Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pride's Passing




Humility lit the spark
ego provided fertile timber
And on that sordid pile
of fleshy wood and flame
Pride breathed her last
'neath Love's fierce ember.



 "I'm happy and that makes me think that I'm either going crazy because who would be happy with all that I am going through..? Or on to something. I just have let go of so much of my ego lately that I can't help but feel my soul has a lighter load to bear. I feel a bit more liberated. "

That is what I wrote recently to a friend in response to the inquiry of how my day was going. Things have been challenging lately.  I know many of you can relate and have no doubt even more struggles than myself. It can take all the strength  we can muster sometimes to stay positive in and not get seduced by this reality of dancing illusions that catches our fancy and plunges us down the alleyways of delusion. To block the razor sharp arrows skillfully aimed and hurtling at the small pockets of peace we try to build around ourselves and our families. Often I take heart in the law of impermanence.... This too shall pass...this too shall pass...

An awareness of choice broke through my consciousness yesterday as I was taking a shower.  I have been in a difficult situation and it's easy sometimes to allow myself to get overwhelmed by it. To help solve the situation there were things I needed to do and say which would require me to lay down my pride and take up the banner of humility. Not always an easy thing to do. However, by doing so, the problem would find its solution and I would be helping someone I loved.

I thought about pride, how it's a symptom of the ego, and how it only binds us to suffering. I could tangibly feel and observe the energy of pride within me and it felt like a burden. I breathed it in deep and then exhaled and merely, with intention,  let it go...let it all go...Realizing its longevity in my consciousness was a choice. It was such a liberating moment spiritually. Immediately a deep peace came to me. Conceiving a beautiful joy it infected any seeds of negativity with spores of light that caused all darkness to flee in that moment.

It was a spiritual experience that provided me the hope and clarity I needed that morning. The clarity that I am not my thoughts, not my emotions, but that eternity rests within the center of my consciousness longing to shine outwards. The hope that, as with my attachment to pride I could someday recognize and release myself gradually of all other attachments that bind me to my ego. That, if I allowed it, this could be a real step in my spiritual progress. 


In the Bhagavad Gita 15.5 it says:

Not deluded by pride, free from selfish attachment and selfish desire, beyond the duality of pleasure and pain, ever aware of the Self, the wise go forward to that eternal goal.  (Eknath Easwaran's translation)

Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says in the purport to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, "When one is free from the delusion caused by pride, he can begin the process of surrender."


I have come to accept the truth that to find the Truth one must surrender one's self-will.  How else can we achieve the objectivity and clarity to perceive things as they truly are? Pride is certainly a component of self-will. This is an idea that has been echoed throughout the ages by the world's mystics. I have a long way to go and very well might never fully achieve this goal in this life, but I feel there is no greater endeavor for me to embark on than this one. The more we empty ourselves of self-will the more the mirrors within us that reflect the Divinity within will be scraped clean.
The more we empty ourselves the more we will be filled with God's love which we then can extend to those around us. The more we rid ourselves of the desires and attachments that we think bring us happiness but only breed misery the more we cultivate the desire within ourselves to draw closer to God and when that happens all around us benefit.
"As our desire to draw closer to the Lord within us deepens, it draws self-centered desires into it like tributaries into a great river. The power of that love swells until it becomes cataclysmic; we begin to inspire other people through the transformation we have wrought in ourselves."
 
~ Eknath Easwaran, Original Goodness
 Releasing oneself of pride clears the pathway to forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.  I feel really blessed to have witnessed the death of pride within me and only feel relieved at its passing. Now I just have about a million more other attachments to release myself of! :)

 

What  attachment(s) have you recently let go of or are working on releasing yourself of? Please share in the comments section! Thank you!

44 comments:

  1. Jessica, you have, indeed, reached a huge milestone in your spiritual journey. Pride is something all of us struggle with and suffer from when we can't let it go.
    In reading your beautiful reflection, the lyrics to the song "Lay Me Down" came to mind: "Laying down all my pride, giving up all my rights, I will bring a sacrifice . . ."
    When we admit that we do not belong to ourselves, our egos, that we are God's alone, His divinity can shine brightly within us and we can bring His light to others.
    Attachments? So, so happy that my book is being published, but have handed all the success it may see over to the Lord. This is His doing.
    Blessings and peace to you, dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Martha...I know that song by the way...beautiful lyrics! Less of us, more of Him..and wow..the world would be a lot different. :) Congratulations on your book...I am so excited and happy for you!

