The Leash of Ego
Those of us who have a dog, know what it's like to strap on the leash and take them for a walk. Obviously, the walk is great exercise, but today I'm going to talk about the leash. An important item, not just physically, but spiritually and mentally.
When we take our dog out on a leash, it serves many purposes. The main purpose, as an owner of this magical and loving creature, is to keep it safe from harm. To keep the dog from running into the street and getting hit by a car, to keep the dog from going into areas where it should not go, to prevent another interaction that could end in tragedy with another animal, etc. In other words, we restrict them, and hold them back for their own good. Why? because WE know better than they do what is best for them.
Now let's look at this from the standpoint of our ego-system. That part of us that works as danger radar. It is constantly sweeping, like sonar on a ship, looking for potential trouble. We need this ego ... but it wasn't designed to be the one to make decisions. The ego is also the part of us that reminds us of all the times we screwed up. It sits in the mind and says "you know what happened the last time you tried this." Or, "you have no Talent in art so don't even think about taking classes." Always there to remind us of our past, our "mis-takes," and our shortcomings. But what we need to do is put that ego on a leash.
There's a great verse from the NT Bible in which Jesus is purported to say to Peter: "get behind thee satan." Now, you have to ask ... was Peter satan? Certainly not. At least not in the way the church teaches of a personification of evil as an anthropomorphized enemy of God. The esoteric, metaphysical, and allegorical meaning of this statement is more like: "get behind thee ego, and let Spirit lead." You see, when we allow our Higher-Self and divine consciousness lead, as it was designed to do, the ego can best do it's job of being the radar ... but without opinion or direction. We let Spirit lead, because it inherently knows what is best for us. It is a default system ... pre-programmed by the universal Source of all that is ... or what we would call God.
We must learn to respond, rather than react. When we react, it is the knee-jerk action of ego. When we take a few extra moments to inquire within, to consult our inner guidance system, we generally get the right answer and response to the situation that we are facing or the decision that needs our attention. For example, you're walking down the street and someone bumps into you. The ego (based on past occurrences and experiences) says: "HEY ... watch out buddy." Then the other person's ego joins the party because he was offended and an altercation ensues. But ... if you let your Spirit/Higher-Self who KNOWS best step in to handle the situation, things will be different. Your Spirit may say: "excuse me my friend, I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention. Are you ok?"
This type of response will more than likely neutralize the potentially harmful interaction of two egos. The other person may respond with something like: "All is good, no worries." So, by keeping our ego on as leash, we have protected ourself just as keeping our dog on a leash is for their protection ... not necessarily for control and dominance purposes. I'll keep this article short because I think it's simple enough for all of us to understand how the ego-leash vs. Spirit freedom system works.
I leave you with one of my favourite parables. An old Native American grandfather is teaching his grandson about life and says to the young boy: "It is as if there is a battle that is going on inside of me."
The grandfather continues: "It is a terrible battle ... as if between two wolves. One wolf is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He desires to bring about suffering and negative emotions.
He continued: "The other wolf is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. He desires to bring compassion and positive emotions.
This same exact battle is going on inside of you ... and inside of every other person in this world also."
The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather: "Which of the two wolves will win the battle?"
The grandfather simply replied: "The one that I choose to feed."
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.