Monday, 26 May 2008

The Illusion Of Ego

This is going to be short, but I just need to get a few things down from my thoughts and feelings of yesterday before I loose or forget them!

This posting carries an 'Incoherent Rambling' warning, as I'm thinking aloud, trying to grapple with my thoughts of the past few days. I doubt this will make any sense. It needs to be read together with yesterdays posting, and my reply to Tess on my Comments section.

Dion (Fortune) talks about the letting go of the 'bondage of the senses' which feels somewhat different to Ego as I have understood it to mean in the past. What I also find interesting, however, is that Dion hints at 'Westerners' struggling with this concept, so it could be that she was influenced by the Eastern concept of ego, which in Buddhism, is illusion and this illusion goes on to perpetuate all illusion. Could it be that the bondage of the senses, as described by Dion, has more to do with ones illusion of self, as opposed to who one really is? This would then tie in with the Witch's directive to 'know thyself' - and that is, to know who one really is, not who one thinks one is! In this instance it would be more about laying down falsehood, self delusion, false motivations, self seeking behaviours, passive-aggression, all those negative attributes that only work to attract negativity like a magnet, and only succeed in dragging one down into the mire. I don't think this is all that Dion means, but I do feel that it's a great part of it. Letting go of the lies of self illusion is part of the journey towards true initiation. It's about embracing the truth of oneself and letting go of the mask, the facade, that one may use to fool some of the people some of the time, but that which will never allow true connection to the One Divine Life. It's daring to look into the mirror that Goddess holds up for us to stare deeply into, and to really see who it is who looks back at us.

I think too, that there has to be something here about letting go of experiencing the world only through our physical senses. We experience the mundane world through our bodily senses, and this is fine, but it's not fine if we limit ourselves to this. As was said by an author whose name now escapes me:

. . . our consciousness is not dependant on the body, but can extend beyond the limits of the sensory world.

and Dion must have had this in mind as well, as she wrote these pages.

I also think, however, that there is something of the 'little death' here, and that this presents something of a battle. It's not a death of the 'sinful self' as Christians would have us believe, as I don't believe that we are inherently sinful. I'm not even sure that I know what 'sin' is anymore, even if it exists at all. Dion talks a lot about the 'flesh' and this reminds me too much of the writings of St Paul in the New Testament, however, I do think that there's a letting go of that to which we cling. Where does my sense of identity have it's birth? What is it that defines me?

I can point to markers along my life path that have shaped me in some way, sense or form. I can point to life events, significant events, childhood trauma, teachers, school kids, ill health, many, many things that have shaped me - but who is the Me that they have shaped? This is simply the me that clings to this body, the me that sees death as a threat to survival, as an ending. As The End. This is not the me that connects to the One Divine Life. I think that part of what Dion talks about is the laying down of the Overcoat. The me that isn't me at all. The me that is simply a mass of adaptations from the myriad interactions that have molded me over the years into something unrecognisable. The me that clings to this body is all of the above and in the laying down of this illusion I will begin to open the door to the manifestation of the One Divine Life.

I hope this makes sense in the morning!


Tess said...

Thanks for your response yesterday, Andy, and I enjoyed these "ramblings".
I teach a system of spiritual and personal development called The Enneagram, which is similar in many ways to what you are describing. We have a "personality" which is effectively a mask which comes with many defence mechanisms. The mask isn't inherently bad, it has protected us. But there comes a time when we have grown enough to start the work of laying aside the mask and finding our true selves.

Anonymous said...

The Enneagram interests me extremely - I had noted tha tTess does courses in this and must confess I'm really tempted!

Andy said...

I'm pleased that my ramblings make sense to you as well as me! It's so good to get this stuff down, as it clarifies and crystallises things, and I love that although we all walk our own paths, we're supporting each other along the way, and in that sense walking together. I just the sense of community we have. I've heard of The Enneagram and I've read about it in the past. I'm pleased that something of what I've shared resonates with you.