      ~ blessings and love

      Delete
  2. While reading this I couldn’t help being reminded of these stories from The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello.


    DROPPING THE ‘I’

    Disciple: I have come to offer you my service.
    Master: If you dropped the ‘I’ service would certainly follow.
    You could give all your goods to feed the poor and your body to be burnt and not have
    love at all.
    Keep your goods and drop the ‘I’. Don’t burn your body; burn the ego. Love will
    instantly arise.

    DROP YOUR NOTHING

    Disciple: I have come to you with nothing in my hands.
    Master: Drop it at once!
    Disciple: But how can I drop it? It is nothing.
    Master: Then carry it around with you!
    Your nothing can be your most valued possession.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra..thank you...loved them! I'm going to have to check out Anthony de Mello now...:)

      ~ blessings

      Delete
  3. I used your Gita quote on another site. Very moving; your progress on the path. NU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous! I'm glad you enjoyed the verse from the Gita...it's such a beautiful source of truth and inspiration.

      ~ blessings

      Delete
  4. Thanks for share such a veyr intresting Articles,
    >ppi claim refund

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it!
      ~ blessings

      Delete
  5. Very, very powerful statement: "The clarity that I am not my thoughts, not my emotions, but that eternity rests within the center of my consciousness longing to shine outwards. The hope that, as with my attachment to pride I could someday recognize and release myself gradually of all other attachments that bind me to my ego."

    I just recently celebrated 11 years of sobriety, and through the years of cleaning up wreckage, feeling past harms and hurts the sentiment of this statement has been critically valuable and so very necessary for me.

    Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time... {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Congratulations Amy...That is no small feat! To accomplish overcoming an addiction is one of the greatest battles any of us can fight, for it happens within.

      Thank you for the hugs! :)

      Delete
  6. Dear Jessica,
    you really write from your heart and make methink taking pauses every now and then because this all is such aheavy stuff for me! But I like to read once again. all I can say is that the pride and prejudice- both are bad and I try to remain away from these evils as far as possible but the ego raises its head now and then! well, I'll continue to work over it.
    -Portia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think all of us will always be working on our egos! The most important thing is recognizing that we have the need to work on them in the first place. For most of my life I had no idea and now that I've been meditating and chanting I am starting to really recognize different elements of my ego, observe them, and see them for what they are. It's a liberating feeling.

      Many blessings to you and yours. :)

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm inspired by your example, Jessica. I struggle to let go of certain emotions.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, I still do too. One step at a time I guess. Thanks for stopping by . :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is ego that is aware of ego's presence or absence... pride cannot cast out pride. You need the cross of Jesus so you can die to self. There is no other way....

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, the Upanishads say that when we meditate or become fully mindful it is possible to achieve a state of nonduality in which the Self can witness the ego, for the ego is an illusion. The ego cannot witness itself...When one starts to be able to witness the elements that consist of the ego one can start to identify and untangle the hold that illusions have on our perceptions and consciousness that cover one's inner sight from beholding the love and truth of what is eternal within us.

    To die to one's "self" ego, is the only way to really see things as they are...That's what all the ancient texts reveal...even Jesus said that, we must lose ourselves to find ourselves...to see the Truth..God... I wish just the acceptance of Jesus would do that...I tried that...I think to cast out pride, and other impurities, requires a lot of hard work spiritually.

    ~ blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a war... He said to die daily....but the thought that the "ego" is an illusion is a complete illusion! It is very real, and is the essence of self, which is fallen, and must be redeemed through death and resurection... and that, an impossiblility apart from Jesus.

      Delete
    2. I agree that it is a war. The greatest war that any of us can ever battle lies within us. What I'm seeking to understand is what is our true self...

      I'm coming to the conclusion that it isn't the ego...What is the ego? Our thoughts, emotions, memories...those come and go and evolve...Those can be manipulated even (as in a lab when scientists study the brain -by touching certain parts they can manipulate emotions and responses from subjects).

