I want to be
I want to have
I want to know
I want to want
To show that I am worthy
I do so I can prove
I strive to be accepted
To show I can’t be moved
I buy and then I keep
Defined by my possession
I gather what I can
Creating my collection
To have a name held high
In every conversation
I care what people think
For that’s my reputation
In the search for money
I set goals with ambition
“When I’m richer I’ll be happy”
“When I’m richer I’ll start living”
Concerned about the future
Regretful of the past
I’m always going somewhere
Because the present doesn’t last
Eckhart Tolle is one of my favourite authors and spiritual teachers. My mother first introduced me to him, during my – slightly rebellious – teenage years and I have been consuming his material ever since the first book of his that I picked up. In in this poem, I expand on his brilliant, thought provoking teachings around the concept of The Ego. In the following excerpt from his book The Power of Now, Eckhart shares the following insight into the workings of The Ego:
“The ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are
not present as the witnessing conscious, the ’watcher’. The ego
perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe, with no
real inner connection to any other beings, surrounded by other egos
which it sees as a potential threat or which it will attempt to use
for its own end.
He goes into further detail on the three main core beliefs of the
1. I am what I have.
2. I am what I do.
3. I am what people think of me.
The problem with this mentality is that if you think you are what you have, then when you don’t have, when you lose things, or when you face unexpected financial difficulty, then by definition, you are worthless. If you think you are what you do, then when you lose your job, get demoted or go through a mid-life crisis, then by definition, you are useless. And if you think you are what people think of you, then when people don’t know you, don’t care about you, don’t recognize you or speak badly about you, then again, by definition, you are unworthy.
These are extremely dangerous, self-sabotaging mentalities to have. Yet, unfortunately, this line of thinking is what a lot of us are brought up believing for the majority of our lives and thus it seems these fundamental egoic traits are at the core of what it means to be human.
“You can either be a host to God, or a hostage to your ego. It’s your call.” – Wayne Dyer