Your ego will never be satisfied with what it can’t convince itself it created itself. All it wants is to be affirmed. “I exist. I’m valuable. I’m cool.” That’s all it wants, and it wants it constantly, in an endless variety of ways.
Either you surrender to take that endless ride in fantasy land, or you might as well get off now before any more time is lost. Get off while you’ve still got some years left for actually living. If you’re willing to do that, you can stop reading now and just do it. Just let go of all your ideas about what things mean or what they should be or whatever else. Stop trying to satisfy your “self,” since it’s only your false self that has ever felt any dissatisfaction anyway. Commit now to engage fully with whatever is, just as it is, even as it changes, and love it. Whenever you make that choice, that is when you will know fulfillment. And if you constantly renew that choice, you will know lasting fulfillment. If you need more convincing, please read on.
I confess that I’m making this up as I go along, but in this moment it seems that we pretty much have a choice between pretending, which is always a very thin cloak thrown over dissatisfaction and depression, or choosing honesty and courage. I choose to be honest about how much I don’t know, which then requires courage to dare to actually live in such an ambiguous world. It takes a lot of courage, when there are no myths to comfort you, just to leave your house. Just to get out of bed.
If you let yourself see just a little, but don’t have courage or faith or at least reckless insanity, then you’re not going to be able to get out of bed. You’ll only see the horror. You’ll miss all the wonder and beauty. Who wouldn’t stay in bed, dreaming sweet dreams, instead of going out into that?
So here I am, trying to encourage you to give it a shot. Gamble. Risk. Jump into the river and see where it takes you. I’ve shared lots of stories with you of the miraculous places it has taken me. Read my book, Being Bliss, if you want to read some of those stories. Hopefully my stories will give you some faith that maybe it’s worth a shot. You will have to be willing to risk losing the fake security you’ve been clinging to, the empty hopes for senseless achievements. That’s harder than it might seem. Ego wants something to hold onto, however flimsy it might be.
But I’m too sick of it to offer you that. I’m just plum tuckered out with that shoring up of ego thing. I can’t even believe myself while it’s spilling out of my mouth. There are lots of people you can get to tell you how great you are. I’m here to tell you that what you call “me” doesn’t even really exist. It’s just make believe, a story about the history of a body. The body was born to these parents. It lived in this place. It went to this school where it was given these grades for memorizing these facts about the histories of other bodies. Woohoo!
What difference does it make? I don’t care whether you’re from the east coast or the west coast. If you need me to ask you that before you’re willing to show me the part of you that comes from nowhere, that was never born and will never die, then fine. Where are you from? Where was that body made? Was your family rich or poor or somewhere in between? Feel better now?
Of course not, because it doesn’t matter. We’re both supposed to pretend it does. Then pretend we had a satisfying social interaction, but really neither of us will if we deal in such falsehood. Don’t ask me to be your partner for that dance. Even if I agree, I won’t be doing you any favors. Ask me to sit with you while you’re lost in not knowing. Ask me to travel the paths of unknowing with you, dancing all the way and seeing what we see. Ask me to remind you to laugh. To wonder. To be open and adventurous and yet wise and discerning. Ask me to give you permission to give yourself permission to greet the world with one yummy yes after another, until the mirage that is your body fades back into the desert heat.
I do love you, you know. Your body and it’s habits and stories, that I can take or leave. But you, you I really love. How I wish you’d let me actually spend time with you without all the distractions your false self is always so busy creating and maintaining. I wish you wouldn’t identify with your ego’s boredom when you’re indulging the natural fascination that comes from just being. There is so much joy and wonder and delight available in each moment, yet it comes with no reason other than the decision to notice it. It provides no sense of ego accomplishment, because it’s available with just a decision.
How unsatisfying! That’s the ego’s point of view anyway. And ultimately this does come down to identification with one point of view or another. If you identify with the stories about your body and the desire to make better stories that more people find impressive, you’re doomed to a life of wavering satisfaction that is sure to end in utter dissatisfaction. If you turn your back on all of that and embrace the infinite unknowable as your “self,” you won’t have much to hold onto, but you won’t need to hold onto anything.
Let’s be practical about this life thing. If we are going to stay alive, we might as well enjoy it. And we might as well live it in a way that when we come to the end of living it we feel good about how we spent the time. We feel good about what we did with the opportunity. So for me this is it. I think I’ll be most satisfied at the end of each day, week, year and lifetime if I can look back and see lots of honest enjoyment. If I see it wasn’t all just one attempt at pretending something unreal, my ego, was actually real and valuable and really cool, and getting others to go along with that charade in exchange for my helping them pretend their egos were real and valuable and really cool too.
