Loving Oneness Now
WHY DOES THE EGO HAVE TO KEEP ITSELF PUMPED-UP WITH INFLATIONARY FEELINGS AND CONCEPTS?
The ego is not Real, and, because it is only a fictitious set of erroneous ideas, false beliefs and foundationless structures, it can collapse at any time, and sometimes does collapse. We call these events nervous breakdowns, psychiatric illnesses, stress burnouts, or more commonly, we think they are various sicknesses of the body. It is a common ego-device to preserve negatively polarized mental material by dropping the problem into the physical body as an illness. For example, it is well known that heart attacks are more likely to occur in Type A people who suffer from stress caused by striving to win the business or professional rat-race. People full of resentment tend to get arthritis, a disease I had long ago but eradicated through forgiveness.
However, these everyday terms, such as stress and burnout, cover up the mental states which our more conscious egos fear, namely, depression, despair, death, disillusion, deep anger, severe anxiety, panic, failure, insecurity, poverty, loneliness, failure, confusion, insanity, disease, unhappiness, loss, pain, misery, guilt, suffering, abandonment, betrayal, hurt, trauma and severe boredom. All these "negative" states (aka ego-children) are a part of the ego's cunning reverse strategy because we usually want to keep our conscious minds far away from these negative poles of the ego's polarities, even as we strive to pump ourselves up with the positive poles of the identical polarities. For example, we pump ourselves up (very much like a hot-air balloon) with each little success in order to keep failure and depression at bay.
Note that a Graphics Diagram of this Pumped-up Ego Polarity System can be viewed on Page R05.
WHAT ARE THE "POSITIVE" POLES THROUGH WHICH THE EGO PUMPS ITSELF UP AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY?
Here is a check-list list of the ego's positive poles which it uses to keep us inflated with pleasurable, satisfying feelings of self-importance--if only in our own eyes. Note that, during childhood, we have been taught to strive after all these ego-positive beliefs and the ego-goals of "happiness" they are falsely purported to bring.
Being right: I could write a whole volume on this specific inflationary hot-air pump, but suffice it to say here, that the ego gets a quick booster shot every time we stand our ground because we know "the truth," and we know we are right, and we know that to take a righteous stand is the right thing to do. But isn't it amazing that we ALL know we are right, and that we ALL know that our adversary of the moment is definitely wrong? In our estimation in any confrontation, the other person is almost always wrong. But the human ego is always wrong even when it appears to be right, because being contentiously right does not lead to Awakening--it only strengthens and perpetuates the ego's neurotic dominance. What use is it being "right" when the whole human ship is sinking? "Do you prefer that you be right or happy?" (ACIM Text, Page 617, Second Edition). Also consider this quote, "Nothing the world [of ego] believes is true." (ACIM Workbook Lesson 139). One of our greatest delusions about being "right" is that we do not realize (and this statement applies to our science and religions as well) is that there is always a higher level of insightful interpretation, explanation and revelation than the one to which we are currently wedded. Our current "rightness" is a product of our current beliefs and limited vision, and there is always more to come. At the time of Newton, he was 100% right, but now, post- Einstein, he is not 100% right. All our human knowledge evolves too, through fresh insights and ever-expanding interpretations, facts, and revelations! How about this for starters: There is no such thing as the past except in memory Now. The past has gone. All inanimate and animated objects and artifacts exist only in our perceptions Now, and the future-as-substance, is not yet here. Also, all records and documentation of the past exist only Now! Therefore, in our NOW-Reality, the past and future do not exist. You may claim that evidence of a past exists (and that I do not deny) but the evidence only exists Now!
Success: This is another biggie! From birth we are all raised to believe that our major goal in life is to be financially and competitively successful. We must get that degree, we must strive for the gold medal, we must have a successful marriage, we must never fail because failure is faceless and carries the stigma of being a loser, a wimp. In the life of the ego only winners need apply, especially if you want to keep your ego's hot air balloon floating high above all its own negative-pole "D-" words, namely, depression, despair, death, disillusion, disease, depravity, derision, doom, desolation, desperation, destitution, destruction, devastation, disaster, distress, disgrace, dope, dismay, disparagement, damnation, and (I cannot resist adding it) devilry. Note very carefully that Love is not an ingredient of success, because success, by definition, is always ego-competitive. If you say adulation is love, then I will say adulation cannot be Love because Real Love is unconditional, and is not dependent on winning. I was once shocked as a young man when, three months into our relationship, a girlfriend remarked, "Well, I had to be sure you would be successful in life before I could allow myself to love you." How conditional can love get?
Does this mean you should not make money or get degrees, etc? Of course it doesn't. Make your money and get your degrees, but keep your motives straight and use what you make or create in your life in Loving ways of your own choosing which help with the Great Awakening.
