Spirituality and Egocentrism
So much of the sorrow in the world is due to the selfishness of one living organism that simply doesn't care when the next one suffers.
Dr. Paul Brand..
Where do you find guidance when the road seems to long, when you sense all your efforts no longer leading you anywere and even your soul thirsts for comfort and for hope?
You need to go to the Source and request God's grace… He’s the one to turn to for support and for guidance. Spirituality is your well, the Source. As the Good Shepherd and the Guardian of your life, you can trust God; He knows the way...
We must learn to journey with Him, in others words, give God the wheel and let Him be the Driver. All he requests from you is your will to trust and to surrender your life in His Holy hands. What do you prefer, risk a chance with God or continue the journey blindly and helplessly? You must have heard or read the story of the foot steps along the sea! When you can no longer walk alone, God carries you in His harms, like a shepherd carries his lost sheep all lovingly back to the flock.
You've reached the limits of your psychological efforts; trust the inspirations of your soul.
Definition of Ego (self image)
The challenge many of us face in our journey to mid-life renewal is the need for independance. We hesitate in letting go for the sake of letting God.
“Our ego clings us to people, to things, to our time, to special places, not to mention our reputation and opinions. As a result, we become possessive and independent. Our ego wants nothing less, than to control and as a result of all this clinging we develop this unsatiable possessiveness."
We see everything - including our relationships - with self-interest-spectacles that excludes others. The ego is in a constant competition for praise, for priviledges, for money. The victims of egocentrism wants to stand out.
Dr. Wayne Dyer describes the ego to be:
“misidentifying who you truly are by identifying yourself as being your body, your achievements, and your possessions…the self becomes our focal point. (egocentrism). P.82
As an outcomem “we feel offended, we feel the need to win or to be right,we nourish a need to be superior and to have more than what we already have. In other words we identify our self on the basis of our achievements”.
“No matter the saying of modern or post-modern society, all humans are by nature religious…” (Albert Nolan)
Being spiritual does not mean being perfect. “A healthy spiritual person is fully aware of its human limitations”. In a stage of crisis, he remains still and peaceful. “He reflects and prays, he looks inward or upward to the All Mighty for answers to his struggle, and surrenders rather than trying to control the situation intellectually.(searching desperately for answers he doesn’t have) Letting go and letting God do the work brings this individual more security than trying harder to do more.”
Overcoming Perfectionism p.29
“There is an increasing hunger for spirituality. People are searching for something to give them:strength, to help them cope with life, that will give them peace of mind or freedom”; to fill their loneliness, for healing.
"In our society we clashed for having too many children, for being poor and being… yes, for being Christian." The sixties brought the quiet revolution and our government progressively cast out Christianity out of our society."
Many have enjoyed the good jobs,the high wages; whatever they missed as a youth, they no longer hesitated to claim it for themselves.
We want fewer children and more time for leisure and for pleasure.
We've replaced the Day of rest and Spiritual liturgy and we made it a day of hockey game practices, of gym, or a day for shopping and work.
We've become medical laboratories for specialists and for scientists with very little if any, ethical conscience. They do not hesitate to test their new treatments and medications on terminally ill patients. In some regions the government legalized the right to make medical experiences on aborted babies and embryos.
Wow to you if you neglect or mistreat an animal or even experiment with them for medical laboratory purposes.
The ethical confusion of our society is such that people nonchalantly fights for the right to terminate life of an unborn baby or any individual considered non productive, dependant and ill-care costly.
If a couple chooses to focus their interest on the value of the family - requesting more than three children- they are either the subject of admiration or critics.
In this society, we are considered a number; egocentrism and individualism as robbed us of our pride of oneness.
This is where we stand in our society. We focus our expectations of happiness on Money, on materialism, on individualism, not to mention the evasion in erotic behaviour.
We have now reached the peak...We become the victims of our own egocentrism...Mother Nature received more than her share of abuse and in her own way she replies: "ENOUGH"!
From his book, Your Sacred Self - Making the Decision to be Free
, Wayne W. Dyer, humorously enlightens the respective vision of the ego and the spirit and their inner confrontations. Picture twins in a woman's womb identified as Ego and Spirit in a conversation about how they each perceive their life esperience and their immediate future:
life after birth
Spirit says to Ego: "I know you're going to find this difficult to accept, but I truly believe there is life after birth."
Ego replies:"Don't be ridiculous. Look around you. This is all there is. Why must you always be thinking about something beyond this reality? Accept your lot in life. Make yourself comfortable and forget about all of this life-after-birth nonsense. A Mother!
Spirit says to Ego: "Ego don't get mad, but I have something else to say. I also believe that there is a Mother."
Ego guffaws. "How can you be so absurd? You've never seen a Mother. Why can't you accept that this is all there is? The idea of a Mother is crazy! You are here alone with me.This is your reality.Now grab hold of that cord. Go into your corner and stop being so silly. Trust me,there is no Mother." A Place of Glowing Light
Spirit says; "Please listen without rejecting my idea. Somehow I think that those constant pressures we both feel, those movements that make us so uncomfortable sometimes,that continual repositioning and all of that closing in that seems to be taking place as we keep growing,is getting us ready for a place of glowing light, and we will experience it very soon."
Ego replies: "Now I know you're absolutely insane. All you've ever known is darkness. You've never seen light. How can you even contemplate such an idea? You are a distinct separate being. This is your journey. Darkness and pressures and a closed-in feeling are what life is all about. You'll have to fight it as long as you live."We are going to meet Mother and face-to-face
Spirit says, and I quote: "Ego I have only one more thing to say and then I'll never bother you again."
