Final post in this series, the End of the Beginning, must be about the EGO, your sense of yourself. I have touched on this briefly in the Feelings post, enough for you to take on board what you need to do for the Ride, but now it’s time to kick it around a little, draw back the curtain a little further.
Be warned, this is a challenging read…as it’s the gateway into proper practise it has to be harder than the other stuff, as this is not for everyone. Apologies in advance.
Now there is NO need to read or act on this to do the Ride, the Ride requires no mental engagement. This, what I have written below, is for the gifted, the good candidates for real spirituality, as a sort of test, a check to see if you want to go any further.
So read this and ask yourself- am I up for this, am I prepared to do this kind of work…? Be clear – the core of real spirituality is a change of approach to yourself, to the self-important little narcissist you have become, that everyone becomes before they start, so let’s get on with it shall we…
You are used to being carried by your little self, directed by it, so what you need to do is take control of yourself, by getting some distance between ‘you the observer’ and ‘you the ego’. Plain simple fact is that you are NOT your ego, your ego is a storehouse of memories and their effect on you, YOU, the real ‘you the observer’.
But you, YOU, simply believe that all these thoughts/moods are ‘you’. Indeed, to be ‘authentic’, to be true to yourself you have to ‘be’ them, otherwise you are simply pretending, you are a ‘fake’, and that’s not cool is it. So, you have no distance, no perspective, no viewpoint. You are TOTALLY self-involved, all of this emotionally charged crap matters to you, you are invested in it, you are so important to yourself it’s border line obscene frankly…
And it is time to SNAP OUT OF IT – you need to separate you and your ego, break them apart. Get this? You are not you.
Now any fool can understand you are not your body, hell large bits of it can be removed without any effect on your mind, you sense of self. But…. the same is true of your mind state. You are not your mind, your thoughts don’t come from you, your emotions don’t come from you, your sensations don’t come from you. See just like your body, your mind is a machine, if an extremely complicated one. It’s your machine, your computer to use as you like, but instead its controlling you, you have forgotten how to use the keyboard and just thrash around with the mouse, staring at the increasingly random images appearing on the screen. Its full of bugs and viruses, cobwebs and spider corpses, random gifs and images, spam emails and web pages taken over by adverts for shit you don’t even want…
So you need to change your approach to it, to this wilful little puppy of your mind, or more correctly the EGO that possesses your mind, the monkey that is just banging on the keyboard for the pure bloody hell of it… the conscious ‘I’ that is all powerful.
And this change is going to be a problem for you… cause you quite like your ego, don’t you? You are not desperate, unhappy, broken, you don’t hate yourself… you are doing ok, you are fine, you can cope… the good outweighs the bad, right now. You are not going to give that position up, you don’t need to, do you…
And shocker…that’s cool, I AGREE with you, cause you don’t have to give up your EGO, you sense of yourself in the world, but you DO HAVE to start to see it as NOT YOU. See its essential to break this identification with EGO, all your dominant mind state in fact, as it is the big daddy barrier to entry for all real work.
Yeah, I know, none of this makes any fucking sense to you at all does it… ‘Of course I am me’ you say, this is all so much meaningless theory that I cannot relate to myself, I am a ‘whole’ thing, I am ‘one’ person. Errrrr, NO you are not one thing, and yes you can understand this, should you read a little further.
See all these wonderful East Asian spiritual teaching models of your mind, as relates to spiritual practise, of egotistical monkeys, pigs, bulls, elephants, boys playing flutes while riding on the back of oxen etc etc just don’t work for westerners, it’s just too far away from your everyday world, you just don’t know where to start.
I get it, see the concept of the EGO in the western world, the use of the word, is a total mess, with multiple interpretations both at a technical and spiritual levels doing the rounds. Indeed, in pop culture now the word has simply come to mean an ‘excess of ego’, of being overly self-centred, of being a bit of a dick frankly.
