We are made up of different operating systems. An easy shorthand for them is the Hindu 7 Chakra System. The First chakra is basic physical survival – shelter, sustenance, money, love. The second is our basic emotions. The third is our individuation, and is the first one to have a polarity. At one end sits the Negative Ego, and at the other is the Small Still Voice; I’ll get back to this in a moment, but I’m going to get emails if I don’t finish listing out the operating systems. The heart is our point of connection, both within ourselves and with everything and everyone around us (our connection with the Divine actually sits in the upper part of this chakra, but we’ll stick with addressing the heart as a whole right now). The fifth chakra is how we put ourselves out in to the world, which includes our creativity. The sixth is our higher thoughts, our Divine Mind, if you will. And the seventh is about spiritual survival.
Ok, let’s go back to the third chakra. This has been our main operating system for the last 2000+ years, at least in the prevailing power structure of Abrahamic cultures.
In the beginning, there was the Divine, and there was nothing else. The Divine wanted to better understand Itself. The strongest form of learning is experiential learning. So It split parts of itself off to go experience the All That Is, so It could better understand Itself. Those parts further split Themselves into smaller parts, and those parts split Themselves, and so on.
This would only work if those Parts didn’t remember they were part of the All That Is. So we all agreed to forget, to buy into a shared illusion of separation. On some level, though, we all yearn to re-member who we are, to rejoin with those other parts of ourselves, to become whole once more. That level of re-membering is the flip side of the same operating system; the key sits with the lock, the antidote sits with the venom.
Since the negative ego did such a good job at keeping us alive back with the cats, that aspect of self is convinced that if it is not in charge, we are going to die. So whenever we embark on a path of growth or healing or re-empowerment, it get agitated and tried to distract us from that endeavor. It is strong enough that, if it can’t distract us through internal processes, it will manifest those fears outward and create chaos in our lives. Pipes burst, alternators stop working, children or critters act out and require our attention.
Because the negative ego is an operating system based on illusion, it’s a really good story teller. It catches our attention by talking about what ifs and what abouts and whys. I mean, what else is it going to do? There aren’t any more giant cats to protect us from! And it is the seat of our fears, so it is really good at catching our attention.
Let’s remember that the Small, Still Voice also sits in this operating system. Being that it is the part of ourselves who knows that we are part of the All That Is, it always tells us the truth, as a counterpoint to the Negative Ego, which is pretty much always lying to us. It will tell us how to access our power, if we can listen past the very loud Negative Ego, yelling and trying to distract us.
Why don’t we just figure out how to transcend the Negative Ego? Because it serves a purpose. In order for the bits of the Divine to be able to have all of the experiences, they also had to have Free Will. In order for Free Will to exist, there had to be actual choices. The easiest way to make that happen would be to have each being have a non-growth oriented impulse, a part of self that was actively not seeking the Divine. In order to re-member Who We Are, we would have to actively struggle against that part of ourselves. Another way to look at this: Some of you may have had the experience at some point of your life of hatching chickens. One of the key things in that process is to let the baby chick fight its own way out of its egg, otherwise it won’t be strong enough to survive. Your negative ego is that egg. Your negative ego is the resistance training of our soul, to strengthen you, to help you grow spiritually.
Just for today, any time you find yourself struggling, allow yourself to be in awareness that this struggle in internally generated and has nothing to do with anything outside yourself. Your negative ego has chosen this issue as your battleground for the moment, because it is something that can distract you from true forward motion. In naming your true opponent, the battle will frequently cease.
Realize, of course, that the negative ego will do its best to convince you that this is not the case. Stick to your guns and know that nothing outside of yourself is actually in opposition to you. In knowing that, the path of true growth will often become apparent. If there is no path of obvious growth, do something revolutionary. Do nothing.
This post is part of a new series called Monday Message, based on that day’s reflection from 365 Days to Enlightenment (authorized versions are currently out of print, working on a new edition). Check back next Monday for another one! You can also sign up for the Daily Message on my mailing list if you’d like to receive a new reflection every day. I also often post them to Instagram, if that’s a medium you enjoy.