It is now time to flush away the little imp that has been inhabiting and assuming control of this body for so long, the creature I happily called ‘I’. For he is nothing but an imposter, the ego-consciousness, who tricks us all into a false perception of a separate, fixed, decision-making personality, using what little he knows of the past and fantasies of the future to create the illusion of a continuous identity. Now Nataraj will stamp on this fiend as he dances merrily to the sound of His thunder drum, and something else will be heard as it calls from the depths, the awakened mind, awakened existence, always there, but silenced by this aggressive imposter. Its voice is faint at first, but impossible now to ignore, and growing in volume.
This ego will fight back. For years it is all we have known, and we have grown very fond of him, strongly attached. He claims to have our best interests at heart because he is the one who strives for our continued survival. He is the manifestation of the life force and as such will fight for any opportunity to preserve it, whether through eating, sexual encounters, money-making or the grabbing of power, but in reality he has no concern for our well-being but only serves his own interests, without looking at the consequences of these actions. He has even tricked us into believing he is the very source of our compassion, outraged by injustice, ready to fight for others, when in reality his limited role in such things is merely the power he receives from belonging to the group of his extended false identity, pitted against ‘the other’, whatever that may be.
When he feels ignored or threatened in some way, he has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve; he can push us into drug-taking or drinking alcohol, ensuring the inner voice is silenced and demanding attention for himself. He can bombard the senses with massive doses of external stimulation: lights, music, visuals, pornography, food treats, even information; for another of his tools is the reasoning intellect, increasing his power when he feels clever. But today he is angry, drowned out by the drum and the awakening voice within. A deeper truth is revealed as this individual ‘I’ (we even credit it with a capital letter), moves slowly from a sense of ‘I’ to a sense of ‘we’: not the small universe of family, tribe, nation, race or opinion, the ‘us and them’ ‘we’, which strengthens the ego with its smug sense of self-righteousness, but the universal ‘we’; not the universe of humanity against other species, then seen merely as food, tools or entertainment, but the universal ‘we’; not even the universe of life against matter, the very source of all our power and creativity, but the universal ‘We’, which is also the ‘Not-we’, the unmanifested, the energy, which, through arrangement into incredibly complex patterns, gives the universe eyes and ears, by means of which it can observe itself and know itself. This is the true self, within us all, exposed when the ego is silenced, breath by breath, step by step. This very real unity and interconnectedness of all things is the true source of our compassion, empathy and love.
You may well think these are the ramblings of a madman, the ego will try to tell you so, and you can choose to ignore them, but you cannot hide from yourself. There will come a time, possibly when you are close to death, when the inner voice calls to you and the ego knows its time has come to give way, to surrender to the inevitable dissolution. Until then, you may choose to live your life in service of the ego and get on quite well with it, but if it leaves you unfulfilled and unsatisfied, frustrated, bitter or angry, then it may be time to seek out the silence and just listen for a while.