I have seen the ego defined as Edging God Out or Everything Good is Outside. If we have Edged God Out, if goodness is only found outside then what does this leave on the inside? It can only leave the opposite of goodness, which is badness, a sense of something being wrong, not quite right.
Unable to be fully at ease with this we have no option but to push this badness away from ourselves believing that ridding ourselves of badness will somehow make us feel good again. When the badness is outside of us we can look at it and say “Oh there’s badness over there. What a relief it isn’t in me.”
Let’s take a look at how this might work in reality.
The war outside is the war inside. The abuse outside is the abuse inside. You might ask “How am I at war with myself? How have I ever abused myself” Well if you’ve ever looked in the mirror and said “I hate myself” then you’ve been at war with yourself. If you’ve ever inflicted self harm through over eating, drinking to excess or smoking then you’ve abused your body. If you’ve ever called yourself names then you have abused yourself emotionally.
Likewise with acceptance. The lack of acceptance and tolerance outside is a reflection of the lack of acceptance and tolerance inside. If you’ve ever told yourself “there’s something wrong with me; I must change; I have to be different; I can’t accept how I look or the shape I am; I can’t tolerate myself anymore” then your own lack of self acceptance is part of the lack of acceptance we see displayed in others.
If you’ve ever said to yourself “I’m a disgrace; I’m hopeless; I am a waste of space’ then you have criticised and judged yourself. This criticism and judging is the same criticism and judgement that you see outside in the world.
Whenever we see something wrong ‘out there’ then it strikes at our own fear of being wrong ‘in here’. This fear is what stops us from truly reaching out to help other people. Although at some level we want everyone to live happy and fulfilling lives we also don’t want this. We might like to think that we would do our best to help others overcome their problems but quite often this is not true. This is because while we are able to label others as being wrong/flawed/faulty/broken/lost/damaged we are able to disassociate ourselves from this wrongness and disassociating from what is wrong is how our ego copes with its own feelings of not being good enough (because it believes it has Edged Goodness Out).
Our damaged egos will use what’s wrong ‘out there’ as a means to try to address the lack of goodness ‘in here’.
See if you can recognise yourself in any of the following scenarios.
When we compare ourselves to others we either come off better of worse. It we come off worse then things get really interesting. If we perceive someone as doing better than us it can ignite our own insecurities. Often we will accept their success but only to a point. For example.
It’s not uncommon for instance that when we get a spell of good weather in Britain we hear ourselves say things like, “Make the most of it. It won’t last. It’s due to change at the weekend.” It’s as if we can’t totally accept that which is good. Being completely alienated from our own inherent goodness we don’t trust it. We have developed a rather strange relationship with all things good. Its as if the sight of something good ‘out there’ brings up what’s bad ‘in here’ and then we have to push this badness ‘out there’ too where it ends up souring what is good.
How odd this is. Our egos have Edged Goodness Out and yet we also push what’s bad out there too and the result is that we end up feeling somewhat empty, incomplete and unfulfilled. We then spend inordinate amount of energy trying to fill this emptiness............
BUT the good news is that we were never empty in the first place!
We were never disconnected from goodness, not ever, not for one second; goodness has never been outside of us. Goodness is what we are. Even beginning to contemplate this for a moment can make us begin to feel better. We are not separate from goodness; from love; from beauty; from joy; from each other; from anything that we desire – it is just that our minds have been telling us this for so long that we have come to believe this and to embody it as a living truth.
Finding ways to restore our relationship with goodness, to make our goodness feel real and to live it out in our lives is the next step forward for mankind.
It is a big step but it can be broken down into many little steps. Rumi told us that there are ‘101 ways to kneel and kiss the ground’ and it is up to us to begin to discover what this means for each of us on an individual level.
These are exciting times to be alive.
As always I invite comments.......let's grow together.
The opinions I express here are my own. However I offer them with the word 'syat' next to them. 'Syat' is a word used by the Jain Tribe in India which means 'To the best of my knowledge SO FAR.' In the spirit of openness I invite comments from anyone whether you agree with my point of view or not. In this way we can all learn and grow together. Thank you.