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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