I talk a lot about becoming “nobody” – about giving up my ego –
The identity I’ve developed over years of trial and error
While projecting my “self” out into the world
To gain an acceptance of my self-created identity.
Eventually, however, I start feeling inauthentic
For relying upon this self-manufactured ego
Which, one day, I hope to replace with a new, improved identity –
A “better” ego –
Which, of course, will also invariably turn out to be a dead-end.
Giving up one’s ego – completely – as the final step on the way to enlightenment –
Is never enough however,
Because becoming a “nobody,” by itself, doesn’t accomplish a thing –
The point of relinquishing one’s ego is to replace it
With love of God –
Along with an ability to take concrete steps to bringing God into the world.
In sum, relinquishing one’s ego is only the first step –
But what follows needs to be a life dedicated to “understanding” God
And God’s true nature as much as humanly possible –
For example, who is God, what does God want, and are there any exemplars of God
Appearing in the world today
Who make one’s heart “sing with joy?”
Starting this process of “understanding” God
Is the same thing as “falling in love” with God –
Both, however, entail a commitment to a lifelong process.
Once you’ve actually fallen in love with God
Means you’ll want to act in ways that God desires –
Jesus was able to do this –
Faced with a painful, disgraceful death administered by Roman troops –
He acted solely for God
Which resulted in an historically impactful release of Holy Spirit out into the world
Occurring simultaneously with his physical death.
This spirit of Jesus was transformed into a human “sun” –
That perpetually is creating more spiritual life in our world –
Often in ways not manifested during his earlier physical life.
Take Saul/Paul, for example, who was able to transform himself,
At least partially, into a brilliant reflection of Jesus.
So, enlightenment is not enough by itself – instead, we need to “fall in love” with God
And then commit our lives to bringing God, by our actions, into the world.
We lose nothing by giving up our egos
Because, without God, we’re nothing anyway –
All our other efforts – no matter how materially meaningful –
Don’t matter at all –
The only thing that truly matters are actions on behalf of God –
Everything else is – dross.
Every single human being, whether righteous or unrighteous,
Has the potential – while still alive –
To make a choice about each single individual act –
Whether or not to contribute something towards making God’s world real.
God began existence with a simple gesture
Unfurling out into the cosmos –
From its initial cosmic explosion, followed by evolving life, and then radiant spirit
All – moving steadily towards God –
Where, by the end of time, all of us will end up participating with God
Who is “Love”
Who is “Truth”
Who is “Justice”
Who is “Beauty.”
If you can do this, you’ll gain everything – and lose nothing –
Even if, by then, you’ll no longer have any personal identity or name –
Which won’t matter because, in your actions, you’ll have become part of God –
And God will recognize you and know your name – even if no one else does.
Jesus deeply understood this, and you can trust him about it –
That is, we need to love God the same way he did.
So, a loss of ego leading to enlightenment may be an important first step,
But, by itself, amounts to almost nothing –
While acting in the world for God turns out to be the only thing
That’s actually truly meaningful!
I’ve been thing along these lines myself Peter! Sending money to Docs Without Borders, passing cash to a man holding a cardboard help me sign, and praying for him as I drive away.