15 Mar How to stand the Ego? It is everywhere!
See picture comment further down.
Right now I am lying in my bed after my morning meditation in Tulum, Mexico. I would like to share something with you that is becoming more and more obvious in my life since I started my spiritual journey. I read my first spiritual book, The Power of Now, four years ago. That was the first time I came across the term Ego in a deeper sense than how it is used in every-day language. As you know this journey has been accelerating for me since then, especially since I started with tantra and more direct Ego-confronting work.
Ego is just a word and you can read my attempt to make a definition in the dictionary, but here let’s just assume it is a psychological and physical mechanism that prevents us from being our natural open, curious, loving and happy selves. Whenever we believe we have problems, are annoyed with something or feel sorry for ourselves it is the work of our Ego. We are actually doing it to ourselves.
This is easier to see in others than in yourself. Sure you have witnessed at a dinner table how a couple start arguing about something as simple as one of them eating too much, or the other talking too loud. You have seen some car driver totally loose it, because another one was slow and he had to wait 75 seconds for the next green light. You have witnessed friends turning into sulking victims when they did not get attention from the one they are interested in, and maybe the most common one; people being stressed because they feel they have to get a lot of things done asap. Stress is actually fear I have learned, even though it is a mild form of fear. So we are afraid quite much of our time in the modern society.
During my life I know I have been the looser in all the situations above. I call it looser because the one complaining about the way things are, not accepting reality as it is, will suffer unnecessarily and that made me a looser in those situations. Common Babyface, wouldn’t it be nicer for everyone if you did not get annoyed in traffic, wasn’t needy on that girl and did not get stressed about the project but rather worked in a relaxed and methodical way? Especially it would be nicer for myself. The spiritual practice I am doing aims foremost to get more in line with reality and accept it as it is, and from that space it is also easier to be creative and get flow in creating a better reality for the future.
Now I am FINALLY coming to the point I was thinking about when starting to write! (Jesus, that was a long intro…). This practice where I start to see my own Ego more clearly has the side effect that I also see other’s Egos more clearly, much more clearly than my own unfortunately.
I write unfortunately because I want to see my own shit, my destructive behavioural patterns I suffer from, so I can simply drop them and be at peace. But in a way it is also unfortunate because it sometimes can be frustrating to see others act out their programmed patterns so unnecessarily. I remember my mentor said on my first tantric workshop that for him walking around town is like being in a mental institution without any doctors. I heard this and thought it was funny, but heavily exaggerated. Two years later I don’t think it is such an overstatement anymore. Sure we are functional and driving on the right side of the road, but the unconscious behaviours are everywhere. We simply don’t see ourselves and we are often too occupied with our own thoughts, talking to ourselves in our heads, to see the strange behaviours of others too.
So my mentor says it is like being in a mental hospital, myself I am starting to see it that way and I am not even close to his awareness. A few days ago I talked to the girl I have been dating for some time, my lover as we call each other, and she was also a bit frustrated with now seeing others Ego-patterns more clearly. So it is not just me. When your awareness in an area rises, you see things you did not see before. If you learn how to sing and become really good at it, you will all of a sudden notice all the subtle qualities among others when they are singing. Whereas before maybe you would not even take notice, it was just somebody singing.
I have been travelling all over the world during the past 1,5 years and I have to face it, the Ego is everywhere. The patterns are different depending on where I go, so let’s generalize (sorry). In Sweden people are a bit stiff in the body but also in the attitude, they want to be correct and not stick out which can’t be natural since we are all different characters. Here in Mexico many are lazy and nonchalant, but they are more relaxed than Swedes. The Americans I meet here are often over positive, wanting to show of and pretend they are better than they are. I remember in Tanzania waiters played stupid and in parts of Asia many are playing polite and smiling, even though they probably think I am just a stupid tourist. And ok let’s dare to do it, it must be commented: The narcissistic selfie plague, taking photos of oneself, that seems to be – everywhere. (Of course I have done it too.)
I see this more and more clearly and in my dark moments it makes me feel annoyed, bored, hopeless and also lonely. In those moments travelling is not as fun as it was, I just see different types of Egos everywhere. Where is a place in the world where people are just naturally relaxed, present with each other and happy? My conclusion is that this world is not particularly happy, or at least not even close to as happy as it could be… But that’s it, enough of the bad news and blaming others!
Apparently my general awareness of what is going on inside me and around me is higher today compared to before, and this goes for many of my friends who are also working on themselves. But if I am triggered by somebody’s Ego, if I get annoyed, is that not a proof I also have that destructive pattern in me? If I am not tight with money, if I don’t know how to be tight with money, I would rather be surprised if someone tried to escape from the bill. If I get annoyed it is something IN ME that is triggered. I am just trying to blame the other, the outside world, which is the reality, for my unhappiness. But I am actually creating the unhappiness to myself. This is something I try to remember, that just because I see others more clearly does not mean I have transcended my shit and if I am triggered it is my responsibility to let go. Perhaps this is what is called compassion.
A smart girl once told me that it is also possible to act in a way to make others feel more comfortable and open up. Perhaps by asking the right questions, being funny and loving yourself or by just accepting things as they are. It is hard and sometimes I feel lost. Then I remember what Osho once said. “You will feel lost for a while. You have changed, but the world has not changed”. Anybody recognize this? Anyway I am happy that more and more people are willing to face their Ego’s to become more real and I am also happy you are reading this blog (and this lo-ong post, was it too long?). Thank you! 🙂