The Tango of Ego and Soul
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2011
Dr. Judith Rich, Speaker, trainer, writer, coach, creator of Rx For The Soul: http://www.judithrich.com
Our lives unfold between the shores of the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious mind, when unexamined, reflects the agenda of the Ego, and concerns itself with matters of survival. It experiences and interprets events through the lens of its limiting perceptions; mainly, fear, and attempts to exert its power and influence through the use of the Will, the Ego’s instrument.
When the conscious or objective mind is in service to the Ego it is concerned with appearances, safety, comfort and maintaining the illusion of control. The Ego-driven mind wants to know: “How do I look? What will others think of me? Am I right? Am I loved/ good enough? Am I safe? Am I in control? How can I avoid pain?”
On a distant shore in a faraway land, the unconscious or subjective mind resides. Both personal and impersonal agenda take up residency there. The subjective mind houses our personally repressed memories as well as the transpersonal agenda of the universe. One could say the entire universe is housed within each one of us and it is only a dream, insight, reflection or imagination away!
Between these two shores, conscious and unconscious, objective and subjective, the dance of ego and soul unfolds. At the level of appearances on this material plane, the human drama takes place. Here too, the soul’s agenda is making itself known, not through Will but through Grace.
The Ego/Will, driven by fear, is primed for flight or fight. In perpetual scarcity, it is only as good as its last performance, its reputation always on the line. Believing that existence is limited, the Ego knows it is ultimately doomed and going to die. It faces the firing squad on every breath, fearing it could be the last.
The patient Soul however, knows eternity, and therefore knows this moment is but a drop in it. The Soul is not concerned with matters of appearance or control for it knows the truth of its purpose and it’s ultimate destination. Unlike the Ego, the Soul is not at all concerned about how to get from here to there. To the Soul, there is only certainty of the outcome, as its agenda is to heal the illusion of separation and bring us back to a unified state of wholeness.
The path to how we arrive at the shores of Grace, the fulfillment of the Soul’s agenda, unfolds as the tango is danced between Ego and Soul. The Ego, full of sound and fury, thinking it is in charge, creates the drama in the foreground, while the Soul quietly goes about its business backstage, arranging the players, changing the sets, altering the lighting, directing the action taking place on stage, even as the Ego takes credit for the outcome.
The Soul doesn’t care about getting credit or receiving top billing, for ultimately, the Soul knows it will have its way with us. It happen over a single lifetime; or it may take eternity. It may require our attendance in many classrooms here on Earth or beyond. But the Soul is patient, or as theBuddha says:
If you take a mountain six miles long and six miles wide and six miles high, that’s the distance a bullock walks in a day. And a bird flies over the mountain once every hundred years with a silk scarf in its beak and brushes the tip of the mountain. In the length of time it takes the scarf to wear away the mountain, that’s how long you have been doing this.
That’s how long your soul has been in service to your higher purpose. In the length of time it would take a silk scarf to wear away a mountain, passing over it once every 100 years!
Our lives unfold between the shores of Ego and Soul as we are invited to respond to the call of the soul’s invitation from the unconscious. Here’s how I imagine the dance:
The Unconscious Invitation — by Judith Rich
My subjective mind, soul’s mortal home and seat of imagination,
Is brewing up a perfect storm, an “unconscious” invitation.
But what’s the invitation, my conscious mind wants to know?
Where is this all leading? Where am I to go?
My soul spoke up and calmly replied, “You’ll know soon enough.
With faith and trust I’ll get you there, though the ride ahead may be rough.”
Then my will aroused and threatened, asked, “Just who do you think you are?”
To think that you know better than I, no, I’m the one driving this car.”
And there arose between these two a storm of epic proportions,
My will pitted against my Soul, but my soul knew no distortions.
For my will, a common story, a story of fear and avoidance,
For my soul, a holy story, a story of returning to wholeness.
The perfect storm raged, the winds blew, my life tossed back and forth,
But my soul kept its compass pointed in the direction of my true North.
Though the seas were rough and threatened to flood the shores of my private nation,
I trusted and followed and obeyed the call of my unconscious invitation.
For I knew that my soul would always be true to its purpose for this incarnation,
And I knew that my life would be better for having accepted this invitation.
And just as my soul had promised, I arrived at the harbor of grace,
And after my long and treacherous journey I finally found peace.
I found within the gleaming shores of my soul’s imagination,
The secret hidden inside its earthly, unconscious invitation.
Though my will means well, it can only see the reflection of its fear,
While my soul will always move me in the direction of what is clear.
And what is clear, is very clear, as clear as the light of day,
And that is there is only One, one Life, one Mind, one Way.
The unconscious invitation comes to bring us back to wholeness.
It comes to show us who we are, to have us know our oneness.
Fear not, my friend, when your turn comes, for this you can be certain
The invitation comes to all, before our final curtain.
What is the unconscious invitation from your Soul? How would you describe your experience of the tango it is dancing with your Ego?
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Blessings on the path and you might as well enjoy the dance!