04/10/2017 at 9:28 am #5379
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
Question to Menas Kafatos:
I have heard Deepak and other sages say the “reality” we have created as humans is really an illusion of the mind. Why, then, would we create such discord and dysfunction in our present reality (as opposed to the eternal “now”)? I know that part of this is the ego mind, but if the I AM, or God, or whatever one calls the ultimate source created everything to be perfect in every moment, why create ego–or is EGO merely a human construct that veils us from seeing ultimate reality–which is US?
This feels a little like a Zen koan–a riddle that has no answer.
It is like a Zen koan! The ego is real from the point of view of the ego. Yet, at death, the ego vanishes, no? So it is not eternal. The ego is an illusion like the appearance of water on top of hot desert. But to a thirsty man in the desert it appears as real. Yet, one cannot find it! This is what we should ponder, how real is the ego? How real are its desires?
04/10/2017 at 7:00 pm #5401
Thank you for this great response @menask. So ego is not real but appears real because…we believe it to be so? Begging the question, do we NEED our egos (and if yes, is their primary evolutionary function to keep us safe from animal and human predators)? And to your second question (asking a question to answer a question–this is quite Talmudic) about how real the ego’s desires are–only as real as we believe them to be, no?
So if I let go of the ego, our Passover Seder will be perfect tonight even if the matzo balls are heavy (except for those who like them light and fluffy). That is a relief!
04/10/2017 at 7:14 pm #5402
Haha… Robin, my question to answer yours would be… what are matzo balls? I am woefully ignorant of the culinary intricacies of your celebration, but truly wish you light matzo balls if that’s what you prefer! 🙂
Isn’t the ego the only way to experience matzo balls as something other than them? Isn’t ego the way the wholeness experiences itself, interacts with itself, delights in itself, scares itself, fights with itself and in general… has a great “time”? The only downside of the ego is not knowing it’s a cosmic prank. Otherwise… it’s all good 🙂
Have a great celebration tonight!
04/11/2017 at 1:22 pm #5426
OMG, Aurora, you gave me a good laugh this morning! Matzo balls are dumplings made out of the crumbs of matzo, or unleavened bread, because–or so the Passover story goes–the Jewish people had to flee quickly from Pharaoh and his army to escape slavery in Egypt–they didn’t have time to let the bread rise before they baked it. (They then wandered for 40 years in the desert on the way to the Holy Land with many misadventures along the way, including receiving and destroying the 10 Commandments once only to get a revised version when they learned to behave themselves better–one wonders how that matzo held up in all that time–but since eating matzo is kind of like eating cardboard anyway, presumably eating stale matzo would not have been a health hazard).
Anyway, I was using whole wheat matzo this year and it is significantly heavier than the bleached version, hence, yielding dumplings that were dense in the center. The reviews from my family and friends were mixed–some professed to like them (I, myself, prefer the lighter, fluffier dumpling) but all agreed whole wheat matzos are the healthier alternative. Only time and our digestive systems will tell.
And yes, that is all ego-self speak. In fact, there is a joke that the whole of Jewish history can be summed up thus: we are Chosen, we suffer, let’s teach this to our children. Oy vey, let’s eat!
Yes, all one big cosmic prank! Surely God could not care less about matzo ball density, or even whether we eat matzo balls for 8 days, or whether we re-enact this story every year to teach our children about Moses. BUT, what is important is the metaphor of the Exodus in human development terms as a reminder that we are, as humans, in a trajectory to lead us out of the slavery of ego (Egypt) towards the freedom of conscious awareness (the Holy Land). And while we may be waylaid for 40 years or even millennia to wander in the desert, God is always here, waiting for us to climb that inner mountain towards freedom.
And the real joy of Passover is that we do this as a community, over a shared story, some tears, some joy, and much body-soul-spirit sustenance.
My favorite holiday!This post has received 1 vote up.
04/11/2017 at 2:47 pm #5429
Robin, I’m laughing….
This is exactly why I didn’t google it. How else could this delightful reply happen?!
Honestly, you just have to post a pic of any crumbs left, haha… I’d love to see them. My secret technique is to upload pics to Postimage and then just link them from there.
The way you handle tradition is so delightful to me. All (religious) traditions, if understood as encoded wisdom, are always beautiful. It is only when words are taken literally that funny things start happening.
Thank you so much for this presentation. I will very likely never forget it! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Imagine my giggle the first time I find myself before a matzo ball!
04/11/2017 at 4:01 pm #5433
Just so you can see this is a serious Jewish subject, and not something limited to my personal qualia (and, truly, can the sensation of matzo balls be referred to here as a way of experiencing one’s Jewish identity?), here’s the matzo ball “sinker” vs. “floater” debate, or Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Matzo Balls but Were Afraid to Ask*: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/04/how-to-make-the-best-matzo-balls.html.
This, as you say, is a cultural encoding going back, perhaps 3,500 years.
So, not to take the “religion” or the words that attempt–rather poorly, imho–to convey what is, at heart, a universal spiritual truth, too seriously, but the same cannot be said of *matzo balls*. THAT is a serious cause for deliberation! <3This post has received 1 vote up.
04/11/2017 at 4:29 pm #5436
04/11/2017 at 3:19 pm #5430
Dear @robin (and all!),
You brought a smile to my face this morning hearing your stories about Jewish traditions and consuming Matzo balls. I enjoy reading your insight, even when my traditions and background come from a different perspective. I was brought up Latter Day Saints (Mormon)in my elementary years, and because of my spiritual experiences early in life and deep interest in metaphysics, I transitioned from being a Mormon school girl, to spiritual, not religious. 🙂 I love studying cross-cultural religious symbols – as probably many of us do on this forum – as a way of understanding our true nature in God.