      But there is something eternal within us that seems to become much more tangible and clear once one gets to the point of being able to no longer be the actor that is acting out the thoughts, emotions, etc but the observer to the thoughts, emotions..the elements of the ego. The Upanishads and other texts say that the Witness is the Self...and that the self is an illusion...
      This probably makes more sense. Many can explain it a lot better than me. I'll try to find an excerpt that sums it up better than how I'm explaining things. :)

      Delete
  12. Hi Jessica:
    Haven't talked in awhile. We should plan a get together again, you me and Cathy. Anyway interesting you wrote about letting go:
    I breathed it in deep and then exhaled and merely, with intention, let it go...let it all go...Realizing its longevity in my consciousness was a choice. It was such a liberating moment spiritually. Immediately a deep peace came to me.

    Was just talking w/my sister in law tonight about this very topic. She's been having a challenge recently with this herself. Someone we both know (my sister in law and I) has been a bit of a nudge. This person has an issue w/boundaries in that she has none, This person can't let anything go as often as we bring this up, she doesn't see it.

    We have to let go, move on. If not, then we won't ever be able to move past the anger. And in the end that emotion will only hurt us. It won't hurt the person we're angry at. So happy I FINALLY realized this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, thanks for stopping by! :) I'd love to get together with you and Cathy soon. It's been too long! We have a lot to catch up on!

      Thank you for sharing your experience...it doesn't sound easy, and it never is easy letting go of relationships, but you're right anger and negativity only breeds more anger and negativity. Sometimes the best things we can do is let go...it's best for all involved and its oftentimes then when healing can begin.

      I'll email you soon after this storm comes and goes. What a storm we are expecting! Stay safe and well.

      ~ blessings

      Delete
  13. My all time favorite movie is "Camelot", with Richard Harris, Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave. I have watched it so many times that I have much of the dialog memorized. Towards the end of the movie, where Arthur (Richard Harris) is grappling with the reality (i.e., illusion) that "It's those old, uncivilized days, come back to us". Poor Arthur, wanting so badly to impart order and peace and beauty to the land. Merlin tried so hard to lift him above it all.

    What is my point? Detachment. I wrestle that critter quite often. Attachment frequently wins a battle or two, but with age and wisdom, and a liberal sprinkling of living consciously, detachment is becoming a warm friend that returns my embrace. Or perhaps walks in companionable silence next to me.

    I always so enjoy visiting your world here, Jessica. I never fail to come away enriched.

    Namaste',

    - Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you so much for stopping by Dawn. I always love hearing your reflections. I feel I can relate to when you wrote, " detachment is becoming a warm friend that returns my embrace. Or perhaps walks in companionable silence next to me. " More and more, as I learn to become detached to the things which once held me secure in their grip, I am finding a sense of freedom and peace in letting go. Detachment is definitely our friend! :)

    many blessings,
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  15. A huge step in your spiritual journey Jessica and wonderfully written. Letting go truly is the key to peace. Namaste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suzy! Yes...it's all about letting go..not always easy, but definitely essential!
      ~ namaste~

      Delete
  16. I've had to let go of the part of landing an agent, sell books, attached partly pride, ego, and my net worth, that said if an agent ignores or passes on my query, I'm no good. It's personal, even if you know it's not. The heart reacts. It's an interesting process, and one I don't know much about, but I'm learning how to distance myself, not to take is so brutally personal, and part of me has to accept I might never be the next big somebody. OUCH! :-) Post is perfect timing for me, thanks kindly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda,

      I'm so glad you could get something from this post. I agree, it can be very difficult to not take things personally even if they aren't because when things/decision/people don't validate what we hold dear, it's not an easy thing to see their opinions objectively. You're right...the heart reacts. I'm learning the more that I can start to witness my emotions as an observer the more I have freedom in how I feel and can untangle myself from negative or destructive reactions that used to happen almost instantly. Not easy though and I'm usually not successful at it. But it takes practice. :)

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  17. What you are saying is so true Jessica! " Releasing oneself of pride clears the pathway to forgiveness, reconciliation and peace." It is not easy to let go of pride but the reward is so much greater!

    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more Nelieta. Thanks for stopping by. Always a blessing hearing from you. :)

      Delete
  18. Pride is a burden, and adds so much negative weight. When I begin to feel that weight, I know it is time to recenter myself and let go of that pride. It is an ongoing struggle, because ego is involved. Self awareness is a lifetime journey for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think self-awareness and realization is a life long journey for most of us. And in all actuality, though I felt pride die that day, I'm sure it will have many many different incarnations and rear is ugly head again as the mind has the tendency to fall back into its old patterns. To let go of the ego takes lots of practice and patience. But it's well worth it. :)

      Delete
  19. Pride's Passing could've been a title of a movie I'd like someday to see ;)

    The priest in yesterday's homily spoke of humility...How is it that it's easier to write of pride? It's overflowing I guess :)But it's passing...well, that's something we all should work on :)

    I commend you for the courage to speak of 'your' truth. When I watched Ghandi in a movie, I immediately thought of you. When a person practices what he/she contemplates, it's very precious.

