One of the first things I saw this morning was the black cat hurling herself at a flock of swallows who were swooping over the back yard. The cat looked delighted and did not mind that she caught nothing. The swallows danced upwards, making their cool evasion a thing of beauty, and then they resumed their normal flight, swooping past the cat’s ears for a laugh. They were all behaving according to their nature.
A word that rarely enters my mind stream these days is Ego. (Could be a BIG mistake on my part!!)
I find it a funny word nowadays, and I just realised that. A slightly weird concept. I think maybe it is because in my younger days I had enough steaming BS about Ego rammed down my throat to last several life-times, as a result of the various schools of discipline I was involved in.
And all I truly ever saw were very neurotic and damaged people who were trying so desperately to vanquish this fricking thing called Ego. By either submission or domination.
This endless game of bondage was not inspiring.
I think it is almost impossible, this so-called ego ”work”. An illusion, almost like the illusion of ”becoming enlightened.”
Ahamkara – the sense of I AM – is the Ego level in yoga and it is a vital part of our form, and by that I do not mean Oh, it has to be ”healthy” in order to be considered vital. Healthy or not is a matter of taste – who decides what is healthy? As long as we exist we ALL have ego, and healthy or suitable is a social designation. Who says what is acceptable?
It perverts the basic substratum of a personality to squeeze this ego, because no matter how much one thinks one is aware of Ego’s workings and can control it, it is always burrowing deeper and becoming more subtle, twisting, sublimating and embedding itself like a microscopic germ.
All of which means that at a sudden moment of trauma/transition/explosion we will revert to type anyway and be who we are in terms of personality/ego. We will hurl ourselves at swallows, all the more maliciously because it has been so long since we have done so.
We have come here with our nature, and trying to change it is like trying to scrub the smell of ourselves from our skin.
So shouldn’t we just be who we are as we go along the conscious path in that case…farting, belching, selfish, jealous, devious, emotionally-stunted little monsters of various degrees and just accept that. And accept that those around us are similar. While to become a malicious cat who tortures swallows would not be useful, I think we would be far less fucked up in the head if we were less concerned with ”controlling” an ego. Or judging it. Our own or others.
I am not saying give our egos free rein and be complete bastards in life….not at all. We put on clothes before we leave the house so the neighbours won’t be frightened, but we do not deny that we have bodies underneath. Same with ego, we rein it in when necessary and KNOW it, but we accept our nature at the same time.
If we can manage some conscious goodness along the way without perverting this ego, all the better; but if we can only be good as result of ego suppression it would be better to be ”bad”.
I guess what I’m saying essentially is what is wrong with egotism? Ego is not the level where we transform anyway. It is way down the food chain. We could be the biggest egotist ever, a total asshole with grandiose opinion of self, and still know ourselves completely. And even after some awakening experience people can remain whopping egotists, in the same way that the shape a nose cannot change, or the colour of skin. It just is. It’s not a big deal.
I could be completely wrong on this, but I would prefer to have a BLAZING ego than become one of the twisting, perverted, neurotic, navel-gazing, supposedly-sublimated ”egoless” wraiths I have seen in my time. Pale imitations of the mighty human form, or po-faced authoritarian preachers who despise another’s human pleasures and weaknesses. If that is awakening, I will take being a full-time asshole instead.