So.. let’s drag this back to the West, a style of approach from the (reasonably) present day shall we, lets a least give you a fighting chance…
Currently everyone thinks the concept of the EGO, and therefore the EGO itself has been around forever, its universal… its not. The EGO as we know it has a bit part in the Freudian model of the ‘psyche’ and is largely to do with unconscious defence mechanisms, ie to show to what lengths the ego is prepared to go to defend its current world view, as a sort of universal ‘source’, or more correctly channel for these mechanisms. Freud had observed these unconscious defensive behaviours and want a clean theory to write, an enemy to lionise. Now that is fine however, we don’t use what Freud came up with, we use a small part of it, and use it out of context and incorrectly.
Be clear – Freud was a VERY clever man, way more so than Jung, who’s ultimately greater genius came from ‘direct revelation’, his dreams, as he freely admitted in later life. Yes, Freud has fallen out of fashion, out of favour, and to be honest much of his work has been surpassed, however a lot of it is still utter bloody genius from the perspective of real spirituality. See Freud was prepared to state that the EGO is the middle realm in his model of the psyche, between the Id, the basic instinctual desires of your lower self, and the super ego, the vaulted moral plateau of your higher self. Best way to say it is that your ego is the computer screen of your mind, doing its best to interpret everything else that going on behind the scenes and show it to you, moment to moment, much as what it shows you is a purposeful distortion for your own protection. He also was prepared (incredibly bravely for his time) to give due recognition to the role of ‘libido’ in your mind, your life force as seen in your sex drive.
Now, what the western world today means by EGO is best summed up by modern concept of Schema, that sits on top of the ego, what is best regarded as your ‘personality’, usually related to the various repeated activities you do, as an external actor, so its visible to others. This is more like the various ‘suit of clothes’ you wear for specific purposes than the cause of your behaviours, so again it don’t really cover off what we are talking about. That’s not your EGO, your ego is your Internal reality, what you are conscious of, your personality is suit of clothes you wear, your external reality, that you at least SHOULD be self conscious off, know you are acting, as its largely a con job.
Side bar, if you think your external personality is ‘you’, the way you ‘act’ is YOU then please take a moment to be feel stupid. If you believe your personality is your personal-reality, is in some way actually true then please just stop for a second and consider going back to your phone games or TiK fecking ToK, as you appear to have stumbled on this blog by random chance. The way you act is a response to your environment, to society as a whole or your place in it, probably most tellingly by what it has done to you. You are simply fitting in, to paraphrase Bacon – people think as they like, BUT they act according to convention.
The rest of you should, please, now take a moment to read this several times….. in the world of real spirituality, in every original religion, every East Asian tantric cult, every Egyptian mystery school the real model of psyche is the same, the same for literally thousands of years and, in its basic form, its EXACTLY the same as Freuds – Lower-Animal Self/Ego Self/Higher-God Self, all driven by the Libido, the manifestations of your life force as sexual energy. Yes, there are 3 independent parts of that make up your psyche, as Freud called it.
And none them of are ‘you’, you the observer, your mind’s ‘eye’ itself. Yeah, I know it’s a stretch, but one you have to make.
Focus on this part, as in the world of real spirituality, in what we are doing here, it is absolutely crucial. The real ‘you’ is a totally independent entity, is totally separate from these other things, and long ago, back as a child that is how you experienced life, through yourself, before all this other crap happened to you, before the actual flesh and blood robot you are riding worked as well as it does now. If you are very fortunate you may experience it when you are in the ‘zone’, or in flow state, or if you are able to become totally absorbed in what you are doing. The fact that you don’t experience it that way now is largely down to your spiritual weakness, your lack of power, so you have (quite literally) sunk into yourself and now identify with the strongest part, your ego. I really mean this, the more you empower yourself Spiritually, more you grow it, the EASIER it will be to rise above your ego, to look down on it from on high, to not care. But don’t fret, we (well you) can fix that.
