Knowing Yourself is Freedom

• March 3, 2013 • Comments (0)


Illusions of the Ego

Prejudices of any kind imply that you are identified with the thinking mind.  It means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being.  To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.

Complaining and reactivity are favourite mind patterns through which the ego strengthens itself.  For many people, a large part of their mental-emotional activity consists in complaining and reacting against this or that.  By doing this, you make others or a situation “wrong” and yourself “right” Through being “right” you feel superior, and through feeling superior, you strengthen your sense of self.  In reality, of course, you are only strengthening the illusion of the ego.

Envy is a by-product of the ego, which feels diminished if something good happens to some one else, or someone has more, knows more, or can do more than you.  The ego’s identity depends on comparison and feeds on wanting more.

The ego needs to be in conflict with something or someone.  That explains why you are looking for peace, joy and love but cannot tolerate them for very long.  You say you want happiness but you are addicted to your unhappiness.  Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.

When you think or speak about yourself, when you say “I”, what you usually refer to is “me and my story.”  This is the “I” of your likes and dislikes, fears and desires, the “I” that is never satisfied for long.  It is a mind-made sense of who you are, conditioned by the past and seeking to find its fulfilment in the future.

When each thought absorbs your attention completely, it means you identify with the voice in your head.  Thoughts then become invested with a sense of self.  This is the ego, a mind-made “me.” That mentally constructed self feels incomplete and precarious.  That’s why fearing and wanting are its predominant emotions and motivating forces.

When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking.  When you notice that voice, you realize that who you are is not the voice – the thinker – but the one who is aware of it.

Emotional pain

The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer.

I am talking here primarily of emotional pain, which is resentment, hatred, self-pity, guilt, anger, depression, jealousy and so on.

People also know from their own experience how easily and quickly an intimate relationship can turn from a source of pleasure to a source of pain.

Focus the attention on the feeling inside you

Know that it is emotional pain.  Accept that it is there.  Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyse. Don’t identity with it.  The first thing to remember is this: as long as you identity yourself with the pain, you cannot become free of it.  As long as part of your sense of self is invested in your emotional pain, you will unconsciously resist every attempt that you make to heal that pain.

Why? Quite simply because you want to keep your self intact, and the pain has become an essential part of you.  This is an unconscious process, and the only way to overcome it is to make it conscious.

Every moment, hold the knowing of that moment, if there is anger, know that there is anger.  If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right whatever it is, know the reality of that moment and hold the knowing.

Being the knowing creates a clear space of loving presence that allows all things and all people to be as they are.  Giving space to others and to yourself is vital.  Love cannot flourish without it.  Create that space instead of mirroring pain and unconsciousness to each other, instead of satisfying your mutual addictive ego’s needs. Remember that the ego needs problems, conflict and enemies to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends.  When the emotional pain is demanding feedback and not getting it; when the need for argument, drama, and conflict is not being met, ego’s identifications may collapse altogether and it fears the resulting loss of self.

How much more time do you think you will need before you are able to say, “I will create no more pain, no more suffering?”  How much more pain do you need before you can make that choice?  If you think that you need more time, you will get more time…and more pain.

Remember the deep wisdom underlying the practice of Eastern martial arts: don’t resist the opponent’s force.  Yield to overcome.  The real non-doing – Taoists refer to – implies inner non-resistance and intense alertness.

The following is a short clip by Master Simon Lau on Qi gong and the importance of not engaging the conditioned mind in this practice as it’s that very mind the cause of most of our suffering

“To please is to please the personality; to heal is to heal the soul”
Sifu Simon Lau

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Simon Lau

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Master Simon Lau's life has been dedicated to cultivating mind, body and spirit to the highest degree. He was born in mainland China and originally educated by Buddhist monks. Herbal Medicine & Qigong "I truly believe that the minds that co-ordinate the activities of violence can co-ordinate the activities of co-operation. Everyone has an equal right to eliminate suffering and seek happiness." "In keeping with the Warrior tradition I have focused my life as much on being a healer as being a martial artist. I am a sincere practitioner of Qigong, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Astrology, believing that physical and emotional health is equally essential for self development and inner awareness. Everyone has the potential to improve and change "because each new day represents a new life. Every hour of our time is a gift." Master Lau holds many accredited certificates and awards including: Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (R.C.H.M) Association of Hong Kong and Kowloon Practitioner of Chinese Medicine NHS Directory of Chinese Herbal Medicine World Academic Society of Medical Qigong China Martial Arts Master of Kung Fu Combat Hall of Fame Award 2000 Combat Lifetime Achievement Award 2001 He is also the author of the well received reference book “Master Kung Fu". Television and Media In 2010 Master Simon Lau was requested to demonstrate the No.1 Position in Discovery Channel’s acclaimed documentary 'The Greatest Ever Weapon'. He was the resident Grand Master in Sky One’s reality TV show 'Fight School' and was also chosen to appear in the BBC Martial Arts Documentary 'The Way of the Warrior' and in 'The Living Body', a documentary on the human anatomy made by Gold Crest Films for Channel 4, he illustrated the significance of muscle power. Master Lau gained this part after proving he had the fastest punch of the martial artists who auditioned. Following this impressive performance, he was asked by Gold Crest to show his skill in a television advert for St Ivel Gold Margarine. He then started an Anti-School-Bullying Campaign which was covered by the Mirror Newspaper and the Guardian's Education Supplement. Other press accolades include full-page front covers and main features in Combat Magazine and Sweden's best selling Fighter magazine. For two years in a row, Combat Magazine presented him with awards for his contribution to and development of the martial arts in the UK and abroad. Cambridge University Union In September 2000, Master Simon Lau was honoured to become a guest speaker on the subject of human energy at Cambridge Union.

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