The ego is a difficult entity to control or even keep in sight at all times. Yet without that awareness, being completely true to Oneself is impossible. The ego is what separates me from my True Self and controls my body-mind-intellect complex with ease. Me - my Spirit - prefers to remain an observer when the ego is ruling. It is only when I am consciously aware of my ego that I can attempt to be true to Me. Not that the ego is always doing the wrong thing - it can be loving and kind too but it is also a show off at that time. The ego does everything to increase its own power. In that sense it is completely self absorbed.
What then is the difference between the self absorption of the ego and the Self absorption of the Spirit? The Spirit is all pervading and so It's absorption in Itself includes all - there is no hunger for power or control. That is what makes it so easy for the ego to take over. If the Spirit had wielded It's power over the ego Its purity would be lost. The Power of the Spirit lies in Its capacity to give in to the truancy of the ego and remain an impartial loving observer. Clearly that is my inherent quality and the inherent quality of all of us. We are capable of remaining loving observers of everything happening in the world. To remain in this world and express this quality I need to train my ego to be all loving and imitate my Spirit. The ego has not yet been able to identify what is in it for it! To respond with love towards the most abrasive, the most demanding, the most violent means losing the battle and the war as far as the ego is concerned. But is it?
What is fear or hatred or violence but disruptive vibrations exuded by minds? What is the best way to nullify these? More of the same can only increase the disruption. A soothing vibration is the only way to quieten a disruptive one. That is simple physics. I know that the vibration of Love is exactly the opposite of fear. Giving in to violence in love is very different from giving in to it in fear. Giving in can be my strength or it can be my weakness depending upon where the reaction is coming from. How do I know where my reaction is coming from? When it feels good - in a soft way without feeling as if I have won or lost a battle; when I feel at peace with the decision and not belittled by it - when I am left unruffled - my reaction is coming from love.
My thoughts are the easiest for me to change, my feelings are more difficult. Feelings have been established due to years of wrong thinking and the memories they have left behind. With practice I can watch over my feelings and reverse them, it only takes longer as they are deeper in my subconscious. Deeper still are my emtions - the ones I have the most trouble keeping in check. I can see that inspite of my thoughts being markedly improved and my feelings being calm my emotions do flare up leaving me wondering what more I need to do to stay focused on my True Identity.
My emotions - whether the positive ones or the negative ones can be aroused even when I am conscious of my thoughts and feelings. For example; my son called to say he had an accident. It was nothing major, the car was slightly damaged. No one was injured. I talked to him, tried to make him comfortable about the situation and bring his confidence back but I was still frustrated at his negligence and by the turn of events that led to the accident. The event had already happened, nothing untoward came out of it. I knew there was nothing I could do yet the emotions did not stay at bay. The only way to get to them, understand them, and master them is through deeper meditation. I have proof that meditation is a powerful tool that brings lasting change to the workings of the mind.
The ego is a fearful entity - it's worst fear being its own destruction. It will do whatever it takes to stay alive. Years of wrong thinking has empowered the ego. Fortunately my Spirit is unchangeable and whenever I call upon It to guide me It does so willingly. Habit has made it difficult to let It be the doer. Hours of keeping the mind in constant company of the realm of the spirit through books, the web and writing has made it possible to recognize the benefit of cultivating new thought patterns and pursuing them. Contemplation and meditation establish right thinking that changes feelings and replaces strong emotions.
I am looking forward to learning Vipassana and staying present in the world and not giving in to everyday temptations that enhance the power of the ego. Staying ever watchful is the journey and it is outrageously beautiful.