To repeat… all the crap about EGO that you have read is wrong, you don’t actually need to destroy your ego, your ego is useful (and its incredibly difficult thing to do anyway, is a late stage practise mainly in order to recover all the energy you have invested in it when you are already super strong). Done too soon, done wrong and you will simply be overwhelmed by the real world of spirituality, indeed the lunatic asylums are full of people whose ego has deserted them for some reason or other. This happened to Nietzsche, one of the greatest philosophic minds that ever was, but spent the last 10 years of his life strapped to a bed, while his evil little sister charged voyeurs to drink coffee over his restless form before turning him into an anti-Semite to curry favour with the Nazi’s.
See your ego is your FRIEND, your ego is the gate keeper of your personal reality, working hard every day to keep you sane, calm, productive, to manage and deal with all this OTHER shit without it getting to you, frankly it would kill you. Your ego is the fecking Hoover Dam of the mind, holding back the colossal force of hidden spiritual world, that by itself would crush little old you, wash you away. Hear bells ringing in your head all the time? – your EGO is your friend, hear a disembodied voice saying your Christian name out of nowhere? – your EGO is your friend. Hell, do you hear Wi-Fi sounds (constant pitch changing modem like noise) that changes pace and frequency often (a problem now becoming so common the British NHS have been forced to recognise it as a sperate condition) then your EGO is your friend. Btw – that wifi sound is what the ancients, the Daoists, the Buddhists and, even now the Freemasons call Flute music. Even in the famous Zen Ox-herding pictorial model of the enlightenment path, that Wi-Fi noise is the flute the little herd boy on the back of the Ox is playing… Next you have a moment, watch a good version of the Magic Flute, Mozart’s classic Masonic Opera, where he gives it all away after fashion, the mad bad Egyptian Mystery School roots of Freemasonry, not sure I believe they killed him for it, but then it was the last thing he ever wrote.
Still not getting it..? OK then, try this – your ego is your faithful pet dog, doing its best to keep back the wolves and play nice with your children at the same time, it’s just not perfect, its actually quite simple, uses a one size fits all model that it learnt as a kid to judge the good from the bad, and it’s getting old, weaker and slower. Heaven forbidden what will happen when through all this continual abuse it gets SICK, rabid, deranged, un-able to cope any more. For now though, just take a moment to give it a break, take the responsibility of your own protection on ‘yourself’, let it rest, let it sleep – remember it is a Pet, you own it, so it’s your responsibility to feed it, care for it, train it. Otherwise it will not only fail you, but like all unloved animals it will turn on you, its master, howl in the middle of night, turn and bite you at every opportunity. So for now Do the Ride, ‘man up’ a little, deal with some of this shit yourself for once. You EGO has got fried trying to keep your dumb ass out of the fire, it deserves a holiday, deserves a well-earned rest, don’t you think..
Hopefully you are there now – you don’t need to drop your EGO to progress, you need to control it, by rising above it. Frankly even those gifted enough to be able to drop their ego safely tend to actually go back to it pretty quick. Why..? because having a huge storehouse of life stuff that enables you to easily function in this world is pretty bloody useful, essential even, given that you are not planning to be a monk in a mountain cave somewhere or wander round like a child. See one of its other, major, functions is that your EGO is your Autopilot, your docking computer, you look table of ‘how to do stuff’. You have just got lazy and forgot to switch it off when you don’t need it, and it’s taken everything over…. so you need to learn how to switch it off when you want. Right now, the only time you do this is when you learn something totally new, cause your ego has no memory of it.
Fine you say… but why the fuck do I need to know all this, a kind of a crash course in basic 20th century psychoanalysis? Ahh, glad you asked…ok then here it is, and just to say you might want to brace yourself for this one..
