Monday, September 14, 2009
The Trance of Ego : The Illusion of Separation
The type of world you perceive depends in large measure on the state of consciousness you are in. Most of us live with a painful sense of separation from others, a sense of something missing, and a pervasive feeling of limitation, of fear and desire. As a result we engage in a whirlwind of activity to avoid the objects of our fear and to obtain the objects of our craving. The characteristics of living from a sense of separation include but are not limited to:
• Sense of lack. The very basis of the trance of ego is a pervasive and undefined sense of something missing. Enough is never enough. We always want more or better. We are never spiritual enough, skinny enough, smart enough, or young enough. We filter everything through this sense of lack. We are convinced, “ This isn’t it.”
• Sense of separation. Looking to the external world to fulfill our perceived lack keeps us focused on a “me-oriented” reality, reinforcing alienation and separation.
• Addiction. Both the feeling of lack and the craving to fill the void are so strong in us that we latch on to something external to “do it” for us. We escape from our inner emptiness into work, activities, sex, food, drink, drugs, the Internet, relationships or even to spiritual highs.
• Fear. If we decide our craving will be satisfied by money, we become gripped by the fear of poverty. If we believe the right relationship will alleviate our gnawing lack, then loneliness becomes a source of intense anxiety. If we think we will be happy in the right career, then fear of not making it devours us.
• Suspicion, strategic living, anxiety, hostile competition, self-doubt, disappointment, meaninglessness all characterize the trance of ego.
• Lack of fulfillment. We keep pinning our fulfillment on external things, but nothing outside us stays put. We are caught in the cycle of desire, hope and fear.
The trance of ego is the dominant state of consciousness on our planet. The way out of the trance is a perceptual transformation, a gift of grace in which we realize that separation is an illusion based on a faulty perception of reality. The Oneness Blessing gently awakens us from the trance of separation and alters our perception. The only way out of the dream of separation is to awaken – to become more and more aware of the trance and the grip it has on us and to let it go.
The process of awakening involves facing our personal suffering, accepting our human condition completely, and paradoxically discovering our oneness with divinity by embracing our flawed humanity, instead of resisting it and trying to escape from it. It is in embracing our humanity, feeling fully into it without resistance, staying present to the even the deepest pain and letting go of control, that we discover the truth that our humanity and our divinity are not two, but one.