BE LED BY THE SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, NOT THE EGO
I have no doubt in my mind that I will spend the rest of my life “preaching”, teaching, and advocating on behalf of the less fortunate defendants in the criminal justice system. And one thing I will always preach, irrespective of the crowd I find myself before, is the distinction between who we actually are and our false sense of self. That is the distinction between the true self and the ego. Our primary goal is to understand this distinction and to allow ourselves to be led by spirit, not the ego.
I understand this distinction as clearly as I understand the distinction between night and day. And I will do my best to convey this understanding to you as well.
You may have heard through your upbringing that you have a soul. Yes, you do. There is a spirit that resides within you. And it is not “woowoish” or “new agey” to tell you that your spirit is connected to the source of it all. Your existence is a result of the source expressing itself. The source is the whole and you are a piece of that whole. And the source intended a particular purpose for your existence just like it intended a purpose for the sun, the moon, the ocean, etc. It also intended to succeed at bringing that purpose to life through you. Because what inventor will ever manufacture a piece of equipment and intend it to fail at performing the function for which it created it. You could say, the source wants you to succeed. And when you are led by spirit (the source) and obey the calling for which it created you, all the universe conspires to help you succeed.
And for anything that is created, there is something within that creation that allows it to function as was intended. In humans, the thing that allows us to function this way in our minds. The mind is a very powerful tool. It enables us to think, study the world around us, and process the information we gather. It allows us to form and be a part of a community. But one thing that the mind also does is that it forms an identity for it itself. It develops a personality from this identity as a by product of serving as the tool through which spirit creates. This identity is the ego.
We falsely believe the ego, this identity, to be who we are. But that is not who we are. Our true essence is the spirit that resides within us. The ego dies, but the spirit never does.
The ego believes that it is (and we are) the thing we own, the job we do, and what others think of us. It places people into roles and categories, and it holds expectations of people based on the roles and categories it places them into. And when these expectations are not met, it holds onto feelings of anger, resentment, hatred, shame, animosity, etc. The ego reacts to the world based on the reception it perceives itself as receiving from the world. So when it perceives the reception as good, it returns the same goodness to the world. And in cases where the roles and categories it places people into dictates, it shows acts of love, kindness, generosity, etc. For example, the ego would say, because you are my brother I will be kind to you or because you were kind to me earlier, I will return the same kindness.
The source of many of our pains and sufferings is our own ego or the ego of others. But you do not fight the ego because you will not win. Instead, you bring more of spirit, (more of your true essence) into the place of the ego, and the ego dissolves on its own. At your true essence, just like spirit is, you are kind, you are love, you exist in abundance, you are beautiful and you are creative. So you bring love, where there is hate, and you bring kindness in the face of animosity. The more of your spirit characteristics you bring to the ego, the more the ego dies. And you create more space within yourself to connect with the source and to allow it to express itself through you as it originally intended with your conception. This is how you are led by spirit, and not the ego.