Daily Riches: When Ego Is Celebrated (David Benner, Parker Palmer and Sogyal Rinpoche)

“Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of the ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet.” Sogyal Rinpoche

“Ego is a usurper. We are neither the center of the universe nor should ego be the center of our being. At some deep level of spirit we know that we were meant to live in alignment with forces transcendent to our self. We long to be able to put our trust in someone or something greater than us. To refuse to find our place in relation to that which transcends the ego is to be lost within the illusion of being in control. To not become free in relation to something or someone beyond self is to become un-free in relation to tyrannizing powers within self.” David G. Benner

“I believe [in], what Thomas Merton calls ‘true self.’ This is not the ego self that wants to inflate us (or deflate us, another from of self-distortion), not the intellectual self that wants to hover above the mess of life in clear but ungrounded ideas, not the ethical self that wants to live by some abstract moral code. It is the self-planted in us by the God who made us in God’s own image–the self that wants nothing more, or less, than for us to be who we were created to be… True self is true friend. One ignores or rejects such friendship only at one’s peril.” Parker Palmer

“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’”
Isaiah 14:13,14

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think of someone you know with an oversized ego. Can you sense the danger?
  • Are you in touch with “the self-planted in you by the God who made you in God’s own image?” If not, can you ask God for help with that?
  • In what ways are you “living in alignment” with the transcendent One who created you, rather than “refusing to find your place” and insisting on control?

Abba, I want only to be who you created me to be. No more and no less.

For more: Care of the Soul by David Benner

________________________

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

Daily Riches: Loving the One In Pain (Parker Palmer and Heidi Hewett)

“One of the hardest things we must do sometimes is to be present to another person’s pain without trying to ‘fix’ it, to simply stand respectfully at the edge of that person’s mystery and misery. Standing there, we feel useless and powerless, which is exactly how a depressed person feels–and our unconscious need as Job’s comforters is to reassure ourselves that we are not like the sad soul before us. In an effort to avoid those feelings, I give advice, which sets me, not you, free.” Parker Palmer

“When we hold space for one another, we are fully present to the other’s pain–to their mystery and misery. We are not trying to rush in to fill the circle of discomfort a friend or acquaintance feels, but instead we are fully present in the moment and in the sharing. We are witnesses to human experience. Holding space goes so much farther than offering words of advice. Our silence is the act of holding someone up, without words. Silence in this context is beautiful and non-judgmental, and it goes so much farther in offering comfort than our words could ever hope to offer. Holding space is such a hard practice at first, because it is in our nature to want to rush into the center of the hurt and to do something about it. What if we didn’t rush so much? What if we listened and sat and held our friends close with our hearts? How would this revolutionize our relationships? I have a suspicion that we would be more apt to listen and to be fully present in the moment–and this may make all the difference in the world!” Heidi Hewett

When Job’s three friends … heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:11-13

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you ever experienced “holding someone up without words”, not trying to “fill the circle of discomfort” with your opinions and advice?
  • We’re usually very hard on Job’s friends, often forgetting that they started by sitting in silence with Job for “seven days and seven nights!” Have you ever done anything like that? had anyone do it for you?
  • Have you regretted later the words of comfort you offered someone? What could you have done differently?

Abba, when I’m feeling useless and powerless to help another, when unconsciously I want to separate myself from my suffering friend with fear-based words, help me to choose silence, abiding in the sacred space of our mutual powerlessness, enduring discomfort, looking to you, powerfully offering love.

__________

For More: Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

_________________________________________________

Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)