Evolution that has led to the development of the human ego has been the source of many other developments and advances in our world and to changes to the way of life on the planet as well as changes to the planet. We are clearly aware of the power and capability of the ego but I am not convinced that humankind really understand the limitations of it. We seem to believe that it is infinite in its ability and that human intelligence is the thing that will be the salvation of our world. My sense is that ego is getting in the way of advancement more than we are aware.
If one can bear the pain it is plain to see the global destruction of our environment and brutality with which humans treat each other. Yes there is the compassionate and loving side of humans but that seems not to be the dominating influence on this planet at this time in many places. People often say to me in a very positive way that things are changing, that human consciousness is changing and that human kind will figure things out. In my own efforts to be conscious and through significant travel throughout the world and the things that I have seen and come to be aware of I am not convinced that this is true either.
What am I to do as an individual?. I have an ego and I am alone in that ego. I am aware of the insanity of the ego and how it has been at times and in ways a destructive influence in my life and how it continues to influence and separate me in moments that I am not aware. The only thing that I can seem to do is to be aware of my aloneness and come to accept that. Any effort and action to find relief through manipulation, influence and action that are a result of the fixated self-will lead to perpetuation of limited seeing and being. It will serve in a way that I am alienating myself from what is authentic and all those actions will have a similar consequence.
It is what we experience in that authentic place that we are able to realize in a more whole way. It will be collectively from this place that we will realize what we must do to save the planet. We might be able to better see that what we are and how we are interconnected are in fact inseparable from all else and that change in one thing affects change in another in ways that humans are most often not aware of. Humans may be aware of how the things that human perception can detect change but what about that which human perception is not aware of. Human senses have developed and become fine tuned to meet the challenges of survival in a certain select way. There is so much that is not realized and/or that has been forgotten in that process including what we are and where we have come from.
We can again come to experience our nature and the sense of connection, compassion and caring that are a part of it in a deeper way and as well a deepening of a reliance on intuitive awareness. Through a more aware way of life there is an expansion of realisation such as the coming to understand that however wonderful our ego has been, it is quite selective in what it perceives and in the development of a dependence on that functioning it insulates us from aspects of our authentic being. A deeper awareness of our aloneness, that is a consequence of the ego, can help us to better realize our limitations and from there we can trust better in what unfolds. .
It seems to be a very human tendency to seek assurance in the notion that there is something certain and secure in life. I have pursued this search with immense energy, ignorance and futility to the point that I have limited faith in the idea that we can find true happiness or wisdom to be found in any assurance we may discover. This search seems more to be of an egotistic pursuit having limited truth and being more a form of desire for the continuance of self-defensive reactions against life and intelligence.
There is no shortage of literature out there that discusses aspects of human being and it has been a fundamental source of inspiration for me to explore more directly, being. Ultimately I have discovered that following the path to self-improvement or the pursuit to improve ones security and assurance in life however thoroughly one has been researched and followed the direction of the appropriate literature only leads to relative realization which is somewhat of an illusion. What is of greater value in living authentically is not finding fulfillment in the search for security and certainty but to realize complete fulfillment in living in the present. This only occurs for me when the mind and heart are no longer protecting themselves against life. The mind is cunning and subtle in its self-defense and subtly returns to old habits. It is only when it is freed from egotistic pursuit that it can discern for itself the illusory nature of self-protection. This letting go is facilitated by the relaxing of the mind seeing beyond its functioning as it has been conditioned to be and through a meditative and contemplative way of life one can begin to liberate oneself from the net of false values which the cultural and conditioned environment has imposed upon the individual. In silence we can find a place of nakedness and from there security and certainty are discovered, not as the ego knows it but in a more authentic awareness and experience of life..
Our conditioning limits are ability to see in an authentic way but it’s no easy task to wake up to the limitation that has been imposed on us. How does someone finally become aware that their perception has been influenced by outside factors and to admit to themselves that there is much more to life and existence than has been realized and that in our conditioning our impressions are static and unchanging. This is contrary to the reality of life that is dynamic, infinitely transforming and unfolding in each moment . And we have become locked in this static sense to the degree that we have abandoned our ability to witness and discover in an authentic way. How do we move beyond the ways we have come to define ourselves and life to be and to see that there is much more than can be understood through our definitions and conventional ways of understanding phenomenon. How do we again come to embrace a more direct experience living life fully as we have been created to do and not as a consequence of our limited search for meaning.
It is a powerful shock for me to come to this realization of the emptiness behind all that has become familiar, comfortable and known. In an ongoing way I am learning to let go but there are moments in this opening that it is difficult to cope with the unknown and the vastness of that which is unfolding and I reactively turn to grasp onto more familiar ways and understanding. But this opening inevitably leads to a more blissful truth and connection with the mystery, wonder, love and beauty that are unfolding in it. And in doing I am coming to know myself in a more direct and real way. It is as well involving the realization that the search for meaning is in fact a search to be reconnected to life in this way, aware that I have somehow been lost, diverted by other searches for truth as I have been taught to do so. I am now coming to realize that life is more than what can be experience by selective human perception, definition and pleasant sensation. As such there are other possibilities, more complete and loving ones. The reality of life need not be the projection of those aspects that lack care and compassion and that are locked in a rigid identification, self fixation and brutality. It is involving for me realizing how I have come to be separated from the essence of what I am and what has been forgotten and what has become our obsession with these things that I have mentioned.
