Over the last few weeks, GD and I have been revisiting some of the early posts of this blog and marvelling at their crispness and insight. There were only a handful of readers then, today there are over 700 followers. So from time to time, I will repost some of these timeless posts for you to enjoy. Here’s one of my favorites…
A few weeks ago, I had an amazing phone call with my brother where he gave me his radical take on the ego. After the call, I wrote it down so that I could remember it. Every time I read it, a sense of silence blooms within.
FIXER OF POLARITIES
All our lives, we are trying to fix our bodies, thinking or circumstances. Some people spend their time trying to fix others. Not a day, an hour, a minute goes by when we are not involved in this activity in some form.
We get a jolt when we see that the fixer within us is itself the suffering – the desire to fix is itself the suffering.
The attempt is to fix ourselves at one polarity, and eliminate the other forever. Given the nature of polarities, this can never happen! The most powerful will be powerless in some situation, and the most intelligent person will be stupid in some situation; and the depth of the valley will be exactly proportionate to the height of the mountain.
Polarities always coexist in time and space. One may be very successful in work, and be unsuccessful at home. One may be successful now, and feel unsuccessful in the next moment. In fact, all successful people continue to feel at times like failures, just at the higher level of the success game.
Happiness/Sadness, Love/Hate, Insecurity/Security, Knowledge/Stupidity, Peace/Chaos, Anger/Compassion, Success/Failure, Balanced/Lopsided Life always maintain equilibrium. When we try to strengthen one pole, the other side is simultaneously gaining power – and waiting to emerge.
We give all our power to one polarity, and think we can destroy the other if this side becomes strong enough. So when the opposite polarity emerges, it is extremely uncomfortable and painful.
The nature of the mind is to believe that salvation is always in the other polarity. The superstar at his peak dreams of times when life is simple and ordinary, but when he feels he is losing his stardom, he fights to get it back.
When all attempts to fix fail, the fixer experiences a shift in the final polarity: “I can fix my life/it’s useless” and goes into a depression because nothing works. But in time, this polarity too changes and one goes back into fixing. That is how the game continues.
The fixer is the ego.
While reality here-now is always simple, kind and perfect, the ego perpetuates itself through crisis.
Ego not only creates the crisis, it is itself the crisis! In the absence of ego, there is no crisis.
Ego is the creator, the problem solver and the satisfied one at the end of the crisis. It plays all the roles.
Ego has a brilliant mechanism: “I and the cause of suffering are separate; and I will solve suffering permanently one day.” This keeps us from seeing the ego’s real nature as the crisis-creator.
Crisis gives a false sense of importance to a useless piece of equipment: the ego.
The ego is not a bad, evil thing. It is like a beautiful, faithful dog who has gone neurotic and is now barking at butterflies, the postman, and lamp-post. It is itself exhausted and is happy to dissolve.
The whole point of Surrender is to let go of trying to fix the polarities. The whole journey of Meditation is to transcend the polarities. The whole path of Wisdom is seeing the falseness of the one experiencing polarities.
Without awakening, one is always buffeted between desire and fear. We think we make choices in life, but actually our desires and fears choose.
Exploring this sense of “I” – the one who is experiencing the polarity – is a good place to begin. Where is this I? Is there a real miniature ‘you’ inside who gets angry or scared? Or is it just a picture and a sensation? Stay with it and it will reveal its secrets to you.