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  EGO:Question: You’ve  been  pretty  hard  on  the  ego  throughout  this  book.  Isn’t  that  a judgment in itself? Answer: Excellent point, and I’m glad for the chance to clarify it. First, let’s make sure we agree on what we mean by the “ego,” since that word has been used a lot and means different things to different people. In  this  book  I  have  used  “ego”  to  mean  the  personality  construct  we  create  while playing the Human Game. It is composed of many layers of false identities we assume as we encounter the limiting and restricting holographic experiences in the first half. In fact, the ego is what allows us to play the first half of the Game;  otherwise we could  not  form  our  judgments,  beliefs,  and  opinions  and  fulfill  our  purpose  for  the Infinite I. All of our fears, for example – with the fear of non-existence as the most basic – are the result of some threat to one or more layers of the ego, which fights back for its very existence. In  that  sense,  we  can  express  great  appreciation  to  the  ego  for  the  role  it  has performed so well while in the movie theater. It, too, was as perfect as everything else in our holographic experience. The process inside the cocoon, as I have described it, is becoming aware of all these layers of the ego – the false identities we have assumed – and letting go of them. It’s a process of finding out who we are not, and then ultimately finding the true answer to who we are. But  we  have  assigned  the  ego  a  lot  of  power  during  the  first  half  of  the  Human Game, and we have rewarded it time and time again for the good job it has done, to the point that it seems to have taken on a life of its own. In his  Enlightenment Trilogy,1 Jed McKenna actually personifies the ego, making it female and calling it “Maya”…. “the goddess Maya, architect of this magnificent palace of delusion…” “Maya – goddess of confusion and misdirection…” “Maya, Lord of the Prison of Duality…” Jed speaks a lot in terms of fighting a battle with Maya  on the road to becoming a butterfly… “Maya, goddess of delusion, has been doing her job with supreme mastery since the  first spark of self-awareness flickered in some monkey’s brainbox…” “This is Maya’s house. She controls everything.  She has every advantage. We  are  patients in Maya’s asylum ….” “Thumb  through  any  magazine,  flip  through  the  channels  of  the  TV,  go  wherever  there are people, and you’ll see nothing but a morbidly juvenile, fear-infected, stunted,  runtish race over which Maya reigns supreme and unchallenged….” …and Jed seems to think Maya will win a lot of the time…

“You think you’re on top of something, but the only thing to be on top of is Maya,  and she’s on top of you like a house on a mouse….” “This  is  the  one  true  war  of  which  all  others  are  but  shadows,  and  for  which  all  other  conflict  is  but  a  metaphor.  In  the  short  term,  Maya  almost  always  crushes  the  rebellion. By my estimate, her win/loss ratio is better than 100,000,000:1.” It  should  not  surprise  anyone  that  when  you  begin  to  dismantle  the  ego  in  the cocoon, the ego will fight back. It knows it is literally fighting for its life, because if you follow  through  with  the  Process  and  spiritual  autolysis,  the  end  result  is  its  virtual annihilation. (We will never eliminate the ego completely as long as we have a body and play the Human Game.) But  we  should  not  make  the  mistake  of  judging  or  blaming  the  ego,  or  view  the  transformation into a butterfly as an all-out war with the ego. After all, the ego is simply another  piece  of  the  hologram  that  isn’t  real,  but  only  looks  and  feels  real;  and  it  has played its part perfectly in our holographic experiences just like anything and anyone else we have encountered while playing the Human Game. Any other approach will continue to assign power to the ego it does not possess on its own. “Fear of truth is the foundation upon which Maya’s Palace of Delusion is erected.  She has no power but that we give her.” “Viewed  this  way,  the  idea  that  Maya  is  evil,  that  delusion  is  negative,  that  the  dreamstate is a prison, or that the dualistic universe is anything other than the grandest  and most wonderful of all blessings is laughably absurd. Why hate Maya? Where would  you be without her?” * * If you  planned  a walking  tour  from  Maine  to Florida,  starting  in January,  the  first thing  you’d  do  would  be  to  put  on  some  warm  clothes.  As  you  walked,  and  the temperature  went  down  even  more,  you’d  keep  adding  layers  of  clothes  to  keep  you warm.  But by the time  you  got to South Carolina  in April, you’d  start taking off those layers, one by one, since you no longer need them to protect you from the weather. Once you hit Florida, you would have discarded almost every piece of clothing you had. I  doubt  you’d  curse  those  clothes  or  consider  them  to  have  been  “wrong.”  More likely you would appreciate the warmth they provided you, be grateful to have had them, and thank each piece as you threw it away for the role it had played on your successful trip. * * In Chapter Sixteen I mentioned a good friend who had been in his cocoon for about a year and a half, making some real progress, when his ego – Maya – began fighting back with a vengeance. As we all do, he was experiencing holograms that brought back to life the more difficult judgments, beliefs, opinions and fears he had formed inside the movie theater during his first-half years; and when the going got tough, he didn’t seem to like how he was feeling. Apparently he thought he had done enough work by then and should only  be  experiencing  holograms  of  the  second-half  variety,  so  he  began  blaming  his Infinite  I for  “f$#king  him  over,  as  usual.”  He  stopped  running  the  Process  or  doing spiritual  autolysis  and  started  to  justify  his  judgments,  maintain  his  beliefs,  and strengthen his opinions.

