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What You Seek is What is Seeking - God is Closer to You than Your Self

Meditations on Ego and Enlightenment - by Eric Allen Bell

 

Over a long enough period of time, the survival rate for your body is zero.  Contained within the body is the brain and one of the functions of the brain is the ego.  The ego is the self concept of the brain-body organism and it does not like what was just said one bit.

 

And there are different states of consciousness than just ego.  The ego is like a dog you bring with you on a journey. Untrained, it will run off, bite others and come back to bite you.  But trained and disciplined it knows its place. It can sense things, warn you of danger, protect you.  As the saying goes, "Ego is an excellent servant and a horrible master".  

 

On the journey, to confuse yourself with being the dog that runs alongside you, is to be lost in a profound hallucination. Such is the nature of the egoic mind.  It knows nothing of the true self and is driven only by its need to survive.  No reason to make it feel bad though.  Better to pat it on the head and every now and then – throw it a bone.

 

Demonization of the ego is the result of ignorance.  This idea that we must smash the ego comes from those who do not understand the ego - their only understanding is that they fear it.  As the world becomes more and more afraid of itself, this brand of so-called “spirituality” becomes ever more popular.

 

Smashing the ego makes about as much sense as removing an eye or cutting off your arm.  It is barbaric, not necessary and in fact very harmful.  And insofar as the brain-body organism is concerned, as the body navigates through material space, a self concept is better than no self concept.  Ego is that branch of self concept that concerns itself with the survival of the brain-body organism that often thinks it is you.  It is only harmful when it is misunderstood or when it’s forced to go underground in order to survive.  Take good care of it and it will serve you well, but never allow yourself to serve it.  This road goes in circles and leads to a certain kind of madness that passes for normalcy in our society today.  The insanity of ego identification is still the social norm at this early stage of our evolution.

 

In the human state we experience the full range of human emotions.  We are having the human experience.  To be captured entirely by the human experience is to lose site of the reality that this human vessel is a very small fraction of who and what you are.  It’s part of the ride, it won’t last, and there is really no sound reason not to get all of the action out of it that you can.  In retrospect, when one leaves the body, it will likely be remembered as a crazy day at the carnival, looking at the fun house mirror. To believe that what you see in that fun house mirror is you, is to forget who you are and where you are.

 

There are teachers, teachings, books, seminars - so much available to tell you who you are.  And one can incorporate these teachings into a belief system.  But a belief system is a cheap substitute for direct experience.  A belief system is a map and compass that one can never be sure is reliable until you are truly lost.  Only then does one find out that the treasure map you were sold was at best, only a rough estimation of where you are and where you are going.  If your belief system came from the religious establishment, then it was purchased at a novelty shop. 

 

When we are not misidentified with the ego, belief systems lose their importance as one turns to an inner voice, the voice of the Soul.

 

 

As with all words, when speaking of spiritual matters, the word "soul" is only a rough approximation of what we mean.  Incidentally, all matters are spiritual matters and the word "soul" refers to that which transcends the limitations of ego, but contains the higher dimensions of self. 

 

So what is Enlightenment?  There is certainly no shortage of charlatans out there, auditioning for the role of being the one who can answer that question for you.  As it turns out, there are “enlightenments” along the journey.  As the awareness of Self expands and expands, these are enlightenments.  The many merchants of so-called “enlightenment” would have you believe that enlightenment is a finish line that you will arrive at if you follow their treasure map, their belief system.  For many of us it takes falling for this hoax over and over before we are willing to take the responsibility and find the courage to look within.

 

I can tell you that what it means to be a “spiritual person” is to know that you are everything and everywhere. You are the world; you are every person you meet.  You are the moon and stars and galaxies and the universe and the multi-verses and you transcend space and time.   And if you take my word for it, and incorporate this into your belief system, it is not the same thing as seeing it directly.  It won’t work to hitch a ride on someone else’s experience.  And besides, what if I am blissfully walking off the edge of a cliff, looking up at the sky?  Don’t settle for hand-me-downs.  Seek the experience with more passion and commitment than anything else in your life.

