So what about the slow dissolution of the ego? Is it a good thing or not? Should we let it go and seek a unity of spirit with the cosmos or nurture it and define ourselves fully as a an entity in this reality?
That's probably the big question for anyone. And everyone may have a different answer. Did you come into this life to be something particular so you could explore a state of being? Or did you come in to learn how to let it all go and become consciously aware of this reality, one eternal moment at a time?
As usual, it could be a little of both. You came in with a plan to explore a state of being that would lead you to a greater awareness or even a singular awareness that the mystics speak of in revered tones.
Or you could just be along for the ride, ready to help others on their paths.
"The Perfect Village" is the thought experiment I use to discuss concepts of reincarnation with someone who may have trouble with the idea but is genuinely interested in talking about it. It goes like this:
Imagine a perfect village, nestled in a forest with a picturesque town square surrounded by ancient buildings. Everyone lives and no one dies and all is well. Existence is fairly stable. One might even say eternal. But one day, a group of youngsters realizes that there are various roads that lead out of town and this causes quite a stir. Why are the roads there? Where do these roads lead? Have they always been there? What are they for?
The old-timers sitting under awnings at the edge of the square just shrug and smile and offer no information. Undeterred, the youngsters gather in the park and make a plans. Each will choose a road and they will travel down a ways and then return and report back to the others about what they find. So each ventures out and after a time they begin to return. And each has a different story. Some marvel at the wonders they saw while others speak of horrors and pain. Some paths were very short. Other paths were long and winding, with multiple forks so that decisions had to be made. Some left things undone before they had to return. Some didn't return at all.
The stories are exchanged and new ventures are planned since one heard tales of a path that she now wants to see for herself. Another wants to go back and finish what was started. Others ask for help from friends because the path was hard and they need help to finish the experience. Some wanted to go and find those that didn't return. Each has learned and discovered and grown from the experience and there is so much to explore that the idea of not going only occurs to a scant few.
So new paths are chosen and the young ones strike out again. And again.
And the old ones sit in the shade, shake their heads and smile, remembering the days when they used to pick a path.
It's an interesting way to present a very ancient idea. (I also like The Egg by Andy Weir as an idea engine to get the mind to relax around the idea of infinity.) A lot of times it leads to a discussion about which path you would have chosen in that situation. Would you have selected a dangerous path, a safe path, a path rife with decisions points? Or would could you have possible just gone along to help?
Personally, I think that's where I noticed a crack in the hard edge of my ego. My path may not be my path. I might just be here to meet someone one at some time to say or do something that's almost scripted so that a set of experiences happen that was agreed upon. Is that possible? And then what is the ego except the part you play?
Think about that. The ego is just the part you play.
So what happens when you toss out the script and improvise? Is that bad? Wasn't the Universe expecting you to hold up your end of the script?
Not necessarily. I think that it's possible to ditch the script, become aware and walk the path consciously. The ego is gone and the way is suddenly clear. Forks in the road become conscious choices as opposed to blind decisions spurred by a function of the ego. Bumps and potholes suddenly become opportunities to learn and grow. The path becomes golden, your experience more real.
The ego just defines the part. And now I'm curious about the actor playing the part. Can I even say that I know him?
Which brings us back to the slow dissolution of the ego. A gentle perusal of what lies beneath the veneer of a carefully (or perhaps not so carefully) defined role. I am not proposing radical changes. I just want to test the edges and see if I can live a bit more consciously and a little less driven.
Although, that alone could lead to some very interesting forks in the path.