Friday, October 16, 2009

CONVERSATIONS WITH EGO: Our Never-Ending "Story"

ego: Mike, we need to surrender the story of “who” we think we are.

Mike: Uh...what good will that do?

ego: Well, obviously, by surrendering the 'story' you become liberated from the suffering of the self. Besides, transcending the ‘story’ is all the rage in spiritual circles these days.

Mike: Ok, what ‘blog’ did you read that from?

ego: But it makes sense!

Mike: The problem is that “my” story is interdependently interfaced within the stories of everyone else. I can seek to transcend my story till the cows come home, but the moment I encounter a story in another, my story becomes fixed. In fact, the moment I perceive “someone else” a story automatically materializes.

ego: So what are you saying, we have to surrender everyone else's story too?

Mike: Actually, there are NO separate stories, only the "story” of separate stories and we’re all in that together because it's infinite. If I seek to surrender or transcend my separate story, I’m then caught in the "story of separate stories." The moment I assert liberation from my story, but then encounter the story of someone else, I can no longer assert being story-less and my advising another to surrender or detach from their story only makes our story more “real.”

ego: Good grief, Mike! We can't count on other people. We just need to focus on our self for now. Once we awaken to our True Self we can teach others.

Mike: By surrendering the story of everyone we meet, we liberate the 'self' because the self does not exist without engagement with others. However, the moment I try to teach another to transcend their individual story, as if I had experienced transcending my own, I become a fixture of our never-ending story. Therefore, I must be liberated from their story, because their story is mine, as mine is theirs. We are all interdependently interconnected and no one transcends alone (even though many have become deeply mesmerized by the "individual transcendence story").

ego: Wait a minute! Surrendering your own story was taught by the Great Masters of the past, you can’t go trashing centuries of wisdom tradition!

Mike: Ah yes, the “Wisdom Tradition Story.” We certainly love that story! Which, of course, is predecessor to the “non-duality story” and “surrender your story,” stories. The very moment you attempt to detach from an individual story, the individual story becomes "real." Maybe it’s not about surrendering 'my' story, but about surrendering 'theirs' because every judgment I make about my ‘self’ is always and forever in relation to ‘them' and every judgment upon them defines 'me.'

ego: Damn, Mike! It would be so much easier if you could just do it all by your ‘self.’

Mike: Yes, that does seem to be the most convenient "story." No wonder so many faithfully follow it.

(artwork: "Buddha" by Octaviao Ocampo)


  1. That traditional all sounds very good...but in the end...a bit dry.

  2. Well...actually, it's all "traditional."

    It's all been said before and will be said again and again, on and on, ad infinitum.

    There's nothing new under the sun, yo!


  3. "Maybe it’s not about surrendering 'my' story, but about surrendering 'theirs' because every judgment I make about my ‘self’ is always and forever in relation to ‘them' and every judgment upon them defines 'me.'"

    Sounds like the struggle of civilization as we know it, Mike. This continual hologram of self v. the other.

    During, and decades after, the bleak, tragic hours of The War Between the States, a drastic rise in Spiritualism arose. Communication with the dead and angels among us. All of it. Even as I am wont to blame the Victorians for everything that continues in social/egoic melodrama, their approach was more poetic, though none the less revolving in the struggle for reaching beyond the veil of cosmological meaning and the concocting of elaborate scenes to explain (believe)it.

    What I am saying, is that we live in such a precarious time, at least as far as we perceive it to be precarious in that hologram of things, and so the resurrection of "unsettling circumstance must have some meaning to it" psychology pervades our lives. And so we carry our talismans: Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Shaman and Charlatan and believe the old story somehow answers the new story. It's like clinging to the medieval mindset in the age of science and technology.

    But still the sun rises and sets and the seasons come and go. We are beholding to many things and we want it to tell a story, because if it doesn't, then the crack in that Cosmic Egg becomes too frightening, perhaps too real. It may not hold the answer we prefer.

    The struggle of the ego may simply be a time-honored tradition in fearing that moment of the dark night of the soul and not coming out of it with anything new and revealed. The struggle of the saints becomes our own, but we prefer to keep to their story because it is less painful. It is the one thing in story that does not separate us, because the story is the same no matter which saint tells it and we pray to believe or fall prey to that crisis in faith, which is the crisis of the ego, after all.

    Perhaps we fight among our stories because if you are right, then I am wrong, and if I am right, then you are wrong, and if none of us is right or wrong, then the Mystery is more powerful than we can perceive and we just can't surrender to that. Truth by subjective convenience has a very strong appeal. It makes us safe in our story.

    Sorry to babble. Many thoughts come to mind in response to your post.


  4. Nahnni,

    Yes, the story is always the same in an attempt to secure safety. However, might it be possible to come together without right or wrong, if that makes no difference. I suppose that would have to be a mutual goal.