Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/26/11—Questioning Why We're On The Path

Today's Draw: Nine of Spikes (Wands) from the Ironwing Tarot. Why do you think we generally pursue "bettering" ourselves? Why do we strive to be more godly? And isn't the pursuit of shedding our egos driven by the ego?

For as much as yesterday's card was about destruction, this card is about creation and transformation. Ultimately, though, they're the same thing. The burning hand-like spikes bring a magical heat that signals the path of the cicada from its 17-year sleep below the earth and its transformation from flightless nymph to the cicada we know.

If you're a tarot reader, you may not recognize this as a traditional meaning, but in the sense that the cicada summons its reserves and invests all its energy into its final push to transformation, it is. 

The first thing I saw when I looked at this card, however, is what we've been talking about all week...shedding our ego and rising to see the truth. So many people react strongly to the word ego, thinking it's meant to suggest that they think highly of themselves. But that's not exactly the kind of ego I talk about in these entries. Yes, there's a sense of self-importance and self-centeredness to it. And if you think you're devoid of those qualities you're mistaken. But, spiritually speaking, it's bigger than that. 

Ego is that part of ourselves that forms attachments to things, attitudes, image and such. It's that part of ourselves that lives in the past or future, that defines our identity, that sees ourselves as separate from others. Speaking in terms of us and them is an ego thing. In my opinion, the word "should" is completely owned by the ego. If you're human, you have an ego. In my belief, ego is the weight that tethers our spirit to earth. 

So over the past two days, we've talked about the freedom that comes from releasing attachment to the ego and we've talked about the conflicting voices of the ego that keep us from taking the direct route to our divine selves. Today has little more to offer to the picture except this: like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the cicada has to completely shed his identity before he can fly. Heck, the cicada can't even see the sun—see the light—before it sheds its old form. 

As I had touched on earlier this week, I don't know why or if we "should" try to live in divine spirit on earth. I just know that I'm drawn to doing that. Logically thinking, though, I think humans are meant to be humans. I think we're here to be humans. So those beliefs are in conflict with the journey to shed ego and experience ourselves as spirits on earth. Life can have meaning without being on that journey. So it's not about finding meaning. And, of course, we can be both human and divine. In fact, that's more like what we are.

It's just that those rare moments in life that defy space, time and ego and allow us to stand squarely in the light of spirit are truly the most beautiful moments in life. I suppose the pursuit of this can be like chasing a high. There are few people who achieve it all the time. Eckart Tolle says he lives free of ego. The Dalai Lama probably does. Being that way all the time is too ambitious for me. Clearly there's nothing wrong with being our best selves. But why are we so set on being a better person if not for ego reasons? Maybe once we get to a certain point the ego dissolves, but we start on the path for ego reasons, don't we?

If you have any thoughts on all this, share with me. I think if we're going down a path, we should at least know why. I tend to follow my heart and we can certainly move forward without knowing why. But my approach to life is "question everything". And after three days of the same types of messages about ego this week, I think it's time to question why we don't just sink deeply into our humanity and leave our spirit selves for when we shed this skin.

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