Starting on the inside.
By Andres Aguila
One of the cornerstones to truly living a spiritual life is the art of humility. This essential element in the journey of the heart seems to have an arsenal of attack aimed and firing against it at all times. I have seen in my life how easily it has been to slip into patterns of pride and arrogance even when I have been consciously seeking to live on the humble road.
In a discussion about the pitfalls of the ego, including the seemingly polar opposites of arrogance and insecurity, someone recently asked “But do you think that the ego is all bad, or are there parts of it that are necessary?” First of all, let me clarify, I do not have any concrete answers to that or almost any other question, I simply draw upon my own experiences and the studies of others’ experiences to formulate my thoughts and beliefs. That said, perhaps we need at least one more word to help divide the concept commonly referred to as the “ego.” For the sake of discussion, lets just say that for the remainder of the physical life on this Earth as we now know it, there are traits of the “ego” that are negative, and there are individual characteristics that help define individual existences of the spirit. We call each of these individual existences a “person.” I am not trying to be too ethereal or spacey about the subject, I simply wish to expand the language a bit for a bit of clarity as to what we are referring to when using certain terms.
Each person then has a personality, which gives some definition to that individual, such as “funny, mellow, high strung, artistic, etc.” Ultimately these traits do separate individuals from one another and group individuals into categories with others in the sense that one may be naturally artistic and one may be more mechanically minded; or one naturally playful and another more serious; and so on. These individual traits, ultimately, make up the whole of a beautiful garden of souls called the human race. As in a flower or vegetable garden, each plant adds to the beauty and utility of the garden, and together they are one.
So, what seems to be the problem with the human garden? It appears that there is something in the ego, or the separateness of humans, which drives wedges between people and fosters an unhealthy separation. Let’s then call these traits the “negative” traits of the ego. The negative traits of the ego would be things like arrogance, insecurity, greed, lust, selfishness (not to be confused with healthy self-love), etc. These behaviors separate people in ways that are not beneficial to building a united human race and do not promote the expansion of true love. Many of these negative “fruits” are perpetuated and driven by judgment and condemnation of individuals and people groups, which have led to countless murders and all out wars.
What then is the answer?
Humility – the act of being humble. True humility means placing ourselves on level ground with others. It includes letting go of judgments of others, accepting others even though they have faults and have committed all sorts of sins. It includes realizing that we are all students in this life, we are all here to learn to love, and that none of us have found all the answers or perfected the human experience.
Practically speaking, for me, I have found that it is imperative for me to constantly expose the negative traits of ego in my behaviors or thoughts. I also have chosen to surround myself with people who will hold me accountable for my actions, and will tell me and call me out if I am acting in arrogance or selfishness.
The answer to world peace then…each of us look within and take action right now.
Who are you? What is your dream? What are you going to do about it?
Andres and his wife, Zahrah facilitate internships, empowerment counseling, and natural healing on a beautiful organic farm in Costa Rica. For more information about Awakening Soul; the vision of living in community; and for free downloads of Awakening Soul music, books, and other articles, visit:
www.Awakening-Soul.org also find us on facebook email - 1AwakeningSoul@gmail.com_