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Saturday, 26 April 2008

The demise of the ego

During the past week, being back at work full time (which for me means four days a week) I have become at times, almost painfully aware of just how over active my mind is. By this I mean that there seems to be this endless chatter going on in the background, in the periphery of my vision, which manifests itself as a vague feeling of dissatisfaction and unease. This seems to be borne from the fact that I do not like the life I have chosen, or more accurately, that my ego does not like the life that I have chosen.

The ego though is an illusion and not who I am, it is merely the inner manifestation of all my deepest fears and loathings, about not just life, but ultimately who and what I am. It is the part of me that wishes to deny my own divinity, for to accept this will mean that I am powerful beyond measure and have no need for the pettiness that the ego becomes embroiled in. This, like the various products that we sell at work, is merely a distraction designed to detract away from the fact that I am not just unique, but also divine - for God does not rest outside of us as some obscure and judgmental man, or even woman, but lives in the heart of every single one of us. The ego uses every means at its disposal in order to deny this very important fact, and will go to almost any lengths, including killing us slowly inside, through insanity or other means (Eckhart Tolle says that the over active mind is the greatest form of insanity) in order to get us to hide from the truth.

The expensive items we sell at work are not in the scheme of life important, but are things and trappings that we surround ourselves with in order to stay trapped on the perpetual treadmill called work. We are told that we must have these things, so we go out to work in order to buy them, getting into so much debt that we have to continually work harder, and thus have no time to be still and stop thinking. I see through the trap though and choose not to have these things in my possession. I still though have to sell them at work, and this is where the challenge lies.

It occurs to me that the reason I have chosen this particular job is because of the unique challenges that it brings - in other words to be in the illusion but not be part of it. This means that I can observe from a detached perspective all the goings on and all the ego talk of my colleagues and customers - two of my colleagues in particular act like overgrown school boys, practically drooling over video games and the latest technology as if they were some prize to be cherished, and talking about beer and women in much the same vein.

Some women would be mortally offended at this talk, but not me, I just grin silently to myself and observe the silliness and almost obsessiveness of the whole thing. And yet at the same time, I have been amazed this week at just how similar in some ways we are. We were having a conversation the other day as we helped with the delivery, about women who moan about there not being any good men and how they can't maintain a relationship and how lonely they feel, and in the next breath say how they value their independence and don't want to get tied down. There is a great paradox here that the majority of these women seem unaware of. No wonder men are so confused as to what women want - how can they know after all how to treat us if we do not know ourselves how we wish to be treated.

How though do I wish to be treated - as a human being with feelings and emotions, and with the knowledge that I am not infallible and need love and nurturing as much as the next person. I also perhaps more fundamentally, wish to be treated in the same way that others would wish to be treated - with courtesy, honesty, integrity and respect.

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