Many spiritual teachers pointing the way towards expanding consciousness advocate that on the path to enlightenment, we must destroy the ego. I favor a different approach.
The subject of spiritual awakening is garnering more attention than ever, and the resultant path to enlightenment is presently a rather crowded one.
I see this as a result of the increasing vibration that is helping to facilitate expanding consciousness the world over. Spiritual teachers of the past along with their personal prescriptions and specific paths to enlightenment are seeing renewed levels of interest and new spiritual teachers continue to crop up.
An agreed upon theme amongst many of these spiritual teachers seems to involve a stance that says, in order to experience success with expanding consciousness and to achieve the state of bliss or oneness consciousness, we must destroy the ego.
The ultimate perspective of nondual consciousness sees everything, whether seemingly material or spiritual in nature as being part and parcel of God or the “All.” There is nothing therefore that we can experience through our consciousness that is NOT of God. It ALL is. It is ALL of the ONE. This includes ego and the minutely, individualized focused perspective that comes with it.
Some spiritual teachers regard the ego and 'personhood' in general, as the equivalent of a disease. These teachers seem to advocate that we destroy the ego in favor of eliminating suffering and moving up the ladder towards expanding consciousness and ultimately enlightenment.
I’ve come to see that this upwards expansion is one that occurs naturally and life experience is the fuel that propels us forwards. The path to enlightenment is one that everyone is on whether they realize it or not. We are simply all at varying stages along the journey towards expanding consciousness. One particular level of awareness or state of being therefore, is not any better or worse than the other. Just as we must pass through childhood to arrive at adulthood, we must also pass through and experience fully the various stages of ‘being’ and perceiving.
Where these spiritual teachers regard the ego as an impediment to expanding consciousness and the path to enlightenment, I see the ego as part and parcel of the ‘process’ of expansion and a vehicle of sorts to take us from one level of expanding consciousness and awareness to the next.
I choose to engage the idea that we
came here FROM the position of expanded spirit for the PURPOSE of having
the physical experience of a minutely focused consciousness. When I
stop to consider that my expanded consciousness very carefully chose the
‘me’ that it would express through during this physical lifetime, it
highlights the ridiculousness of spending an entire lifetime trying to
destroy or do away with it.
At the core of our being we always have been and always will be the expanded version of ourselves. The growth upwards and outwards towards expanding consciousness is one that occurs naturally. It is an inevitable part of having a human experience. It is an inevitable part of consciousness itself. All consciousness is in a state of continuous expansion. This can never be quelled. Even in times of seeming stagnation, we continue to move forward towards ever expanding consciousness.
While many of these spiritual teachers approach desire as being something negative I see it as a gift, as the very propulsion behind expanding consciousness. From our physically based, minutely focused perspective, each of us has a unique vantage point that is unlike any other consciousness that exists or ever will exist. Our unique identification with self or ‘ego’ as many like to call it, affords us a perspective that causes very unique and precise desires to emanate forth. These particular desires help to pave the unique path of our personal life experience and thus help to fulfill the pre-birth intentions of our soul.
Desires of all natures are the fuel that propels us forward on our path to enlightenment. Many of these spiritual teachers who take such a lowly opinion of desire, seem to overlook the fact that even a desire for non-attachment to self, is still in fact, DESIRE! The truth is that so long as we remain conscious, desire will emanate from us. It is only the ‘nature’ of our desires that change as we move towards higher levels of expanding consciousness.
I see the path to enlightenment and journey towards higher levels of expanding consciousness as the equivalent of climbing up a ladder. All states of being, complete with their inherent types of desires are like rungs upon the ladder. We must pass through one to get to the next.
The disdain for ego that many of these spiritual teachers harbor is counterproductive. It is akin to climbing a ladder for the purpose of seeking the bliss of the light at the top, and looking down at the rungs beneath you and condemning them. The truth is, that without these ‘rungs’ you would never have made it up the ladder and would not now hold the perspective that this higher level affords you. The rungs below you are the very conditions that helped propel you upwards, the very things that made your journey possible.
The human experience IS that we move ‘through’ various stages of expanding consciousness or stages of ‘pleasure’ seeking, to arrive at higher and higher levels of awareness. Each perspective contains the seeds that will propel us to the next level. Each experience is valuable in and of itself and should not be negated or condemned. After all, each is a part of the All. Each is a part of the expanded version of “I AM.”
While many of these spiritual teachers seem to believe that ego or self identification is a disease, I prefer a path to enlightenment that utilizes and embraces acceptance. Acceptance of ALL aspects of self is an extremely important factor when one holds a desire to move towards higher states of expanding consciousness.
Just as we would not shun the stage of toddler-hood that leads to childhood or the stage of childhood that leads to adolescence or the stage of adolescence that leads to adulthood, it seems rather silly to attempt to destroy or in any way negate the stages or states of being that lead us forward on our path to enlightenment. It’s ALL good. ALL perfect. Each of is where we are. No stage is better or worse than the other,just as being a baby is no better or worse then being an adult.
The ego when viewed as an integral ‘part’ of self, then merely becomes a rung on the ladder to propel us upwards on our path to enlightenment.
Many of these spiritual teachers say that ego identification with desire and its manifestation can only cause us to suffer. I disagree. I personally use my identification with self, its unique desires and subsequent positive manifestations to add to my overall pleasure of life, and then I use my human ability to ‘choose’ to expand my consciousness at will to disengage from my ego and desire when necessary. Its called psychological flexibility and it’s a skill that all of us are capable of, providing the desire to do so exists.
I don’t think spiritual teachers who equate sense of self and personal desire with suffering are giving human’s enough credit. We truly can have the best of both worlds when we’ve expanded consciousness to a level where we have the flexibility to choose the particular vantage point by which to view a particular issue.
As far as I’m concerned, the true value of expanding our consciousness lies in a recognition of our ability to ‘choose’ our perspective at will. When faced with suffering due to an occurrence in our physical world, we can then simply choose to don an expanded perspective that affords us a different view. “Poof,” just like that, a shift in perspective can completely alter our consciousness and thus our response to the action within the dream of life. That which previously caused us to feel pain, has now been neutralized.
Regardless of the means, I truly believe that all paths DO lead us to the same place. I've simply found that the path to enlightenment through acceptance and allowance of the ALL is a much easier and enjoyable one.
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