Like many other here I've been reading Tolle's A New Earth, and I know I'm not the only one being totally blown away by the truths in what he reveals about our egos. As we come to know who we are more and more fully, we recognize more and more the illusions that the ego sets up for us. Perhaps we never reach the end of this process. This dissolving of the ego, the stripping away of layers of illusion is like peeling an onion, for it brings tears. It also brings healing and bliss. Dharma.
So what do we do with this ego, this construct we carry within of who we are? To dissolve it is to know truth, but does that mean we may not enlist its energy in a positive way? One thing that strikes me is that each of us has a legend. I'm pretty sure I didn't make up that term, but I don't remember where I got it. That legend is mostly built for us through the flowering of the ego, n'est-ce pas? It is behind the way we present ourselves both to the world and in the mirror - and having more to do with so-called self-esteem than actual self-respect, it is often more fiction than fact...hence the name.
I think we all craft our own legend. We elaborately and often very beautifully construct an image that we wish others to see instead of our true selves. If we believe our own BS we run the risk of identifying with our own fiction, but if we work instead at honestly crafting our legend into what we really believe we wish to be, we seek to identify ourselves. I'm grateful for those four pillars of the shaman way as voiced by Riversong: Be impeccable in your word. Assume nothing. Take nothing personally. Do your best, always. And I have added Don't fear being an outlaw, which simply means that when your impeccability requires thinking outside the box, do so fearlessly and honestly and diligently. And: Love tenderly and always.
None of us walks our talk perfectly. We all lie both to ourselves and to the world. And we love imperfectly, see imperfectly, and hear imperfectly. But we can't become more authentic without growth, and we can't grow without becoming more authentic.
So, is our legend useful, or should we seek to completely submerge it for all time in All That Is? Without it the ego is naked. Do we shrug it off like good nudists or do we reach for fig leaves - or worse, the furtive cover of darkness? What is a naked ego good for?