So many times we here the saying “I am awake” as a way to refer to us as more illuminated, saintly, holy; but do we really know what it is that we are saying? or have we; like many so called masters; fallen pray to the spiritual ego and the false idea of dissolving the ego….
In reality, the word Ego really encompasses two aspects: Healthy or True Self and false ego or false self. Most practices that seek to dissolve the ego, often teach negation of self as a way to connect with everyone or be one with the all, but is this accurate?…
In Sacred Tantra, to live without an ego is to be like the person who chooses to undertake the hiking of mount Everest without water, food, or proper clothing or supplies….in other words, a foolish attempt; for the healthy ego is what helps us navigate this world. The old battle of intellect vs spirituality to awaken, is really a misunderstanding of concepts, but that is something I will write about at another time.
So why does Sacred Tantra focuses so much on honoring your uniqueness as a path to the awakening or expansion of consciousness? for we never really “arrive”…it is a constant journey. What does authenticity mean to Tantra?…Uniqueness is authenticity which means to be true to yourself, to your essence while honoring your life path’s commitments, which help build strength of the soul– Such commitments are a promise to your essence; as such, the commitments we all carry within are different and unique to each individual–what may seem duty or sacrifice to one, may be the chosen commitment of another’s essence–for Tantra does not believe in duty, only in freedom while honoring your unique self.
But which self?: the limited body-mind-ego self that reacts only according to its conditioning and subconscious patterns? (false ego) Or your real self–that space of infinite freedom and awareness? which does not negate the mind or body but unifies all aspects of self with spirit (healthy ego).
Following the path of the true self might be difficult for many; for although so many people claim to be free, their freedom often reduces itself to limited concepts guided by dogma, conditioning or programming, and these vary according to culture–freedom of self to a Tantrik trespasses all of these. One can be in the world, true to whatever your essence needs and yet be a free spirit. But to start embracing the spirit requires the commitment to express your uniqueness; without rigidness or self destruction, and without caring how the world perceives you; not from a place of higher than, hate or resentment, but simply because protecting your uniqueness is what matters to you the most…in doing so, you protect your divinity.
We all have to start where we are….this means accepting, loving and honoring yourself as you are now–none of this punishing your soul or body because you were born “sinner” or because of your healthy desires. It won’t help you or anyone else to pretend to be you are like everyone else or to deny your likes, needs, dreams, fears, pains, etc.–you can’t make progress like this. “If you don’t acknowledge your own wholeness (light and shadow) you can end up with a kind of split personality or “spiritual ego”, where one deludes self of being holy or that all that matters is “light”. As such, on the outside everything seems so enlightened and beautiful, while on the inside… not so much (false diplomacy, hatred, hypocrisy, resentment, bitterness, false forgiveness…they are all the result of repressing or condemning our own darkness or shadow–for in doing so, we are simply condemning ourselves.
Sacred Tantra, does not believe in inorganic processes; as such running away from our darkness and thinking that by doing so we are healing, or renouncing to self (dissolution of ego), or claiming to forgive without having worked through the emotions, all lead to a split from the real spirit, into a false self–and this false self is even more dangerous and damaging to us, for it truly believes its own delusions.
I already explained the danger of annihilating the healthy ego; now let me elaborate the danger of false forgiveness or running away from self….in doing so, people often end up lowering their head to anyone they see as higher and more illuminated, while expecting others they see as lower or who know less, to lower their head to them–why? because of repressed emotions. In tantra we say “before we can call a path (any path) or practice “authentic” or illuminated, we should look at its source and its goal”–this isn’t to say that everything old is good and everything new is bad–after all, the most venerable ancient lineages were new once upon a time….it simply means: If it is asking you to dissolve the ego, negate the body and to have zero attachment instead of detachment, then perhaps it is best to reevaluate.
Does the above Sacred Tantrik Wisdom contradict Gnostics, Christ, Krishna or Buddha? Absolutely not–perhaps in knowing how much their teachings would be twisted or misinterpreted so as to control the masses, is why the following words were spoken “those who have ears hear” or “…because seeing they see not. Hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”
If you deny your own darkness, you won’t ever experience light other than in your mind (fantasy)–even worst, the more you feed that fantasy, the more your shadow turns destructive and the less light you carry. Both light and shadow live within, both are needed, and only in integrating them, can one start to become illuminated…for illumination was never meant to be light. Light at its Latin origin is Lux–and lux was never to represent “Illuminatio” (illumination)–lux like the shadow, can be equated; more or less; to tools we can use to liberate the spirit…..neither is a state of being. illuminatio was to represent the internal and external radiance of the free spirit–the harmonical unity of mind, body and soul. This major mix up, is what happens when one tries to take concepts which require intellect and self experience, and reduce them into something the mind can grasp without needing to do any of the work–only to negate or to accept without questioning. In doing this, we lose the sacred paradox, the dance of samsara and nirvana–brokenness and wholeness– that when woven together form the fabric of reality itself.
Imperfection is a fact, we can’t keep running away from it or telling ourselves that gurus, prophets and others were perfect–for the very fabric of life is perfectly imperfect–let’s come down to earth a bit and actually look at those guides as exactly that… guides. When we look at their lives that way, we find many imperfections and that did not make their teachings less valid…on the contrary their beauty lies in their ease at being in peace with their perfectly imperfect selves.
There is a sacred order within chaos, which leads to the expansion of the divine within, and which can only be appreciated when we dare to look at both sides of life– perfection lies within the seemingly imperfect. The form is absolutely perfect at all times, a manifestation of that essence which is beyond good or bad, beyond time and beyond any need to improve itself. So why so much self flagellation? Why so much desire to look at ourselves as mere ants? or on the other hand, why so much desire to inflate our false ego?–you can never compare yourself to someone else, and that is more than ok– it is beautiful, for your essence is so unique that no one can ever duplicate it…which means no matter how many billions of people may act like you, there is only one you….perfectly imperfect beautiful you!
**By Sofia Falcone