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Ego's Secret




About the Author

This article was written by Gwen Randall-Young. Gwen is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For more articles and information on her books and CDs go to www.gwen.ca.

Ego's Secret

People say "I want peace." If you remove I {ego}, and your want {desire}, you are left with peace.

-- Satya Sai Baba

There has been much talk about The Secret. It purports to be not just a secret, but the secret of the Universe. It is based on the law of attraction which says you will draw to you that upon which you focus. Think negative, scarcity kinds of thoughts and that is what you will attract. Think positive, abundance kind of thoughts, and that is what you will bring into your life.

There is a lot of emphasis on attracting financial wealth, and achieving whatever it is you want. This is very much an ego-based orientation, and the book/movie is doing so well because it feeds the ego of the masses.

In Growing Into Soul: The Next Step in Human Evolution, I have drawn upon the work of Jonas Salk and modern science to demonstrate that the ego-based life is counter-evolutionary, both in terms of the individual, and the life of the human species as a whole.

The ego thrives on personal gain, approval, winning, pride and validation. The problem is that this can lead to attachment, greed, feelings of superiority, manipulation, competition, control, co-dependency and struggle.

Our society is already driven by consumerism and competition. This has hindered, rather than furthered our individual and species evolution. We are a tribal species, and a successful tribe is one in which the individuals work together for the good of all. They help and look out for one another. If individuals in a tribe began to only focus on their own gain, the tribe would rapidly deteriorate, and the weaker ones would suffer. This is a little like a world in which some countries are steeped in the trappings of wealth, while others struggle only to survive-countries for whom the biggest luxury is clean water.

Ego looks at life in terms of "what can I get for me." It judges people and situations in terms of whether they feed or threaten ego. The ego-based life is therefore characterized by any or all of the following: a tense approach to life, self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, anger issues, addictions, blocked creativity, communication problems, conflict, relationship struggles, and it compromises physical or emotional health.

Soul, on the other hand, looks at people and situations from the perspective of understanding, compassion and acceptance. This leads to emotions and behaviors that are pro-evolutionary, such as unconditional loving, non-attachment, connectedness, independence, patience, allowing, openness, contentment and harmony.

This perspective leads to a life characterized by a relaxed approach, self-validation, balanced mood, elimination of anger reactions, release of addictive behaviors, healthy communication, increased creativity, effective problem resolution, healthy, satisfying relationships, financial responsibility, and physical and emotional vitality.

This is not to suggest we divest ourselves of all worldly possessions and go live in an ashram. Most of us do need to continue to function in this world. It is helpful to think of consciousness evolving along a continuum from ego-based living to soul-based living. The individual who functions closer to the ego end of the continuum creates pain and struggle in life, not only for himself, but for others. The one who functions closer to the soul end of the continuum creates balance and contentment.

We do not need to learn any secrets, for our soul possesses all the wisdom we need to create an authentic, inspired life. Our challenge is to remain centered in soul-knowing, despite invitations to abandon it. Being true to our souls, we may awaken the soul consciousness in others. That is precisely what we all came here to do for each other.

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