 

If anyone tells you that in order to find God you must turn away from the world, they are speaking out of ignorance – more than likely parroting words from a belief system which their ego found comfort in.  After all, it is the greedy ego that seeks to find and seize upon “abundant bliss” and then be acknowledged and respected and praised for it.  That which is truly you, already knows bliss to be its true nature.  So to turn away from the world is to find God, but also to turn towards the world is to find God.  How can God be missing?  God is all that is and all that is not.  That which seeks to find God is only suffering from a self-induced state of Amnesia.  Simply put, you are that which you seek.  But don’t take my word for it.

 

Pay close attention to nature and you will see that nothing really dies.  It merely changes form.  The only thing that dies, when a tree falls and rots, is the mental concept of a tree.  In fact what is taking place is merely change.  Every part of that tree becomes something else.  All of existence is in flux, expanding and retracting, evolving.  That which looks out through your eyes is part of this evolution.

 

As you move from Amnesia toward God Realization, the Soul evolves.  Your perception broadens. Your experience deepens.  To memorize anything that has been said here will only serve as a form of imitation.  To hold up any word choice to careful scrutiny will only reveal that none of these words can be relied upon.   Everything I have told you here is a complete and absolute lie.  And hidden within each lie contains the jewel of enlightenment. 

 

That which does not evolve - dies.  But even that which dies serves a purpose.  It becomes the fertilizer of new life which seeks to evolve.  Nothing is wasted on the journey, nothing is lost.   And in that circle you find yourself, you lose yourself, but what remains constant is self.

 

Even in the deepest darkest depths of human emotional experience, when one really goes into the darkness deeply, you will find illumination.  It is everywhere you seek it, always hidden in plain sight.  Whether you are chanting a mantra or explaining to the landlord why you do not have the rent, every act is holy when done consciously with conscious intent.

 

What you have just read is a letter, that you wrote to yourself and asked me to hand deliver to you when you are ready.   The light switch is on a dimmer.  It’s in your hands now.

 

Peace,

 

Eric Allen Bell

 

Eric Allen Bell is Founder of
www.GlobalOne.TV
Multimedia for Mystics

 

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Tags: Eric-Allen-Bell, ego, enlightenment, god-realization, reincarnation, samsara, self-realization, spiritual-blogs, spiritual-networks, spirituality, More…vedanta

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Comment by Eric Allen Bell on Tuesday

Jack -

There is really nothing one can use to avoid feeling the pain of past trauma.  It's there, in the room with us (so to speak) whether we are acknowledging it or not.  It's part of our human experience.  To write off all spiritual inquiry as really just another device to avoid feeling,such as an addiction, is absurd.  The consciousness seeks to awaken, to evolve.  And evolution generally occurs in response to crisis.

Jack - Is there anyone who does not suffer? Are you suggesting we must all heal from our suffering before we can inquire into the nature of consciousness?  Not only are your ideas extremely dogmatic, but they seem to also be totally irrational as well.

Comment by Jackaranda Rainbow on Tuesday

You are not on a spiritual path to heal past trauma? Are you kidding?.  It is precisely because your ideas about god have nothing to do with your abuse trauma that you so relentlessly pursue them. It is a means of avoiding emotional issues arising in abuse which still hurt you. In the light of such suffering your ideas about spiritual paths are bullshit.

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on Tuesday

Jack -

Here is where I think you're making an enormous assumption.  I don't feel that any type of spiritual experience erases past trauma.  I don't expect it to.  I am not on a spiritual path to heal past trauma.  We are all on a spiritual path, whether we acknowledge it or not. But to become aware of this only to somehow "improve" oneself, I feel, is to miss the point entirely.

