Lisa of Mommy Mystic does a fabulous interview with Karen Miller. Karen suggests that the ego’s deft ability to fool ourselves is a good reason to seek out a teacher. A good teacher can keep us honest.
It’s an excellent point.
But many of us do not resonate with spiritual traditions or gurus. There is a great deal of wisdom in the traditions of Advaita, Yoga, Zen, Dogzchen, Tao, Buddhism, Gnostics, Kaballah, Sufism and others, but I don’t lean towards ashrams and gurus and traditions, possibly because I know it would be an egoic trap for me. I’m open to it all but don’t follow any particular thing. I’ve known what Leonard Jacobson calls “spiritualized” egos, and so perhaps I am particularly sensitive.
And, finding a teacher is tricky.
And yet, no matter how ‘advanced’ we think we are, it is helpful to have someone call out our egoic traps.
My solution to this is to bounce things off friends. Develop honest friendships with other seekers and learn to bare ourselves, and allow
the hard criticisms. It isn’t easy to say or hear that you are resisting, or you really need to look at this silly thing you’re doing, or I feel lost or tired.
It has also been helpful to me to remember the Buddhist saying that whenever I am offended by something in someone, it is because I fear the same thing in myself. If I can spot it, I got it. This sort of feelings frequently points to resistance.
Tuning into the Silence. Letting go. Allowing, loving, and being patient. Relying on people around me. And a gentle honesty.
It has to be gentle, or the ego can co-opt even the intention to be authentic. I write here very honestly about my experiences with depression, anxiety, addictions, spiritual depression, and the times I am stuck. It is for anyone to read. Even employers. Hello employer!
But I am also aware that even now I may be fooling myself.
A gentle honesty. It’s like a Chinese finger trap. You can’t pull too hard.