“The ego is a veil between humans and God. In prayer all are equal.”
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Transformation occurs as we shift from a primarily egoic to a primarily trans-egoic state. That can be measured by our degree of experienced oneness with Spirit.
Egoic levels of experience are chronically exclusive while the trans-egoic experience is inclusive. The more our consciousness evolves into a transformational understanding, the more inclusive it gets. This more evolved state of being expresses a greater amplitude of power which affects our chemistry in powerful ways and explains the bliss quotient or the opiated sensations that dedicated “seekers” often feel.
As the ego is dethroned, the veil between ourselves and “God” thins and the sense of separation recedes. We begin to know the truth of being, rather than just having theories and beliefs about it. Ironically, many who claim to be devotedly religious sustain a defined state of separation between themselves and the God they worship, a sure sign of egoic dominance. These same “believers” may decry any proclaimed hope for oneness with God as blasphemy, blind to their own as they give life to a separate, Godless, ego identity.
True transformation evolves us beyond that state. We can describe this evolutionary process as one of purification, or the simplification of data. That’s what the karmic process is, burning off old stored data that you have been identified with and attached to. Periods of solitude are especially beneficial during the early stages of this process because the beginner isn’t yet able to keep the relentless stream of data at bay. Meditation, nature walks, any activity that limits input is helpful. Outer silence supports the increase of inner silence, which Lao Tzu described as “a source of strength.’
Of course, a period of isolation with a teacher in a spiritual community is ideal, but not everyone is able to organize that. There is no substitute for being close to those who are already substantiated in an enlightened state of being. Individuals like the Dalai Lama, for instance, exude a tangible presence. As I’ve mentioned before, the true master teaches without words; it’s their state of being that inspires, uplifts, and comforts others.
This is so rare that people don’t understand it when they encounter it. Remember that Nietzsche said that God is dead. He was addressing the fact that whatever we believe determines our experience. Those who believe in a separate God, a being who could not possibly be represented in a human being, are egoic and exclusive. In this case they are excluding God! For them, regardless of Sunday claims to the contrary, God is dead.
This explains why religious people are actually the greatest self-doubters. Having determined to worship a separate God, they exclude the possibility of themselves ever having the trans-egoic experience. But whatever comfort they may derive from belief-centered worship is ultimately inadequate, because all of us intuitively know that we are innately divine, regardless of how far we may have strayed from the path.
Zealous missionaries are often just assuaging their own doubt, especially when contacting “primitives” who still retain that experienced trans-egoic state of connection with life universal. To these so called backwards people, everything is sacred, including their land. Ironically, as a friend once told me – to describe what happened when missionaries came to Hawaii – “Before, the natives had the land and the missionaries had the Bibles. Now the missionaries have the land and the natives have the Bibles.”
The true leader doesn’t use beliefs and threats of damnation to take from others. They are well beyond that fear-based state of consciousness. They are living with transformation as their norm, since that is the ongoing condition of expanding awareness in consciousness. Their state of being transforms those around them, to the degree that they are open to it.
Abraham Lincoln made an insightful comment about authentic spirituality: “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” In other words, the proof of true religion, or I prefer to call it spirituality, is the influence we have on those closest to us. That includes more than pets. How are we affecting our family members, our friends, our working colleagues? Is our amplitude of power uplifting them or dragging them down?
When we evolve beyond ego into an increasingly trans-egoic state, we exert a transformational influence just by showing up. This seems much simpler than any grand plans the ego can make to improve our human condition.