How often have you experienced your mind attacking you and making your life a living hell? This habit often originates in childhood, when critical people have projected their issues onto you. We then grab the baton and carry on with the attack, often for a lifetime.
Whether it be the tendency to compare yourself with others and believe you are lacking, failure to live up to others expectations or any one of a myriad of issues, they all come from your ego’s judgement.
When you engage in negative self-talk, self-doubt or guilt, it can help to recognize that it is simply your own ego undermining and turning on you. The more you believe your thoughts the more victimized you become.
This was first explained to me by my mentor Edmund Harold, who described a stage on the Path known as the Air Initiation. It’s a stage where you start to awaken and experience glimpses of the Love, Light and Presence of the Self.
While these moments should be a cause for celebration, the ego often feels threatened and displaced by these experiences. In response it then unleashes a torrent of negative thoughts, including self-doubt, self-criticism and guilt to try and sabotage the awakening.
The ego actually wants to prevent your awakening, because it fears the loss of control over you. It also fears that you will abandon it within the mental world of illusion (Maya), which is its only domain. When you break it down your ego or personal identity is really only a thought and is therefore a child of the mind.
During this initial awakening stage you realize there is an internal war going on and you may even feel concerned about who is going to win it! Of course, it’s only a war if you fight back. The secret is to respond to your ego’s fear and resistance by offering it love and reassurance that you are there for it.
To successfully love and discipline the ego requires faith that the Self is real. It also requires discernment, which is the ability to tell the difference between what the ego is telling you and what the still voice in your Heart is revealing. This discernment or inner guidance emerges from the Silence that increasing immersion in Presence reveals.
With faith you can develop a living relationship with God and the devotional strength to surrender to God as your inner Master.
From there you can go from strength to strength by depending on your inner Master and ignoring your ego’s agenda. The latter’s sabotage and undermining thru self-doubt, negativity and self-attack is not an accident, but intentional.
Doubts about the spiritual Path, doubts about your capacity to awaken and doubts about the very existence of God all come under this category. There will also be doubts about legitimate external teachers. These are all simply corrosive thoughts and beliefs originating from the ego. So witness them and let them go. They cannot influence you if you do not take them on.
We live in an intellectually sophisticated world, one where opinions, beliefs and ideas are highly valued. Having an articulate voice can bring recognition and attention, even though we may have no idea what we are talking about.
On the other hand, heart qualities like love, faith and devotion are often dismissed and ridiculed, because they are seen as naive, archaic or part of some medieval belief system. In thinking like this we play into the hands of the group ego & then conform to expectations.
Faith is not a religious belief or idea, it is the doorway to your true identity as Pure Consciousness. Faith is the natural love you feel in your heart for God, your true Self. When you feel faith, it opens you to the grace of the Self and that grace, like the rays of the Sun, dissolves the negative thoughts, beliefs and obstacles that the mind keeps throwing up and which appear to hold you back.
When you find yourself being negative or destructive towards yourself or others, recognize that this is the ego’s attempt to test you, to see if you are truly awake. As negative thoughts flow up just observe them without judgement. Refuse to react to them by becoming critical or negative towards yourself.
Now, I have a shocking thing to say at this point! I have come to recognize that not one thought we have is important. Neither are our beliefs, opinions, judgments or ideas. They all arise from the mind like bubbles from the bottom of the ocean and it is better to just let them pass.
Thoughts are transient, effervescent and will dissolve just as quickly as they appeared if you allow them too. The reason we don’t want to let them go is because the ego takes them all and uses them to form an identity, so that it can feel real. No thoughts means no identity! Just the silent presence of the Self.
If you forgive your ego for this mischief you will be amazed at how suddenly it surrenders and allows you to shift into the silence and peace of Presence. The negativity that was there a moment ago, suddenly dissolves with your decision to love and accept your ego and the world just as they are! Nothing in your situation has changed, except your attitude.
When Jesus said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” he was recognizing that his executioners’ group ego feared his higher awareness. So they tried to destroy what he embodied.
All who take the path of Self-realization know that their true nature as the Self cannot be destroyed by anything that happens to the body and mind.
As the American spiritual teacher Robert Adams would say, “All is well”. No matter what is happening in the world or in your mind.