for catalyzing this opening, so to speak.

My prayers are the intentioned and conscious giving of energy to the evolution and growth of the humane race. It is not a willed forcing of events. I know that universal processes (as seen from this level) must have a critical mass of elements in place to occur (just like enlightenment), including the energy needed to enact these processes. For me, prayer is about paying it forward and giving back.

I’ve interacted with people long enough to see that I can help individual lives press through obstacles, and I also know when to let them be. Universal processes? Well, I may not live in this form long enough to see them occur…. That makes no difference to me.

Being Asexual

I am in my late 40s and, by most standards, not old. However, I have come to realize that I am no longer interested in sex.

Recently single, I feel no pressures from a partner to be sexual. As a result, there is no reason for me to try to be something I am not. I am comfortable being alone and also spending time with friends. I feel no longing of a sexual nature. Now, I can simply relax in this truth.

As I surrendered my being to the Life that lives me, I entered into an uninterrupted embrace. Paradoxically, it is me and also an exchange.

I wrote previously how my lower energy centers had merged into the heart center, which I was surprised to discover one morning. After this occurred, I began to be immersed in an altogether different kind of energy flow – making love without a partner as being.

I see nothing wrong with sex. But how many people see nothing wrong with no sex? As with anything, it was important for me to understand why. Was it something I held back, denied, or denigraded on some level? I explored and explored, but found nothing. Except that it was my truth.

It is a relief to just be good with this and not have to wonder anymore if I need to balance or heal anything.

The asexuality was not always true for me. I went through decades of being overly sexual. So, it was surprising to me when my sexuality began to dissipate – and suspicious. Was it because of my childhood? Was it because of who I was with? As it turned out, neither. I have simply changed. Being without a partner, I have had no interest in looking for someone and my state has remained consistent.

In yoga, there is the process of Brahmacharya. I’ve come to see that my body’s circuitry stepped into this flow on its own and without trying. It is what it is. It feels like I have always been a virgin, but not in the sense of some false deification.

Sometimes things are just simple.

Mind vs. Enlightenment

I have a beautiful mind. It’s no longer an egotistical statement and just a fact, but this wasn’t always the case. The story may be more interesting when I talk about the relationship of mind to enlightenment.

I spoke early as a child. Standing in my crib, I babbled intensely – as if I were giving a passionate talk on my niche topic. As I grew up, I earned the nickname of “professor” in the hood. It was not a flattering name, but more of a putdown for knowing facts and reasoning logically – and not fitting in.

Because I grew up in an abusive environment, I frequently looked for ways to escape. My escape was learning new things and solving problems. To this day, I do puzzles or math and physics problems for fun, but the way I approach these puzzles is different than before.

My IQ was tested in my 20s and I scored very high. My mind was fluid and it felt fabulous to use it. But, my mind was useless for breaking through into enlightenment.

As with any go-to asset, I wrapped my ego around having my intelligence, and the result was a person who relied on intelligence to gain advantage and confirmation of being real. When I met my teacher, I had to face the true reality that I was unable to “think” into enlightenment. This frustrated me to no end.

My teacher was redirecting me to let go of using my ability to manipulate abstract concepts because enlightenment wasn’t a concept. Enlightenment wasn’t an experience, an induction, or a deduction. Whenever I thought that I had “figured it out,” I was inevitably wrong – and discouraged.

Mind is a poorly defined concept anyway. Is this a combination of our awareness and reasoning abilities? Even the latter is vague. When I view the various vehicles (or “bodies“) we use on multiple planes of existence, the mind can be viewed as one such vehicle, and the soul another – there are more. These vehicles are equipped with their own senses and processes and language, much like the physical body, and operate in parallel with the physical body.

However, no body is Spirit. In fact, all bodies are inseparable from Spirit and are its expressions. It amazes me when people talk about Spirit as something contained by and separate from any body when, in reality, Spirit is literally everything. Also, what people perceive as Spirit varies greatly from one person to the next. Currently, there is no way to calibrate what each of us is referring to. Nevertheless, we can say that there is something. This something is expressing through all forms but is itself formless and uncontained.

During the transformation process, I frequently confused perceptions by the various vehicles as enlightenment. For years, I had to go through the ups of feeling like I understood something to the downs of realizing that I was still incredibly confused. The struggle of wanting to quit at each down is real. The intense desire to have everything squared away and figured out is the reason why so many claim enlightenment without having actually broken through. Enlightenment must be tested. The tests are real. These test results are incontrovertible. Only someone who is enlightened can test enlightenment. Otherwise, an individual is biased by the interpretation of their own perceptions.

Letting go of everything that defines us is a lot trickier than we think. In fact, because the ego is the very process of defining ourselves, it won’t easily let go of the mechanisms that reinforce identity. Intelligent people will create an identity around intelligence, and similarly for any faculty or quality. The ego uses whatever is available and whatever we hold most dear. So, enlightenment is about letting go of whatever we feel we cannot let go, and the trap is set.

