From here the road of self-discovery
lays wide open before you.
Emancipation of Self 1990
10" x 8.5" pastel and colored pencil on paper
The EGO and HIGHER PERCEPTION
Along with the study of perception we also need to study our psychology, for it, too, determines the world we see, and to a greater extent. At the center of our psychology is this sense of self or what some call the "ego." One very basic definition of the ego that I have found very practical is that it's the feeling of being someone in particular.
The ego can have a useful purpose and be a help in our existence. It can simply be what goes to the bank, talks to the grocer, resolves conflict with our neighbors, or creatively fills the different roles we need to play in life. And fortunately, these parts remain to function in the world as the majority of the ego is lifted from us and we are drawn into a larger sense of a unified Self.
Person in the Box 1991
5" x 3.5" watercolor on mat board
For most of us, our main problem with the ego is that we have become so totally identified with it, giving it completely our sense of identity, calling it “me” without question and not letting our definition of self extend too far beyond it, except at times and in only a conceptual way. But it is no more than an idea of who we are. Yet, because of our belief in it, it does seem real to us.
I have found that without monitoring the ego, I can go into areas of thought, feeling, interpretation, and projection that can be very unloving as well as self-destructive. These psychological and emotional obstacles must be seen and accepted so one can finally go beyond them. It is essential to look unflinchingly at the ego.
The following is from Tobe and the River Is:
Over the rise, they started to come: creatures that looked like Tobe in every way, except they had transparent bubbles over their heads. The spheres went down to their shoulders. “Bubble People,” Tobe coined them, and he liked the name for it suited them well....
Their bubbles appeared smudged and scratched from use. Some were thicker than others. The children’s bubbles were thinner, clearer, and not as perfectly formed. The youngest ones had only a faint wisp of one, like a clear vapor. Only the infants were completely free of a bubble altogether.
Tobe observed that these Bubble People seemed to be prone to strange fits of behavior, swinging wildly from happiness to despair, from kindness to destructive rage. He observed that what seemed to make them act so erratically were all sorts of images that filled their bubbles.
These images were like dreams that they watched with their eyes open, as if in a trance. Some of the images were of themselves, and some were images of others. Some of these images were fearful; some were of revenge and attack; some of hurts and injustices. Pains and anxieties of all kinds filled their bubbles. Pleasant images also existed—happy ones of friendship, romance, and pleasures. These clouded their spheres almost as much, if not more.
At other times, an emotional fog would also fill their bubbles, blending with the images and making it nearly impossible for them to see out at all. The fog came in different colors: ornery oranges and raging reds, as well as forlorn and cheerless browns, despondent grays, and doleful blues.
Tobe observed that when the Bubble People got excited about something, which happened quite often, their spheres would both fog up and fill with images, all spinning like crazy. They seemed to like getting upset or excited about things. Then, how they would fight!
They seemed to be constantly talking—mostly to themselves, their voices muffled inside their bubbles. When, however, they did communicate with each other, from what Tobe could tell, often no one was really listening. Particularly odd was that whenever one was speaking to another, images would appear in their bubbles of who they thought the other person was. However, Tobe noticed that in no way did the image resemble the person to whom they were speaking.
How those poor creatures did sweat and fret inside their bubbles, stumbling and fumbling about! Tobe felt sorry for them. They were alone, cut off from each other and from their world. A couple of times, Tobe thought he heard one of them sobbing in their bubble as it all became too much for them....
Tobe noticed a younger one of the clan, standing behind the others. At that very moment, his bubble was clearing of all haze and images. The youth suddenly found himself looking out of a clear bubble at a clean, new world! He appeared startled. His eyes were big and his mouth agape.
For a second, his eyes met Tobe’s. The youth did not seem to know what to do. Tobe could see him growing uneasy and unsure of himself. His “new” bright world was becoming too much. Tobe could see a wave of fear overtake him. Instantly, the fog and images came streaming back, filling his bubble. The youth breathed a deep sigh of relief, as he returned to his old, familiar world.
Fear is one of the cornerstones of the ego’s world and keeps its structure firmly in place. As soon as we start to move into our magnitude, into the Mind, into the Self, into love, the ego will often create fear, like the youth whose bubble filled up with images in the story or it will create fear like an electrical fence, zapping us, and we stop our outward expansive movement into consciousness and return to our limited sense of self, constrained and separate, isolated from others and the world.
And yet, as we have glimpses of the Unified Field and the love that comprises it, we start to have more confidence in its truth and fear does start to fade away. After all, what is one with everything cannot fear. It is literally impossible. Only in the ego’s world where everything seems to exist in a state of separateness is it possible to know fear.
Burning House 2002
46.5" x 36" mixed media on canvas
The woman sits calmly outside her house which is all aflame and filled with the madness of the many faces of the ego. Notice her expression; she is detached with her prayer beads in hand. Reflected on the surface of the liquid in the pot near her are the mad faces in the house. She accepts and looks unflinchingly upon it all, thus processing all the inner madness. Eventually, the pot becomes empty (see the tipped-over pot behind her). Now she is ready to begin her journey into a new type of consciousness—the consciousness of Love, of unity (see the figure of her in the distance). Above her are little cherubs dropping rose petals on her path as she goes on her journey to unity and her true Self. And this is OUR journey.
The Transubstantial Crossing 1994 7" x 10" pastel on paper
Another reason why we resist our expansion into our true nature is that we imagine we will be giving up something real for something vague and uncertain. But do not be concerned that the things which you hold dear and are worthy of your care and attention here will be taken away. As you let go of the ego and the separated self, they will merely be transformed in your vision to their true condition. You will see the living light of reality shining through things more and more. Our family, friends, nature; our talents and what we find pleasure in doing will be elevated to a new level of appreciation as we see a deeper beauty and wonder flowing through them. We will merely find ourselves surrounded more and more by the miracles of this mysterious,, incredible life.