If you want to really do something for others, which you do, then just live a surrendered life. Let your inner wisdom guide you. Listen to what is beneath the endless scheming and begging for affirmation of the personality, the physical appearance, the mental ability, and so on. Listen to the voice that needs nothing but acts with clarity and peace. Rest in it, trust in it, and enjoy it.
Oh please don’t forget to decide to enjoy it. Enjoyment of course is just a decision. It basically is just an attitude of what I call “yummy yes.” It isn’t just a yes. It’s a yummy yes. It’s a yes that comes with pleasure attached. Similarly to a plain yes, it is basically just a decision. We either decide to resist feeling good or we decide to allow feeling good. We choose to remember feeling good or to forget about feeling good. Remember now.
What does it feel like to feel good? Feel it.
Yes, that’s it. That’s what it feels like. Remember to feel that way often and don’t look for reasons beyond the decision. Any other reason you come up with is just bull. You’re just lying to yourself. Don’t lie. Honesty is required above all else. Be real about what you know, what you believe, and what you are just making up. I don’t know that there is really anything trustworthy about this world. Maybe it’s evil. But I don’t know it’s evil either. So given that I don’t know, and really can’t know, I simply choose to make up the story that it loves me, and then go on from there. Why not? What’s so great about the story that it sucks?
It doesn’t really protect you from disappointment. It just protects you from the shock of the transition out of false happiness back into the reality of your disappointment, because you’re clinging to illusions that will repeatedly reveal themselves to be just that.
So let’s look at what the choices are that we really face. What is the desire that we’re deciding to fulfill, and which to ignore?
There’s a desire to be affirmed as useful, special, brilliant, good, desirable, welcome, laudable and so on. There is a desire for positive affirmation. This type of desire comes from ego insecurity. It’s hard being a fragile, make believe, doomed entity. It takes a lot of shoring up, endless actually.
The other desire is to fully experience the potential of this experience, which includes experiencing it with others who are also coming from that depth of truth and clarity. With this comes compassion for the fragile egos of others and the desire to nourish the truth that lies beneath that, so that it can come more fully into expression within the world for our mutual enjoyment.
What nourishes truth, whether in ourselves or in others, is truth. Honesty. Courage. Being willing to simply engage with it and listen. Let it reveal itself within your awareness and within your radiating being. What nourishes it is noticing its point of view and being willing to see from it sometimes, being willing to let it guide you. When we do this for ourselves, it looks like openness and surrender to flow, but with attentiveness not dullness. With immersion, not detachment. We can be immersed in flow, so that there is neither clinging nor detachment. We just dive in fully then see where the water takes us. What a ride.
There must be trust of course. If we think this is a deadly river carrying us out to a crushing sea that is full of toxic debris that is sure to kill us, well no wonder one would resist such a ride. I wouldn’t want to go either. Get me up on shore where it’s safe. But if there is trust or at least courage to take the chance that maybe this is safe, maybe it loves us and can take care of us adequately. Well then the ride can’t go wrong no matter where it takes us. We can be open to all of it.
There is still discernment. We still know that our hearing isn’t perfect, so sometimes we misunderstand what we’re being told. We make up for those gaps with the fruits of experience. We keep the body alive. But there isn’t dogma. We don’t ascribe to any belief system other than trust and honesty and courage and willingness. My dogma is “yes.” That’s it. That’s my entire philosophy. Yes. Okay. I’m willing to see and feel and discover and keep letting go of old thoughts and beliefs, dead moments that can no longer nourish me.
What have you got to lose? What has resistance ever gotten you, except a constantly diminishing life? The box just keeps getting smaller. You don’t have to go everywhere you’re invited. You don’t have to do everything anyone suggests. Your surrender is not to the world of ego, and egos are quite eager to try to move the other pieces on the board in favor of their own goals. That’s not your responsibility, to help facilitate that.
Your surrender is to your own inner guidance. Let that move you around. Be willing to be a piece on that board. Maybe not of some great plan. Maybe the plan is only for your own life, though I do notice that others seem to be benefited quite frequently by this willingness of any piece to let itself be moved. The flow seems to use us to benefit one another, as well as ourselves. Which is great, because that’s a tremendous source of joy
Spiritual maturity requires stepping up to the plate to make something out of this life. And it all starts with a simple choice -- the choice to stop accepting the ego’s insecurities as your own, stop trying to fulfill something that can’t truly be fulfilled because all it really wants is for a lie to be true, and instead wade out into the river and take the ride with an open heart and open eyes. See what you see and be willing to love it.
That is all anyone can really offer you. Are you willing to let that be enough, or do you choose a comforting lie instead? Either choice is fine. It is your right. But I hope you make the choice that will bring you joy instead of more sadness and pain, however scary doing so may be. Choose to notice love, all the time, and you will be living in harmony with your true self, which is in fact love itself.