Is Your Ego Keeping You in Prison!
Gurdjieff once said that the single most important step in getting out of prison is first to recognize that you are in prison. Our prison is whatever keeps us from feeling our birthright of love and joy. We call it the “ego”. We are not using the word here in the Freudian sense. Rather, we are employing it to stand for a part of the mind that we have created. The ego believes itself separate, cut off from the whole; it is therefore always in fear, incapable of love. One highly important step in attaining freedom lies in learning to recognize when we are caught in one of the ego’s many forms.
The ego is a belief about who we are, arising out of an elemental misperception. Somewhere along the way, the mind came to the conclusion that it was separate from the whole, like a wave that believed itself separate from the ocean. From this single thought has emerged the entire world as we perceive it. Ego, the seemingly separate entity, lies at its center. In this perception my “self” appears to be a body, cut off from other selves, isolated from the Source of All Life. This ego, like everything in the world of form, faces the certainty sooner or later of ceasing to exist. The wave, forgetting it is part of the ocean, fears breaking on shore as the ultimate catastrophe.
The ego is the source of all the conflict and pain in our relationships, for it does not coexist with love. When ego is present, fear is the basis of consciousness, and there are problems. When love is present, there may be challenges and obstacles, but when there’s no fear, there are no problems. In a way, this greatly simplifies things.
Wherever ego is found, fear lurks. Since ego is terrified of coming to an end, fear pervades its activities. Most of its responses to fear breed more fear. Release from this entanglement entails learning a different response to fear.
~”Learning to Love; From Conflict to Lasting Harmony.” Don and Martha Rosenthal ©2006.