Chapter 2: The Ego-Self
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
While writing this chapter, I asked my higher self and spirit guides to explain to me how I created my ego-self, so that I could better communicate it to you. The dream that follows is the response I received.
I’m sitting in a rail car (like those that are used in coal mines). A female guide smiles and gives me the thumbs up. I smile back and return the thumbs up. With that, she pushes the rail car and it begins moving on the tracks toward a door. Two angels open the door. The tracks end and I begin to fall. I do not experience fear, but I do experience a falling sensation. The two angels are with me throughout the experience and I feel comforted by their presence. My spiritual body, which has the form of a human body, begins to shrink into a ball of light. The shrinking in no way causes discomfort, but I do see my spiritual body becoming a ball of light. The angels disappear, yet I know they will always be with me. I continue to fall. I enter my mother’s stomach.
I then begin to hear a familiar young baritone voice. An instruction video begins within my mother’s stomach. This video covers the complete inner vision of my mind. The message I received, although very close to the original, is paraphrased:
You have chosen to remember. Imagine, if you will, perfect love once again choosing the human experience. A baby is born. As this baby grows into a young child, he never thinks to question what truth is. He might sometimes disagree with what he is being told to do, and when he does, he is punished. The punishment can take many forms. The young child soon learns that there are ways to do things, and ways not to do things. If the child does what his family wants, he will be safe. If the child challenges them, he will not be safe. Like children, we are rewarded for doing things one way, and not the other. Our parents’ belief systems, the armor parents wear to defend themselves in this world, slowly becomes our armor. We learn that as long as we don’t rock the boat we will be safe. Slowly we take on the belief systems of our parents, and this becomes our armor, our truth.
As the child continues to grow into a teenager, his peers become more important to him and again he is rewarded for doing things a certain way and for acting a certain way. Slowly the child learns he can be rewarded or punished by his peers. His peers, who have come with their different sets of armor, reward him for being like them. And so he picks up more armor. The child’s peers and his family’s armor become his armor and their truths becomes his truth. All along, he watches and listens to different messages society offers, and picks and chooses the beliefs that are acceptable to his family, friends and society. Many times, the belief systems of the child’s family and friends differ and clash with his. This creates confusion and sometimes chaos, but the child is told that “this is just the way life is.” As a result, this mixture of beliefs becomes the armor that he uses to defend himself against the world and against all those who attack “his beliefs.” The child does not yet realize that his beliefs are not really his own, but a compilation of ideas that were offered and he accepted.
The child makes “his belief” into “the truth.” He declares the world and people who disagree with this belief system insane for challenging “the truth.” For to him, his truth is “the truth.” He judges the world as confusing and chaotic, and he judges those who do not share in his beliefs as unsafe and dangerous. He views people shielded in armor similar to his with a feeling of camaraderie and safety. Yet, many times, he is judged and attacked by his own group. Many times, he judges and attacks the group. All this creates confusion and sometimes chaos, but he is again made to understand that this is just the way life is. So regardless of the judgment, confusion and chaos, he decides that, “Yes. This is just the way life is.” He looks through his armor and sees the group behaving a certain way, and this becomes his way. He follows the rules and laws and becomes part of the group, and those in the group reinforce in him that by behaving this way he will be accepted and safe.
He sees others walking in circles, protecting their belief systems. He figures that if most are acting this way, it must be the right thing to do. Other shielded ones tell him that indeed, this is the right thing to do, the right way to act, and an honorable way to live. He imagines how important it must be to guard these ideas. These ideas, rules and laws become so important to the group that they create different structures to house and protect them. They call such structures countless numbers of names such as churches, synagogues, banks, government building, courts. These structures and ideals are represented by a foggy image of what first appears as a castle in the dream.
The child in the dream now appears as a young man in his 20’s. The young man joins a group of shielded ones and begins to walk in a circle, taking pride in guarding the castle. The shielded ones congratulate and welcome him to “their way.” They reward him with more armor and tell him how well he is doing. The shielded ones continue to walk in circles, not quite sure why they are doing what they are doing, but they continue. He sees peers and mentors doing this, and thinks “this must be the way things are.” Yet, every now and then when he is quiet, he begins to feel a slight tug within his armor. And every time he focuses on these feelings, there appears in the distance a small group of children laughing and playing on a hill. But he figures that they are but children and have no idea of the importance of guarding the castle, and so again he continues to circle.