I think it’s so beautiful how you say the following:
“BUT, what is important is the metaphor of the Exodus in human development terms as a reminder that we are, as humans, in a trajectory to lead us out of the slavery of ego (Egypt) towards the freedom of conscious awareness (the Holy Land). And while we may be waylaid for 40 years or even millennia to wander in the desert, God is always here, waiting for us to climb that inner mountain towards freedom.”
This seems to be a universal truth, uniting one and all. The journey towards freedom can be said so many different ways, and here, the way it is said brings subtle images of the soul’s journey throughout the ages, repeated for us in parables. I love the imagery! Thank you for sharing this!
Much love, light, and many blessings to you and yours during your celebration!
04/10/2017 at 9:18 pm #5406
Many blessings for your Passover Seder, Robin! I love hearing about your celebration!
So, I’ll jump into this discussion with my understanding, so far. I think each of us contributes something unique – as gifts to one another – and I really appreciate reading everyone’s posts, helping me clarify my own thoughts on the matter. ;P
I agree with Dr. Kafatos that death is to the ego. However, my understanding so far, is that the personality is another name for the lower ego, and even those who cross over (“die”) for us may still hold on to the personality. This may be true whether or not they are identified with it. After all, we’re talking about energy. The form is the illusion, here.
The ego/personality is the vehicle of expression to the higher Self, meant to be subdued, rather than have control over the indwelling consciousness. As I understand so far, evolution happens as the expanding awareness supersedes the lower nature, sending the lower form to its rightful position – below the threshold of consciousness – where it becomes the automaton, functioning as a unified whole to the greater self, now identified with.
So, what we’re talking about here is letting go of the limited self – anything which says I’m the lesser unit in a greater whole. When what we’re trying to wrap our heads around is how we are the Universe.
Robin, some have even said that every point of awareness is equal to every other point in awareness. The sense of lesser or greater is to the ego self. The state of pure awareness knows itself to Be and pays no attention to the limitations of the ego. <3
Aurora, I think that even when we let go of the ego, we can take sheer delight in eating matzo balls, knowing ourselves to be one with them, and in a few moments, even closer to oneness with them. ;P
Much love to all!
JenniferLThis post has received 1 vote up.
04/14/2017 at 11:37 am #5491
Thank you for your thoughts Jennifer! 🙂
I really think that life lived with complete self-awareness, with the knowing that it is all one consciousness playing an infinity of roles and interacting with itself is the way to live. It reveals the fun, regardless if you momentarily look from the perspective of the one who eats or the one being eaten. All of this is in joy, and the more consciousness knows itself, the more joyous (and less crazy) it all becomes!This post has received 1 vote up.
04/14/2017 at 11:27 pm #5508
04/11/2017 at 3:32 pm #5432
@jenniferl, I have to laugh about this as well. As you may have seen in previous discussions, I have just published a teen time travel adventure novel, Edge of Yesterday, that officially launches this Saturday. I was reading through the book–already in print–to post a chapter online in Goodreads–and found that my publisher missed a typo in the text (this, after 3 proofreaders + myself, several times).
In a nutshell, the typo, that relates to your reference of those who “die” and still hold on to their personality: my protagonist, 13-year-old Charley Morton is in a fight with her BFF Beth over Beth’s sudden obsession with boys. In fact, Beth comes for a sleepover and then ditches Charley when the latest object of her affections, Lex texts her and then shows up at Charley’s door to steal Beth away. Charley is mystified at this “new” Beth, who has dyed her hair blue and who, as recently as a month earlier was another brainiac like Charley. Beth gets in trouble, of course, and ends up grounded. She later sends Charley a “selfie” holding up the word “grounded” on it.
In the book, the mistake is that when describing Beth’s selfie, it says her hair is “died” all blue and black. Of course, it should’ve said, “dyed”. My publisher, chagrined, apologized and promised to correct the error immediately but, she said, “My only hope is that teen readers will possibly think we were playing with language (die/dye) and doing an edgy take on Beth’s bad hair coloring choice.”
I told her no worries–this error was not “to dye for!”
Ego out of the way, except when it comes to 13-year-old girls, forming their personalities and that whole adolescence thing! 😉
04/11/2017 at 4:47 pm #5437
04/11/2017 at 11:19 pm #5441
Aum KrishnaParticipant5 votes@aum-krishna
One day I was wondering, what will happen if I merge with God or the universal consciousness – as you all refer to as.
Immediately, I realised No Im not sure I want to , if I do , how would I experience what I am able to now? The need to exist and experience was strongly felt.
It was my realisation of my attachment to my desires, the desire to experience something that is actually stopping me from being one with Him, the desires were really strong. That, is Ego, I came to believe.
04/12/2017 at 12:00 am #5443
04/12/2017 at 7:19 am #5456
Aum KrishnaParticipant5 votes@aum-krishna
I suppose you mean to say, love that is already our nature and the very essence of us is revealed when the false ego, desires , attachments are let go. – I agree.
I also agree with you original poem of love enters the heart, then we want nothing not even God. God is the love. So when love /God has entered the heart, we wouldn’t want HIm as there is no desire but to be in that state of love, bliss, truth.
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