Category Archives: ego

Self-centered Metaphysics


Self-centered metaphysics is a contradiction in terms. It’s a curious and often unnoticed fact that most schools and teachings termed metaphysical, place the major emphasis on more or less mundane egocentric concerns:  awaken your psychic powers, get money, exercise influence, find love and romance, achieve personal enlightenment easily and quickly, and so on.  There is a wide spectrum of desire-appeal in these that ranges from the “metaphysics” of winning a lottery to subtler goals like general self-improvement and gaining knowledge.

Given the current nature of humans, such motivations and appeals are to be expected.  But they are not about metaphysics but “physics,” that is, the physics of bodies and their desires.  In the normal course of life, we do need metaphysics to awaken personal powers, get money, exercise influence, and find love.  With the exception of the last—and depending on what level of “love” we mean—these normal human goals are achievable without the confusion of redefining them as a spiritual path.   But in a curious way, selfish appeals and methods get wrapped up in various “spiritual” and “supernormal” packaging.  The seduction of that is that we can go on living an ordinary life while while entertaining the ego satisfying illusion that we are on a special spiritual path.

Goals like self-improvement, gaining knowledge, or getting clear of personality limitations can began to shade up toward something spiritual since they can support a healthy and more integrated personality.   And we need some measure of progressive normalcy before we can expect safe progress toward spiritual or supernormal.   Our practical pursuits are useful training and develop faculties in us that are a fitting prelude to spiritual progress, and moving toward the future our earthly abilities lend themselves to use on higher turns of the spiral of life.  But, as often happens, more or less egocentric concerns saturates the beginning, the middle, and the end of pseudo-metaphysical teachings.

We search for happiness, and real happiness is spiritual sunlight.  When approaching the spiritual, any desire emphasizing our egocentric concerns dims the light, and acts as a barrier separating us from the goal.  We achieve happiness not by grabbing for it, but as a byproduct of love, a radiant sun-like disposition and motivation.  For spiritual things, we achieve is by radiance.  But the ego in us is not radiant, not giving.  It is like a grasping hand, whereas the higher symbol is an open hand.  Spiritual receptivity is like this open hand held out to the sun.  If we try to grab the light, our hand closes on darkness. 

Instant Versus Painstaking Forgiveness


Some people approach forgiveness as a process, and given the unhappy sociology of most humans beings, many will need this method as a path of deliberate purification and release. Nevertheless, in a more fundamental sense, the concept of forgiveness is a concession to egotism.

An act of forgiveness in which we hesitate, in which we have to be persuaded to forgive, implies a certain failure on our part. In other words, what made us withhold forgiveness in the first place? To hold a picture of our self as in the place of one who is about to forgive means that, up to that point, we’ve been unforgiving. So, the slightest hesitation or consciousness of our self as dispensing forgiveness is, in a way, a sign of failure and a lack of full spontaneous love and self-realization. To learn to forgive is good, but to not need to learn is better. That is why I like the thought of “forgiving” a neighbors “sins,” so to speak, before they are committed. In an ideal state of uninterrupted love and forgiveness there would be no sense of separation, of “I” over here needing to forgive “you” over there. Love makes us a spiritual unity so there is no hesitation, and no sense that forgiveness is required because the emotion of being unforgiving never arises. Humanity is not there yet, but this realization would make the very concept of forgiveness obsolete.


Photo by Greg Westfall