*Bleep!*-ing for virginity
Without her constant interpretations, chastisements, critiques, and general haranguing, it's gotten so much quieter in my head. And something else: the angry mob from the past/future I like to call the Peanut Gallery are starting to show signs of disorganization. Without their fearless leader egging them on, they don't seem to care that much to hang around.
So now that things are quieter, I just watch my ego.....it's a full time job.
I'm a cat watching for a mouse. It doesn't take long until -- aha! -- I see the tell-tale signs of prey. The obvious sadness or anger rarely rear their heads lately, but all kinds of other vermin still lurk. A thought of annoyance, a shade of regret, a feeling of being hurried or impatient, a compulsion to need to speak while the other is talking, the familiar attack called "competitiveness" in all its ugly shades (like imagining I have a clue what someone else should or should not be doing), and the old unfriendly visitor...self doubt.
Hunting in such fertile ground, this cat is never hungry or bored.
Yes, there's a weird sense of fun about it all. I've stopped hating the ego which has made all the difference. I don't like the ego, but I don't make it a big deal. Before I was still trying to improve my life. I knew it was "bad" to be in ego and not conducive to "a good life," so I would see it in myself and then beat myself severely as punishment. In between sessions of self-punishment, I would invest myself in terribly unhelpful (albeit understandable, considering the consequences) practices. I would a) look with my eyes half closed, b) focus outwards on the world and what everyone in it was doing "out there", and c) try to cover the whole mess up with denial.
In other words, I was having an ordinary human experience, the kind most "good intentions" bring us.
Hating the ego is like f-*bleep!*-ing for virginity. Or put another way, your motivation for waking up from the ego can also be the thing that keeps you from doing so, if you aren't careful. Knowing the stinking ugliness of it all is helpful to propel me into action, but if I stay thinking about its ugliness, I might accidentally become an evangelist, not a mystic. There's a difference.
I think it's best to take the whole thing lightly. But first you have to take yourself lightly, and you might have to give up on making your life a big deal. That might be the hardest step, but then you are on a roll...and it's all downhill.