    I do love where your soul's journey is taking you and I'm really learning a lot from your experiences.

    Right now, I'm working on 'being forgotten' LOL :) You'll understand this soon :)

    Lots of love to you always.

    P.S. I love everything that is new here ;)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Melissa...I always love hearing your reflection and you have been a constant source of encouragement throughout my journey. Humility and pride are two sides of the same coin for sure. The more we open our hearts to being humble, the more the dirty layers of pride are washed away.
      ~ many blessings

      Delete
  20. Dear Jessica,

    It sounds like you're onto something and I wish you well! Since I don't know what you're going through, which you referred to but did not elaborate on, your words read to me more like a 'philosophical' post about letting go of the ego rather than a practical experience that I can relate to. Just an observation. You are certainly not required to share the specifics of your life experiences with your readers. However, I do wonder, since we're talking about letting go of the ego, why you would stop short of sharing more specifically what your challenge is? Good luck! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "your words read to me more like a 'philosophical' post about letting go of the ego rather than a practical experience that I can relate to"

      I appreciate that feedback Linda. I will try to make my posts more relatable in the future, though I have to say that being philosophically minded myself I don't mind my posts coming across that way. At the same time, most readers probably would like a post that was both philosophical and relatable.

      A very good question why I would stop short in sharing specifically what my challenges are...I guess I'm simply not used to divulging personal things of that nature. Also, any way I tried to write it would have potentially offended another person unintentionally and I didn't want to do that. As you bring up, this post is about letting go of the ego, so I'll try to be a little more specific about the challenges I mention in the future.:)

      Thanks for your response.

      Delete
  21. PS I just realized I forgot to answer your question for myself: What attachment(s) have you recently let go of or are working on releasing yourself of?

    One of the big attachments I'm working on releasing is my attachment to certain ideas about what my relationship with my boyfriend should look like...

    For example, I was pretty attached to the idea that he & I should spend more time together. I struggled with missing him terribly when we were apart for weeks at a time. I wondered if he was really the right one for me.

    Now, I'm experimenting with learning to appreciate the feeling of missing him instead of cursing that feeling. I have felt my love and gratitude for him grow immensely as I overcome my attachment to making him into something he's not and, instead, value him for who he is -- which is pretty amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow..Thank you so much for sharing that Linda. That is actually pretty amazing and a considerable testimony to your level of understanding and maturity.

      Delete
  22. Hi, Jessica. Sorry you're going through a tough time right now as we all do from time to time. It's very humbling. I strongly feel these moments where we have to put our ego aside and feel the pain are where the lessons are learned. There simply are some forces that are more powerful than we are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Adriene. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  23. I am struggling with making regular time for yoga and meditation. I reflect on my days, but it isn't the same. Perhaps it is ego and pride keeping me busy with other tasks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be. It's also really hard to get over the type of inertia that sometimes keeps us sluggish towards starting a regular routine. I've found waking up in the morning, early, helps. It's so hard to get regular though, I can totally identify with that. Good luck. :)

      Delete
  24. The basics of a 12 step program. Getting over yourself as I say to my teenage grandson. It has been a true test of myself to remember that the trials and tribulations I am having with Tyas and his sister are not about me. Remembering that I am responsible for teaching them how to release resentments they hold is a blessing to my own life. Forgiveness is not an easy thing to learn.

    I love this post so thought provoking and insightful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed this post Jan, thank you for sharing your experiences. You are learning valuable things as you teach your grandchildren...May all of you bear beautiful fruit that will bring peace, hope and joy into your lives.

      Delete
  25. "I have come to accept the truth that to find the Truth one must surrender one's self-will." This sentence stood out in a post full of wisdom. Lately, I've been struggling to release my urge to control some things I can't control...but still want to! Even though I really know the truth of what you write here, it is still hard. I think it is because of fear. Anyway, your post gave me some inspiration to circle back to my discomfort and take a deeper look. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete