Friday, October 7, 2011

Peace, contentment and equanimity are the goals...

Peace, contentment and equanimity are the goals of and eventually the fruits of a spiritual life...A life worth living!

Most people can't stand to be with themselves. They need constant gratification to get through their day, contact, interaction, and distraction, and now that we have smart phones and social media of all types, we never actually have to be alone!

Gratification comes in two colors, we need to buy something, so our Ego can be gratified (temporarily), or we need a distraction (from ourselves). The buying/possessing strategy is the Ego's realm. The Ego needs to be important. It will look for any way possible be special. What happens when you buy something? You gain control over it, and your hoard of assets becomes larger. The more you accumulate, the more important and powerful you must be. People can't wait to show off their new stuff, because their Ego gets a hit every time they do! There is a reverse to this showing off too. Think of how many times people don't want to go to a function because they "have nothing to wear." They obviously have something to wear, they just might not have something new and impressive. Their Ego doesn't want to be subjected  to appearing less, less than special, less affluent, or less powerful than the others at the function. Ordinary is not the arena of the Ego. Also, when you make a purchase, your Ego imagines that certain qualities of the item are accrued to it, sophistication, taste, connections, and wherewithal, all irresistible.

As for distractions, they come in many shapes: activities, prejudices, hatreds, grudges, sports, gossip, mortification, victimhood, and the list goes on. Holding a grudge keeps your Ego occupied with anger and self. It uses up lots of emotion/time and keeps your Ego feeling superior. Predjudices are much the same. Gossip allows you to be special because YOU (temporarily) know something about someone else that other's don't. Victimhood, "POOR YOU!"

There are four major control dramas (James Redfield) used by your Ego for sucking energy out of others and thus accruing it:
1. The Intimidator - intimidates you until you cower. The cowered, lesser position gives energy and power to the intimidator.
2. The Inquisitor - askes an endless series of "gotcha" questions, until the you falter, then they jump in and say,"SEE!" garnering energy and power from your failure.
3. The Aloof - constantly backs up, causing you to keep stepping forward. They cause you to chase them which demonstrates their importance.
4. The Poor Me - who constantly complains and cries foul. When you comfort them, you give them your energy.

None of this is going to bring you one iota closer to peace and equanimity. In fact, it is keeping you from it. Equanimity is a state of balance. It needs nothing to happen. Gratification is the exact opposite. It is entirely unbalanced and based on need. As long as you continue on the path of gratification, you will need to keep seeking and searching for more, always MORE!

The way out of this is to gain control of your Ego. The only way to accomplish this is to BEgin to observe yourself. Observe what you say, what you do. There actually is a space between your thoughts. Try to stay in that gap as long as possible. Just BE still, silent. When a thought comes in don't pay it attention, just let it go by. Focus on your breathing. Eventually, with enough practice, you will be able to remain in that place of stillness, and you will BEgin to see LIFE in a new, undistracted way. You won't need to buy anything, or need to contact anyone, you won't need to DO anything, and your Ego won't be needed. You will BEgin to understand that you are a Human BEing, not a Human doing...

Today, simply try to watch yourself. Take a deep breath. Feel how wonderful it is simply to fill your lungs with air. Focus on your body. How do your hands feel? How do your legs feel touching the chair? Concentrate on the space between thoughts, where there are no thoughts. Peace, contentment and equanimity are the goals...


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