A Mystic's Journal Entries: February 26 - March 2, 2007 by Laurie Conrad.
Angels and Divine Love vs the Ego and Human love: A Mysticís Journal: February 26 - March 2, 2007.
Monday, February 26
An e-mail from my friend Marguerite: "Did you send me angels? When I woke up yesterday morn, I saw what I thought were two angels, as you describe, light as a cloud but about 3' tall and running lightly along my bed; then I thought, It must be the sun's reflection, but then one repeated on the other side of the bed.
It is true about smelling roses. It happens frequently when many holy people gather together to give Glory To God. I sometimes get this in my own home and frequently when I enter as a welcome home greeting."
Thursday, March 1
Last night in meditation class we began Paul Bruntonís volume, The Ego (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, Volume Six; Larson Publications). We study this volume almost every year in class because until we truly understand the nature of the ego, we cannot avoid its many traps.
Bruntonís definition of ego is all our perceptions, and all our thoughts - which then lead to emotion and action.
During class Trudy became aware of the supernatural fragrance of flowers; M. as well. I was aware of them earlier in the day, as I did errands with JF.. Jackie leaned over towards Trudy and said that she also experienced the scent of flowers; as in the past our physical location in the room determines whether we experience the supernatural fragrances. Often, if I wave my hand towards someone, the fragrance will move their way; this tells us that the fragrances are manifesting physically.
Trudy read: In analyzing ourselves we are helping to crush the ego. But this is true only if analysis is unbiased and if it is balanced by the Short Path attitudes. Otherwise there is excessive and morbid preoccupation with oneself, which suits the ego very well!
Chris asked if this analysis included psychoanalysis - and I said that I thought it did. The egoís true job is to allow the soul to perceive this physical earth reality; i.e. the ego is the vehicle for the soul while we walk on earth. No more no less. And since the egoís job is to allow us to perceive the world, we should try to keep it as healthy as possible, functioning as perfectly and as accurately as possible. Just as we would give our car checkups, the tires, the windshield wipers, the battery etc. Therefore, we decided that analysis in this quote meant self-analysis and could include psychotherapy. I mentioned that in other quotes Brunton says that self-analysis is essential on the Quest.
to crush the ego, in Bruntonís view, means to allow us to find the soul and the Higher Self. We must stop identifying with our thoughts and emotions if we are to experience the soul; we cannot truly stand before God if we are enslaved by our own thoughts. I also added that this crushing of the ego must be done within meditation, not in the usual waking state consciousness - otherwise it could be too shocking, too damaging. Often having our ego crushed by life only plunges us further into our own thoughts and emotions, i.e. back into the ego. Or can leave us egoless, without a sense of self - which is not the aim of the spiritual Quest. On the spiritual Path, the ego is slowly replaced, through prayer and meditations, with something better and stronger - the soul itself, the Divine Itself. In this sense, we could say that it is more a going beyond the ego, transcending it. Yet without this unbiased analysis, we could conceivably only strengthen our faults, self defend them. If we are to self-analyze, it should be with the deep intention to arrive at truth about ourselves, both our weaknesses and strengths.
and if it is balanced by the Short Path attitudes. This phrase, the Short Path attitudes, is Bruntonís own terminology. One aspect of the Short Path, for Brunton, means knowing that we are the soul - knowing that we are not our thoughts and emotions, not our personalities. The exercise I have found to be the most simple and helpful is to repeat the phrase "I am the soul" throughout the day, and especially in difficult times or situations. All our thoughts and emotions and perceptions are telling us that we are the physical body and that others are the physical body, that the material universe is true Reality; therefore to repeat "I am the soul" inwardly can antidote those thoughts and perceptions.
Otherwise there is excessive and morbid preoccupation with oneself, which suits the ego very well! We found this sentence fairly self-explanatory. The egoís main aim is to defend itself, to convince us that we are our thoughts and perceptions and not the soul. Nothing makes the ego happier than to have us fully entangled in and enslaved by our thoughts and emotions, i.e. fully identified with the personality. Thus enslaved we forget who we truly are, we forget that our true Self is a luminous being of Divine Light that is in some mysterious way directly connected to God.
