THE EGO IS AN ACTOR

The ego is an actor
With a chest full of costumes suitable for playing its various roles.

A “true self,” however, will put away all those costumes
And become no one –
With no roles, no desire to manipulate others,
And, of course, not much power or riches either.

The ego is an actor
Playing to an audience of one – and sometimes many –
But, primarily, manipulates itself
In the vain hope of, one day, overcoming the world.

The “no self” is spontaneous –
Empty of everything except for joy,
But, certainly, overflowing with that!

The ego carries out the roles
That family and friends recognize –
And never, ever, forgets the specific part it’s supposed to play.

A lifetime passes
During which we’re regularly fed, entertained, and comforted –
But this type of quotidian ego can never reflect the person we really could have been –
That is, someone who solely serves God –
And whose real name is “Freedom.”

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WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you feel you’re equal to the entire universe –
Because there’s nothing that matters – except you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your personal needs –
So you’ll never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, the world comes into focus
Until, one day you can actually see yourself
Along, of course, with all your limitations.

That’s the day you’ll commence building a “fantasy” you – i.e., your “ego” –
One that you’ll be able to almost believe in –
Hopefully, a splendid one – “dressing up” the negligible you
Into a “someone” demonstrably able to survive in this world.

Eventually, you’ll be a “real” puppet
Able to “pass” – just like Pinocchio –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –

Only in bad dreams, however, will you suddenly realize that the rest of the world
Is the same as you.

You continue existing through this “person” or “persona”
Because you know no alternative.

Entire religions are built around a handful of exceptional people
Courageous or insane enough to trust in living as their original “true selves.”

But those religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they assert that such people are “gods” –
And, if you’re willing, they’ll “protect” you,
Enabling you to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other spiritual hustlers
Ask if you know who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
That you’d have to “die” to discover one –
And there’s little chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s simple –
There are no religions or “enlightened masters” available to save you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll have to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
You’ll find your “true self” by taking a good hard look at that well-developed ego,
And then drop it, and keep dropping anything else that appears,
Until, literally, there’s nothing artificial left.

That’s when you’ll be “born again” – just like Jesus recommended –
Being extremely careful, however, not to let that develop into an even more elaborate ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility – so you can be
Someone unimportant – but someone who’s real.

That’s when you’ll finally be able to breathe freely –
When you’ll be able to see reality –
Including, most importantly, the reality of yourself.

Finally, at the end, God appears and says:
“Good job, little one ….
Welcome to the Kingdom!”

THERE’S NO BEAUTY WITHOUT

There’s no beauty without naturalness
And, of course, goodness.

There’s no beauty without a love that’s alive
And none, certainly, in the bleak lands of the unjust.

There’s no beauty without reciprocal respect
And none when facing violence.

There’s no beauty without generosity
And none, of course, beyond the outer limits of joy.

There’s certainly no beauty without spontaneity
And none at all when engaged in worshipping one’s own ego.

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When natural beauty walks into a room – everyone holds their breath
Because the presence of beauty makes everyone glad
For this unexpected gift.

When God eventually sends us a follow-up to Jesus –
In female form –
Everything will have to be re-thought, re-experienced, and re-imagined
Because of the presence of such new spiritual beauty –

That’s when we’ll be able to modify all the old forms
Of capitalism, religion, laws, and customs –

And when the world will finally start becoming fresh
Once again.

GODS COME AND GO

Like the wind –
Like passing thoughts –
Like faint memories of the future.

From the beginning, people were fearful of being alone.

Before people made anything, before planting fields of wheat,
Before brewing beer and having fun, and before establishing permanent places to live –
They created “Gods”
And placed them high up on a shelf – served by priests –
Who then required reciprocal services, in turn, from everyone else.

When a God dies – the city also dies along with all the surrounding countryside –
Then, finally, the people’s very identity starts dying –
Because they believed in the wrong thing –
Because they didn’t understand that freedom comes before “God” –
Because they didn’t appreciate that God actually is freedom!

No person possessing an ego will ever see the real God
Because the ego is blind to itself – and to everything else as well.

No person lacking freedom will experience joy either –
Because joy thrives only in a world of unlimited freedom.

Historically, archaeologists have discovered Gods living inside other Gods
Like Russian nesting dolls –
There are also ladders inside our souls that go nowhere –
Because where there’s no spiritual orientation there can be no freedom either.

People have forgotten their love of God
So no longer remember what the opposite of despair looks like –
Instead, they’ve ended up inside materialistic media mirrors
And a desire, mainly, for morning to night entertainment.

This is how America ends.

WHEN YOU LET GO

When you let your ego go – and become nobody –
You’ll be surrendering to an even greater inner and outer life!

