The ego is so sticky. Its like a warm molasses or maybe even worse, pine sap. You know the feeling right!! You see that beautiful pine cone on the ground and reach down to pick it up only to find out that it has sap all over it!!!??? Ugh...Or even better, you see that wonderful tree in the park and you decide I am going to embrace my inner child and climb that nice pine tree. Your up a few branches and you continue climbing, you warm smile and heart exploding a bit, you place your hand in the crotch of the next branch and plop....pine sap!!! Damn, now every piece of bark, all the extra dirt and sand, all 500 dead pine needles and maybe a couple big black ants are horrifically stuck to your hand as you attempt to make your way back down the tree without ruining your jeans. You land on the ground slightly depressed, wondering why embracing your inner child turned that moment sticky side up. What the hell!! You just experienced ego.....it is sticky and can turn into a little bit of a mess.. It can easily ruin your new jeans, a new day or your new attitude.
Have you wondered what is behind the ego, where does it manifest from or have you been lucky enough to see behind it and glimpse your true self? My experience this weekend had me embracing both of these items, ego and egolessness. Exploring their relationship as I have been doing now for a couple of months since Vipassana. My question this weekend was; what happens if I decide to let go of the feeling of frustration that I have? What if I just let it pass, let it flow and choose not hold on to it? What's back there?
What I found first was vulnerability. After just deciding to let go of frustration, I felt or found vulnerability. Vulnerability in the sense that "if I don't have frustration, if I CAN'T have frustration, what can I have"? That sort of vulnerability. As I did this, many things flashed through my mind, many experiences I have had showed themselves attempting to reassure me that I should not be vulnerable. The thing is, I had worked through all of these experiences. I was not afraid of them. I had explored, experienced and felt them completely so they came and went. There was nothing there for the vulnerability to stick to, no sap. As I explored this further, after seeing it wasn't vulnerability that I was afraid of, I landed on what looked or felt like "nothingness". If I let go of my frustration, if I don't attach to it, and I am not vulnerable in not having that to attach to, there is "nothing" left. There is a "nothingness" left. What is left is You, egolessness, nothingness. This brought fear. Confronting your nothingness, embracing it, see this nothing as You, is scary. It very frightening to have "nothing" to attach to. This was my experience.
So what is the point of this post. To let you know, the ego is like pine sap. Realized or non realized, it is sticky. As I integrate I am confronted with this daily paradox. Realization doesn't solve one single problem yet, I can also say, it solves all of them. Paraphrasing a Zen saying "before realization I chop wood. after realization I chop wood". This is exactly true. Everything is a paradox.
So to this paradox, how to you explore or experience everything, by falling into nothing. It is in only from this space of nothingness that the flower of divinity can be fully explored. We are like caterpillars here when we are in our non-realized earthly form. The caterpillar cannot become the butterfly without fully letting go and embracing the unknown, the nothingness. Imagine if the caterpillar stayed attached to its current form because it thought it knew what the life of the butterfly would be?! Imagine what it would miss out on!! It could never really experience the butterfly, until it experienced the butterfly. Think about that. You can't experience it until you experience it. Any other idea of the experienced truth is not truth. Even my experienced truth is only mine. Think about this in your life. What are you keeping yourself from? What sap is there about what something will be that you haven't really been with? Be with it. Give up thinking you know and dive into knowing through experience.
This was my question this past weekend, my contemplation this morning in meditation. What I saw this morning was, our earthly forms can and will evolve into the divinity that we are after we let go into nothingness, after letting go into unknowing. We can only know through direct experience, like the caterpillar and butterfly. When we let go completely and see that the divinity we seek is not an egoic divinity but a true divinity, THE true divinity, we will fully find and experience it. When we see that the blessing of the gift of grace is grace's gift not ours to have or show, we will see and experience the gifts more fully and in a more realized way.
May you be blessed to see that all gifts of grace, are grace's gifts. Blessed to see that all things come from, and are left in, the nothingness. May you be blessed to have the courage to transform into the butterfly that you are. May you be blessed with the humility of knowing you do not know, and blessed with the courage to surrender to this. May you be blessed with the courage to let the void swallow you whole and spit you out fully transformed.