Comment by Jackaranda Rainbow on Monday

Eric, you know who you are, please stop pretending and deliberately mystifying - all your ideas about god are nothing but a comfort fantasy. Forget about what other people on this site might think. They will learn from what we say.  Stay with what YOU think and feel. For the Survivor of Corporal Punishment, the salient emotion is fear. When driven very deep, as in both our cases, that fear continues to operate in us throughout our lives. Although sexual abuse produces the same kind of deep emotional drivers, they are  not always fear. As you know from personal experience, often it is shame and guilt. Although shame and guilt are part of the Corporal Punishment process, fear is an overriding behavioural driver. That fear is still with us, try as we might to ‘transcend’ it with our religious ideas. You are no exception to this, it operates very similarly in all humans. Despite your protestations that you have ‘processed’ and ‘healed’ your ‘wounds’ I can see by what you have written that you have not. You remain gripped by these deep emotions. I can assure you from my personal experience that transcendence is possible, but you are not there yet, you are still denying the effects of what was done to you. No abuse survivor achieves complete freedom suddenly and then becomes ‘free’, or ‘transcendent’. It is a lifetime’s work, it takes many years to undo the emotional damage to our souls, to our spirit, to our essential selves, which have been so grotesquely hurt.  I don’t need to try and force an interest in ’more than just that’:- as I slowly progress through self exploration  and understanding, so new delights and awakening present themselves quite organically. The deep feelings held inside us for so many years are our starting point always. When I pretend to be ‘healed’ and ‘free’ I start to make mistakes and I begin to deny how I am affected by the abuse I suffered.

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on August 21, 2014 at 7:26pm

Jack - 

I don't think I'm going to get through to you, so this is for the benefit of others who may be reading this dialogue. "God is closer than your self" is the saying, it's not mine and it indicates the opposite of an "other".  It means that even self concept is not as true to who and what we are as "god" is.  Everything is part of everything else an that include you and I.  Duality is an illusion.  God is closer than your (concept of) self.

As to the assumptions you keep making about past childhood abuse - this seems to be a point where you are stuck.  You are in the later years of your life and still writing blogs where you identify as a "victim of corporal punishment" (spanking).  As someone who was repeatedly beaten, told by my mother that she wished I was dead and sexually molested by my father, I understand that these experiences stay with us our entire life.  But I also understand that when we keep telling our sad stories, we reinforce them.  

I am not advocating denial, but rather that life does go on.  There may be some wounds which perhaps are not meant to heal.  These wounds part of who we are.  They connect us to the world and it's wounds.  They are part of our human experience.  And as much as I feel it is important to be connected to the material world and concerned with what happens there, I also see that there is more going on than just that.

Global One TV is a site I created to look at that which is transcendent.  You will find no shortage of articles here which also deal with healing.  One does not negate the other.  But the driving theme of this website and of my life personally is the question: Who am I?

Comment by Jackaranda Rainbow on August 20, 2014 at 11:27pm

People who have extensively worked with emotional damage arising in their childhood suffering do not develop ideas about an Imagined Other, as you have done:- "God is closer than you think."  They do not seek to conceal historical details, they have no fear and no shame in disclosing the truth. I make no assumptions, I know, from what you have written on this site,  that you have failed to adequately work your personal issues although I accept that you sincerely believe you have  "reflected, processed., healed". 

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on August 18, 2014 at 12:52pm

Jack -

I hear what you're saying.  But you have made several incorrect assumptions in your relentless attack of me, over the past several posts.  One is nearly everything you have assumed about my father.  This man you are describing in no way fits an accurate description of my father.  Secondly, you are making a huge assumption that any past trauma that I have experienced has not been reflected upon, processed, acknowledged, healed, etc.  This is an incorrect assumption.

So this brings me back to a question I have already asked.  What is your preoccupation with trying to "expose" me as some kind of a phony?