Power: This ego-attribute causes more misery for the human race than any other. The ego loves to wield authoritarian power over other people, so that it can pump itself up by ordering those people around who will obediently carry out its commands. In other words the ego, to protect itself from littleness and unimportance, has to be domineering and pushy, even if this authoritarian control is sometimes polite and sugar-coated. Freud called this neurosis an identification with Daddy, and we can add Mommy too; in other words the only way the ego has of resolving the child-under-parent domination (Parental Authority System -- PAS) struggle is for that child, especially in adolescence, to elevate itself to Daddy/Mommy PAS equality or even superiority, a dubious feat. The trouble is that, for the ego to continue to survive without becoming insignificant (let alone disappear) this identification with one's own domineering inner PAS has to continue for a lifetime, or at least until we begin to realize that Real Love recognizes Absolute Freedom. Therefore, to experience Real Freedom from pushy power and all domination, we must seek to uncover the Real Love in our Real Selves by dissolving the entire ego forever. Consider the paradox of all ego's being equally dominant with no one in the submissive category!
Addictions: If you thought that human addictions were limited to drugs, smoking, alcohol and perhaps caffeine, you may be surprised to learn we are addicted to almost everything in our lives. If we define an addiction as a compulsive habitual action, behavior, or intake that the addicted person cannot break or significantly and beneficially alter, then our addictions would include food, money, family, bodies, personal appearance, television, possessions, sports, games, toys, social climbing, sex, fiction, music, medications, and work in one form or another. These activities, when addictions, pump us up pleasurably so we will avoid all those D-word states mentioned above. Most people are unaware of some of their basic addictions.
Let me quickly add that I am not saying everyone has all or even most of these activities as addictions, nor am I saying they are addictions when practiced in healthy, sensible ways that are fully under take-it-or-leave-it personal control. What I am implying is that many people are addicted to one or more of these activities for most or all of their lives, and that it is the ego that is the motivating force behind these addictions. Not only that, but these multiple ego-generated addictions, often distract us from any interest in a Spiritual Path which will Awaken us to God's infinite Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge--all of which are within us Now.
Fantasies: I did not include these in the general addiction category above because they deserve a paragraph of their own. Although sexual ego fantasies are included here, they are far less important as ego-inflation pumps than the almost continuous fantasies we have of making all kinds of a "better life" for ourselves in the future. This living for a better physical / material life in the future means that we never are fully alive to experiencing what is happening in the present moment. It's as if when we are eating the appetizer, we are thinking about the entree, and while we are consuming the entree, we are anticipating how enjoyable the dessert is going to be. Then there is that fantasy-booster word, "next." Next week, next month, or next year will be better than this one. My next house, my next car, my next location, my next partner, my next job, my next life, will be better than this one. Just wait until I win the next lottery, then I will make all my fantasies and dreams come true! Some psychologists have labeled this state of living, "futurizing."
Are fantasies "sinful?" No, because "sin" itself is yet another of the ego's fictions designed to keep you dithering around in egoic confusion, guilt, sacrifice, anxiety and self-condemnation. Fantasies that deter you from moving along your Spiritual Path are simply counterproductive, but creative imaginative "fantasies" that produce inspired art or music are beneficial. Look at Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel or listen to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" for superb examples. However, it might be better to exclude all art forms from our present definition of the word "fantasy" as used on this Page.
Let me also hasten to add that I am not saying you should not actively change your circumstances if something about them is very uncomfortable for you, or makes you mentally or physically ill. I am not talking about active plans to change an unsatisfactory life, but I am talking about perpetual fantasies of a different better ego-life in your future, an ego-based life that never comes. Some people plan to start really living when they retire, and not infrequently die shortly thereafter. Some religious people plan to experience a wonderful heavenly life after they die! I even hear reincarnationists say that they intend to have a much better life next time around, without realizing that is precisely what they said last time!
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS WITHIN YOU AND NO ONE CAN TAKE IT FROM YOU.
The ego is full of false ploys, duplicitous tricks, as well as hollow promises of "happiness," material abundance and fulfilling relationships which rarely transpire and which, if they do transpire, are never quite enough. We soon hook into another area of external lack or endeavor that will be fulfilled in the future. Also, every realized fantasy or dream has a built-in flaw called an ego-polarity which will bring it crashing down sooner or later. While it is necessary to develop an adequate support and maintenance system for your physical body and for the support of those for whom you are responsible, do not make it your life's main goal. Our life's Real goal is to heal humanity so that we and everyone on this planet can Wake up in full Consciousness of God.
All the time throughout this life, each of us has the capacity to tap into our Kingdom of Heaven within, right here, right now--and that is no fantasy! What is Heaven? It is what we, as egos, are actually looking for in all the wrong places--usually from outside sources. Heaven exists inside each of us as Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom, Knowledge, and infinite Happiness right here, right NOW.
How? Simply LOVE everyone and everything and do no harm. (See also, all G Section Pages.)
NOTE: There is a colored graphics Diagram summarizing some of the material on this Webpage. See: R05
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD