Pic of the day: The sea is completely different when you see it really close.
The ego boat
This morning, I heard a Norwegian singer (for poor values of singing, but funny values of lyrics) go on about how life was like sailing. This is a familiar topic from religious songs, but there was nothing religious about this song. Or at least not on the surface of it. Probably not at all, intentionally. But even the best intentions are vulnerable to being used by forces beyond our control. And so this part of the song leapt out at me. In English, it would translate about thus: "Life is cool and dark like muddy water: It's about staying afloat as long as you can. We live in life and the world is dangerous and wet. You are only safe as long as you stay in your boat."
It goes without saying that in real life, the purpose of a boat is exactly this, to isolate the human from the sea, and to bring the human and his property from one place to another using the sea but without the sea having its way with the people or their cargo. The sea is a different element from the one we normally live in, and while we can enjoy our stay in it for a while, under certain circumstances, it will kill us if we stay there for too long.
Now it just so happened that I had spent some time the last few days reading up on Andrew Cohen's theory and practice on transcending the ego in order to unite in the Authentic Self for the purpose of Evolutionary Enlightenment. I think I should write about that in more detail later, if there is a later in which to do so. If I fail to do so, there is always Google. But the heart of the matter is that the ego in this context is not so much the psychological concept used by Freud and other psychologists. Rather it is a name for our illusion of being a unique, independent entity, isolated from everyone else and the world. A subject in a world of objects.
In this context, the line from the song suddenly took on an ironic meaning. You are only safe as long as you stay in your boat - in your little ego, isolated from the world. In this New Age, a lot of people have had experiences of leaving the boat. As have I, during my years in a church of Christian mystics (well, founded by such people, and there were still some left at the time, maybe there still are... more about that later, perhaps). The sea in this context represents the mystic experience of unity, in which the ego ceases to be seen as a separate entity. Instead, all things are one, and we become just a tiny part of a much greater whole, which includes the entire universe and beyond.
This experience of "non-duality" as it is called these days can have a dramatic power to transform people. Where before all things were seen as objects to use or discard for the ego, there is now a new respect for everyone and everything, and an unshakable knowlege that we are not indeed isolated, we have just closed our eyes and hearts to the whole of which we are a part.
But in practice, most people do not stay in this. The ego does not drown. It gets back into the boat before it is too late, and there it revels in its newfound knowledge and wisdom. My revelations are better than your revelations! The world must listen to ME telling it about the greatness of non-duality! My non-duality is better than yours!
In fact, it seems that some people get addicted to these near-ego-death experiences. In my mind, I call it ego bungee jumping. Although it is more like diving. You go deep into the Great Unity of Everything and almost let yourself drown in it, dissolve and become absorbed. But at the last moment, you slip back into the ego and revel in the greatness of it all and how good it feels for ME.
So that's today's revelation from ME to you. I don't even have a good answer to it. I am like this too. My ego may shed, kinda like a pet in shedding season, but it certainly hasn't been completely superceded by a greater, better personality structure, a higher consciousness. The sea is not to be trusted. It is dangerous and wet. So here I am, in my little boat, waiting for the sea to change its nature.
Add: For a disturbingly related input, the vaguely Christian singer and
songwriter Bjørn Eidsvåg is topping the legal downloads
charts for the longest time with his song
Each time I dare to bathe in you, I become whole and clean;
Of course, if you have studied this life close up for years, or even heard about it from Andrew Cohen (who may or may not be an Antichrist, opinions differ on this), it is not peculiar at all. The reason for this horrified fear is the very real risk of Ego Death, of being overwhelmed by the grace and dissolve into it, to cease being the Prime Mover in my own life and become just a channel for the Grace, to have my very Will changed to want a different life from what I live now. This happens so rarely, I don't count the risk as very high myself, but I can see how it can scare the be-Jesus out of people, as Americans put it.
You are only safe as long as you stay in your boat.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.