Last year I had the choice of taking up a role for a brand consultancy firm where I would travel the world, work in Covent Garden, turn up to work in shorts and a t-shirt and work with creative like minded people.
I turned it down.
Mainly because of a pay cut. How could I show my face to people after being affectively ‘demoted’? That too whilst all my friends were progressing strongly in their careers.
I realised after this, that every action I was taking, my ego would first have an influence. I wonder if this has lead me on a different path in my life than would otherwise be the case?
What about my thoughts? My conversations with people? Does ego influence me here too? How does this change my life? Furthermore, how does this change the lives of people I come into contact with? I wanted to know.
To understand this, I needed to go to the source. First, I needed to understand how I am made up.
I discovered that there are essentially two parts:
- The ‘soul’ and
- The cloth that covers this soul i.e. the physical body (which comes with a mind thrown in for free!).
So what is the soul? Well it doesn’t exist, per se.
Think of ourselves as ice cubes in the ocean. We are water AND we are immersed in the water. We are effectively everything, but with form. Therefore, our ‘soul’ is just our breath. It is existence. It is everything. This is the concept of ‘Ik’ or oneness.
But we are ice cubes and not the ocean. Why? Because of our mind.
The mind learns in this world what we feed it. We feed it ego.
This is quite interesting and very paradoxical – we have to first separate to merge.
What is this ego?
We all know ego is not tangible. There is nothing physical in our body that we can identify as ego. Therefore, it must be created in our mind. It is totally made up. In fact, we create it.
When we are born, our mind has not yet developed. It is like a blank hard drive waiting for photos, videos, conversations etc to fill it. Society, education nor our parents really tell us what to fill it with; there is no instruction manual that is delivered with each baby. So we fill our mind with things it finds sweet, like excessive anger, lust, greed, pride and attachment, often driven through fear and lack of gratitude.
I wonder if I downloaded my mind today and drew up a pie chart, what percentage would each of these five categories be taking up of my processing power?
What would I do with this pie chart? I started looking at my life wondering whether I need to sell my car? Or live wearing basic clothes? Live in a remote countryside etc? But in doing these things all I will end up doing is having no car, wearing different clothes, living without serving. These acts will not alone help me to control ego. In fact they will probably increase it, thinking I am better than others through these noble deeds.
The affects of ego are severe. Apart from missed job opportunities, all the fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment, never ending feeling of wanting more, leads to an illness in the mind. A true dis-ease. This then has an impact on health.
So I want to know how I can control the ego in my mind?
There is a solution.
First, it is just to be aware that it exists. This is the biggest step. When you check the memory on your phone it shows the breakdown of what is making up the memory use. Without this, how will you know what to delete?
We have a delete key too.
Through meditation, living in the present and complete selfless service we can slowly erase ego by introducing humility. This does not mean be shy or weak or hide out from society.
Quite the contrary. Be strong and tall, like a willow tree in a forest. When there is a storm, other plants and trees are uprooted but the willow tree remains firm, tall and strong. However, the leaves of a willow tree always droop downwards in humility to all other life. Saying it is still humbled by their presence. The willow tree knows another storm can still come, just like we know our ship is still out in the worlds ocean. We have not made it across safely just yet.
Furthermore, the willow tree is so humble that even when a metal chainsaw comes to cut it, that same willow tree will be the boat to support the metal across the sea. This is extreme humility. Still serving, selflessly, accepting it does not deserve to be the strongest.
What did any of us ever do to deserve the life we have? I needed to up my gratitude and in turn help control my ego by introducing humility.
Yet of course be careful, even in humbleness there can be ego. There is a difference between humility for show and genuine humility.
Therefore, by diagnosing our hard drive, we should try not to eliminate, but just control what is being stored.
Conquer your mind. And you can conquer the world.Share on Facebook