Here’s why it is time for all of us to truly Wake Up…
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See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World
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This entire last week, beginning with the day after the election, we have been waking up hoping that it was all just a bad dream. The reality that we just elected a man to the most powerful office in the world whose singular primary focus is self-aggrandizement has not fully sunk in. We have this all-pervading feeling that something fundamental shifted for our species. Something that has been growing and festering for eons and has finally manifested as a massively bold exclamation point about who we collectively are that can no longer be ignored. Because if we do just “accept it” and go about our day to make the best of what just happened I’m afraid this grand experiment of our time on this planet will be shortened considerably.
Ego – The Great Trouble Maker
Consider for the moment the possibility that every conscious human is a Host with two different types of “entities” residing within, the Ego and the Heart. The first and most recognizable is the ego, what we refer to as the “false self”. It is that voice in our heads that, at the deepest level, is always fearful of dying, non-existence. It is the voice that says “I’m separate from you.” It is the one that always compares, feels jealousy, seeks to dominate, insists on certainty and is constantly focused on itself and in so doing greatly reduces the Host’s ability to show true compassion and empathy.
Granted, ego-based drives can be powerful forces for positive change. Many (but not all) of humanities greatest achievers have their large egos to thank for their accomplishments. However, ego-based fear is a powerful motivating force. And, this force is a wild and untamable beast and can have a very dark side.
Hatred, bigotry, misogyny, greed, war, tyranny, religious zealotry, famine, destruction of natural resources, pollution, most forms of violence and dishonesty are all a result of following ego’s siren call. One that promises a better, longer life often at the expense of our brothers and sisters. One that seeks to avoid personal responsibility through numbing distraction. One that always sees things in the duality of “me” vs. “them.” Ego can cause our very rational mind to rationalize anything. It easily allows us to conveniently not consider the consequences of our actions. It effortlessly seduces the more fortunate of us to think “everything is going to be okay” as long as its needs are perceived to be taken care of.
For example, Oprah Winfrey is a very generous person who has shown herself to sincerely care about others less fortunate than her. Yet here are her comments about the election, one that has left many of her less financially endowed followers absolutely terrified (and rightly so): https://t.co/4OQcox0NHW.
The ego can be very seductive in saying everything is going to be fine when it knows the Host has enough financial resources to weather an attack by a small army. I have great admiration for Oprah, how she shows up as a loving human being and the work she does. I give this example not to denigrate this wonderful person, only to show that even the most giving and well-intentioned of us are not immune to the ego’s influence. Ego is also what drives the anger, hate and violence in those who oppose the election results. Ego doesn’t discriminate nor is it affiliated with any one political party or ideology. It infects everyone who is blind to its influence.
When early ancestors first attained cognitive self-awareness the ego was born. It was a necessary part of our evolution and helped us to survive and thrive to this point. Now it is time to transform this “self” awareness to a much higher level of universal Awareness. One that includes everyone. One that sees we are all connected and the same. One that knows if even one other human being on this planet is suffering we all suffer at some level. One that knows there is a state of Being beyond the labels of “good” and “evil”. One that eschews labels entirely.
However, in order for mass Awareness to immerge within our species, it requires an incredibly bright light which the shadows and darkness of the ego simply cannot tolerate.
Heart as the Shining Light of Awareness
In our teachings, we talk about how the Heart (metaphorically speaking) as the true essence of who we are as conscious Human Beings (i.e. that other “entity”). The Heart never feels fear, jealously or rage, is never needy or seeks to dominate and can never be hurt, broken or destroyed. Its sole purpose is to consistently shine the light of unconditional love in both giving and receiving. The ego however, strives mightily to eclipse the Heart. To block its ability to give and receive love which it is very capable of doing if we are blind to its true nature, its false sense of identity.
And chances are, as you read this, your ego (you know, that voice in your head) may be saying “Bullshit!” Which is a reaction we hear a lot. Just know we are not asking that you believe that this is “true”, just be open to the possibility. It is simply a context or world view. No more or less true than believing you are your voice in your head. The question to ask yourself is: Which context is more empowering? Which one keeps you stuck in fear and striving, and which one offers a sense of deep peace and universal belonging?
Awareness starts with recognizing we are all strongly subject to the ancient yearnings and fears of the ego. That our ego is not who we are at the most fundamental level. That the Heart, as our true essence, is the passive observer patiently waiting for ego to finish its thrashing about. That any action based in ego will ultimately not serve us or anyone else over the long term.
Perhaps this election was the shock and awe for us all to truly “wake up” from the dream of the ego. Ironically, for many of us our ego is signaling extreme danger and uncertainty ahead, perhaps for years. Yet our Hearts continue to shine as always and perhaps seeing these events as a wonderful opportunity to shine even brighter. Illuminating our path forward as a species.
We can thank our humanity’s collective ego for helping us survive and thrive up to this point. However, if we don’t step up to the invitation to transcend it, especially in challenging times, it could very likely destroy us all.