Saturday, October 15, 2016

The lens through which we see the world


Artwork: Ego by Hsiao-Yen Jones

Bias; vested interests; preconceived ideas; discrimination: all forms of distortion that shape our view of the world and our selves. Birds of a feather flocking together against birds with different feathers, but underneath the feathers, all just birds with no defining labels. What do you have when you get rid of fleeting feathers? Birds. What do you have when you get rid of our own delusions? The real you and me: all humans, with no defining properties.

What we seem to be almost never aware of is that every single person is looking at life through the filter of a fabricated artifact we call an ego that is continuously distorting our view of the world around us. We think highly of ourselves and thus look down on others not like us. We reason that our views are right so other views must be wrong. We adore accolades so we play to the adoring audiences. When seen through this egotistical artifact we do so unaware of our bias and assume that world is in fact shaded by our rose colored glasses. We are the center of us and the world conforms to our image. Love ourselves: love the world. Hate ourselves: hate the world.

Who is this self? Is that the one we truly are: the one that is dependent upon the votes of birds like us; who vacillates on the whim and opinions of others; who needs reinforcement to be whole and complete? Or the self, who is already whole, solid, loved and loves? The ego needs everything because it is always incomplete and unreal. Our true self is always whole, complete and needs nothing. In the 14th century a mystic by the name of Meister Eckhart said this concerning how one head stands in comparison to another:

“Humanity in the poorest and most despised human being is just as complete as in the Pope or the Emperor.” And we know what sort of clothing the Emperor wears—none.

Fundamental humanity is not flawed in any way. It is complete already. The flaw is what stands in the way of our human birthright that puts one head above another. The ego is the archenemy of our true, united selves and God. But at the ground level of our humanness we are equal and good, whether Pope, Emperor, Buddha or an average person. Remove the enemy and our unity shows through.
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