The Kingdom of God (5)
Jan 27, 2019
The Kingdom of God (5)
“Very early in the morning,
While it was still dark,
Jesus got up,
Left the house and
Went off to a solitary place,
Where he prayed.”
If we have to wait for these seldom-seen glimpses of bliss, and they may only occur a few times in our lives, why would we want to “waste” a half hour or more each day in the (as some have called it) “mind-dumbing” exercise of prayer and meditation? Actually, there are several benefits to be gained by these exercises in non-attachment each day, and these benefits only occur if consistent effort is made over a period of time which usually includes months and years for maximum return.
Our ego is a wonderful, and very complex part of our internal consciousness. As far as we know, no other creature on earth has an ego; a separate part of our consciousness who seems to stand almost as a different person than what we term ‘me’. The ego provides the interface between our internal views and the world that we interface with, which usually seems outside of ourselves, the “other”. This ‘other’ could be a thing, or another person, but usually seems disconnected with what our ego terms ‘me’, or ‘I’.
Our levels of consciousness has remained consistent over at least 20,000 years, and more likely over the past 70,000 years. It has been noted that a stone-age human could have been taught nuclear physics and computers if they had the tools, as their brain structure is the same as our brain structure, and the power to reason things out has not changed over at least that time frame.
The ego truly has a great purpose on our life; one of organizing our life and allowing progress and organization within the frame work of the human and natural physical framework. But we learn too early in life that the ego is a great tool to “achieve” ‘wonderful’ things in life, often to the detriment of others around us. Most of us find this to be a great condition, ignoring that small still voice that says ‘hold on, you may be wrong’ that pipes in from the sub-conscious part of us tied to the soul. The physical world and our five senses are so strong that the portion of us that has the keen insight of the broad view is buried in our childhood and lost.
Then someplace along the way, something happens: often a disaster has to occur for us to start to move in another direction. Stress, which is part of the working of the ego, roars in and our health suffers in one or more ways. High blood pressure, over-weight, broken relationships, addiction — the list goes on and on. Above all, comes the feeling of loneliness.
Perhaps the worst of these feelings becomes the sense of being alone. Our present way of living: changing jobs often, loss of family connections, busy, busy, busy; never a moment to ourselves. Loneliness is the ghost that drives us into depression, anger over life, constant finding ways to fill our lives in vacuous ways (constant television, games, addictions, hanging out at the bar; anything to prevent us from entering the quiet space of just ‘being’.).
All of this comes from depending on our ego as our support system. Only when we learn to suppress the ego and place it in the space that it was created to be and spend time exploring life in the broader sense do we find the relief we yearn for: we are not alone!Far too many people go throughout life believing they are alone in life, even in the midst of family, noise, and the raucous sounds meant to drown out the loneliness.
And it does not work.
The loneliness remains. Eventually it rises up to swallow us, usually when we wake up at three in the morning.
The answer is to reduce as much as possible the ego’s hold on our thinking. Yes, it is possible to do the reduction; that is what quiet time, meditation, and other forms of surrender to God is all about.
Next week we will look at the impact that even a small amount of time devoted to reducing the hold of the ego on our life can have on our life.
Oh God, You have created us a little less than the angels, yet filled our physical life with the ‘distractions’ of a reality that seems to dominate our waking hours. You have calling us gently for thousands of years, and we slowly have been waking up to the greater reality You have prepared for us. Help us to continue to grow without destroying ourselves in our distractions, as we climb towards becoming that beautiful creation of Yourself in human form.