And, eventually, when you discover your “true self” – whatever it is –
It certainly won’t be your same old ego-directed “movie.”

When you let your ego go – and become nobody –
Joy starts “bubbling up” –
Leading you to experience a lifetime of continual surprises –
When you won’t need to worship God any longer –
Because you’ll understand that God has begun lighting you up.

It’s not that you’ll be so great
Or important
Or have much significance at all.

God “lights up” all God’s creatures,
Including human beings,
Whenever we, as humans, let our egos go and start living our “true lives.”

That’s when God can be heard singing –
And yes, sometimes, even “dancing,” high up, in the passing clouds.

That’s when, much to our surprise,
We’ll find that God has, for some reason, started worshipping us!

MIRRORS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY

The ego is a “manufactured self”
That we weren’t originally born with.

At birth, we simply arrived as open consciousness –
Innocent – without ego.

Our “ego” was primarily created in response to others –
I.e., we slowly, carefully create personhood over time
Largely in interactions with other people – and especially in response to their opinions about us
And this is true, whether such opinions turn out to be true or false.

So, instead of being unconditionally loved by God – who truly sees us –
We experience a love and acceptance that’s highly conditional
Through “others,” i.e., through human “mirrors” who constantly show us
Our “face” the world sees –
In tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of reflections –
That, eventually, we come to accept as our “self” –
Ending up seeing ourselves the same way others see us –
Most especially, how our parents saw us –
(Who previously went through this same kind of impersonating process).

As a result, we’re incentivized – and sometimes even threatened –
Against re-discovering our original “true self” –
Because that’s not what “others” have been willing to recognize.

The price for regaining our “true self”
Is to completely drop that hard-earned, hard-shelled ego –
Along with everything else we’ve historically become –
And start over!

This might happen one day when we, suddenly, experience the freshness
Of engaging with the world like a “child” again –
That is, the day we discover and claim our original true face.

At that point, we’ll begin radiating the glory inherent in being a “true self” –
The only one God has ever thought worth loving!

IT LOOKS EASY BUT, ACTUALLY, IT’S QUITE HARD

I talk a lot about the “true self” –
Because as soon as you discover your “true self” – you’ll be “enlightened!”

It’s both the easiest, as well as the hardest, thing in the world to accomplish –
To give up your false self – your ego –
In order to find your “true self” –
That is, the individual you were born to be.

It’s what Jesus eventually came to understand –
That your old self has to “die” in order for your “true self” to come fully to life.

GOD COMES IN WHEN THE “OLD SELF” GOES OUT

If you want to be “like” God, you have to let your ego “self” go –
For to be like God is to become nothing –
Because as a no “thing” you’ll have opened yourself up to freedom.

As soon as we start becoming “somebody” or “something,”
Or commit to any external concepts or ideas,
Our freedom starts becoming restricted.

For us, to be “spontaneous” is to be “human” in a similar way that God is “God.”

Religions’ founders, in their holy books, always point towards spiritual freedom
But, unfortunately, these same books were transcribed and edited by followers,
Not founders,
Who diligently worked at limiting human freedom
To fit their own version of the founder’s vision
So that people could return to being “properly” controlled –
Much as they had been before.

As a consequence, religious institutions basically preach
And teach different kinds of spiritual control,
Even though the “God” manifested by the founders continues to remind us
Of the inherent essentiality of spiritual freedom.

Remember, God is “absolutely free” –
And that’s what God has always wanted for us too.

THE FREEDOM IN BEING “NOTHING”

Shouldn’t we view “God” as a dynamic “Nothing”
Since, after all, everything originally came out of nothing?

How could anything have more freedom than nothing?

The same goes for our “true self” –
Take away your ego (or, in some cases, multiple egos)
And you’re left with the kind of freedom God enjoys.

So, now, you’re telling me –
That “God” and the “true self” might, in essence,
Be One?

YOUR “ORIGINAL FACE”

I’ve frequently written about the “true self” –

That is, when you come to be able to live the life you were meant to live – before being born –
Before getting “beaten up” by family, society, and culture
And “molded” – with or without your active participation –
Into an “ego” that occasionally reflects aspects of your true self – but frequently does not.

Zen people call this true self – our “original face.”

To illustrate the weight of mask upon which your roles are typically displayed –
Start by relaxing your facial muscles –
Then check to see whether your face still remains tight –
If so, try to let your face become as “liquid” as possible – completely non-judgmental –
Until you’re left with as un-tense a face as possible.

That’s as close, without a lot of additional spiritual work,
That you’ll be able to get to your “original face” for now –

A face that exhibits your naked heart –
A face that reflects your essential being

Your “true self.”