1/01/2015

The Ego/Self Hates Change More Than Anything

We need to deeply realize how limited, helpless, and powerless we are to truly change or to be truly changed, even after we may have been sincere Christians for decades. From Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Chap. 1: Powerlessness), Richard Rohr, priest and author, nails it when he writes about our frail and fragile humanity that is being constantly dictated and ruled by our ego, even as Christians. The ego hunkers down and becomes even more (self-)deceptive when we experience any degree of growth or success in the church, or as a Christian.

Until you bottom out, and come to the limits of your own fuel supply, there is no reason for you to switch to a higher octane of fuel.

Self-made people, and all heroic spiritualities, will try to manufacture an even stronger self by will power and determination---to put them back in charge and seeming control. ...not realizing the unbending, sometimes proud and eventually rigid personality that will be the long-term result. They will then need to continue in this pattern of self-created success and defenses. This does not normally create loving people, but just people in control and in ever deeper need of control.

...many Christians whittle down the great Gospel to some moral issue over which they can feel totally triumphant and superior, and which usually asks nothing of them personally. The ego always insists on moral high ground, as Paul brilliantly puts it (Rom 7:11,13). (Often) the ego is still in charge, and it just wears different disguises.

It is the imperial ego that has to go, and only powerlessness can do the job correctly. Otherwise, we try to engineer our own transformation by our own rules and by our own power, which is by definition, not transformation! If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better disguised ego! Einstein frequently said in a different way: No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that caused the problem in the first place.

An ego response is always an inadequate or even wrong response to the moment. It will not deepen or broaden life, love, or inner laughter. Your ego self is always attached to mere externals... The ego defines itself by its attachments and revulsions. The soul does not attach nor does it hate; it desires and loves and lets go. Please think about that, it can change your very notion of religion.

What the ego hates more than anything else in the world is to change---even when the present situation is not working or is horrible. Instead, we do more and more of what does not work, as many others have rightly said...about all of us. As English poet W.H. Auden put it: "We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the present and let our illusions die."