Comment by Jackaranda Rainbow on August 18, 2014 at 2:14am

It seems you are promoting a doctrine which states that one's psychological history, one's pathology, is the real "truth" - and that any attempt at transcendence is just a clever way of avoiding dealing with one's past trauma.  This is not only painfully simplistic, but it negates that there is more to consciousness than a person's sad story.  Furthermore, the way you rather obsessively put this argument forward, specifically through attacking me, seems to point to some unhealed trauma in your own life, ironically.

 

Why are you here, on this website?  What do you hope to gain from this experience?  “

 

You can’t “transcend” something of which you are unaware. The truth is often very simple.

 

There is no separation. You are making  a schism where none exists. Your “sad story” is part of “transcendence”, self realization, attaining higher consciousness. “The feelings of rage, shame, anger, humiliation, injustice, confusion, being unloved, are all part of your self, of you, as they are of me and my self and all of humanity. It takes courage and relentless determination to fully accept the darkness within, or, as some call it, to “face the wolf”.  If you cannot summon the courage to face your self, you will not become more conscious, ‘enlightened’, because you are suppressing the truth, locking part of yourself away.  The path to “more than a person’s sad story” is by fully accepting, acknowledging and understanding the self. Its futile to try and lock our feelings away, they will still affect our behaviour. Earnestly insisting “god is closer than you think” is connected to that hurt part of your self. Feeling attacked when someone tells me the truth is always a panicked response born in my fear, shame, humiliation and what have you, which still affects me. When I confront those feelings of being attacked and the experiences giving rise to them in my meditation and breathing, I can achieve transcendence. Your hurt feelings from the past and your transcendence is a unity, it is one, not separate.

 

I am here and on this website to give you this information, that there is no separation between different selves at different times and I am here to learn from you. It is one, not separate. Focusing on hurt feelings from the past is to transcend them. Ignoring what we have brought from the past is self destructive, the opposite to transcendence.

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on August 17, 2014 at 12:37am

Jack -

It seems you are promoting a doctrine which states that one's psychological history, one's pathology, is the real "truth" - and that any attempt at transcendence is just a clever way of avoiding dealing with one's past trauma.  This is not only painfully simplistic, but it negates that there is more to consciousness than a person's sad story.  Furthermore, the way you rather obsessively put this argument forward, specifically through attacking me, seems to point to some unhealed trauma in your own life, ironically.  

Why are you here, on this website?  What do you hope to gain from this experience?

Comment by Jackaranda Rainbow on August 12, 2014 at 2:43am

Discourse as to the meaning of self is for you a means of dissimulation in respect of personal history. Stop deliberately mystifying your experience! Self realisation of any kind is not possible without acknowledgement and acceptance of the truth. When you have ascended to the higher self, the big self, god, the universal umbrella or Haile Selassie, you may speak and offer to those of us who have not. Meanwhile, the truth of self, insofar as we are self aware, is necessary if we genuinely seek improvement. Self awareness is the royal road to spiritual progress. To claim as you do that you are not affected by what happened to you in your strict christian childhood is not helpful to you, it is a denial of the truth. I most deeply understand and sincerely encourage your earnest wish to attain this understanding and acceptance of self through ideation, but the path to which you so tenaciously cling does not lead to higher awareness of self or others, or god, it simply leads to more advanced and abstruse ideation. The higher self of which you speak and clearly wish to aspire, is not attained by such ideation, it is attained, in my personal experience, by working with what I have and from where I actually am, discovering by a process of working through layers of experience and discovering and accepting sometimes extremely painful truths as well as the higher  and more blissful truths. I am not speaking of psychotherapy, I am speaking of the path which has been successfully travelled by many a sadhu long before psychotherapy was a twinkle in the eye of humanity. If as you claim, your self has a connection to 'big self', then you can attain spiritual advancement by knowing and fully experiencing your self - it has after all a higher part. Will you connect to higher self via a road which is perfect, smooth, comfortable, mudless, perfectly logical and without strong feelings?

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