The shielded ones spend their time walking around the castle, and encouraging others to continue their task of guarding the castle. They do not take time to either look at or question the castle or the children. In fact, if they are caught looking at or questioning the castle or the children, they are teased and called slackers, dreamers, troublemakers or bums. They have seen how others who looked at the children or at the castle were treated for their nonconformist behaviors. And they promise themselves that they will not be called such names, or ridiculed in front of their peers. They were even shocked and frightened when they saw how a few of their peers simply disappeared after looking at the children or the castle. And they believed the stories the old shielded ones told them about what would happen if they looked at the children or the castle for too long. This thought made them afraid, so they chose not to look or to question.
The child in the dream now appears as a young man in his 30’s. The young man continues to wear the armor proudly and work hard. As time passes, he continues the hard work and receives more pieces of armor for good behavior to decorate his body. At first, he wears the armor proudly, but by its nature, it is heavy and difficult to carry. It tires him to carry it everywhere. He even wears it to bed. As he grows, he becomes less comfortable in the armor, and as he does, others become less comfortable around him. As the days fuse into weeks, and weeks draw out into years, the weight begins to tire him. The weight increases with every judgment he makes against a brother or sister. With every judgment he receives a new piece of armor. His shoulders begin to slump, and his legs begin to buckle. He sees this occurring but doesn’t understand why, other than “this is just the way life is.” They sold him on the idea that if he played by their rules, he would feel successful, rich and fulfilled. He cannot understand why he feels tired, sad, dissatisfied and empty, for he has done all that the old shielded ones and their peers told him to do. Yet now, only the opposite seems to be true.
The child in the dream now appears as a mature adult in his 40’s. One day, when he cannot take another step because the weight is too much to bear, he tells himself that there must be a better way, and decides to look toward the children’s laughter. His peers immediately notice this and begin to ridicule his efforts. They question his work ethic and sanity and begin to separate themselves from him. They call him a troublemaker, a person without goals. They tell him that he has changed, that he’s different. One by one, his peers begin to distance themselves. At first, he is confused because, on one hand, he feels safe in the company of peers, but on the other hand, listening to the laughter on the hill seems to fill him with an understanding, a joy and peace he thought was not possible. When the shielded ones see that they cannot get him back in line, the remaining peers seek assistance from his mentors in order to “save him” from disaster, before “making a big mistake.”
The mentors, together with a few remaining peers, try to convince him that he is throwing his life away, that he has worked too hard to be where he is. They congratulate him on all the armor he has collected through the years. They tell him how well he is doing, how well they have done. They show him how hard the shielded ones before him worked and how much armor they accumulated. He tries to share with them the weight of the armor, the laughter he is hearing, the understanding, and peace of mind and joy he is receiving. But the shielded ones are too stuck in their ways, and so they part ways. He leaves and they continue walking their circles as if he had never been there. He then begins to move toward the laughter.
On the way out, he begins to meet new people who have also come from the circle, people who have walked where he walked. Some still wear pieces of armor, but not as much as him or his peers. They appear to be more at peace. At first, this confuses him, for how could having less give you more? But he chooses not to judge his brothers and sisters, for in their stories, he remembers his own. As he shares and joins with his fellow travelers, he notices that because of the joining, sharing and nonjudgmental behavior, he begins to release his own armor. As he begins to do so, parts of the armor just seem to disappear. He becomes lighter, and it becomes easier to breathe and laugh.
He continues the journey toward the laughter. As he reaches the hill, he finds that, indeed, it was the laughter of children he remembered and had heard so long ago. He glances into the children’s radiant eyes and remembers his own radiance. As he does, the last piece of armor disappears from his covered heart. In the smiles of the children, he, for the first time, sees his own real reflection, and it is also that of a child. He then realizes that he has always been like a child – innocent, free, with the wisdom of the ages at his command.
For a moment, he reflects on the past and sees where he has been. He looks into the distance and sees the shielded ones still walking in circles. In each circle, he hears them shouting commands and demands at each other. For the first time, he notices that it is not a castle they are all protecting, but piles of dirt that their own steps have created and formed. But he does not judge them, for he now understands that this is the road they have chosen, and he rejoices in their choosing. He knows that it’s simply a matter of time before the shielded ones allow themselves to hear the laughter. He sees those who are trying to escape the circle, and those who are trying to convince them to stay. He blesses them both the same. He smiles, realizing that the shielded ones are also children, simply playing a different game. And he now smiles at the game, for could anyone sanely react any other way to children playing games?
This text can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.
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