Chris then read another quote by Brunton: We are told to control, restrain, or even banish the ego. But who or what in us is to do this work? And is the ego to banish itself?
We agreed that here Brunton was speaking of the process on the spiritual Path, the necessity of seeing our thoughts as merely thoughts, our emotions as merely emotions. But unless we also know that we are the soul, this detachment could set us backward on the spiritual Path. We also decided that these quotes of Bruntonís could not truly be understood by those who do not meditate. For the answer to Bruntonís question, And is the ego to banish itself?- is meditation, or deep prayer. The only safe and sure way to fully banish the ego is within meditation or contemplation or deep prayer - and God will do it for us.
J. then read a beautiful quote by Brunton: Where it is possible to undo the past, he will try to do so but where it is not he will remember the lessons but forget the episodes. This quote of Bruntonís was fairly self-explanatory. Chris said the thrust of the quote said that if we could not undo the past, then we should focus on the lessons of the past. Not blame ourselves or others, or further analyze the situation, save to find the lessons we were given. I then gave the class an exercise to try: I told them to close their eyes and image a past situation that was difficult or painful for them. Then they were to focus only on finding the lesson they had learned from the situation. I waited a minute or two and then asked if the exercise had helped. Some of the meditators said the exercise had helped, the situation had cleared itself. But others said it had not. Chris laughed and said the lesson was clear but she couldnít let go of the situation. Another said she still could not forgive herself; I asked her if she had asked for forgiveness during the exercise and she answered that she had not.
I told them to close their eyes and try again. This time, as they did the exercise, I said: "Imagine you are standing in a beam of Divine Light. Ask the Light for help and forgiveness." Then I added: " You are meditators, and one of the aims of meditation is thought control. Well, letís prove that you can control the mind." This time the exercise was successful for everyone. Most said the beam of Light had made the difference; T. said the comment about mind control had challenged her to control her thoughts, and she had succeeded. .
Friday, March 2
Today an e-mail from a friend: "Reciprocity is not something I think I've ever known within a relationship. I'm not convinced it's possible. So I really should relinquish any illusion about ever finding it. You're so right: I need to be very careful..... Standing in the higher Love is easy until a test like this gets introduced. A test like this, I'm sure, is a good context for me to practice standing in that higher Love and trusting it."
I wrote her back and began: "I think you said it very well. But: I think you are leaving something out in your thinking, something that is tripping you up. You have known reciprocity, and I know for a fact that you have. But you are leaving out that personal, human love is very up and down and paltry compared to the Love you feel in your meditations. That Love that you have developed through your meditations, that has been made tangible, more conscious - is the Higher Love, the soul's own Love. And if you have been fortunate, the grace of Godís own Love. Whether we consciously know it or not, we all are aware of the Higher Love, the Love that the soul itself radiates. And we cannot help but compare it to the love we feel from our fellow humans. The Love in the soul is abiding, never wavers. Human personalities cannot achieve that abiding Love - our thoughts and emotions interfere. The Divine Love is also so very strong, and all-encompassing. Personal, human love cannot achieve that depth or strength. Most often we humans are more prone to share the Higher Love with friends and with animals, our pets - rather than in a marriage or in our "love relationships", where we have needs and desires we want filled. The true relationship is soul to soul, where all needs are met, where Divine Light and Love are shared abidingly, eternally. Our love for another is really the Love of our own soul projected onto another being. In truth, when we deeply love another being, we are experiencing our own soulís Love. That is one reason we meditate: to find the soul and the abiding Divine Love that is within ourselves. If we do not understand all this - we can become angry or disappointed or even bitter towards our fellow humans, or towards someone who has hurt us. In my experience it is very necessary to always remember that the true relationship is soul to soul - not personality to personality. Personalities, including our own, can and will disappoint us. "