If you are spiritual, gifted, even sensitive to it in any real sense you will have spiritual problems, and what you need to do at the beginning of this journey, before you head into the woods, is learn to ‘defend’ you against the effects of these. See if you have these problems you are being ‘attacked’, influenced in a way that you are unconscious off, you are being deceived, usually through your ego. This is what the ancients call ‘Ignorance’ which is critical… because it’s an ‘enabler’, it’s a gap in the wall, a hole in the hull that’s letting in the sea water. Your Ignorance is used against You, in a very real, actual sense, much as you never see what is ‘using’ your ignorance against you. Before you head out into the open Ocean of real spirituality you need to learn how to fix this, how to pump out that water, how to defend yourself. Otherwise it may be a very short trip indeed.
Now the word Ignorance (its translation at least) is itself badly chosen, like so many are in this sense, when the translators don’t want to reference the supernatural, but stick to a more PC, high moral tone – Ignorance in this case DOES NOT mean you are stupid or you have not learnt it yet, it means you are unconsciously effected in a way that distorts your thoughts/senses, makes you forget, makes you clumsy, make you fridge blind, makes your body act outside of your control, usually through taking over habitual behaviours you are not consciously controlling. Make no mistake ‘Ignorance’ in this sense is not personal, your not suddenly stupid, slow, clumsy, blind, foolish.. ignorance is an internal attack on you, usually via the EGO, your habits, and makes you consistently unlucky. To paraphrase Napoleon again – ‘I don’t care if he is a good general, is he LUCKY?’.
There is no need for you to believe in evil, in demons, in possession to get this – western psychoanalysis has long stated that your unconscious can take you over VERY easily, indeed all these issues are just caused by aspects of yourself you have repressed, if you prefer to think of it that way. But it does not matter at this stage, it’s the same bloody problem the ancients had to deal with, and they did not benefit from Freud or Jung’s research, so they came up with Ignorance instead. Indeed, all the gateway into real spirituality, which currently could be termed as a form of psychoanalysis, much as its not, indeed it’s the other way round. Still, you may prefer the concept of now well established ‘self-sabotage’ theory, even Freuds EGO defence mechanisms, to being attacked by nasty invisible things I guess… just remember it’s the ‘ignorance’ bit that matters.
I can’t stress this point enough, ignorance in the sense defined above, is deadly and you need to fight it, cause your ignorance is more than happy to fight you, hurt you, fuck up your life. At the beginning you will find your ignorance is quite playful, a bit of court jester type, having a laugh at you, almost like an unconscious case of Tourette’s, but later it will take the gloves off in public, slip out from behind the big black curtain of your mind and you will see what it’s capable off. And that is the reason that Ignorance is stressed as much as it is in the ancient spiritual traditions of the world, Buddhism particularly but if you ever happen to meet a certified Catholic Exorcist the first thing they will tell you is that the Devil is a Deceiver baby..
All of this comes at you through your conscious mind, your ego but it originates elsewhere. So how to I pull the plug on this bastard you ask… simple, all you need to do is stop identifying with it, stop believing it, caring about it, stop seeing it as important, as precious… It’s not, it’s a machine driven by a big ass monkey that’s off his head, tearing around the warehouse in a forklift looking for the shit.
So… long story short, to nail this one last time today – you need to break the spell of your ego and become SELF POSSESSED not EGO possessed, when you want. To start to take back control of yourself, to stop being a slave to all the sad tedious crap that has happened to you thus far, and start to be selective, to start to treat your ego like the pet it is, to start to train it, to 2nd guess what you think, feel, imagine.
The way you START do that is simply to notice it, to notice all these things I’m talking about, to practise having distance from yourself, and do it CONSCIOUSLY. It may help at the beginning to literally talk to yourself, to literally have a conversation with yourself, as for some people the spell can be very difficult to break, so dramatic change is needed in the way you relate to yourself. However, the best way to start do this is to maybe even pick one pastime you do every day, phone games maybe, and then don’t do it, just take a look your mind instead. I know you can’t do that all the time and that’s fine, most of the time you run on autopilot, just every now and again turn it off and take the control yourself, look at the dials and decide what to do, don’t go on habit, sift through the crap in your head and actually make a choice. When you start to get this right, when it starts to work you should notice its incredibly refreshing, like a mini holiday from yourself… as the old English saying goes ‘a change is as good as a rest’.
