“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Press play to hear an audio enhancement as you read.
In this series of blogs we are exploring delusion and acknowledging the value of crises to provoke awakening. Now, let’s consider the greatest impediment to our awakening: the control of the isolated ego.
The individual ego lives in separation. Consider a primary tenet of capitalism: competition. Money is the god of capitalism and we fight for it. If you have enough of it, you should be free to do with it whatever you want, right? Consequences be damned, if we want luxury and we can pay for it, why not?
And, we should be in control, if we’ve earned it. As one absurdly wealthy power player once commented (apparently in all seriousness), “The world should be run by those of us who own it.”
Our politicians love capitalism, because they are well financed by individuals and companies who can afford to buy their support. Leadership today is more about money in the pocket than honorable values and principles. Candidates will say whatever needs to be said to stay in power and keep filling their pockets, all the while mooing about public service.
If they really were public servants they wouldn’t need payment and they would actually serve the public, not just their financial backers.
From a trans-egoic perspective, this doesn’t make any sense at all. But it does represent the dominant majority of the collective consciousness on this planet. We can judge that as wrong and lament about why things have turned out this way or we can re-frame what’s going on: We exist in a learning field of consciousness.
What happens – regardless of how catastrophic it may be – has a purpose: to inform, inspire, and motivate us. To wake us up! And the evolutionary force that does that, the one force that pervades the universe, intensifies when resisted.
Egoic awareness can be described as an “unconscious herd mentality.” Whatever is offered to the herd, the herd buys. These transactions are unconscious, dictated by egoic values. Those doing the selling are not interested in health and wellbeing, they are interested in profit.
We can follow the money. Our systems are all corrupted, because those running them are mired in the egoic level, interested in power over and profit from.
We can expect it to continue that way because most people don’t have enough awakened awareness to even question what’s happening. They are unconscious. They buy and consume what’s on the shelf without question. They enjoy an illusory freedom carefully designed to sustain slavery.
Many of us are familiar with the metaphor of a frog in hot water that will languish there as the temperature gradually rises, finally boiling to death. It could have jumped out at any time but doesn’t, because the heat increases slowly.
How hot does it need to get before we jump?
What will it take to personally evolve beyond our egos into a trans-egoic state where we take responsibility for ourselves and provide leadership based on the genuine desire to help others?
A big enough catastrophe, probably.
Could we avoid that? Those who study life on earth in the 21st century agree that, one way or another, we must face the music. The unintended consequences of our greed based, egoic choices and behavior over centuries are becoming increasingly impossible to deny.
It’s likely that the majority of us will encounter extreme societal, environmental disruption in our lifetime. How will we deal with it? We could leverage it to evolve our consciousness, to shift from an egoic to a trans-egoic experience by dissolving the barriers of separation between us, simply by helping each other. Or, we could choose to dig in and fortify our personal safety, walling ourselves off, just trying to save ourselves with egos intact.
In The Fourth Turning, William Strauss wrote, “When we deem our social destiny entirely self-directed and our personal lives self-made, we lose any sense of participating in a collective myth larger than ourselves.” 1
Here is the invitation of this 21st century, to participate together in a vast awakening beyond ego identification. I am one with you, you are one with me. We can, as Rilke advised, make our egos porous. We could welcome an experience of community based in love… for others and for ourselves.
Here is the great hope of our times, the individual choice to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
1. The Fourth Turning by William Strauss