When we love others sometimes we experience hurt. Perspectives and attachments such as betrayal and blown expectations can be devastating. And we tend to cling to the hurt. We poke at the wound as though somehow being reminded will “save us” from it happening again. But it doesn’t. It just causes us to suffer and robs us of our light.
When it hurts and you’re tempted to pick at the sore place in your heart, remember. This is the Home of the Beloved. The Beloved has dwelt there long before your birth and will never leave you. It’s never hurt you. Its Face is reflected upon anyone you’ve ever loved and those you haven’t. Even upon your own reflection.
Love this Beloved with the deepest abandon, as you’ve always wanted to. Let the hurt remind you your Beloved is there waiting behind the bruise. Instead of poking the pain, express your love to this Beloved. Let go of the pain and sink in the Love that’s there. Be healed, for the Light of the Beloved shines for you. Always. And live without fear.
Eckhart gives a brief insight deeper questions and answers… Who am I?
In places like this, in spiritual literature, in self-help media, we will encounter the word “ego” endlessly. Every time we encounter this word, if we’re able, it’s helpful to watch the reaction that arises within us to the words surrounding it. That is our own ego rising up and waving “hello”. It’s likely to try and assert its control over us and our reactions, and the way it will depends on the context it’s used in. Sometimes the reaction is self-satisfaction; a mental pat on the back. Other times it will rise up as self-righteous anger; a defence mechanism. It can us to draw closer to others, but will assure we remain steadfastly a separate entity. It can also cause us to lash out at others; again assurance we remain firmly rooted in our own little box of self-identity. Either way, it’s a self-defeating habit if we want to grow more deeply in spiritual understanding.
If we’re able to become aware of this as an observer and not an unconscious participant in the antics of the ego, we can become intimately familiar with it. It’s through this un-attached relationship that we can begin to watch it’s influencing dissolve. We will begin to see less of a need to react emotionally. We gain the insight into the illusory stories the ego writes to sustain itself in its position of control.
But this is not a curse. There’s no need to demonize it. What the ego does when it arises is presents us with a perfect opportunity. It shines a spotlight on hazardous and destructive mind-habits that keep us from any real understanding of who we are. It illuminates its own illusion.
When we realize this, and learn to embrace it as our own inner guru, our inner life will begin to experience a shift. We react less. We suffer less. We cling less. We experience less conflict. We have more clarity. We feel more peaceful. We experience a depth of effortlessness. We experience life more fully. Yes, the ego can work for us if we learn how to watch it and develop a conscious partnership with it. Give it a try.
The mind we’ve grown up with, as we’ve learned is it, is not our friend. Busy in thoughts of self-judgement, judgement of others, societal concerns, daily worries, it keeps us chained to a world of mental illusion. We remain incapable of untouchable peace and seeing the beauty of our own existence, of the effortlessness of simply being alive, except for a small sip now and then. As we move to deepen our understanding of this thing we call “me” it’s essential to remain aware of how subtle these old mind-habits are and how they will sneak back in when we’re not looking. It takes some perseverance, but never stop inquiring into this thing called “I” and it will lead you eventually out of it.
The hope lies in the emptying out of all we hold onto, beliefs, concepts, worries, and intellectual knowledge. The peace comes not in detaching, which implies force of will, but rather in the un-attachment which is the dissolving and surrendering of this self-imposed will.
“It appears that man has always escaped from himself, from what he is, from where he is going, from what all this is about – the universe, our daily life, the dying and the beginning. It is strange that we never realize that however much we may escape from ourselves, however much we may wander away consciously, deliberately or unconsciously, subtly, the conflict, the pleasure, the pain, the fear and so on are always there. They ultimately dominate. You may try to suppress them, you may try to put them away deliberately with an act of will but they surface again. And pleasure is one of the factors that predominate; it too has the same conflicts, the same pain, the same boredom. The weariness of pleasure and the fret is part of this turmoil of our life. You can’t escape it, my friend. You can’t escape from this deep unfathomed turmoil unless you really give thought to it, not only thought but see by careful attention, diligent watching, the whole movement of thought and the self. You may say all this is too tiresome, perhaps unnecessary. But if you do not pay attention to this, give heed, the future is not only going to be more destructive, more intolerable but without much significance. All this is not a dampening, depressing point of view, it is actually so. What you are now is what you will be in the coming days. You can’t avoid it. It is as definite as the sun rising and setting. This is the share of all men, of all humanity, unless we all change, each one of us, change to something that is not projected by thought.”
Those who desire to understand, who are looking to find that which is eternal, without beginning and end, will walk together with greater intensity, will be a danger to everything which is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. They will concentrate. They will become the flame, because they understand.
Thank you Tao & Zen