Every  Player  has  free  will  to  decide  how  they  want  to  react  and  respond  to  the holographic experiences they encounter, and this was his choice – to let Maya  win this one, at least for the time being, even though he didn’t recognize that’s what he was doing. He wasn’t “wrong” for making that decision, because that has to be perfect, too. But my friend – who in so many ways has been such great support to me in writing this book – helped me to see just how clever Maya can be and gave me the opportunity to emphasize another important point…. In  the  Preface  to  Part  Two,  I  talked  about  presenting  you  with  models,  not  belief systems,  and  that  “a  model  is  designed  to  be  tested  and  challenged  to  see  how  well  it performs.”  In  this  case  Maya  convinced  my  friend  he  was  making  a  legitimate  test  or challenge  to  the  model  rather  than  escaping  the  discomfort  and  leaving  her  alone  to survive  in  peace,  by  prompting  him  to  ask  questions  about  the  theory of  the  model  – questions that began with “Why” and “What if,” and “I’m not sure I agree that….” However,  the  only  valid  and  legitimate  test  or challenge  to  a model  is to  see  how well  it  performs  in  application,  not  in  theory.  In  my  friend’s  particular  situation,  the model  was  clearly  working  perfectly,  producing  exactly  the  kind  of  results  it  was supposed to. He just didn’t like the way it felt at the time. But no one said it was going to feel good all the way through the cocoon, especially if you hit a “dark night of the soul.” So  if  there’s  still  discomfort,  keep  running  the  Process. It’s only the  ego talking  when there’s  the  thought  to  get  out  of  what  you’re  feeling  and  go  back  into  your  head;  and Maya speaks in very sophisticated, inviting, and clever ways. So know this about the ego: you shouldn’t underestimate it, you won’t outsmart it, and you can’t resist it. * * There’s an old story about how you cook a frog. You don’t boil a pot of water on the  stove and drop the frog in, because it will just jump back out to get away from the heat. Instead you put the frog into the pot while the water is cool and slowly turn up the heat while the frog sits there until it’s boiled. You also don’t take a big bite out of an onion or it will overpower you. You eat an onion one slice at a time until it’s all gone. Annihilating  the  ego  is  a  similar  process  –  one  layer  at  a  time  as  your  Infinite  I provides the appropriate holographic experiences. As I said about death, you must meet the ego eye-to-eye, understand it, accept it, embrace it, appreciate it for what it is and the service it has provided for you, and then quietly and systematically dismantle it one layer at a time until there’s nothing left – expecting each new layer to be more difficult than the last, and not quitting until you’re done.

FOOTNOTES 1. McKenna, Jed. The Enlightenment Trilogy – Back to reading

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