Tag Archives: ego

What We Choose and Who We Become

By Will

There is a story told by the Indian mystic Osho which involves two men imprisoned. “It was a full moon night; both were standing near the window of their dark cell. The full moon was there. One was looking at the moon, it was rainy season and there was much water and mud in front of the window. Dirty, and it was smelling and stinking. One man continued to look at the moon, the other continued to look at the mud. The man who was looking at the mud, of course, was feeling very miserable. And the man who was looking at the moon was aflame, aglow; His face was reflecting the moon, his eyes were full of beauty. He had completely forgotten that he was imprisoned.” Both men are standing at the same window but both men are choosing different things. Both men are seeing and focusing on different external objects that reflect their inner sense of self. Osho also uses another good example; that of the rose bush. Some will focus on the beautiful rose and some will focus on the thorns. However, If we looked at the rose bush fully, we would look at the rose and the thorns. If the rose represents light and the thorns represent darkness, we need to be aware of both to live consciously. Interestingly, the thorns protect the beautiful rose. The darkness is also there to protect us. Physically, if we did not have pain sensors and nerves, we could seriously damage our physical body. Without darkness the light would be too blinding for us. So to be conscious means to be balanced between the light and darkness, to be aware of both, without letting one override the other.

Unconsciously, many of us have a tendency to create or be involved in the very problems and scenarios that we are also trying to solve. This juxtaposition is created for a reason. If we were not fighting against someone or some part of ourselves, we would not be engaged in something. If we had no hope or strife, what would we be striving for? What would we be left with? More often when we eventually work something out that has been troubling us we tend to feel empty. Our ego likes something to get it’s teeth into and often gets away with us. Many of us at some point have struggled with our parents, constantly saying ‘no’ to them. Therefore we have a ‘no’ to fight against and this identity to hold on to. When we leave the family home we may feel empty as saying ‘no’ gave our whole life meaning. Now who do we say ‘no’ to? The tree does not fight against the wind. It does not tense up as the wind starts to gust against it. The trees roots are deep, and naturally it is grounded by it’s roots and sways in the wind naturally.

So if we are aware of both dimensions of our thoughts and our feelings, and practice being conscious of these, we will start to grow deeper and sturdier roots and our blossoming can start to happen. To begin with this can be very difficult as we are conditioned as children by our parents, grandparents, school and society not to have our own voice. Letting go of their voices can feel like death, so many of us may pull back and stick to what we know and are used to. But if we can continue, we start to disappear and we give space for something more divine and true to enter ourselves.

You came into this world utterly unbiased, pure and innocent without any preconditioned notions of who you were. Zen people call it the ‘original face’. ~ Osho


Filed under My Experiences On The Couch

True Connections

By Will

As long as I can remember I have always been searching for true connection with others, and I knew in my heart that something vital was missing. Discovering that most of my relationships were of a dependant nature was quite unsettling. Attachment to others in this way is perpetual, as you never truly have your needs met, and can end up continually eating crumbs. Both parties have their agendas, and both may end up feeling half full much of the time, carried with the need to go back regularly to refill their plates. It is very much like overeating in as much as there is never a particular type of food that satisfies, as the food itself will never fill the empty space inside, and so acts as a substitute.

Again and again I have found that these unfulfilled needs originate during our first special relationships with our parents or guardians. Most of us have to believe that our parents were good parents, as to think otherwise would be terrifying. Parents can be good with their intentions, but if they are not connected with themselves how are children to assimilate connectedness inwardly. A parents love may be intermittent, conditional or possessive which creates a longing in the child for love and recognition. The child will never feel enough.

As a substitute for legitimate connection I choose being noticed externally during my younger years, initially through sports, and then through playing in bands and Djing. Although I may have been playing music in front of thousands of people, and hobnobbing with the so called elite and celebs, I never felt truly connected to others in ways that I desired to be. I would role play and created an externally confident identity. When I entered therapy for the first time in my early twenties I had a glimpse of what true connectedness felt like and it was both scary and exciting at the same time. To share your deepest thoughts, fears and feelings with another in a safe environment was liberating at the same time as being very threatening for the ego self. I began to notice a pattern where during one session I would be intimate and during the next I became aloof and cocky and a general know it all. Hence what followed was a kind of peeling back of the ego defences and an awareness of the darker aspects of my psyche which initially left me even more vulnerable than before.

In the words of Eckhart Tolle “When another recognises you, that recognition draws the dimension of being more fully into this world through both of you.” During my current work with my therapist intimacy has become lighter and almost divine in its form. True connectedness also contains paradox and duality where the painful realities of life can be shared but not judged, like seeing things just as they are. This new awareness feels very much like coming home.

The ego creates separation, and separation creates suffering ~ Eckhart Tolle


Filed under My Experiences On The Couch