When we let go of something, there are typically more things to let go of underneath. Imagine letting go – surrendering – something you never thought you could, only to realize that there is yet more to surrender. The will required to continue is immense.

Again, the ego is a process – not a thing. As long as the process is running in the background, we are not free from it and we don’t know it, necessarily, until it gives itself away – it always does, eventually. The ego is obvious to those who no longer run this process, but is mostly hidden for those immersed in the trap. The ego is tricky – when we are identified with something, we cannot tell apart what is it versus our true nature. When ego is threatened, it will respond in less-than-obvious ways.

I feared that letting go of my mind would mean that I would become stupid, so I fought this tooth and nail. What did happen was that I stopped identifying with the mind and the mind became just a tool I use – or don’t use. It is possible to choose when the mind disengages, but this does not result in a lack of intelligence – counter to my previous concern. Interesting.

Popularized meditation techniques are explicit on allowing and observing thoughts without fighting to stop them. Well, imagine not having thoughts without any effort and still being intelligent. You want to reason logically? You can turn that switch on, and now you can allow thought to crank something out. I am amazed I used to think that the process of mind, which I could turn on or off, was me. The state of No Mind is the first level of enlightenment – a first real freedom. There are others.

No Mind is what Buddhist call Sunyata, or emptiness. I guess this is also nirvana. It is a nice, restful state, but it is not complete. After the honeymoon, the transformation process continues and there are more hidden processes to discover and unwind.

If we are not careful, we can get stuck in nirvana – a kind of detachment. This is not the end of the road. Paradoxically, further freedom requires diving into life even deeper and engaging in relationships with others during practice. Having quieter emotional reactivity certainly helps. Eventually, even the entire emotional body (process) morphs into something else. Each subsequent identity is dismantled, circuit by circuit. However, this is not done by the mind. So, what catalyst is responsible?

The catalysts are living beings who are running freedom processes and modeling them for others. Those who are ready will engage, others won’t. Many undervalue life as it is and believe all are here to “become enlightened.” This is simply not true. There is more to life than that. The enlightenment state is not applicable to all people because something else is needed in their lives at this time.

Enlightenment leads to being in the world but not of it. It is a letting go of a large degree of involvement in this plane of existence, which most are not here to do. Why scoff at that? The ego is helping people engage with this level. And why just mechanically scoff at ego? Only in the last possible stage of enlightenment here on earth is the ego dissolved, but not before – the ego transforms with us but remains until we go all the way.

What Is Healing?

The story of healing is as rich and complex as our existence. I went into writing this post to access the deeper meaning of this common term and its relationship to life.

What struck me when I asked the question is the intensity of the information I began to navigate experientially. It is amazing to me how intricately healing is tied into existence as an emergent force.

Healing includes the idea of “fixing” something to work differently. Typically, healing is seen as a highly personal process where we allow ourselves to be restored in some way. If a condition was accelerating the end of our life, healing slows down that process. If our body ceases to perform a function or was born without it, we try to get it to function. As magical as is the ability to repair our bodies and quiet our minds, this is not all there is to healing.

Healing is related to form and function, or relationship, as far as my “eye” could see. The form or pattern of energy determines how it relates to other patterns of energy. From this perspective, healing is about restoring the form of energy flow that leads to integration. Thus, healing also takes place in a dimension unseen by our physical eyes where such energy exists and operates among and as all forms. This unseen energy is what some call the Astral dimension and can see quite vividly.

Note, I use the term energy as just a label for interactions that occur a step beyond the physical realm and without intending to use it the way scientists define energy. Here, I mean the flow, which intuitives feels when they do body work, for example.

Astral energies are akin to a webwork of vortexes – moving, interlocking, letting go, merging, separating, and reforming into various configurations from individual to planetary to galactic scales. On some scales, the Astral plane appears quite dynamic, and on other scales (as we think of “size”) patterns remain static for millennia. Many occult symbols are formations in the Astral plane, and these do change eventually. This is similar to the way the storm on Jupiter has maintained its shape that is now seen to be diminishing.

When I practiced yoga with a teacher, she would often say to me that it looked like my body was “looking” for equipoise while I held a pose. Those words resonate with what I see now as individual bodies, our planets, and our star working their way toward equipoise. Although, the universe seems to be doing something different at other scales.

Energy reconfiguration is healing – different parts are looking to relate to each other and to the whole. On this Astral plane, I see my body much like a solar flare, and energy shoots through it from individuals, groups, nations, the planet, and so on. I feel the entire relationship shifting, balancing, and integrating. The Astral plane is highly interconnected with our physical relationships and, often, it may be hard to tell what’s going on where. People often react to Astral stimuli without knowing it.

