|Sent on:||Thursday, March 1, 2012 9:17 PM|
"I" - This single letter word has been the downfall of many an empire. Although the letter looks insignificant and isolated and we may even feel sorry for it, yet this small word can carry such a huge weight of ego that can swipe and kill anything in its wrath. It’s important to be aware of the ramifications of using the word “I” so that we are not deceived on this spiritual journey. Conquering the false “I” is one of the first and last things the yogi must do.
The world of trade and commerce revolves around defending and buttressing the existence of the physical “I”: fashion and design, stock markets, food industry, technology, etc. Each one of these calls out to the ego of body consciousness by creating an atmosphere of competition, desire and fear, in which countless billions of dollars are the prize. Needless to say, very little attention is given to the development of the inner “I” in this.
Every time I use the word “I”, do I stop to consider which “I”, I am referring to? The word “I” is used to define the self – but which self are we referring to? Is it the one we see in the mirror, the “I” of the physical form, or the one I feel from inside, the soul, the real essence of who I am?
On the spiritual journey, our aim is to dissolve the body conscious ego and turn it into pure, untainted self-respect. But that will only happen when I get to know myself as a soul – a being of light and might and virtues. It’s an illusion to think that I am just this physical form of flesh and bone that will one-day turn to dust or ashes. To associate oneself with the physical “I” is the biggest mistake we have made in our lifetime.
Many philosophers have spoken about the “Id” and the Super Ego – so there is no need to elaborate further on that. Raja Yoga simply speaks of our return to the pure I, the pure consciousness, the pure essence. This is the state in which I re-discover myself as an original being, unique, and beautiful irrespective of the colour of my “costume”.
Although we understand that, to even consider enlightenment, we have to have our physicals needs met such as food and shelter – as described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – yet we continue to confuse the needs of the body with the greed in the soul.
The false “I” is the mistaken belief that I am what I have (a body) or what I do (my roles in life). What we have forgotten is the life-force within the body that makes it all tick! This, in a way, is similar to focusing on the fancy mobile phone but forgetting that it is useless if it is not charged!
To make matters worse, we alternate the “I” with the “we”. This is a clever way of concealing the ego. We say that “we will do it”, when it’s really “I” that wants to do it and claim all the credit. It’s the false “I” of pretence; poor and false humility. Because the conscience knows it’s on an ego trip, the false “I” involves an accomplice in its desires, in order to appease itself! Because when the collective is involved the guilt caused by the ego is minimised.
Saying I, from the heart and feeling the deep qualities of the self is quite different from focusing on the physical certificates of a profession. Wouldn’t the world be a different place if we related to each other through our qualities and not our status or profession.
I have forgotten that earlier when I used the “I”, I was in fact the master of my senses, I was telling them what to do! I have now become the slave, the five senses are my masters, telling me to eat, see, touch, taste and smell – sometimes against my better judgement.
With every thought that is created due to the pull of the senses, I become body conscious and with every thought created based on my innate virtues of peace, love and truth, I am reinforcing soul consciousness. With the world pulling our senses more and more we became accustomed to thinking that we are simply the body! The mind will believe whatever you tell it. As I lost sight of the truth of the soul, I also lost the power that goes with it, the unlimited nature of this power, and so started to believe that my power was limited to my physical body or the strength that results from position and status.
Imagine a world where the “I” of the ego is replaced by the real “I” of true self-respect. The real “I” would not feel the need to compete or seek to defend itself against perceived threats from others – whether from a hurtful glance or an aggressive nation. It would not demonstrate its lack of self-control by trying to control others. The real “I” would not feel the need to turn inner pain into aggression and violence towards others. It would not be at the mercy of its own emotions or the negative energies around it, but would indeed be the master of its own destiny. The law of this world would be love, not fear.
It’s time… to sit quietly, to play some soft music and to remind the self, that I am a pure and peaceful being, a being of light and truth. I am a master of this body, I get in touch with my core, the purest part of myself that is untouched and thus uncoloured by the outside world. From my seat of self-respect, I can then tell my senses who is Boss!
This email message originally included an attachment.