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Are "Ghosts" the Survival of the Ego?

Recently I had a conversation with my very good friend whom, unfortunately, I see only rarely since we both changed jobs. I worked closely with this fellow for four years, and from the very early days of our collaboration it was clear that we were following parallel spiritual paths. He is a voracious reader, and in imitation of the Gita I would say that he has taken the path of the scholar. I myself read more selectively, and would describe myself as one who follows the path of loving worship, turning to sages only for sufficient guidance to keep me from wandering off the path entirely.

The topic of fear came up in our discussion, and I expressed my view that the antidote to fear was trusting surrender to God’s will. The phrase “Thy will be done” has had great power for me in my efforts to avoid being controlled by fear. After all, if God is Love, and Love pervades the Universe – if the Universe is made of God-stuff which is Love – what can there be to fear? There is no need to be …

All choices are valid

All choices in life are valid. The only folly is in refusing to accept the consequences of the choices you make. Such refusal generally takes the form of denial. Sometimes you act without considering the consequences of your actions at all. More often it is true that you understand the negative consequences of your choices, or that you suspect what those negative consequences will be, but you refuse to acknowledge them and act as if you had not considered them. Either way you have effectively denied them. Once you fully understand and accept the consequences of your choices, you will very rarely make a choice that you will regret later. The Spirit within you will guide you on the path to greater happiness and away from those choices that lead to separation and sorrow.

Spontaneous Beauty

Image
Awareness, dormant in the Soul,

In meditation, or by a guru's touch,

Erupts in spontaneous beauty

Like a flower.

In the Stillness

In the stillness comes the Beloved,

Whispering wordless ecstasy
to the lonely Self.

Do not hesitate to throw off
your needless garment and embrace her.

She will not betray you
nor leave your yearning unfulfilled.

Though you wander from her bed,

She welcomes your return.

Warm, enfolding, she completes you.

Drink from her endless spring
of joy unbounded.

Discard thoughts of want or loss;

Let fulfillment flow unmeasured.

Eternally faithful, she invites you,

Even as you yearn,

To dance in her arms forever.

Love and Ego

Anything in you that does not love is ego. Anything in another that does not love is ego. So anything between you and another that is unloving or disharmonious proceeds from ego and means nothing. Love the part of each other that is real - which is no part, but the whole being - and disregard the effects of ego totally.

You Cannot Train a Fish To Breathe

You cannot train a fish to breathe air, and you cannot train ego to live a spiritual life. Enlightenment comes by transcending ego, not by transforming it. The attachment to ego may be the last attachment you surrender, but until you can accomplish this, you have not set foot upon the Path.

Love Without Attachment

The Teacher entered a trance and said,

"You are concerned that giving up attachments will require you to renounce your life as you have lived it until now -- your possessions, your family and friends. It is true that renunciation of this sort is one approach to spiritual living, and frankly it is the easiest. This is why it has been taught by prophets in the past. Removing oneself altogether from the temptation to form attachments reduces the risk of backsliding and makes the transition to an enlightened state much easier. However, it is not absolutely necessary."

"You can enjoy a material object without succumbing to the need to possess it completely. If you renounce the belief that you can possess a person or thing then it is not necessary to renounce the actual person or thing. It is really the mental image ot the thing, not the thing itself, to which you form attachments. Renunciation really means the refusal to form these mental images."

"You can cher…

The Source Of Unhappiness

A student asked:
"Why does life bring me so much unhappiness?"
The Teacher answered:
"Your unhappiness does not arise from your life situation, or from other souls. Unhappiness is a reaction that arises within your ego in response to certain stimuli. The stimulus may be the action of another person, a physical mishap, or a pain in your own body. In each case it is something outside your Self. The stimulus may be external, but the reaction -- the unhappiness -- is entirely created by your ego. Do you disagree? The next time you feel unhappiness coming over you, be aware of the process of stimulus or response. Is the unhappiness something that is injected into you, or does it arise internally as your ego's reaction to an external event? Even if you are unhappy only as a result of witnessing someone else's unhappiness, the pain that you feel is not their pain, but your own."
"Unhappiness is the emotional suffering with which your ego responds to a painful sti…

Attachments

The Teacher Said:

You think that you must look outside yourself for guidance and for peace. When your mind is troubled you turn to religion in the hope that an external power will rescue you. Or you may seek an anodyne in a drug, or a distraction. But there is no power outside yourself that can change your predicament. I have taught you that your thoughts create your life situation. Properly seen, your mind is a tool by which you shape your Universe. Or at least, your experience of the Universe; for behind all appearences the Universe is unchanging Spirit. Any discomfort or unpleasantness you feel does not originate outside yourself; it is totally within you. Because of that, you can eliminate it by changing your thought.

Your mind is a machine which has been programmed to respond without thinking in certain ways to particular stimuli. Certain nerve endings transmit signals that your brain interprets as physical pain, and your mind automatically converts that pain into suffering. It i…

The Highest Praise

When I say that you do not exist apart from God, how can you interpret that to mean you are nothing? What greater honor and praise could there be? Ego does not understand this as praise, because ego can value itself only in relation to others. Value yourself as God, as Oneness, and you will see your perfection.

Do Not Be Misled by Ego

Do not be misled by ego into believing that your purpose is to bring good to others. Be aware that you can serve others only by example, and by pointing out the good which they already possess.

