How we can use our ego to awaken
Author: Veit Lindau
Category: Spirituality in general
Issue No: 86
Beyond a particular spiritual tradition, Veit Lindau outlines a non-conceptual and pragmatic understanding of the ego and attributes to it a weighty significance for our practical lives. Beyond that, there exists a longing, a calling within us that points us to the fact that we are much more than our ego and our body.
When I was asked to write an article on “Ego and Higher Self” for this issue, I hesitated at first. Because I am neither religious nor philosophical or strictly scientific. I see myself more as a loving heretic and spiritual pragmatist. So I want to caution anyone who is well versed in writings on these subjects. When it comes to the soul, I don’t make a point of conforming to a concept. I am looking for direct experience. Therefore, please do not take this article as an attempt to define something that I believe is beyond any verbal definition. Rather, I would like to invite you to let go of all concepts and explore yourself and the different dimensions of your being nakedly and curiously:
What is an ego for you?
Is there something else, something bigger for you?
I had my first, if you will, spiritual awakening completely unprepared in the dissection room of the medical faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin. I was studying medicine at the time. We dissected a male cadaver over the course of a year. First the skin, then the muscles, the nerves, etc. We were young, insensitive and made a lot of jokes about Otto, as we called the body. But over time, peeling away all the layers became my first meditation. And without ever having read anything about soul or God, I knew that what was in front of me was not the essence of a human being. Something was missing. Something had gone. And since then, I’ve wanted to know what THAT was. I began to study the ancient spiritual scriptures. Maybe it was because I was already too old or too critical, but I could not simply accept the descriptions as literally true. They seemed too man-made to me. I did not want to believe blindly. I wanted to experience directly. So I went searching, as you probably did. I found many approaches – devotion, meditation, trance, dance ….
Here is my experiential conclusion to this point:
We have a body, but we are not our body. We are more.
Much more. I believe that this life is an incredibly precious opportunity to wonder and to use this period of time to find out as much as possible about the existential questions of our lives:
Who am I?
Where do I come from?
Where am I going?
What am I here for?
Find out with which spiritual attitude Veit Lindau grew up in the GDR and why he believes that we are more than our body in the full article, which you can order below!
If so, how can you tell the difference?
How do you cultivate access to this greater dimension?
A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE EGO
The space of encounter
Even if you don’t believe in it, imagine for a moment that you are a free soul. A pure, immortal spark of light in an immeasurable ocean of light. Look at our society from the eyes of this free consciousness. What do you see?
Beautiful, highly intelligent beings doing absurd things to deny death.
We’re screwing around, buying stupid, arguing our heads off. We send our children into educational systems that make them forget and mold them into fully functioning poodles of a meritocracy. Later, as adults, we miss that magical, wide dimension so much. It is healthy and good to nurture the poodle in a relaxed way.
But we will not find a solution to many individual and collective challenges until we cultivate an approach to this larger dimension that is free of superstition.
I would like to emphasize again that we do not have to agree on a certain belief for this. We cannot grasp this Nothing & Everything with our minds anyway. But we can experience it. When we meditate. When we close our eyes and dive through the gap between two thoughts into that silent, wide space of our consciousness. Or when we lean against a tree and take in its quiet nature. Or when we try to imagine the oceanic peace of an infant in its mother’s womb. In that stillness, you are not a person with a name. You have no age, no gender. You simply are. A tremendously soothing, because liberating and nurturing I AM. All the people I have talked to about this experiential space have not been completely amazed, but have experienced it more like a natural reminder of who they are and have always been. The Christian, the mystic, the neuroscientist may interpret and classify the experience differently afterwards. But when they look into each other’s eyes, they will know that they have met.
About the author: Veit Lindau
Veit Lindau is an expert on integral human self-realization. Together with his wife he runs homodea.com with currently over 70,000 members. Author of “Marry yourself”, “Go crazy”, “SeelenGevögelt” and others.
This article appeared originally on the German Homepage of Tattva Viveka: Die Seele und der Pudel