Friday, February 29, 2008

The Ego

I am going to try to give you a shortened version of the first part of Chapter 2 of A New Earth. Chapter 1 is basically the purpose of the book which is to bring you a transformation of consciousness or even just a recognition of the unawakened you. It was slow going and I got lost a few times but the good news is that the more you read of the book, the more Chapter one starts to make sense.

The Ego is basically identification with form - physical form, thought form and emotional form. Those are his words – almost exactly. Now here is my take – and remember that I am still connected to the ego so it may be skewed : ) The ego is your association with the world – things, other people, your feelings and emotions and even your own thoughts. It is that constant voice in your head telling you what to do. The problem with that voice is that it is not really who you are because it is skewed by your environment. He calls this your illusionary sense of self. It is who you think you are but that is based on the past. You are not your past. You are who you are right now. That was and still is hard for me to comprehend - how can what I think not be who I am? But if my thoughts are not based in the now then they are based in the past. The good news is that if you can recognize this self as an illusion then it can not exist. An illusion ceases to be an illusion if you know it is one. You will become awakened or aware if you can recognize this illusion. He actually says that this thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence. He goes into detail about how your false sense of self identifies with what you possess – your house, your car and your material possessions – even by what others think of what you have. These things become “identity enhancers”. We need things like shelter and food and housing and transportation but we have lost the ability to honor them. Page 37- “we cannot really honor things if we use them as a means to self-enhancement, that is to say, if we try to find ourselves through them. This is exactly what the ego does. Ego- identification with things creates attachment to things, an obsession with things". You have to figure out if the things you have contribute to you sense of self. If you lost something that was very precious to you how would you feel? Can it just be a thing or does not having it change the person that you are. Think about that one for a minute because it was an “aha moment” for me. Is there anything that I have that would change who I was if I didn’t have it? I thought about all my pictures of the kids – I would be heartbroken if the house burnt down tomorrow and I lost them. But would it change who I am? Of course not! So is it wrong to feel a sense of pride for what you have or feel that you have nicer things than someone else? No! The need to stand out is always there. But you have to recognize it for what it is – the Ego. The Ego isn’t wrong, it is just unconscious. When you can see it you can go beyond it.

So I think I will end here for now. There is a lot more in this chapter but I want to know your thoughts on what I have written so far. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One of my favorite quotes..

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

My Friend sends me quotes daily and she has send me some great ones but this is one that really struck me. Have I lived the width of my life so far? No - I don't think so. I think I am getting closer but I still have a LOT of work to do. The problem is that I don't even know where to start. When Oprah introduced her book club selection this month it really intrigued me because she said that it was the best self help book that she had ever read. If you haven't heard about it it's called - A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I find reading it is very challenging because I have never read anything like it before. Every concept is so new to me. I find that I have to read each sentence several times to get the full meaning. It feels like every sentence is forging new pathways in my brain! It is a whole new way of looking at things. The chapter I just finished described the Ego - it is so much more than just what I thought an Ego was. I can relate to a lot of things that he says about the Ego and I know that in order to let go of the hold that it has on me that I will need some direction - hopefully that will come in later chapters. I guess the first step is understanding what it is and why it is. I'll keep you posted. If anyone else is reading this book please let me know - I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

14 things I Love

  1. The flying leap hug I get when I picking up my kids from daycare
  2. That I can share anything and everything with my husband.
  3. Long conversations with friends- drunk or sober!
  4. Singing my heart out to music when no one is listening.
  5. Sharing a great meal.
  6. Making someone laugh.
  7. Relaxing by a fire.
  8. Long Baths with no interruptions.
  9. Getting so involved in a book that if you are not reading it you are thinking about when you will be able to read it again.
  10. Taking great pictures.
  11. An afternoon of scrapbooking.
  12. Storm days when you have nowhere to go.
  13. Holding a sleeping newborn.
  14. Late night swims.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Drug of Choice.

What effect does music have on you? The closest I can come to describing how I feel is what I think doing drugs would be like. I don’t really have a reference for that feeling since I have never done drugs. Not really. Once I tried to smoke weed because a friend of mine told me that you could actually see music. He told me the notes would manifest themselves into colors dancing around the room in different sizes and shapes. I thought that sounded pretty cool but I was young and inexperienced and very naive. All I got was a major headache. But the concept still intrigues me. I get such a high when a great song comes on the radio. I crank it up and sing at the top of my lungs and all is good in the world. Or when I have a task that I am dreading I put on some tunes and voila! Bring it on baby! So when I get home I love to have music playing while I’m in the kitchen. It just changes the atmosphere in the house. But I know it is not that way with all people. My husband for instance – he hates it when I have music playing all the time. He hates extra noise – says he finds it distracting. That is very sad to me. Thank goodness for the invention of the mp3 player! And I love all type of music – country, rock, choir, jazz, blues, hymns – you name it and I’ve tried to sing along with it. Being in a choir was a truly amazing experience for me. There is nothing like the feeling of standing in a group of people and hearing their voices all around you. I was so excited for my parents to hear us but again they didn’t share my enthusiasm. They supported me of course, but I could tell it was not their thing. There was a brief time about 2 years ago that I didn’t sing to the radio. It was like I was in a fog all the time. I knew I was depressed but what finally made me pick up the phone and ask for help was hearing one of my favorite songs come on the radio and not feeling anything. Nada - Zip! I knew I didn’t want to be in a world where I didn’t hear the music. I hope I never have to again. But don’t you think it is just amazing that a few words and some instruments can have that effect? Your brain chemicals bounce around, your synapses fire and all it good in the world. All this talk is making me crave my player- I am such an addict : ) So take some time and enjoy the music today!