A large amount of stress suddenly came over me this morning. I was planning on signing up for one or two classes at the local community college here in Charlotte, which I would attend during the 2006 spring semester. I of course procrastinated heavily, something I tended to quite often, and didn’t start looking for classes and registering until the beginning of this week. I was hoping to take some sort of philosophy or religions course but as I scanned through the schedule of classes I found that any thing of any interest to me was full. I then started looking at the biology courses and found Introduction to Human Biology. It looked like a good course to get my feet wet with biology again and see how the water felt nowadays. I registered myself as a student and signed up for the class.
The tuition page then popped up and apparently I owed the school $700 to take one class. This obviously wasn’t correct but I shrugged it off at the time being as the web site told me I had a couple days to pay. This morning a tried to figure out what was going on and I discovered that my residency was undetermined so they were charging me out-of-state tuition. As I was making phone calls and browsing the web site for answers, I then discovered that the class I signed up for was all the way across town. The 45 minute commute just isn’t worth it for one class so I’m not sure if I will be dipping my feet in any biology water this semester.
All of these shenanigans were beginning to get to me and I could feel my spiritual presence dwindling and my chaotic emotional storage unit opening up to the surface. I have recently been reading the latest book from Eckhart Tolle called “A New Earth” and it has been helping me tremendously. The book goes into depth concerning why most humans suffer and where this needless suffering stems from. Eckhart discusses the ego, a false identity we create for ourselves, and something called the pain body, which is a storage of negative emotion created from past events that we carry around with us during our daily lives. The pain body usually emerges when things go wrong and when this emergence occurs we have a strong desire to fill it with more negativity. When my pain body is let loose, it usually comes in the form of bitterness and resentment. The bitterness mostly comes from the fact that I’m paralyzed and resentment commonly emerges towards my parents stemming from all the past conflicts we have had.
Understanding why I am suffering and where these seemingly uncontrollable emotions are coming from has increased my awareness of my overall state and has increased my power to control unwanted emotions. The simplest way to remove a situation where emotions have gotten out of hand, is to increase your presence of being. When I’m feeling attacked by someone in an aggressive manner because they have challenged possibly an opinion I have on something, I first step outside of the emotions that are building up. I then understand that I’m feeling threatened because someone is attacking my idea of who I am, an identity I have created. Then the realization comes that it is not I who am offended, but it is my ego or my false identity. The true state of I, my inner state of being is still there residing blissfully and content. After this realization occurs I hopefully return to a state of spiritual presence where I’m no longer attached to the defendant ego but absorbed within my true state of being.
This morning was a little bit more difficult. In this morning’s case my life’s events were not going according to plan and this was causing a buildup of negative emotion. The more I tried to fix what seemed to be the catalyst of the negativity, the more the emotion built up because the situation could not be fixed as easily as I would hope. Suddenly the pain body was in full effect and at the time was controlling me. When the pain body has been activated, a person is very susceptible to aggravation and even the smallest things will trigger more negativity to feed the pain body. The ego is dying to get out.
In my case this morning, in the middle of my stress a comment was made concerning what I should be doing in my daily life for healing. Now resentment was bubbling to the surface as my ego’s fuse was ignited and was ready to fight back and win the battle of the identity. Angry thoughts fired through my head. “How do you know what I should be doing!? You think you know everything! You’re not in my shoes, what do you know?!”
Only in response to the anger on my face, more comments were made, each one pushing just the right buttons. The ego thrives off of such interactions and I knew that if I tried to defend my hurt ego it would only cause the eruption of more ego on both sides of the front. Ego fuels the ego in one’s own self and others. So I left the situation and the ego was left to defend itself in presence, an environment which chokes the ego into submission. Then to no suprise, the pain and the stress of the morning’s events fizzled out as well.
I don’t have all the answers and I never will. The books I read are not the truth, they only point me towards the truth. The religions we follow are not the truth either, they also simply point towards the truth. I starve for some sort of foundation of belief. Something I know to be the ultimate word to follow and I can have complete faith in these laws of guidance. But whenever I seem to attach myself to a certain ideal or philosophy, some other viewpoint gets thrown my way and shakes the ground of whatever I have attached to. I seem to get offended when people say, “why don’t you do it this way”, and if their way contradicts my way than I tend to get angry, flustered and confused. I don’t have all the answers and no one else does either, therefore I need to be open-minded to all while being aware that nothing is absolute and it is okay when my foundation’s get shaken. It’s OK to be confused and to not understand. When someone comes across in a conflicting manner as having all the answers and knowing their way as the truth, I need not be offended but realize that it is simply their ego, their false sense of self attached to an ideal, and I will not let their ego unveil mine. Instead I will exude presence which dissolves my ego and in turn dissolves all ignited ego’s around me. Without ego I’m also then free to openly digest their comments without feeling accused or attacked.
In presence the true state of being is revealed. A state of being where the true self expands and overcomes the senses. This self cannot be offended and knows nothing of conflict, for the true self’s identity is rooted in God whose presence is the only ultimate truth.