Most of us are familiar with physical awareness and some have developed a keen sense of what’s going on around them. But, physical awareness is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about what goes on inside your head and heart, your reactions and feelings. Are you aware of that? Can you recognize a thought and then identify its purpose?
Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), talks about a transformation of consciousness that is happening right now where we’ll awaken to life by becoming aware of how thoughts are being used by ego.
BEINGNESS – OUR PRESENCE
There is more to us than body and mind. There’s an every present beingness looking out from behind the eyeballs. Tolle calls it, “the Presence”, our oneness with God. It’s silent now, just observing, as we go about our busy day. When we become conscious of how our thoughts and ego play out their roles, affecting our daily lives, we will then allow our Presence to emerge awakening us to the life we were destined to live.
UNDERSTANDING THE PURPOSE OF EGO
To understand the ego and its purpose we have to know how it operates within us. It’s not something you fight or battle against. In fact, that only strengthens it. It’s not a devil sitting on your shoulder and the angel sitting on the other shoulder, each talking in your ear. It’s an unconsciousness that we have bought into that is very much a part of the dual world we live in.
It relates to us in form and structure and here’s the key: when we IDENTIFY with a thought of form or structure, it (ego) “edges God out” and our Presence waits. Identifying with a thought that you’re a “loser” because you lost your job (form) means you own it. You own the belief that you’re a loser and then you attract what comes with it. Identifying with the thought that you want (structural) more money and more things, only after having them you’re still not fulfilled, means you’re chasing after an illusion that can never satisfy you. It only reinforces and satisfies the need for ego to be dominant in your life. Tolle explains it further by saying:
“Since you cannot find yourself through having, however, there is another more powerful drive underneath it that pertains to the structure of the ego: the need for more, which we could also call “wanting.” No ego can last for long without the need for more. Therefore, wanting keeps the ego alive much more than having. The ego wants to want more than it wants to have. And so the shallow satisfaction of having is always replaced by more wanting.”
“Unease, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, dissatisfaction, are the result of unfulfilled wanting. Wanting is structural, so no amount of content can provide lasting fulfillment as long as that mental structure remains in place.”
We all have dreams and desires and wants and I think that is different from what we have been talking about here. In what context is the wanting or the need for more – are you ever satisfied or fulfilled? If not, that’s where you can see that the ego has been in command here.
1. The key component is being aware of our thoughts and understanding from where they are coming. Are they coming from a story or a fact? If you lose your job – that’s a fact; being a loser because you lost your job is a story coming by way of thought from ego. Respond to the fact not the story. Take action and do what is necessary to handle the fact.
2. Start paying attention to your thoughts and what you’re identifying with. This is important and it will free you up and allow Presence to operate in your life. If you react and emotions stir up, more than likely you have identified with a thought triggering something from a form or a structure and it originates from ego. Feelings follow thoughts. So, if you have a lot of thoughts about something that is bothering you, the emotions will begin to emerge. Catch yourself and just allow Presence to observe and be okay with it. Tell yourself, “It’s an old conditioning thought from the past.”
3. Realize that we’re all one created by the same Source, no one is diminished in Presence. Understand that we are all evolving and consciously awakening and those others who may have treated you despairingly are on the same path.
I love this quote Tolle mentions from Ram Dass, “If you think you are so enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.” Our interactions with one another reveal how much work there is still needed to be done. To become aware is the secret to our spiritual development and well being. To pay attention and observe the thoughts within checking what we identify with and allowing others the freedom to evolve at their own pace will be the catalyst in changing the face of humanity and the awakening of a New World.
From the kitchen table - Pat
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