A New Earth August 24th – Chapter 2

Chapter 2 EGO: The Current State of Humanity.

This chapter talks about our need to name things, people and places.  Once we have named something we often think we know now all there is to know about that something then we overlook the true essence that is within.  We over look the fact that within all things there is a connectedness, we all come from source energy and we are all interconnected at a very deep level.  Eckhart says on pg 26 “When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life.  …Things regain their newness, their freshness.”    The goal of this chapter is to help us disentangle ourselves from our “identity” which we gain through labels, roles and accomplishments.  We need to learn to go quietly within to experience who we really are.  So often we get caught up in the “cleverness of words and lose our wisdom” (pg 27) He goes on to say that “Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.”

He goes on to discuss that life as we know it is an illusion.  We focus on the named aspects of self and understand ourselves superficially only.  Once we “recognize the illusion, it is the ending of the illusion.” (pg 28)  We start to lose our false self and recognize our true self.

Many of us live life with constant inner chatter, which creates constant inner turmoil.  So much of our mind chatter is repetitive ( about 95%) and most of that is negative.  We are driving ourselves mad.  He goes on to tell of a lady who he observed in London and in his mind he had decided she was “mad”.  It was later that same morning, he caught himself doing the same things as this lady had done and he came to the realization that most of us are “mad”.  Our minds are busy all the time with things we should do, shouldn’t do, haven’t done yet, need to do, etc.  Our ego is in charge and we are along for the ride.

The Ego, Eckhart states “…consists of content and structure.” (pg 34)  Content is what we focus on, (car, house, job) and structure is when we add the word my to it, we make it a part of us.  “The unconscious compulsion to enhance one’s identity through association with an object is built into the very structure of the egoic mind.” (pg 35)  “I try to find myself in things but never quite make it and end up losing myself in them.” (pg 35)  “We cannot really honor things if we use them as a means to self-enhancement” (pg 37) Many of us become preoccupied with things, particularly when you no longer feel the life that you are, you are likely to try to fill up your life with things.” (pg 39)

“Whatever the ego seeks and gets attached to are substitutes for the Being that it cannot feel.” (pg 40) Eckhart says don’t even try to let go of attachment to things.  It is impossible.  “Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” (pg 45)  Once we can get out of our heads and go within, we can start to feel who we are, it has to be felt, it cannot be achieved through thinking or things.

Sometimes it takes a tragic loss, major illness or some life altering event for us to go beyond ego, to yield into the quietness where “Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter.  You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all pervasive Presence…” (pg 57)  Other times when someone experiences a major life event they resist, and now the ego becomes “more contracted, more rigid and impenetrable than the old one.” (pg 57)  To yield is to accept what is. You are open to life.  To resist is to contract, you become closed to life. (pg 58)  To open internally is to become one with unconditioned consciousness, the all that is.  “Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative.  Coincidences happen.  If no action is possible, you rest in the peace and inner stillness that come with surrender.  You rest in God.” (pg 58)

This is a powerful chapter and we had lots of lively discussion today as we delved a bit deeper into all this.  Thank you to all who attended and to you who are following along online.

Next Saturday Book Club will meet at Indra’s Grace again from1-2:30.  The following week, September 7th there will be no Book Club as we will be having our  Third Intensive Yoga Training.

Have a wonderful week!

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