Sunday, November 26, 2006

You suck!

How does that post title make you feel?

I spent some time reading this morning from Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and this snippet in particular stood out:

"The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of 'me.' When someone blames or criticizes me, that to the ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-justification, defense or blaming. Whether the other person is right or not is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self-preservation than in the truth..."

He then goes on to say that a powerful exercise is to do nothing when you feel diminished, deeply feel the burn (so to speak) and then realize that nothing, in fact, has been diminished:

"When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute nonreaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming 'less,' you become more."

This sort of practice is central to Gandhi's satyagraha (non-resistance), Jesus' "turning the other cheek," and buddha's anatta (no-self). It's certainly not the way most people usually operate (myself included), but its something to experiment with and see if, in fact, it does lead to a more peaceful and insightful life.

8 comments:

Meredith said...

It is powerful to "do nothing" in the face of an ego attack. (I just practiced this during the Thanksgiving holiday!) To just notice what comes up, and to hold back from defending or blaming is so illuminating. Truth and insight emerge when we just notice, and it has to do with the perception of who we are beyond our egos. What is within us that we don't have to defend?

frimmin said...

Hey, Trev,

You suck too!

Now that both our egos have been threatened, I'm glad to see you're reading A New Earth. It's a great book, isn't it? I particularly like the way he goes step-by-step explaining the ego, its formation and defenses, and how to dissolve them.

Celeste said...

Thank you, I really needed that. Especially during the holiday season.

A personal example: My father got married for the 3rd time not too long ago, to someone my age (a real honey, too). He took his new wife, unannounced, to the homes of my mother and stepmother and knocked on their doors! Fortunately, neither was home. This was about 2 years ago at T-giving. When I saw him, I told him what he did was inappropriate and rude. (that's all I said) I guess that was his ego diminishment---he cancelled the rest of his visit and left town. He has not spoken to me since.

He lives in Mexico with his Latina wife. He was just in Atlanta for Tday and did not speak to me. Gone back to Mexico now. That's *my* ego diminishment.

I will definitely practice the advice in the post and see what happens. It sounds wise to me.

His actions don't make me less lovable.

Thanks Trev.

kevin beck said...

Trev,
Great post. Haven;t read "A New Earth" yet. Been through "The Power of Now" some time ago. Anyway...maybe it's true. Maybe I do suck. If so, I don;t think that makes me any less of a person. Embrace the suckiness!

That reminds me of Lewis Black. The difference b/w the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats suck and te Republicans blow.

anonymous julie said...

I suck... maybe, so? You'll have to do better with the negative labelling than that to get to me. ;-) Unfortunately on the occasions when my ego is wrapped up in something... it's thoroughly tangled. Ah well.

BarBarA said...

Hi Trev, I just got with the program and figured out you had moved. Now I can read you again!

Trev Diesel said...

Meredith - A powerful reflection, thanks!

Jon - Ha! Ya, I'm enjoying it so far!

Celeste - Your welcome... I'm happy that it inspired you in some way. I hope the situation with your father begins to smooth out and you both are able to love in the midst of difficult times.

Kevin - Nice! I love Lewis "If It Weren't For My Horse" Black

Julie - Ya, it was a tame jab... but after all, it was just in jest! (a little alliteration for ya)

Barbara - Welcome back! :)

Celeste said...

trev I found something in the Yoga Sutras that complements your post, I will try and get it posted tomorrow.