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."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! :)
~ Eknath Easwaran, Original Goodness
What attachment(s) have you recently let go of or are working on releasing yourself of? Please share in the comments section! Thank you!