From Miranda’s talk at the Living Grace Global Sangha in October 2021 – click here to subscribe for Audio Membership and receive future downloadable teachings each month.
Grace does want to shift our identification with our ego structure, with our personality, with our history, our limiting patterns, our filters, and to help us come to abide deeper in God, deeper in the heart of our being, deeper in pure being. This is where all the qualities of our deepest nature are and from here we can learn to live in the world, to serve the evolution of our world, and to relate with one another from that deeper place that’s not so reactive.
Yet the real change that needs to happen is how we view ego and essence. We tend to presume we are either in ego or we’re either in essence. It’s over here or over there. Of course, because when we are identified with our ego structure and we’re caught in our fixations and in our patterns, it does contract our consciousness in ways that aren’t a lot of fun – that are fearful, tricky, difficult, reactive and tend to be more difficult for other people as well. Therefore, we tend to think of the parts of ourselves that we know aren’t free as ego or as ‘bad’. We think we relate to it as something that shouldn’t be there. But we all want to be in our essence, in our deepest center, in our spiritual depth because that is such a more pleasant experience. It’s beautiful, it’s majestic, it’s so fulfilling when we are in that depth of abiding. When we’re centered there we naturally feel love and acceptance for everyone because we recognize that everything and everyone isn’t separate from us so we naturally regard others with kindness, dignity and respect. We feel connected and that is a much more enjoyable way to move through a day than when we’re bound in some historically- based knot of suffering.
However, if we see our ego experience and our essential experience as this or that, we often end up creating more division which makes our awakening process harder and pulls us further away from the felt experience of wholeness.
So what if we flip it on its head? What if we see ego and essence, not as either/or but as surface and depth? This was revelatory for me when I first started to see this.
I invite you to embrace your whole experience including the things that you stumble on that are hard for you, where you know you get bound, when you know you’re not free, when you’re caught in a self-centered pattern, when you are not awake to your impact, when you’re pushing and pulling in some way. Obviously, that is your ego. However, instead of looking at it as ego = bad, how about we look at it as ego= “Oh this is the surface of my experience, this is the outer surface” like on the surface and depth of an ocean. The outer surface of an ocean is waves because rarely is the ocean completely calm. There are usually waves, movement, undulation, and that’s natural. Sometimes there’s a big storm in the ocean and there are big, dumping, choppy waves that aren’t easy and the ocean looks grey and ominous. But even under those conditions, when we sink deeper down, down, down, down, down, down, down into that ocean, there is calm. It’s the same deep blue of consciousness.
And so, the surface of our experience is inevitably crunchy and patterned at times. It has well-worn pathways of thoughts, beliefs and emotions which, in neuroscience, they are calling the ‘default mode network’. That is the neuroscience term for the ego, but it’s not quite accurate because this only refers to the parts of our soul that is patterned and habitually does the same things over and over again. We all know about that from personal experience, don’t we? And how deep those grooves in our soul can be, how automatic those patterns can be.
When you are centered in your patterns, in your defenses, in your default ego mechanisms, it feels separation – “I’m a separate somebody and I have to protect myself or get my needs met, push others out the way or manipulate” or whatever it is that we do. When we are in that ‘default mode network’, separation does feel like the ultimate reality and it does feel like we’re a young one. It does feel like we have to do these things and that we have to contract or we won’t be okay.
But if you remember, that’s not all to your being – not to dis your ego experience, but to remember that, that’s not the totality of who you are. That’s just the surface – even though it’s patterned, it’s the surface, and, at the depth of you, there is no ultimate bottom. You find endless vastness, endless consciousness, endless love, endless peace. It’s why I use the term ‘boundless’. The ground of your being and my being and everyone’s being is a groundless ground, an infinite ground. In this body of teachings, we relate to it as the ground of Grace, a mountainous presence that doesn’t have a circumference because it is prior and deeper even to physical or concept of a beginning, middle and an end.
Click here to listen to more from this talk on ‘Embracing our Wholeness ‘ –
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With love to you and peace to our world,
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