My love hate relationship with my ego continued for many years. For a long time I saw the ego as an obstacle to spiritual growth; it was something to be defeated. Then as I started to explore its role as the servant of the soul I began to feel more comfortable with it as a companion on the journey; it becomes the executor of the soul’s plan.
However as a companion my ego somewhat resembles the scorpion that begged for a ride from a frog across a river. Half way across the scorpion stung the frog and they both drowned. The frog with its final breath asked “why did you do that” and the scorpion replied “it’s in my nature.” So I have noticed that the ego is not content with its role as a servant and its nature is to attempt to reassert its power in my life. The ego is a slippery master of disguise. Like a chameleon it can take on many forms in its desire to maintain control; it is as though my ego dresses up in the soul’s clothing.
During an intense retreat accompanied by meditation, belief and visualization I experienced a process of accelerated healing that previously I would not have believed to be impossible. Excited by the potential I decided that I should put this new power to work to correct my myopia. Needless to say the experience became intensely challenging and completely ineffective. In hindsight it deteriorated into a wonderful exercise in absurdity.
The coyote or the trickster is a wonderful totem for me. Fortunately if I disconnect for a moment I will see the absurdity however in this case it swept me along and the trickster was in full control. I followed the practices that had previously been effective culminating in walking around with a black eye patch looking like Rooster Cogburn while the healing completed.
In his audio book Through The Dark Wood James Hollis suggests that “The encounter with the Self is felt as a defeat of the Ego.” and that “The chief delusion of the ego is that it thinks it is in control.” I have noticed that after a profound spiritual experience there is often an opportunity for my ego to try and assert itself. In this case in a bizarre way it tried to take control of my healing journey.
This story has an interesting conclusion. When I finally took off the eye patch and found my sight had not changed I sank into the depths of despondency. I recall lying on the couch in tears questioning my commitment to the spiritual journey. I remember saying “I am getting of this train and going back to live my life the way I used to. No more of this spiritual stuff it is just far too painful.” Then into my misery a voice intruded “Why don’t you listen to that tape?”
Just before leaving the retreat centre a classmate approached me and said “for some reason I am to give you this tape.” I had tucked it away and forgotten it. I lay listlessly not willing to get up and search for it when the voice again insisted. I found it and put it on. I lay not paying attention when suddenly the strident tones of a Unity minister – the Rev. Sally Taylor broke through “sometimes God will strike you with his cosmic two by four.” I sat up curiously. Was this what had happened to me? I rewound the tape and this time listened attentively.
It was my story coming out of her mouth – from a tape given to me two days before I had started my crazy healing project. It talked about how sometimes we receive a miracle and we think it is ours and we try to repeat it forgetting that it was a gift for that one occasion only. When we try and make it our property then the cosmic two by four is a way of bringing up back to our senses. She even mentioned that there was no way we can go back to our old ways “the broad road…”
I sat in wonder at this amazing example of the connectedness that exists. How did my friend know to give me a tape that would play essential part of my story two days before the story unfolded. The universe surely is an amazing place.