Earlier this week I had an epiphany! It happened while I was in the midst of feeling enormous anger. I was trying to figure out what was at the root of the anger and how to let it go when it suddenly occurred to me that it wasn’t me holding on to the anger. It was ego!
Spiritual teachers tell us that there are two elements that characterize the non-physical part of each individual. The first part is our true nature. It is our true authentic self, our spiritual self, that which lives in oneness with the universe. Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, refers to this as our ‘conscious self.’ This aspect of us pure love, characterized by kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gratefulness.
The second part is our false sense of self, the ego, that which exists separate from the universe. It is our ego [or egoic mind as Tolle refers to it] that causes us to feel jealousy, victimhood, the need to be right, the need to criticize and the need to judge. It is also the part of us that holds onto an anger and fear.
The epiphany I had was truly a message from the divine, for two reasons. First, it helped me resolve the anger I was experiencing in that moment, and second, and more importantly, it helped me solve the bigger question of how to let go of anger, fear and unresolved emotional pain, without having to relive all of the experiences that created these emotions. Since discovering that fear is really at the root of Parkinson’s, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to release all of the fear I’ve been holding onto from all of the experiences throughout my life.
I had been working with the concept of letting go of the past by reinterpreting our experiences from the past. By this I mean, for example, if we had an experience that led to us feeling fear, we could let go of the fear by realizing that it was our thoughts based on how we judged the experience that caused us to feel the fear. What is more, if we let go of judgment and just accepted the experience as just that, experience, we would’ve felt no fear. In other words, we could let go of all fear, anger and unresolved emotional energy from the past with this awareness!
Apparently the universe [aka God] was paying attention to my dilemma and provided me with a solution, albeit not the solution I was working on. But that’s okay!
I was aware of the distinction between my true authentic self [that which is connected to God] and the non-authentic ego, but I hadn’t made the connection that it was ego that was holding on to fear and not me. When I made the connection I realized that I had nothing to let go of. No fear. No anger. And no unresolved emotional pain. It is the ego that holds onto these destructive emotions. Not me!
This is not simply semantics. This is truth! The consciousness that is truly us is pure, divine love, devoid of the ability to hold onto fear and anger. It can of course experience real fear like that which we might experience when confronted with an angry lion, but it doesn’t hold onto it. It lives in total trust, fully connected to God [it lets go of the fear, grief, etc. once the situation is resolved]. Making this distinction is the purpose of experiencing suffering. It is the purpose of life itself … as is the awareness that our thoughts, particularly our negative self destructive thinking, is not truly us. It is the ego part of us.
Why is this the case? Your guess is as good as mine! But I believe, as Eckhart Tolle and other spiritual teachers tell us, that this is how it works: consciousness vs. unconsciousness. Awareness vs. ego! Present moment vs. negative thinking.
And so, going forward my challenge is not to let go of fear, anger and unresolved emotional pain. Rather it is to simply be aware that when I’m feeling fear, anger and unresolved emotional pain, and when I’m thinking negative thoughts, it is not me. It is ego. And with this awareness, ego eventually dissolves and with it, fear, anger, shame, guilt, grief, bitterness, etc., dissolve along with it. And with this dissolving, the body is restored to homeostasis and conditions like PD are healed.
Please note: Eckhart Tolle warns that when you begin to dissolve ego, like any other energy under attack, it fights back. It doesn’t want to die. From experience, I can tell you Eckhart is right. I have been experiencing pretty intense fear, a clear indicator that ego is feeling fear and holding on for dear life.
Have an awesomely conscious day!