B1 Intermediate US 1967 Folder Collection
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The Taming of the Ego
as told by Jed McKenna and his student Julie
Ego is a bird's nest -
haphazardly collected and
carelessly placed,
shaped by every bit of debris
and every breeze that has
ever passed its way.
Once you start
tearing it apart,
you'll actually find
very little to identify with -
and even less that was
consciously placed there
by you.
And even then,
you, who?
The self that takes part
in the creation and development
of self was not itself
the product of self,
but of countless non-self
agencies and events
So what is self...
You can try to take control
of yourself,
try to make some sense of it,
organize it,
but all you can really do is
tidy up on the surface.
Some egos are more cluttered,
some less...
but the idea that a
true self lurks
within the clutter
is just one of the little vanities
that keeps us walking
in small, purposeful circles.
There's no such thing
as true self.
Realizing that you have no idea
who you are
is the beginning of finding out
who you are.
The idea of the
individual self -
valid and separate -
unravels very quickly
under any serious scrutiny;
all beliefs do.
What takes time and effort
is becoming the person who
chooses to put the idea
of self under such scrutiny
and making sense of what's left
after the belief is gone.
Julie's Holocaust of the Self
what you called the
"first step"
is nothing so innocuous
as a "step" at all,
it's a nuclear holocaust
of the self -
a personal Armageddon.
A post-apocalyptic
nightmare metaphor
feels in some respects
so accurate that
an actual post-apocalyptic nightmare
would seem like a vain pretender.
This is real -
and everything else is,
as you say,
just an image
flickering on the wall.
All I am is
a frightened little bundle
of opinions and memories
and desires.
That's all anyone is.
I'm just amazed that
everyone isn't like me -
doing what I'm doing -
ripping away their bullshit
as fast as they can.
I'm starting to see how deep
this separation runs,
how pervasive it truly is. "
Self Sabotage
Ego as a structure of confinement
is an apt analogy -
but slightly misleading;
jails wall in,
ego walls out.
A minor distinction, perhaps,
but a critical one.
Whatever's 'out there'
isn't holding us in -
we're holding "it" out.
We are our own keepers.
We can open the door
and walk out whenever we want.
Of course,
the thing one leaves isn't just
the prison of self...
but self itself.
So the freedom thus won
is something of a booby prize.
Julie may rage against
the fear that confines us
in one email, and
display a calm understanding
and respect for it in the next.
Fear looks like evil when you're
trying to escape from it,
but it looks very sensible and necessary
when you're not.
You can say fear and ignorance
are bad, and that
Maya is evil.
But that's a low-level perspective.
For this whole dualistic universe thing to work,
it's important that everyone
doesn't just go wandering off;
that they stay on stage
and play their role.
Fear is the glue that
holds the whole thing together
and keeps everyone in character.
Julie understands that,
intellectually, at least.
I was walking today,
and I was so overcome by happiness
that I had to skip...
I haven't skipped since I
got interested in boys~
I skipped through the woods,
and sang loud, idiot songs,
and I jumped up and down on the earth
so it knew I was here!
Tilly came bounding along with me,
leaping and yipping --
I think we bonded.
I suddenly realized that
after more than a year
of this agonizing upheaval,
I have absolutely nothing to show for it.
And that thought was just too funny!
It was like the dam had burst...
I have no wisdom,
no knowledge,
nothing to impart,
all this hell,
and I have nothing to show for it!
I have acquired nothing,
gained nothing...
how perfect!
The word "wise fool"
popped into my head right then,
and it felt perfect.
What a great word.
I've become so delightfully stupid
that I really enjoy being with myself.
I think it might be because
I don't think about things to much anymore.
I can't believe how much of my life
I've spent in thought...
think, think, think, all day long --
as if there was anything to think about!
What was I thinking?
When this is over I vow
never to think again...
disgusting habit.
Self Realization
To become an adult human,
is like being born anew
into an unimaginably different world,
and having to figure out where you are
and how everything works.
You come to see,
as Julie has,
that thought,
our primary method
for understanding life,
is really our way of
walling ourselves off from it.
We translate the world into our
our artificial language
of symbols and concepts,
in order to avoid
knowing it directly.
Self Acceptance
That's how it is, everyday,
as I uncover more of these aspects
of my former self --
some greater, some lesser.
I don't grieve for any of them
even those I held most dear,
I simply mark their passing
and move on.
The Tamed Self
When the intervening layer
of symbols and concepts is removed,
the terrain and self are seen as one,
and the rules of motion and navigation
become radically different.
This is the true but seldom realized
potential of the human being
Walt Whitman
I wandered off by myself,
in the mystical moist night air,
and from time to time,
looked up in perfect silence
at the stars.
Compiled by Lelabear
From information on the world wide web
Passages from:
Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment by Jed McKenna
Music: Electro Bells
and Claire de Lune
Sand Art by: Ilana Yahav
and Toke-Cha performance
for Beth
As always... In Lak'ech
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Jed McKenna - The Taming of the Ego

1967 Folder Collection
Buddhima Xue published on August 28, 2014
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