Simplicity

Spirituality is not complex. What could be simpler than Oneness? It is the elaborate visions constructed by Mind to distract Spirit that are complex. Do not seek to understand the intricate complexity of the Seen in terms of the Unseen. Seek only to absorb the awareness of the unity of all that is. On that foundation you can build your understanding of that which is unconditional and dismiss the need to integrate the conditional. Love is the one vibration that pervades all energy fields. Identify with love and allow all other associations to fall away.‏

In meditation, sense the life force of the Universe pervading your physical and etheric bodies. Allow it to vibrate in harmony with the energies that surround you, so that your energy can be cleansed and refreshed by its power. Feel your energy extending to the far reaches of the physical Universe and bonding with the energy of All that Is. Then become aware of the impossibility of any thing existing that is not a part of that vibrat…
The Teacher emerged from meditation and said:

"I am Brahma manifest as this body; you are Brahma manifest as that body. These bodies possess minds and those minds have created egos, but neither body, mind, nor ego is the Self. The Self is Aum, the universal vibration of Brahma from which all things are created. All spiritual principles in the Universe flow through the Self into the world of gross manifestation. The Self is the principle of which love is a manifestation. The Self is One."

Are there demons?

Many people believe that there are beings that are wholly evil. They may be called devils, or demons, or dark angels, among other names. If they existed, these would be beings whose life force was derived entirely from negative rather than positive energy. To accept the existence of such beings may imply that there exists a Lord of Demons, Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub. The Universe would then have two sources of energy, a positive source - God or the Universal Spirit - and a negative one. Belief in the Devil is seductive, because it allows us to blame our negative feelings and our misfortunes on an outside influence: "The Devil made me do it!" What's more, it allows us to make excuses for the bad conduct of others.

Recently I attended a class on the Bhagavad Gita at the Ananda Center in Palo Alto. Ananda is an organization which follows the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, as interpreted by his pupil, Swami Kriyananda. Yogananda taught that there is a demonic force in t…

The Mind's Filter

The Teacher said,

When I teach you, I am usually speaking to your higher self. Your egoic mind will process the information, but in many cases will resist my teaching. This is understandable, because much of what I tell you attacks the ego at its foundation. Your higher self is aware of its oneness with Spirit; the ego denies it. The ego is all about differentiating the small self from other beings, and making itself look important, while the higher self seeks to minimize differences, break down barriers, and reach out for unity. If I could, I would bypass the mind and body and share my insights with you on a soul level. Since I cannot do so in this life, I must teach you first to listen from the higher self, free of the filter of egoic concerns; and then try to express in words what would best be communicated wordlessly from soul to soul. I too must deal with the filtering effects of expressing soul concepts in a medium designed for communication between egos. This is another …

Your Way

There are so many voices telling you what to do, which way to go. Many of them are sincere, and some are truly aligned with Spirit to a greater or lesser degree. You do not have to choose among them until you are ready. But at the same time, you do not have to listen to them all, even if you are convinced of their Truth.

Everyone sees Truth a little differently. You must ultimately follow your own vision, even if it is different from every other's. In fact, your authentic vision is bound to be different from anyone else's. There is much to learn from teachers and sages. But they each have only one vision. By studying many viewpoints you may achieve a sort of holographic picture of Truth as others see it. There is a great deal of convergence in the visions of those who have seen some aspect of Truth clearly, and you can save yourself much confusion by consulting them. Yet you cannot find your own Path simply by walking in the footsteps of others.

Eventually you will need to …

Ego and Spirit

Resentment is ego
Jealousy is ego
Fear is ego
Want is ego
Greed is ego
Hatred is ego
Separateness is ego
Surrender is spirit
Acceptance is spirit
Love is spirit
Joy is spirit
Oneness is spirit

A New Earth

I think the beautiful side of our American approach to ethnic identity appears when it is inclusive rather than exclusive. This is why St. Patrick's Day is such a joyful holiday here. When we say everyone's Irish, we're also saying we are all sisters and brothers.
I'm just beginning to study and meditate upon the role of ego -- personal identity -- in our lives. Everyone has it and needs it in order to become a healthy adult. Yet unrestrained ego also is the source of most of the problems in society and today's world, when it causes us to devalue others who are "not like us". Ego is the source of hatred, greed, and indifference to the circumstances of others. Ego is not a secure foundation for life because it is exclusive, rather than inclusive. Ego senses its own incompleteness yet cannot make the leap of understanding to reach out to others to form a secure and stable bond. Instead, it seeks a false sense of security by gathering more to itself …

Manifesting Wellness

You can’t always keep your body from becoming ill, but you can keep from making yourself ill.

There is no question that illness has many origins. Science has pinpointed causal relationships between many environmental factors and bodily ailments. These range from viruses and bacteria to chemicals and even excess sunlight. In some cases our bodies even seem to attack themselves. What is sometimes less clear is why some people are more susceptible to these factors than others.

Illness and injury are a part of this physical world into which we have placed ourselves. When we chose to incarnate in this Universe, we also chose to expose ourselves to the risk of suffering. We may have chosen to endure bodily pain in order that we can better empathize with other physical beings, or in order to teach ourselves how spirituality transcends pain. When we do find ourselves ill or injured, we can therefore accept this as part of the human experience (even while doing all we can to reduce our suf…

Enough

Whatever you have, it is enough.

Whatever the voice in your head is telling you that you need, you do not need.

Whatever the level of spiritual development you think you have attained, you are already fully in touch with your higher Self.

You are a perfect manifestation of Spirit right now. As a child of God, how could you be otherwise?

You already know your life's purpose and how to attain it.

All that remains is for you to manifest materially that which has always existed perfectly in Spirit.

And so it is.