Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

The Eyes of Love

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

The eyes of love are eyes that are simply focused on the core message of our soul song – Mean Well,  Think Well.  If we can do those simple things God’s presence arrives because we – as in our judgements, opinions, agendas – get out of the way.  Open the blinds on a sunny day, light is there.  Have a blessed Valentines’ Day!

When you figure out what is important, you will realize you have just time to accomplish it.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

We awaken at different times.  In this denomination, the “Second Coming” we hold to be deeply personal – a “Second Coming” that is not a physical return of Christ but in a rebirth of God into our lives, a rebirth where we open our eyes for a second time.

Our lives desperately need that second opening.  We are so bloody self obsessed!  One friend told a rather pointed joke.  ”So this guy demands of God proof of God’s existence. God responded somewhat perplexed, ‘I thought creation was enough.’”  I certainly have been in that place and find myself in that place still, a place where  all the beauty around me lies unseen as I obsessively stare into the mirror, caught in the narcissistic hell of painting my own self portrait again and again.

Thankfully, that particular approach to life inevitably fails.  I know as a Pastor, that is why I am far more relieved when someone calls in tears than in almost any other emotion.  I know when they “break” and gaze up and beyond the canvas of their thoughts and feelings they will see – and experience – a grace and beauty beyond words.  Then we see what is important and we realize we have just enough time to accomplish it.

Eating Humble Pie

Friday, November 5th, 2010

In the book “Secrets of Heaven”, one can read the words, “Humility is submitting yourself to the sovereign control of the inner person.”

The true self is the inmost of our being.  It can be covered up, lost as it were, but never, ever destroyed for in its destruction would be our own.  Think of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. That part of us, a part that exemplifies a quiet, focused dedication to the True, a part picturing our soul’s tender longing to have God born within, is beyond destruction.  “Lions”, figuratively, cannot destroy it. Impossible.

Now this indestructibility cannot lead to hubris – maybe explaining why we often come that acknowledgment later in life.  If the consequential experience of that true self is a “True” experience, we will be left clearly in awe of the God’s love for us.  It will also leave us more fully present to the incredible tender nature of God’s love and the tender nature of how His life and love and shine through us.  The ego, at those moments, dies rather quickly in a flash of light.

Can humility grow from that place?  Definitely.  It is the fertile soul for a right-sized humanity to grow, fully aware of the wonders of a God given core, a core even death and disaster cannot touch, and fully aware of how that awareness opens us up to others, to compassion, to joy, and yes even to pain.  We then understand the words (that should be quoted weekly) “The glory of God is the man fully alive.”

Falling Through Your Life Situation to Your Life

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The false self – the ego, the proprium – is the tiny, petty, unconnected self.  And yet for most of us, we identify that as our true self.

The true self is far deeper.  It is our inmost, the place where God stores much of that Divine Spark that is His gift to us.

The journey to that place I read of many times growing up in the New Church.  It was a journey encapsulated in the admittedly awkward wording from Emanuel Swedenborg’s theological works – good from truth, then truth from good.  Later, the great wisdom in what is almost undecipherable words became apparent.

When young, we live largely in that false self.  We learn “stuff” and that “stuff” teaches us to care.  But do we actually “care”?  Usually not.  Usually here it remains at the pure theoretical.  When we do care, that care is very much driven by the false self for its own purposes.  Not that that is bad – it is a start.

But time wears on and God, in ways largely hidden from our view slowly flips the perspective.  Eventually our locus of control moves from our head to our heart.  At that point – truth from good – caring, loving kindness move our conscious mind, not vice versa. We move from knowing to care to caring and the knowing that comes from it. (Note, it is “knowing” that is far more intuitive, perceptive, far more even maybe mystical than what we previously experienced.)

That is where we fall through our life situation to our life to borrow the words of Eckhart Tolle.  The life situation holding the false self becomes just that.  We fall through the drama and frenentic pace of the false self attached to our life situation and fall into the solid ground of the true self – a place where God’s truth gives us the solid ground to stand upon regardless of external circumstances.  Here, no boundary needs “defended not abdicated.”

The Tree That Stands

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Henry Nouwen made a fascinating point when he spoke of the spiritual movement from isolation to solitude.

We spend much of our lives seeking connection.  At times that connection appears to be deeply ego driven.  The “I” needs the “you” because “you” complete “ME.”  While no doubt such words, when heard from a beloved, are indeed flattering; they are also dangerous.

The clinging, ego driven, co-dependent love will not win the day because at its core it remains fundamentally transactional.  Therefore it is a far cry from the love that Jesus calls us to.

The work moving towards the kind of unconditional love Jesus calls us to is incredibly difficult.  For me, to make church ‘pretty’, ‘easy’, ‘fun’ is appealing.  Frankly much of church is that and that strikes me as good if not taken too far.  But church must also present a balanced view of life – the costs as it were – the true costs of discipleship.

One of those costs is loneliness.  On that path, we will find ourselves alone, even if we move easily among groups of people.  At a certain level, spiritual growth demands of us a certain willingness to travel in paths that we would not choose, paths we travel alone.  In that place we truly learn of the unconditional.

I have puzzled over that more than once.  What I know from my own life experience is that that is what in the end destabilized my ego enough to realize that I could stand as I felt God called me to stand without obsessing about how it would be received by others.  It is easy to write those words and conjure up images of the heroic.  But it has been a far different journey than the heroic.  There is often a sadness and melancholy in that place.   When joy appears – and there is great joy – it comes from a quite, deeper place of peace.  As one author noted, we come to see that both the sadness and joy draw largely from the same well.

Re-read the Jesus prayer in the Garden as He wished for the “cup” to pass from Him – for there to be an easier way.