Go ahead, Ego responds impatiently.
Spirit continues..." I believe all of these pressures and all of this discomfort is not only going to bring us to a new celestial light, but when we experience it, we are going to meet Mother face-to-face and know an ecstasy that is beyond anything we have ever experienced up until now."
Ego replies: " You really are crazy, Spirit. Now I'm truly convinced of it."
We left the womb of total darkness to enter the world, but just like Spirit in her Mother's womb, a part of us doesn't feel at ease and in peace; a part of us seeks for space, for light, for love and for life. We are confronted to our limits, particularly the limits of aging and of death as we are part of creation awaiting freedom:
"...the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Romans 8:20 -22
The lessons of this analogy in regards to egocentrism according to Wayne W. Dyer: Ego teaches separateness:
We can sense it very clearly in this analogy.(the lack of openness, of understanding of consideration of baby Ego towards his sister Spirit we is clearly different from himself) Ego reinforces the outer culture (whatever is physical or intellectually justifiable) We can picture the chocking surprise of baby Ego when confronted to his natural birth. Unable to connect with spiritual, he will seek connectedness through competition.(Wanting to get the best of the other guy. We fight to defeat others) According to Ego life is to be born, to shop, to suffer and to die. Ego wants to be special
Ego cannot support the idea of each and everyone being equal or the idea of unconditional love. This idea of favouritism or specialness creates fear and resentment. (Explains the behaviour of accumulating goods as an approach of happiness)Ego is easily offended
You create rules of how you are to be treated as protection of being offended. When you've tamed your ego,you're no longer offended by your fellow humans; you see them as they are rather than how they should be. Ego is a coward
Ego thrives on convincing you that you are separate from God. It promotes the illusion of guilt and sinfulness in a cowardly attempt to avoid the face of God, which is your true self. He will encourage the belief that you're a worthless sinner. Your Higher Self knows better; you are loved. God is love. Ego thrives on consumption
You need to have more in order to have peace.(self validation) Find validation within yourself rather that outside of yourself. Choose peace and true love rather than selfishness and greed. Ego is insane
Ego fears death. He believes that he as to die if you start knowing your true self. "This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity. The world is filled with people who are convinced that the Holy Spirit is something separate from them! They spend their lives attempting to convince others of this insanity as well."
"Any violence or harm made to another person is an attempt to God and a violation; He is within us."
Egocentrism and Mid-life
As we reach the period of mid-life and face an important transition, we need to question how much of our life decisions, our dissatisfactions and disappointments and false identity references have not been impacted by the influence of our ego. This quote of the physician, Dr. Paul Brand from the book Where is God When it Hurts? written by Philip Yancey is enlightening about the impact of individualism in our life; the interconnection of each organisms is of capital importance in the well being of our person as physical, not just psychological and spiritual human beings:
"Individual cells had to give up their autonomy and learn to suffer with one another before effective multicellular organisms could be produced and survive. The same designer went on to create the human race with a new and higher purpose in mind. Not only would the cells within an individual cooperate with one another but the individuals within the race would now move on to a new level of community responsibility, to a new kind of relationship with one another and with God...In the body, if one cell or group of cells grows and flourishes at the expense of the rest, we call it cancer and know that if it is allowed to spread, the body is doomed. And yet, the only alternative to the cancer is absolute loyalty of every cell to the body head. God is calling us today to learn from the lower creation and move on to a higher lever of evolution and to participate in this community which He is preparing for the Salvation of the world."
I would like to end with this poem entitled:Recognizing Your Shadow by Juan Jimenez
I am not me
I am the one who walks by my side
Whom I don't see
The one whom I visit sometimes and forget other times.
The one who forgives me when I eat candy
The one who walks in nature when I am indoors...
It's no surprise reaching mid-life that we're under the impressiom that we don't know ourself. (loss of identity) We have burried our real self in a recycle bin and we journey through life with a stranger.
De l'estime de soi à l'estime du Soi - de la psychologie à la spiritualité, Jean Mombourquette, Novalis/Bayard 4475 Frontenac, Montréal QC H2H 2S2 Copyright 2002
Jesus Today - A spirituality of Radical Freedom, by Albert Nolan, Orbis Books Maryknoll,New York 10545, Copyright 2006
Overcoming Perfectionism- The Key to A Balanced Recovery by Ann W. Smith, M.S.Health Communication,Inc. 3201 S.W. 15th Street Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442-8190 Copyright 1990
The Purpose Driven Life - What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 Copyright 2002 www.zondervan.com
Quitte ton pays - L'aventure de la vie spirituelle, par/by Jean-Guy Saint-Arnaud, MédiasPaul 3965, boul. Henri-Bourassa Est Montréal,QC H1H 1L1 Copyright 2001
Real Life - Preparing for the 7 most Challenging Days of Your life, Simon & Schuster,Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, N.Y 10020 Copyright 2008
Lost in the Middle - Midlife and the Grace of God, by Paul David Trupp Shepherd Press PO Box 24 Wapwallopen, PA 18660 Copyright 2004
Your Sacred Self - Making the Decision to be Free by Wayne W. Dyer, Harper Collins Publisher Copyright Quill edition in 2001
Where is God When it Hurts? by Philip Yancey, Copyright 1990, 1997, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, p. 242-243
Beautiful inspiriational Gifts for all members of the family....