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“The three basic properties of ego are
1. To not to stay in the present moment
2. To judge or criticize
3. To oppose or resist . And these inherent properties of ego are responsible for all the negativity. Let us discuss some of the negative states and how is ego responsible for causing them.
1. Anxiety: Anxiety results from all the three properties. The moment we miss the present moment and start thinking about future, we suffer from anxiety. Although we cannot alter anything about the future by thinking about it, but we can certainly create suffering for ourselves. We also create anxiety by judging or criticizing the situation as we want everything to happen the way we want. We want people to act according to our expectation. If it doesn’t happen the way we want, we get anxious. And our want and expectation are simply the ego’s demand and not of the being. Being doesn’t desire anything and is in alignment with ‘whatever happens’. While ego classified everything into good or bad, black or white according to its own conditioning. However life is never entirely white or black, it always presents us with shades.
And instead of judging and labelling, if we simply observe and understand every shade, life would be anxiety free. There would be no choice left and whatever happens is accepted. However, only our self, our being can be choice less and not our ego. Ego expects everything according to its own laid down criteria while being accepts whatever is offered by the life. Anxiety also occurs when we oppose something that has already happened, by our refusal to accept the reality. I would have been suffering more than what I am going through now because of AIDS if I wouldn’t have accepted the reality. If we can’t undo anything, if we can’t change anything about the situation, if we can’t run away from it, isn’t the best option to accept it after understanding that our misery would only increase if we don’t accept. Acceptance is always more powerful act than resistance. It needs immense determination, resolve, decisiveness and courage to accept while to resist is most normal thing to do.
We are conditioned to resist, it’s a default setting. I am not saying that we should surrender and don’t accept and fight challenges. We should do that but only after totally accepting the reality. Then we won’t be anxious and would be fighting our battles without caring for the outcome. And if we won’t be anxious, chances are that we win because we would be totally into it without leaving any space for doubts. If we do any work with full dedication without caring about the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, about the results, about what other people will think, what would be the gain or loss...with no anxiety of any sorts, work itself becomes the result. When we stay in present, accept the reality and don’t judge, we are actually meditating.
Meditation is not necessarily sitting in a remote corner of house, or in a camp or in a forest; meditation is when you are ONE, when you are integrated, when your mind is not flying in all directions, when you totally surrender yourself to the moment. It’s the way of life, it’s not something extraordinary, and it doesn’t require any effort. It’s simply our state when we are totally in the moment, not lost in past or future. In fact, any act is a meditation if done with absolute commitment and in oneness. And to not to be anxious and not to worry is always our choice. Once we live through our centre of our being, we always have choice. Choice is lost when we live through our ego. Then mind chooses, you don’t ...you simply follow mind like a servant.
To have a centre means to have power to choose. I can have hundred kinds of anxiety about my health, my treatment, my living conditions, and my future but I choose to simply flow with the current of life. I live so totally in the moment that there is no space left for past or future and hence there is no anxiety.”
2. Depression “Depression is the sign that we are not present instead we are living in the past. The memories of past, good or bad depress us because bad memories depress us by default but good memories also have the potential to make us feel depressed as we don’t want to let go of those, we miss them. Something what we have expected to happen in certain way have not happened that way or we haven’t got the expected result or reward from some work leads to depression. Attachment to person, thing or situation is root the cause of depression as losing them amounts to losing a part of our self in ego based existence.
We feel as if we have been lessened in some way, diminished in our perceived stature or feel hollowness...emptiness in our falsely projected self. However attachment is the inherent property of our mind and not of our being. Our unending desires lead to depression. When we live through our ego, no amounts of materialistic pleasures bring satisfaction. It’s like a bottomless bucket, you go on filling it but it goes on emptying as fast. Desires can never be fulfilled; hence we are programmed to suffer depression if we live through our ego. Depression is a symptom, not the disease. The disease is our ego.” “But depression can be treated. As a doctor, I must tell you that science has made vast progress and problems like anxiety and depression can be treated with medicine.” I interrupted Arvind after long time.
~To be continued