Chapter 2: The Ego-Self
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
The physical manifestation of living through the ego-self results in a feeling of void, a spiritual emptiness living with the sense that something is missing in our lives. On the other hand, love, being the opposite of fear, gives us a sense of fullness and spiritual fulfillment. We have been created in the fullness of God, in the love of God, in His image. Feeling empty or living in fear is by definition an unnatural expression. Feeling empty or living in fear comes from a false belief that we are separate from God. Anytime we allow fear or emptiness to come into our hearts and minds, we have separated ourselves from our true selves. Our true selves are literally a part of God, just as our brother or sister is a part of God. God is all, and all is love. There is nothing else; everything else is simply a contraption of the ego, a manifestation of the illusion of who we believe ourselves to be. It is the ego’s best effort to fill us up with itself.
The ego promises us that if we follow its rules and laws, we will obtain peace of mind and joy. But in truth, the ego can only offer what it is. It can offer us what is unreal, temporary and unfulfilling. We have tried to fill ourselves with the gifts the ego offers. At first, the gifts are small but large enough to temporarily satisfy us. Yet, being temporary and unreal, the same gifts that once satisfied us ultimately become small and meaningless. Once our minds have digested the ego’s gifts, we again have a sensation of feeling empty. The ego promised us fulfillment. It promised us that its gifts would bring us true joy and peace of mind. But after digesting its gifts, we again feel empty, and we begin to ask why. Then the ego, in order to protect itself from these questions, offers us bigger gifts. It knows it cannot continue to fool us with little illusions for they no longer fill the emptiness within. Thus, it offers us larger illusions, and at first our reaction is, “Wow!” For a short time, we believe that these illusions, that we call real, will satisfy the empty feelings we possess within. Yet, big or small, these are illusions, and illusions, being nothing, can by definition never fill us up.
Again, we ask, “Why? How could this be? I felt satisfied a while back; why am I not satisfied now?” The ego again becomes nervous, for it hates being questioned. It would rather we never ask such questions, or ask no questions at all. It does its best to keep us busy, for it understands that when we’re busy we cannot find time to question it. So the ego does its best to fill our time with as many illusions as possible. It understands that its existence is in jeopardy every time we ponder its reality. It understands that it cannot fill us with its lies forever, so it keeps raising the level of illusions in order to temporarily shut us up. And it succeeds every time we buy into it.
Illusions themselves offer their own brand of truth. And if we believe in the illusions we are pursuing, we will also believe in the truth they are offering. Illusions appear to create a truth, which the ego believes is true, and will defend until death. But illusions are nothing, and that which is nothing cannot create truth. Illusions can only create a false truth; this might temporarily satisfy us, but it will never fulfill us.
What is true is eternal, is based in love, and offers us eternal peace of mind and joy. What is false is temporary, and is based on illusions, which can only offer temporary peace of mind and joy, which fades into nothingness, creating a sense of emptiness and a state of confusion. Peace of mind and joy are eternal, and what is eternal cannot be temporary. Temporary peace of mind and joy therefore do not exist. They are illusions created by the ego to keep us from understanding and experiencing real eternal peace of mind and joy.
The ego, once more in defense of its existence, will offer bigger illusions, and bigger lies. Once again we have a choice: we can choose to buy into these greater illusions and lies, or we can choose to question them. By questioning illusions, we take the first step in undoing them.
Freedom of choice is one of our greatest gifts. So don’t judge yourself for having chosen such illusions in the past, for it is those illusions and their lack of fulfillment that have brought you to this point in your life. Now you are truly allowing yourself time to reflect, and to ask if any of the ego’s illusions and lies have brought you true happiness. True happiness brings with it peace of mind and joy. Has the ego offered you true peace of mind and true joy? Are you at peace with yourself, your family, friends, neighbors and with the world in general?
You already know the answers to these questions. You have already experienced enough pain. Eventually, you’ll recognize that there must be a better way. To recognize means to “know again,” which implies that you knew before. As you begin to recognize your true self or Godself, you will increasingly be unable to tolerate your beliefs in illusions.
Now that you have chosen to search inside yourself, understand that the ego will not go quietly into the night. Your search for light and truth is fearful to the ego, for it resides in darkness. It will use its last resources to defend itself. It will make you as uncomfortable as possible. It will tell you that you’re being ridiculous, that you should snap out of it. You will hear the ego, but, at the same time, you will remember where it has taken you before. You have heard its defenses before, but now they will no longer work against you. No longer will you choose to blindly follow the ego. Even other people’s egos will try to join yours in its defense, for they understand that if one falls, others in the group may follow.
In your everyday life, you lead by example. Other egos will not be comfortable if you choose to remember your true self and decide to change. Once your change toward your Godself begins, you’ll clearly see it in your life. Those ruled by ego will begin to slowly fade away, spending less time with you. They may attack you for not being your “old self.” Yet, you now understand that you cannot live like your old self did, for your old self is not your true self now. Even if you start spending less time around certain individuals, your love and respect for them will actually increase. As your love and respect for yourself increases so too will your love and respect for all your brothers and sisters. Even some of the places you used to go will now seem different, for there are places where the ego feels at ease, and there are places where it doesn’t.
You’ll go to new places – perhaps places you thought you would never go – and you’ll meet new people. These people and places will serve you in your search for remembrance. Throughout your remembrance process, other people who are ruled by their ego-selves will attack your process, even and especially family members or those closest to you. They will feel their own egos, their way of life under attack. You need only be yourself during these encounters. Speak your truth. Stay true to yourself. Never attack others for their beliefs, and respect their processes even though you might perceive them as not respecting yours.
My friend, I am here to remind you that peace of mind, love and joy are your inheritance. Peace of mind, love and joy are the main attributes of the Godself. We all have a Godself, because we are simply our Godselves and nothing else. Everything else, including our ego-selves is an illusion we have created to help us live in the illusionary world. The ego is a speck of dust that we have made into a mountain. Yet still, what is even the highest mountain compared to the universe, to All That Is? As the illusion that is the ego slowly dissolves in the light, so too will the mountain, in time, return to dust.
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