One of life’s blessings is that we are endowed with full freedom to act. Thus, Human Choice, not fate, nor karma can ultimately determine events. Yet if we were to look closely, we would see that three quarters of our actions are based on ego movements; on initiatives that are wholly self-serving. Sri Karmayogi calls this the “Liberty of ego.” We have the freedom of choice to determine the outcomes of life, but we abuse it through self-absorbed initiatives based on urge, compulsion, or other willful action that are self-aggrandizing. These in turn do not garner life’s cooperation, but their opposite, attracting negative conditions back to us. Yet if in these instances we simply restrained ourselves and held back our action, life would constantly conspire in our favor.
In Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, like most great literature, we see several examples of this phenomenon. One is Mrs. Gardner’s restraint in speaking to Eliza about Darcy at a particularly sensitive moment. Rather than raise the issue, she shows sensitivity and refrains from expressing her thoughts in deference to Eliza’s difficult relationship with Darcy. She in essence avoids an ego movement, moving outward to embrace the concerns and interests of another person. As a result, life supports her non-initiative when soon after Darcy and Eliza come to an understanding, fall in love and marry -- bringing great happiness to the couple, while energizing both families to no end. Life has responded to Mrs. Gardener’s non-egoistic restraint.
On the other hand, Eliza’s mother Mrs. Bennet has no personal control; is constantly acting from self-interest and self-concern. Because she lacks restraint, her unflagging initiating and meddling continually backfires on her and her family. If only she stood back, looked outward from within, and restrained herself, life would have quickly brought her everything she hoped for -- including the marriage of her daughters to prosperous young bachelors, and without the travail and pain the family was forced to suffer through. Instead, her ego-oriented initiatives almost lead to its ruination.
It turns out that she is just an exaggerated version of every one of us. We too subconsciously engage in acts that serve our ego. If we could catch ourselves and suspend such actions, we would conserve energy, which would in turn attract positive conditions.
Practically speaking, each time we feel the urge to send a note, or forward a picture, or speak to a friend or colleague, we should ask ourselves whether this is a wholesome, fully positive activity, or is it being undertaken to tickle our ego; for the purpose of self-aggrandizement? E.g., are we tacitly seeking the approval of others? Are we hastily reacting and trying to assert our opinion? Are we looking to express our contempt for another in a backhanded way? Are we selfishly trying to gain benefit? And so forth, ad infinitum. If ego, self-aggrandizement, and selfishness is in any way behind our intention, we should refrain from acting. We will avoid the negative, while attracting the very best of conditions.
When we restrain ourselves this way, we build up positive energies that align with the very best corresponding conditions in the world. We essentially move from the local, ego plane to the universal, where our hopes and dreams are fulfilled. Considering that three quarters of our actions consciously or unconsciously issue from the ego motive, it would be well worth examining every action we take to determine whether or not our intent is wholesome. If we avoid initiating when ego is present, we can avoid difficulties, while attracting startling positive results.
Ultimately, we can move toward the elimination of ego itself. That takes resolve, usually reserved for those who are on willing to follow a path of conscious evolution -- i.e. yoga in the East. To dissolve ego, one begins by moving away from the surface of life, where our consciousness is seperative, and find a still and silent soul space within. From there our intentions tend to be in harmony with the world outside ourselves. From there, there is little need to initiate or take action, as what we aspire for tends to rapidly come to fruition.
--Roy Posner 19:37, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
See also other Case Studies on Life Response
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