Later, if ‘later’ is for you, I will show you how ‘seekers’ deal with their ego by ‘putting it to sleep’, while they remain awake, by quietly having it carried off the stage after its dropped off, passed out. This is way easier than breaking it through years of ‘proper’ mediation or ‘burning it up’ in other types of spiritual fire. Indeed, this is how Seekers become Adepts, the stage when you stop ‘trying’ to do real spiritual practise and start actually ‘doing’ it. Be aware however that the ‘medicated’ version of this practise is the reason all addicts, drunks and pill heads have similar if distorted spiritual experiences, they have partial sedated their ego even while they are awake, the classic huge spider looking down at the blacked out drunk on the bed.. kinda thing. And you don’t want that.
So, in summary, the EGO is, in and off itself, NOT a bad thing, it’s a VERY necessary thing and there is no need to get rid off it, destroy it. Much as the surgical, brutal removal of the EGO is a potential spiritual path, it’s not the one we are talking about here, it’s not the full trip, it’s not real spirituality, it’s a partial thing.
Yes, there is more than one genuine pathway into spirituality and as the very first post in the next 101 section I’m going to explain this, in the context of the other 3 types out there, so you know. But in this type, the 4th type you going to need to hang on to your EGO, cause, as I may have mentioned, you EGO is your FRIEND, it’s just that the poor old dog you have neglected all these years probably does not look much like one at the min, but that is your fault honey bunny. Never too late to show it some love mind, just don’t expect it to be perfect for a while… so best keep an eye on it. When in doubt just tell it to sit down and shut up.
If you do decide to go on I will show you how to eventually replace this worn out little 5th columnist with your own man, one who not only ‘has your back’, but who is both smart and hard enough to guard the door while keeping it open.
Remember, the reason these other paths shout so loudly about the big bad ego problem, is that it can become corrupt, become an enabler for ‘Ignorance’ to get at you, become a vehicle that CAN be used to attack you, if YOU let it. You need to first separate yourself from it and then, as the Irish say, put some fecking ‘manners’ on the bitch. Those other paths don’t trust their seekers, they think you just ain’t good enough to judge yourself, too weak to make a decent assessment, so it’s ‘kill and cure’ with them feckers…
Now, to be honest you don’t need to do this ego thing to progress with the Ride, this thing is additional, it for people who want to go quicker, further and into spirituality 101, get more involved. And that’s probably not you. If that is the case, then just do this… have OPINION of yourself, take all that effort you make on judging everyone else in this world and turn it on yourself instead. If it helps try and remember the classic Jungian concept of ‘Projection’, all your opinions are REALLY about your self – you hate in others what you hate in yourself, you love in others what you love in yourself et al. So, take a moment to see how you have done today, what went well, what did not. Part of you is already doing this, but it’s a really GOOD idea to just do it consciously. So check the mirror. are you a 4 or a 7 today, how did you do with your partner today, your job, your hobbies, what did you fuck up?.. that kinda thing. Focus on the positives, but don’t repress the negatives, have some balance.
Anyway, even if you don’t choose to engage with your Ego, at least should you ever find yourself on a holiday trip to the Oracle at Delphi and glance at the inscription over the entrance – ‘Know thyself’, you will understand what the hell it means.. Maybe just bear in mind that if you stick at the Ride that bits of your ego are going to start to ‘drop off’, you are going to change.
Now before I end this section, the Ride, and you go on and decide if you are going to read any further, actually start spirituality 101, I want to give you some very well meant advice.
In the world of spirituality its accepted that everyone is NOT equal, and some of you are much better candidates for this than others, sorry but it is true. In the next section I will do a post called ‘The necessary evil that is elitism in real spirituality’, to try and help you with this, should you go further, help you manage being different.
