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Saturday
Oct182008

Square Pegs, Round Holes

I've been noticing lately how clever my ego is at trying to engage my attention and get me involved in its constant drama, criticisms and angst.  It succeeds quite often and when I "come to myself", that is, drift back to complete presence, I am amazed that I have been duped into buying into the ego's storyline once again.  It is often the act of discernment that saves me, noticing how the ego's exaggerated ruminations tend not only to conflict, but also be astoundingly ineffective.   That is always the key for me.  What works to achieve the aim I wish to realize? The ego's sole aim is to keep me involved in its drama - not to find solutions, find peace or any meaningful answers.  The ego is a master at insisting that we continue to try to  jam square pegs into round holes, knowing full well we can never do it. 

For instance, my ego would like me to believe that people are angry or upset with me when I don't hear from them or get a reply to an email I sent or talk to me in a social setting. To what end? Not to make me a better person as the ego would have me believe, but to create in me the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, to deflate confidence, to take the joy out of life, basically. This strengthens the ego's position as master of my life.  I know by now this is an old pattern of the ego so most of the time I am not fooled by the thoughts that might happen to float by with this old ruse as a theme, but occasionally my guard is down and the thoughts take hold for a while.   

I realize it may seem strange to some people that I talk about my ego as if it is a separate entity from me, but in a way it is. Well, not really an entity, but a bundle of neurons and thought patterns that have been forming in my brain since I was born-- my operating system, so to speak. An amazing operating system, to be sure, but not without its bugs and viruses. I have found it extremely important to step back from my thoughts and and look at them clearly,which is a vast improvement over the days when I was completely identified with my thoughts. To borrow words from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: "I am not my thoughts. Who am I then? I am the one who sees that."

 

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