The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle:
Totally fascinated with the realm of the senses,
it swings from one desire to the next,
one conflict to the next,
one self-centered idea to the next.
If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life.
Let this monkey go.
Let the senses go.
Let desires go.
Let conflicts go.
Let ideas go.
Let the fiction of life and death go.
Just remain in the center, watching.
And then forget you are there.
I typically allow the profound wisdom of Lao-tzu to stand on its own, however, I decided to break that tradition this time :) This passage really speaks to me because I never cease to be amazed by how some people can relate every situation back to themselves!
When one’s ego is in charge, every situation is viewed with the goal of connecting it back to oneself…even if it relates to another person’s life. If something good happens, the person relates it to the assistance they provided…when something bad happens, it was a result of not following their advice.
When any general commentary is shared, that person always feels it’s related to them somehow. (In fact, I’d be willing to bet that someone reading this post is trying to figure out if I’m talking about them!) They may not even realize that they have a ME, ME, ME…I, I, I attitude, but it’s clear that their life is lived measuring every word, action, and emotional response from others as it relates to themselves. Some are seeking other’s approval (“do they like me?”); while some are sensitive to any imaged slight from another (“did they just disrespect me?”); and others always make themselves the hero (“remember when I did that for you?”). Even saying, “I don’t like this or that” creates a separation. However slight it may seem…and whether “right” or “wrong” (who can really say is something is right or not?)…it is the ego at work.
It is easy to get trapped inside the illusion created by the ego…to place yourself in the middle of everything…to follow along with each drama as if it really matters. But as Lao-tzu states, this is fiction. It is a distraction from what is real. It blinds us to the true oneness of things. Believing the “I”, “Me” drama creates a feeling of separation. It keeps us trapped in the matrix.
So let all of your self-centered ideas go. Put aside any thoughts you have related to what you own or lack or feel you are owed. Take away all of your likes and dislikes. Just sit quietly with your eyes closed and breathe deeply. Start to feel the connectedness of all things. Identify the illusions. Recognize that everything is not always about you. See the bigger picture. Remain in the center and watch.
And then forget that you are there.
Photo source: on the move :)