THE DEATH OF EGO
"One must experience death to be re-born"
~ Old Ancient Insight
You cannot live, nor can you be free, until you have died. This has nothing to do with physical death. Rather, it has to do with the experience of "death" of a part of y our mind that is keeping you from remembering who you really are.
What do those words mean? Each of us on this planet has a separate self or an ego that has become self-centered and selfish throughout the many physical lives weve spent attached to this planet. This is not how we were prior to the Fall of mankind.
How did it all happen? In the beginning, we were all ONE with our Source. We then entered the physical universe with free will and the ability to create all that our minds could conceive. We were always God-centered and never separated from our Creator because of it.
Millions of years ago our spirits discovered planet Earth and the 3-dimensional ways of life She had to offer. It was a magnificent place, a Garden of Eden. In order to experience the wonders of this planet, we had to lower the vibrations of our Light bodies to that of 3-dimensional reality. We knew that this denser form of existence was full of risk, but that did not stop us.
We were faced with two choices. We could appreciate and enjoy Earth, but not get attached to the offerings of her physical world. Or we could loose our oneness with God and separate from our Source by losing ourselves in Earth's material pleasures. Sadly, we made the lesser choice, lost our God-centeredness and eventually forgot who we really are.
If we want to be free spirits again, as we once were, well have to wake up and remember our true spiritual nature and divine connection. Weve accumulated a lot of negative karma while going through the many reincarnational, life-death cycles since the Fall. In order to balance this karma, all will have to be healed in love and forgiveness.
Ego's function was, and still is, a useful safety mechanism to protect us in a 3-dimensional environment. For example, the quick response we have when jumping out of the way of an on-rushing car is the ego's way of protecting us. This fear-based mechanism is healthy. However, over many lifetimes of trying to survive in a physical body, the ego has grown out of control. As a result, fear dominates the way we think and act.
How do we solve this problem? We need to awaken from our material dream and remember that we are really Beings of Light whose true nature is unconditional love and God-centeredness. That in turn will lead to higher choices based upon unselfishness, understanding, humility, caring, giving, forgiveness, sharing and compassion.
In the process of trying to live such a life, we will go through a profound inner change that is incredible. Its as though we are wiping the dust off our eyes, as we begin to remember who we really are.
Can all of this be done in just a single lifetime? I dont think so. It takes tremendous amount of courage and discipline to lead such a life. But we have to begin sometime, if we want to be free again.
As we live a spiritually balanced life, we'll find the ego reacting in a very defensive way. The ego wants to be the source of all the choices we make in life and is afraid of losing control over us. The ego will continue with this struggle and will use fear as a means of maintaining control. The best way to handle this is to reassure the ego that it has nothing to fear. Tell it that you love it unconditionally, but you no longer want it to dictate the path of your life anymore.
The closer you get to relinquishing the ego's influence, the more clever it will become. It will tempt you with all it can to preserve a way of being that keeps you grounded in your lower self and separated from God.
Sooner or later, you will have to experience the "death" of your ego in order to reach enlightenment. Once free from fear, life is lived with great feeling, great zest and our actions are no longer controlled by what we are afraid of.
Spiritual awakening, meditation, exposing ones self to the universal Truths, living a life of unselfish love, self-discipline, and so on puts enormous pressure on the ego and eventually begins to diminish its influence. The pain of this experience, along with releasing our attachments to the material pleasures of this world, can build to a point where it is called spiritual crisis or the dark night of the soul.
Spiritual crisis is a cleansing process that one must go through to reach partial or total ego death. It can be a very devastating experience that is filled with much depression and despair. But if you can hang on, if you can endure the suffering with patience, acceptance and surrender, you will have a conscious "death" experience and become much closer to God for having experienced it.
I am quite convinced that we will have to go through many ego death experiences, big and small, before the last vestige of fear, selfishness and separation has been removed from us. At that point our cup will be emptied. The dross will have been burned off and we will be who we truly are; God-centered spirits who are free to roam the universe once again.