Going down the stairs this morning in the early dawn when it was still dark inside the house, I was joyfully contemplating in my head the future results of what I have done all these last few years to keep this little place, ‘Repos’, worthy of its name, and to keep it existing at all too, when there were so many problems threatening its very physical existence: ‘Now the Community Kitchen will be nice and welcoming again, Aurovilians and Guests will be happy to come…’
As I kept going down in the dark, one more passing thought said: ‘ And how great it will be to be thanked and admired by Auroville for having saved that place…’ and instantly I missed a step and blam! I found myself suddenly landing on the floor, still standing but thrown stumbling against the piece of furniture in front of the stairs, which stopped my further fall with much noise as whatever was on top of it was brutally scattered down. I scrambled back to my feet in the darkness: no ankle sprained from missing the step, only my left shoulder and arm hurting, their muscles bruised from the shock on them.
It had all happened so fast I didn’t have time to be scared, and as usual my body had remained limp and passive, letting itself fall without the normal stiffening from fear, so I didn’t get really hurt at all, a few moments later even the little pain in the arm had already vanished… but within myself I knew why this near accident had happened, and I was looking my ego straight in the eye with no complacency: it was so obviously its sudden acting up that had at once destroyed the automatic protection and harmony in me and around me, with the instantaneous result of my missing a step and almost having a serious accident.
I thanked the Divine Grace inwardly, both for still having protected me from harsh consequences, and also for having given me that very much needed lesson as a warning, directly through this incident: in the present time of accelerated evolution, it is like that, no lapse is possible any more without getting the immediate effects of it.
‘It is really time for us human beings to become, as the Mother put it, “A race without ego”…’, I thought, with renewed determination to achieve just that.
Having reached at last my tiny ‘Research Office’ and sat at my desk, I checked my email as originally intended (it is in these very early hours that the internet connection, like my brain, works best…!) and found a new post from Mark Williams’ blog (‘The Mirror of Truth’):
‘Life Without a Script’
To watch is not to control,
Influence is not pulling back one hand-
With the other,
But watching the strivings
Of the man you thought you were,
Till they cease,
Then watching on in wonder-
At what comes next;
Life without a script
And no starring character.
There it was. The exact lesson I had just been reminded about also by this physical incident: ‘No starring character’.
It is our ego which makes us want to be the ‘starring character’ – or on the contrary hide away for fear of being unappreciated or ridiculous.
The ego in each of us has been absolutely useful, indispensable even, for our outer process of individualization, lifetime after lifetime, and the individuality that has formed as a result must be kept, not erased as some spiritual people have thought and taught; but the ego cannot remain as such: it must melt into our true Inner Self, the deep and eternal Center of our being, strong enough by now to take up its full role in our life – and then only shall we start living fully.
All the usual reactions in us coming again and again from our ego will every time shrink us back into our puny or puffed up or aggrandized little self, preoccupied primarily by itself, its own survival, its own satisfaction and its own importance, in its own eyes as well as in the eyes of others.
Having still a strong ego doesn’t necessarily mean to be egoistic or to beat other people up, or anything like that; one has a strong ego as long as one feels the need to be remarked, praised, flattered, and is especially happy and proud whenever that does happen; or as long as one feels bad, angry and resentful whenever the contrary happens. How difficult it is to care always only for the appreciation from the Divine!
However useful and beautiful the deeds in themselves, if we do them with lurking inside of us the wish to be admired and praised, we might be good people indeed, but still people with an ego, and that will not do for what that transformed race of the future must be.
So we are on our way, and the only thing to do is to go on, without discouragement and above all without shame, for that too is of the ego, and so, far from helping us, it hinders us all the more!…
To laugh softly about ourselves might be the best antidote to the ego’s tendency to take itself too seriously…