The Ego Will Be Asked to Open to Something Larger

Kit's View, October 19, 2012

Kit's View, October 19, 2012

Excerpt from Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis:

"No freedom is possible, no authentic choice, where consciousness is lacking. Paradoxically, consciousness usually only comes from the experience of suffering and the flight from suffering is why we often elect to remain in the constrictive yet familiar old shoes. But the psyche is never silent and suffering is the first clue that something is soliciting our attention and seeking healing.

These two force fields of conscious life, with its attendant repetitive strategems, and the natural inclinations of the Self, with its goal of wholeness, compete with each other within each of us.  The ego wishes comfort, security, satiety; the soul demands meaning, struggle, becoming. The contention of these two voices sometimes tears us apart. Ordinary ego consciousness is crucified by these polarities. Again, the paradox emerges that in our suffering, in our symptoms, are profound clues as to the meaning of the struggle, yet the path of healing is very difficult for the apprehensive ego to accept, for the ego will be asked to be open to something larger than itself.

What we bring to life’s table will be a function of how much of our journey we have made conscious, and how much courage we were able to muster to live it in the real world that life has presented to us.  This more conscious journey, which demands a life of spiritual and psychological integrity, is the only journey worth taking.  After all, the diverting, addictive alternatives are all around us, and their sad evidence suggests that a more effective route must lie in the risk of looking within for a change.”