For now just know there are several bits to the Ride I’m not telling you, largely for your own good, but what you do NEED TO KNOW is that using the Ride will help you to find out, to in fact ‘show you’ how spiritual you are, judging by the strength of the effect it has on you, how good you ‘naturally’ are at it. See, if you are a poor candidate for this, have a low sex drive, are just bored, whatever, all the Ride will do is make you feel a better, just improve you baseline mood. Now that’s nice, but its nothing compared to what it will do if you ARE a good candidate for this, which I will leave up to you to ‘discover’.
Now if you are a poor candidate for this there is a serious reason why you should not go any further, read the rest of these posts, and it is this: I’m going to publish secret practices in a very accessible way, high end stuff on here that works every time, in as safe a way as I can. But no matter how safe I make it, there is no getting around that to use it, to practise this stuff is ‘Opening a door’ to another world. If you are already spiritual, gifted, the Ride has a big effect on you, then that door is ALREADY open, you are already in ‘harms way’, have nothing to lose but your illusions, so what I am giving you is all upside. If you are not a good candidate for this, have no real reaction to the Ride but still do this stuff then you are Opening that Door for the first time, with no gift or previous life experience to help you, just your fragile little EGO. Don’t do that, please just stick to the Ride. You are an adult, make an informed decision, choose for yourself. If you are not a good candidate for this and you go on anyway most likely you will be fine, but nothing is certain, so you do so at your own risk. You don’t actually play Russian Roulette do you… you watch it on the TV, you might think it would be fun, but end of the day, you would NEVER risk it, unless there was no choice..
If you are a good candidate for this then the advice is a little more complex. See the best candidates for real spirituality are not just sensitive or gifted, or even have a high sex drive, they have another quality, a quality that is really useful. they have a big, dark, deep ‘sense of humour’.
See when you start to notice the changes after doing the Ride for a while, they might be quite dramatic, depending on your level of gift and hence spiritual problems, that you can now start to defend against, remove… It is very easy to be become externally ‘changed’ by this, start getting a bit excitable, telling the world and his mother about it… DON’T. My advice, keep it real and work on developing that dark, earthy sense of humour, take it ‘lightly’, learn to laugh at yourself as part of the process maybe, start to make some changes to yourself. If you go any further you are going to need some ‘sand’, some backbone, some bloody mindedness, cause the world of real spirituality is a bit harsher and less heavenly than you imagine, it’s a bit of a jungle. So being a little badass is no bad thing, indeed, much as I’m sure they exist, I’ve never met a nice genuinely spiritual person in all my travels and travails, not a single one, they all have an edge to them. When you start to see the world behind the world, the world that causes this one to exist, that effects it so much, you realise that civilization, morality, humanity is a VERY thin veneer indeed.
So that it is for now, back in a few to start the next section, Spirituality 101. To warn you I’ll be using a different style, but the first few posts are designed to give you a much better grounding in what the world of real spirituality is, what folks like me call the ‘Left Hand’ path, but don’t goggle it as that will just put you off before you read it. All that is left to say is that the left-hand path is for the gifted only, for the high libido’s, for the ultra-sensitive. Without this gift you simply will not be able to do the work, but please do stick with the Ride. With it, so much of it will be easy, will be 2nd nature to you, indeed, you already kinda do some similar stuff without even knowing what the hell it was, in your introverted moments you are already you own harshest critic, indeed you already have some distance between you and your ego, as you have practising ‘over thinking’ half your life already.. If that is the case then welcome, my dear, to the rest of your life… your kinda crazy aren’t you, and we love that here.
Quote to end as always, from my father’s favourite comedian, back in the day. And this one is meant to be subtle, Honestly I’m not sorry for making this post a bit of a trial, a test, an effort to get through, cause you have some thinking to do before (well if) you come back, as most of you reading this should probably not.
‘Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you.’ – Dave Allen.