Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lo Philosophises, Sermonizes and Handily Bores You to Death.

Have you heard the one about the wise man who was asked by a Follower, "Master, what should I do while  I am working toward enlightenment ?"

The Master replied, "Carry water, chop wood."

The Follower then asked, "and what shall  I do when I finally attain I attain enlightenment?"

The Master smiled and replied, "Carry water, chop wood."

(not sure if I have it quite right but it goes something like that   If the next bit of blathering seems like an unrelated digression.........don't sell me short.)


The following thoughts were written to my beloved cousin, Rob (of the New York cousins, Rob and Jess......Aunt Jenny's grandson ) after a wonderful visit and dinner with him earlier this week..  We had discussed, among many things, the recent sad end of one of his cousins whom I did not know.   Having given the appearance of an evolved soul thru his lifetime, when confronting death he went to pieces and could not bravely or peacefully let go of life, causing himself and his loved ones considerable anguish by needlessly prolonging the endtime.


Rob, dear..........I was thinking about things while I waited to fall asleep tonite.... the sad tale of M's tragic and painful  end.......  and I realized that I forgot to send you off with my favorite nugget about, among other things, avoiding ending up clinging frantically
by one's fingernails to the door jamb when one should be floating off peacefully to wherever. 

One of my greatest  life lessons I got from a brilliant writer and thinker named Eckhart Tolle.  My favorite of his books is called "The New Earth"... Awakening to Your Life's Purpose".  He got through to me finally about something I had never quite grasped before.  I will have to paraphrase his words, but basically it goes like this: 

The Ego is the villain of the piece.  The Ego does not represent the essential You. It is the ugly and unholy part of you .  It is the barrier to any kind of peace or growth or enlightenment and the enemy of your soul (or essence or whatycallit)  It is totally unessential to your real being and a real barrier to your well-being.    It is the part of you that cannot accept  the possibility of "not existing in that body anymore"  and puts up a ghastly struggle when faced with the idea of your vital spark moving out of your body and on to ....something else.  

Not only can you survive life without your Ego, but you can hardly have a moment's peace while it is in control.  Somehow, when I read his ideas on this and finally "got it" I found it was quite possible to actually dump the ego and still go on, and it has been so much  better for me since.  Of course bits still pop up now and then, but I really think I have finally learned that crucial lesson and am hugely grateful to Tolle for putting that bit of truth into a form that I could finally grasp......a big Eureka moment for me.  Don't know if it will ring clearly for you, but I hope so.  If you haven't read him, do try to read the first part of the book at least.

By the way......the Ego that I speak of is the You who might at some point want to shout angrily at someone, "Do you know who I AM????"  It is the part with all the Labels, none of which actually define you at all, the part which cares more what others think of you than anything else and is constantly warning you about that with everything you do or want to attempt to do.  You might think that if you discard this part of yourself you would be throwing your Self away, but that is not what happens.  It simply shuts up that megalomaniac's paralyzing, nattering voice in your head and allows your real Self to relax, kick back and  have room to breathe  (a sigh of relief).  If you can evict or minimize the Ego things are so much easier afterwards.

Please forgive me for such pompous pontificating.....don't mean to sermonize but I feel this is SO important.  I found it a difficult concept to grasp  (tried to learn this lesson a gazillion times thru my life and failed) so I thought perhaps my musings on the subject might be helpful to you or  someone else out there who might cringe occasionally at that wretched voice that intones, "What will people think?".   

The answer to that is, "Fuck 'em!  Just keep carrying water and chopping wood.