We all desperately wish to have certain things in our life and yet there is a part of ourselves which resists that thing no matter how much we need it. We feel as though it is impossible to get some of these things which are nothing but basic needs. Love is one of those needs. Love is not just any kind of need, but one of the most basic needs of a human being. The mind desires, but the heart longs, and it longs for love. It longs to become one with another human being, but there seems to be a great difficulty. The hearts longings can be fulfilled, but unfortunately, the ego is something that always gets in the way.
I want to discuss a little about how the ego functions as a barrier in one of the most important areas of our life which is finding love.
I would like to discuss this topic in two parts. In the first part, I’ll talk about the ego and what exactly it is. In this way, it will become easier for you to understand the ways in which the ego blocks love out of our lives. Once you have understood this, then finding love will not be as difficult as you think – this I will talk about in the second part.
PART 1: UNDERSTANDING THE EGO
The Ego is Subtle:
A lot of us may think that it is very easy to detect the ego, but trust me; it is not as easy as you think. The reason is that the ego as what we understand it to be and the way it appears are two completely different things. The ego is very subtle. It tries to find every way to somehow show up without us being aware of it.
If the ego was not as subtle as it is, the world would not have been suffering as much as it is. The reason why people suffer is because of the subtle nature of the egoistic self. So what exactly is this ego and how do we identify it?
What is the Ego?
First of all, you need to understand that the ego appears in different forms depending on the situation in life you’re going through. Although, essentially, its core aim is to sabotage your life in every way possible.
A human being is divided against himself. The reason that life is so full of stress, anxiety, and anguish is because we are not one. There is a part of us that is continuously seeking growth, and then there is the other part which is trying to block this growth in every way possible. This part which is trying to block goodness in our life is what the ego is.
The problem is that we identify ourselves with that part which is trying to block goodness into our lives. We think that we are the egoistic self. That is why it then becomes very difficult to get rid of it. If you are convinced that your enemy is your friend, then no matter what anybody does to explain to you that your enemy is against you, you wouldn’t believe them.
All mystics have tried their best to help liberate mankind from the ego, but yet, we do not listen. The reason is that we have lived with the enemy for so long, that the enemy looks almost like a friend.
The Ego is the devil:
I do not believe in the existence of a God or Devil. In fact, I do not believe in anything at all. I either know a certain thing or I do not.
I was born in a Christian family and Christianity continuously emphasizes on how the devil tempts a person. Now if you take this literally, you will go insane because you will not find the devil anywhere. As far as my understanding goes, the devil that Christianity refers to is actually the ego which always tempts a man to do wrong.
Now, there is no such thing as right or wrong. Wrong simply means that action, which has been taken by listening to the ego. Similarly, right simply means that action, which has been taken by listening to one’s nature. This is the simplest explanation that I can give to you to help you understand the way in which the egoist functions.
Once you have understood this, there is no need to beat your head on the wall. Simply follow your nature, and the false self will automatically move aside. It all depends on your understanding.
PART 2: HOW THE EGO PREVENTS LOVE FROM COMING TO YOU
Now that you have a little bit of understanding of what the ego is, it will become easier for you to understand how it prevents love.
The Heart and the Ego:
The ego is always in conflict with the heart because the victory of the heart is the dissolution of the ego. Therefore, it tries in every way to protect itself. The other thing to understand is that the ego does not have any existence of its own. The ego is like darkness. Just as darkness disappears in the presence of light, similarly the ego disappears in presence of the heart.
It depends on what you’re giving more attention to. If you are centered in your heart, then the ego does not exist for you. If you are centered in the ego, the heart does not exist. So, ultimately, although the egoistic self does not have a reality, it still can appear to be just as real as the heart if all your attention is more focused on it as opposed to the heart.
The Heart is always the Boss:
A question may arise in your mind that if the heart is always the boss then why is it that the egoistic self always seems to win in most cases?
The problem is that the heart is not assertive. The ego, on the other hand, is very assertive. You must have heard a saying, “Empty vessels make more noise”. The ego is like the empty vessel. The heart, on the other hand, is full.
Always remember that the truth never tries to prove itself in any way because it already knows itself. It is always the wrong that tries to prove itself. The non-existent always tries to prove its existence. The existent is already exists, so what is the need for proof?
Always remember that in life, love is always just around the corner. The heart always pulls the beloved towards itself. Just as the nectar of a flower attracts the bees, so does the fragrance of love brings forth the beloved. Attracting love in your life is as simple as getting rid of your false egoistic self.
A simple understanding of how this ego works is enough for you to let go of it without any struggle. The reason you are struggling with the ego is because you do not understand its functioning.
Once you have understood its functioning, you immediately become centered at the heart. Once you are centered at the heart, you will find that the beloved was always there.
How can the beloved be far away? It is impossible. Always remember that in life, nothing is ever found because to find something, you need to run from one place to another, constantly seeking and in tension.
To run simply shows that the thing you are searching for is separate from you. Nothing in life is ever separate. Oneness is the nature of life. To come in union with this oneness is what love is.