The “ego” is just a convenient – and somewhat misleading – name of what happens when images and thoughts are taken as true.
And what is this ego longing for, what are these dynamics longing for? When I trace it back for myself, using specific examples, I find it’s something very simple: Love, trust, a sense of safety, connection, being at home, and so on.
The ego, the dynamics created when images and thoughts are taken as true, is looking for what it really and already is, Spirit, and it’s longing for Spirit to recognize itself, and for that being the next context for the life of this human being in the world.
The ego is longing for what it really is, for this to recognize itself, and for what’s revealed when this happens.
The ego is innocent, and comes from and is love. It’s innocent in that it’s the natural consequences of taking images and thoughts as true, and these images and thoughts are held as true because that’s what others do in this world. It comes from love in that it wishes to protect (the image of) this human self. And it is love since it is – it is made of – awakeness, presence, love.
An example: There is an impulse to eat ice cream. I notice it comes from a sense of deficiency, and wishing to fill this hole with something that feels nurturing and comforting. There is a wish here for comfort, a sense of everything being OK, for love. And this sense of deficiency comes from a set of beliefs such as I am not enough, I am unlovable, I am unloved, people don’t love me, I made a mistake, my life got off track, I am not as good as…. and so on. I see that these beliefs come from an innocent desire to protect the image of me, a human being in the world. There is a devotion to and love for this image of a me behind these beliefs. And when I explore what’s here through the sense fields, I find that what initially appears as a desire for ice cream, a sense of deficiency, and a set of beliefs, are what everything in my world is. It’s what a though may label, awakeness, or presence, or love.
Another way to explore this is to hold satsang with what’s here: the impulse to have ice cream, the unease behind it, the fear behind it, the images held as true behind it.
When I explore other dynamics, such as reactivity to the political views of others, I find something similar in its essence although the specifics may be a little different. There is a reaction to people who set short term profits for the few over the quality of life for the many (including ecosystems and future generations). It comes from fear, and a wish for all life to be included in and supported through how we organize our society and economical system. This comes from a set of beliefs: They are cruel. They are small minded. They are fear driven. It’s creating a worse life for future generations. They don’t value the life of animals, plants and ecosystems. They don’t realize we depend on a thriving ecosystem for our own life and wealth. What they do is wrong. These beliefs come from an innocent place, and from love (even if they are somewhat misguided). Exploring this through the sense fields, I find it’s all happening within and as awakeness, within and as presence, within and as love.
And again, I can meet these parts of me in satsang.