We have learned the story of the Universe from many teachers beginning very early in life and this our primary source of intelligibility and value. Such a story is vastly important. It communicates the most sacred of mysteries …. and not only interprets the past, it also guides and inspires our actions in the present and the shaping of the future. Through ones relationship with the world and universe, this story of how the Universe came to be in the beginning and how it came to be as it is now, does a person come to appreciate the meaning of life. This meaning comes to have an effect on the psychic energy needed to deal effectively with those crisis moments that occur in the life of the individual and in the life of the society.
But how accurate is the story that we have been told in portraying the reality of that universe. We perceive the story in a way that promotes an abstract notion of subject-object relationship with the universe and all else within it. The conventional image of the universe has been developed and imparted through our language and the related story has its imprint everywhere. That is why it is so important to know the true story. If you do not know the story, in a sense you do not know yourself; you do not know anything.
Ive included a tract from Thomas Berry`s book “The Sacred Universe” – Gord
It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we are in between stories. The Old Story—the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it—sustained us for a long time. It shaped our emotional attitudes, provided us with life purpose, energized action, consecrated suffering, integrated knowledge, guided education. We awoke in the morning and knew where we were. We could answer the questions of our children. We could identify crime, punish transgressors. Everything was taken care of because the story was there. But now it is no longer functioning properly, and we have not yet learned the New Story. –Thomas Berry
We can know the story of the Universe more directly in a first hand way that is quite different from what we have known before, through the trees, through the winds and through the earth, literally, not just imaginatively. – Gord
It turns out that if we proceed with a desire to reconnect to our spirituality as we have approached our life, absent of spirit, we will inevitably be perpetuating what has left us so empty of spirit in the first place. In other words we need something more than what we have known to bring spirit into our lives. We can’t know what it is like to see an eagle soaring if we don’t leave our homes in the city and likewise to see in a new way requires that we let go of ways that have limited and perpetuated our confinement in partial understanding. Part of it is about taking the time to be aware of what is there when we let go of old habits that have influenced our perception and assumptions.This aspect of seeing in another way goes beyond and has existed prior to all that we have been taught. It is prior to all that has influenced our assumptions, understandings and beliefs. It is a more direct experience, absent of the human filters and blinding bias.
Our consciousness has been both a part of and a consequence of all that has come before us. We are not separate from that. Human consciousness has originated and evolved from the same source as all other beings on this planet. It is in fact one being. The filters that we have acquired that influence our perception as humans are the result of a selective and refined process that sorts through information, useful to the survival of our species in some ways at least until present, but quite destructive in other ways. It seems that now more than ever it is essential that we question the relevance of our existing values, beliefs, ideals and understanding but along with that there is benefit in conducting it from a place of a more complete awareness of what we are and where we have come from.
To see in a new way involves more of a turning back and inclusion of something that has always been a part of us prior to our unique human development of the ability to see with refined perception, but has become obscure in our relatively recent ability to process and formulate. That more complete aspect of our being has been selectively neutralized through a reliance on this new cognitive ability to filter, select and manipulate information. To reconnect to a more whole way of being can now allow us to include what we have learned from uniquely human cognitive activities but as well to understand from a perspective that is a more whole and comprehensive place of realizing beyond the relativity of what we have come to assume and believe to be true.
But it is not a matter of acquiring something new or improving ourselves or our thinking or ultimately of practicing but more of returning to our more complete inherent ability to be aware and in that awareness realizing the limitations of less whole abilities and processes that we humans have come to have.
I don’t know. I have come to see a part of me that insists that it does know, that believes in its own causality. But in it`s partial orientation it is not witness to the whole and in this part that I have come to assume self to be I am deluded in what I think that I know.
And my thoughts and actions are most often an extension of that self. I am seeing more often these days that it is a part that projects and defends a selective and limited awareness.
It’s that place of seeing the self for what it is that I can move beyond the stories, assumption and illusions that it creates. In that letting go there is a coming to trust in something less confined; much more vast than the self. A comfort in what is familiar and a fear of the unknown at times perpetuates that self.
I am deluded in the belief in self in its partial state that it can bring change. Its consequences are more destructive than it`s awareness can realize being a product of a limited scope and assumptions that are causally connected to that. We are only now beginning to realize the global and social impacts of this collective self.
It is only when we are wise enough to get out-of-the-way and not to interfere that we can realize the significance of an authentic unfolding, something that can not be truly realized without letting go. Being manifests more explicitly in its total freedom. In presence we see that we are a part of that change and that creative wave that is unfolding and changing.