Beyond Astral matter are completely different dimensions and processes that are not focused on “unwinding wound springs,” and instead jump to the creative unknown. This is healing too! On that level, the universe has no idea about “desired outcomes” and nothing is broken. And, yet there is impetus to creatively revisit relationships in ways previously not done. It is from these levels that we feel the ignition to learn to be aware and awaken to reality, and the yearning to be present with existence in a timeless moment. Occasional bridges form between our embodied consciousness and these rarefied realms. After enlightenment, an aspect of the body actually become a living, stable gateway spanning realms.

Although these are just words, they are intended to conjure a feeling of what is potential but not yet revealed. This process of revelation is healing on higher levels.

Taking this broader view, healing is beyond the personal. In my last post, I talked about “healing,” but I did not realize until later that what is occurring for me may not be typical. For example, my being is consciously tied into reality on different levels, and – when I say I am healing – I do not mean that I am realigning my body and mind to a more peaceful state so that I can be calm and at ease. I do mean that I am plugged in to those who may also need to “heal,” and they dance with me into new awareness. My healing, despite the word “my,” is not personal.

Masters have come here to serve as dynamoes for healing collectives and networks of consciousness at various levels of existence. Not all of this activity has resulted in seemingly peaceful, comfortable, and pleasant living for humanity. We forget the possibility that, at some point, a being may not be a person, but is facilitating universal processes – some of which may translate to everyday terms and experiences. Many have come to do this and now are gone – they do not need any godly status.

Even the most common is extraordinary when viewed from a deeper and interconnected perspective of our miltiple dimensions of consciousness.

Healing Continues

Just because I survived in life does not mean I’ve “overcome” the trauma. For some time now, I’ve been waiting for the next stage of healing to begin. I’m very happy that the time has come when I can finally see how the pieces fit.

I grew up feeling unsafe everywhere. The violence and humiliation I endured became an intricate pattern in the fabric of my being – the sountrack of ominous tones playing throughout my life until I could no longer hear it.

It doesn’t matter what happened to me or over how long. What matters is how my being became tangled up as a result. Old hurts – especially ones that get blocked out and then triggered back to memory later in life – can drift in a person’s field for an entire lifetime without being healed.

After a certain point in my transformation, the energies that cannot coexist with the light were dumped into the cells of the physical body all at once. We can only heal through the body, but usually energies gradually flow to be processed by the physical circuitry. In my case, the energies just crashed into the body. This is why it is helpful to become enlightened after most of the major healing work is done.

Finally, after this weekend, I could locate the energy of the past trauma. This is a good sign because it means that it is ready to be released. I could finally feel it running through the body without feeling like it is a part of the body. It was foreign to me and, thus, palpable and visible.

I could see how I’ve lived most of my life as if I were in the midst of battle – studying martial arts, feeling like I was unsafe, and never letting my guard down. I honed a projection of “Don’t fuck with me” that radiated anytime I perceived a threat. I was caught in a loop of never wanting to feel helpless and humiliated again. So I donned a battle armor that literally fused with my skin. I kept up the fight even after the events that started my war were over.

When friends hear about the my life, they tell me that I endured more than anyone they know. They say I am a survivor, I am strong, and I have achieved so much despite many obstacles. But, surviving is not the same as healing. I am grateful that my finely crafted battle armor is now detached from my body. It will burn up now in the fires of life and I gladly let it go.

Trauma was hard to accept for me because, where I came from, people died if they were weak. Accepting trauma seemed like the exact opposite to being a warrior or a soldier. However, I learned that surrender to integrating our experiences is far from weakness – in fact, trapped energy is released in that process to provide strength, just like atoms release energy during fusion.

Life stressors would trigger and amplify my latent trauma, and I would gradually start crumbling under the pressure to continue functioning. This was cyclical throughout my life. Even after transformation, I would often feel drained and experienced chronic physical pain – while simultaneously laughing and supporting others. I was a walking paradox. Enlightenment can only heal so much. The rest must be done by working directly with the physical body.

I am in the midst of the healing process now. Unlike in the past, I am comfortable walking alone. I know that no one can really help me heal – I will help myself by energetically reliving what I tried to forget. I am no longer afraid of feeling that helplessness.

Life has many processes going on at different scales and planes of existence. I imagine these as a multitude of clocks running at different rates in a clock-maker’s shop. But “Time heals all” is not quite true. Death is an altogether different practice that helps us to integrate and heal, but this process occurs out of time. Sleep also heals and so does nature. Sometimes even a change of location can be healing. Among these, the body itself is the most intense crucible that untangles stagnation. We heal the body, and the body also heals us. However, the body must be allowed to heal us, and we often we resist what the body naturally wants to do – restore us to our innocence.

A Life of Transformation and Enlightenment