Ego – The Love/Hate Relationship

By Perfilbtl (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

During any sadhana, the seeker will be faced with unflattering aspects of oneself.  In my personal sadhana, which is shaktipat sadhana, these aspects are merely karmas that the Shakti is removing. My teacher tells us that all we can do is watch, but that doesn’t always help the character (ego) when it is experiencing the emotionality of anger, jealousy, judgment, and the like.  Even with the tools and techniques my teacher has given us to detach from the “emotional roller coaster,” as he likes to put it, getting caught up in negative emotions seems to be a normal part of the process.

The good news is that as karmas are removed, we find fewer buttons get pushed and life goes along in a smoother fashion. That is not to say that the external parts of life get easier; that is to say that we remain calm in the face of whatever happens, because the karmic trigger is gone. Acceptance of ‘what is’ is easier allowing one to go with the flow of life.

It wasn’t until shaktipat that I came to realize the ego is nothing more than a bundle of karmas. These karmas prevent us from knowing who we really are, which is pure Divine Consciousness, and perpetuates the duality, the notion that we are separate from everyone and everything, with which we experience our reality.

So therein lies the problem. With nearly 7 billion people on the planet, every single one of them, by nature of their individual karmas, have their own perception of how the world should be and many attempt to force this perception on the rest of us. Until we understand the non-dual nature of reality – that all is One – conflict and suffering will continue to plague us.  You don’t need to have shaktipat in order to understand non-duality.  Any spiritual path will lead you to this conclusion; shaktipat just happened to be the path I landed on.

My teacher likes to use the example of scarves covering the light of a lamp as a metaphor for the layers of ego or karmas that hide the light of our true selves. But in this analogy, the removal of the layers appears to be a gentle process. For me, as well as some of my fellow students on this path, the removal of karmas can sometimes feel more like ripping off a band-aid covering a still open wound. You feel exposed and vulnerable. Sometimes an ‘ego-loathing’ (in lieu of self-loathing) sets in. We are urged not to indulge in ‘mea culpas,’ but instead to be gentle with ourselves through this process. This will help us recognize the divinity within not only ourselves, but in everyone else out there struggling with the illusion of duality.

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Alchemy

William Fettes Douglas - The Alchemist

When we hear the word ‘alchemy’ we probably think of chemists trying to turn simple metals into gold during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But, in truth, alchemy has a fascinating history. Dating back to centuries BC, many famous people, including Einstein, have studied this subject. Alchemy or transmutation (a modern word for alchemy) is more common than we think. It occurs in the physical world and in the metaphysical realm of the transcendental.

We are all aware of nuclear alchemy (transmutation) when radioactive elements, because of their unstable nuclei, literally change into different elements. One way is through alpha decay – or the loss of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. You see, it the number of protons in the nucleus of any atom that identifies what that element is. The number of protons is the ‘DNA,’ so to speak, of that element. So, for example, Radium will become Radon. Lately, however, I’ve been drawn to the deeper meanings of alchemy.

Alchemy for people can happen in an interesting variety of ways. Sometimes the change is sudden. Something unexpected, usually unpleasant, happens and we are changed forever. Some who have experienced NDEs find that their approach to life changes. They can never look at anything in the same way ever again. They disregard the scientific need for proof, because as far as they are concerned they have all the proof they need – their own direct experience. And that direct experience has brought them closer to understanding their own true nature.

photo by cincooldesigns

A more gradual experience of alchemy includes those with a spiritual practice. They understand this process of change as they undergo their own metamorphosis leaving the chrysalis of their ego behind to embrace a freer, truer experience of Self.

I feel humanity is on the brink of alchemical change. There is no doubt that life on this planet today is changing  – at its very core. The old paradigms do not work anymore and even though massive efforts are being made to keep the world as it has been, it is becoming more and more clear that these efforts are futile. We are jumping down the rabbit hole. We have taken the red pill. And nothing will ever be the same again.

So, it’s time we release any notion or attachment we have about how things ‘should’ be. It’s time to release outdated notions or attachments about who we think we are. There is an old saying in the metaphysical genre, “We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having human experiences.” As we break free of the limiting structures of ignorance that encase and enslave our egos, alchemy begins.

So release the old patterns, habits, and thoughts. Free your mind.