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Friday, 10 April 2009

Our cross to bear

I was sitting in the coffee shop this morning, following a trip to the gym, and waiting for my partner, when I observed through the window, a procession headed by a man carrying a wooden cross, presumably in commemoration of the crucifixion, which according to tradition, took place today, on Good Friday.

The timing was as always impeccable, because at this precise moment, I was reading the chapter on the ego in Eckhart Tolle's book entitled "A New Earth". One of Tolle's and my own observations is how the ego needs to have an identity. People look for this in various ways, through their jobs, their families, their possessions, but also through their belief system (for this, read religion). To me, the idea of carrying a cross in commemoration of an event that may or may not have taken place, in memory of a man whom some say was little more than a myth, seems somewhat absurd, but that judgement is borne from my own ego.

It occurred to me as I watched the procession walk slowly past, that the symbol of the cross is a symbol for our own ego, and the need to "crucify" or perhaps examine, our own beliefs, which in reality, are little more than thoughts. The ego is quite literally the cross that we have to bear, as most of us are completely embroiled in the drama that it creates, believing that this is who we are.

The resurrection, which according to tradition, took place on Easter Sunday, where Jesus rose from the dead to be re-born to eternal life is symbolic of not the death of the ego, but the acknowledgement of what it actually is - a collective madness that keeps mankind in chains through feelings of lack and superiority, hence the need to "spend, spend, spend" acquiring more and and more "stuff", and the need to also "keep up with the Jones".

When we release attachment to the ego, and identification with stuff as part of who we are (my partner, my job, my this, my that), then we too are re-born to eternal life, for in the moment that we become conscious that we are the consciousness that observes the ego for what it is, our alertness rests within the eternal moment known as now. That moment, where past and future do not exist (they are both illusion anyway) goes on and on into infinity and so, as we rest within that moment, we are literally re-born to eternal life.
I have been through my own death and re-birth these past few months, in more ways than one, so it seems fitting to spend today in contemplation of such things.

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