Some thoughts on a Saturday On The Hamster’s Wheel Of The Intellectual Ego, Reading Spiritual Books & Video: “Ordinary Enlightenment.” I’ve got my writing hat on today…
In this world, value-based judgment and intellectual competition underlie much of our human interractions. It’s the ego using rationale, logic and analysis to score points – to be right.
But I like to say – you can either be right or be happy, but not both. And here’s why.
An interesting article on “The Yin and Yang of the Two Brains” says: “For most persons, consciousness resides in the left-brain cerebral hemisphere and is considered yang. The right-brain cerebral hemisphere and the rest of the brain is considered yin.”
There is nothing wrong with the left-brained (yang) per se, it is just that it becomes top-heavy, out of synch and balance with the right-brain (yin), which is the softer, intuitive side (the left-brain being the analytical, language based side). In real terms, being more analytical, it means that conversations can feel like an intellectual and emotional battle or a competition, as the intellectual ego always wants to come off looking good. In moments of silence it feels awkward, thus it likes to talk. A silent moment? – God forbid! A moment of silence forces one back to the present, which the ego resists intensely. That’s why silent retreats can be so challenging.
The mind rarely rests, even when alone. Thoughts are constant and often intense, and one can actually be living in a series of made-up fantasies within the mind space, based on beliefs and assessments of oneself and others. The world and oneself are experienced through this narrow filter. Experiences often feel unfulfilling, as if they always just miss the mark. Yet at the same time we believe we are in control – that there is an I / me controlling it all. The issue with this is that That which we truly are – That which is beyond ego, our Essence – is blocked from view and experience.
The real journey lies in finding out what we are not. The false aspects of our self must be faced, however freaked out we might be by this! Sure, it’s a lonely road at first. But many, many people right now, are experiencing just this at this very moment… Awakening is no longer for the great masters alone. We are all masters. Yet we must first choose to walk into the unknown, and that means letting go of all the past, the analyses, and judgments, and surrendering to the moment. It’s easy once you get past the initial terror! LOL. Indeed, as we do, it becomes the known, a never changing place of existence that was always our home. The physical form – and drama! – through which we experience separation, leads us, ironically, to Oneness on the spiritual path. It is often that way with ‘growth’ – you see what something is not first. So first we see the idea of our separation in sharp relief, then in the moment of absence of separation, there is simply Oneness. It’s simple. So simple.
Honing in now on the topic of reading spiritual books…
Many people seek and seek. As I did too. They read book after book and are locked into a paradox of reading about going within, about healing, about raising one’s consiousness, but the irony is that the means by which this is done, is its very own antithesis – seeking the within but without! So how can it ever work?! A book is someone else’s expression or explanation of truth from their individual experiences. The point is, what’s yours?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying stop reading books. Goodness knows, I spent many years packing so many spiritual books into my head that quite honestly it’s a wonder I didn’t spiritually and spontaneously combust into an enlightened state by the time I was 30!! Oh and I loved/love literature. And for sure, I’m not talking about literature here – that is most definitely worth the energy. (And I shall one day re-read Cervantes’ Don Quijote whilst sitting on a beach somewhere! Marvellous book.) No, I’m talking about all those spiritual, religious, personal development etc books we read in order to get somewhere psychologically and spiritually.
In a nutshell – you can read about it or you can be it. As per Jiddu Krishnamurti, there is a vital difference between the word ‘tree’ and the experience of touching the bark of a real tree itself. What we may sometimes confuse is that by reading the word ‘tree’ we somehow got to touch the tree itself – uh uh. This is fantasy land. But this is what the ego likes to get up to. However, if, by reading a description of the word ‘tree’ we somehow get inspired to go touch a tree, then, when you later read about trees, it may now not be quite so captivating, because you already had the experience yourself. Still, you may enjoy hearing about other types of trees for variety and curiosity purposes and feel gladdened that others are also describing their own trees.
I hope that analogy did not go too far!
And finally, to wrap up this post, here is a video of some people describing their own trees 😉 (To take it even further)
I think I might have posted it already before, a couple of years ago on a previous rendition of this blog. It shows ordinary people describing their awakening experiences. It’s funny really but whatever words we use, whether we talk of ego or that which is not real, or the personality, what awakening experiences point to is, again, the revelation first, of that which we are not. Then, in the seeing of this, Reality is what is left. Or That which is left when intellectual ego is not in the way. The Un-Namable!
What I’m surprised about is how this video has got so few views on youtube!
Here’s it is – en-joy.
Comments, as always, welcome.
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