I used to have a sports team that I rooted for. I didn’t know anyone on the team, I had no affiliation with the team whatsoever. I just happened to like them and root for them. But one thing struck me as very curious.
When the team won, I was thrilled. Especially when they beat teams I did not like. And when the team lost, I was devastated. The loss would ruminate around in my mind for hours – sometimes even days.
But why would I care?
Because I had placed part of my identity in the team. Somewhere in my mind, they had gone from simply being a team to my team. Translated into ego-speak, when they won, I won. And when they lost, I lost.
And that’s the nature of everything we care about in life. We’ve transformed the object of our care from being a neutral entity into a part of our identity. That person is now my friend. That candidate is now my candidate. And perhaps most significantly, the image we see in the mirror has morphed from a body into my body.
We care because we experience a part of ourselves – our identity – in a person, group, or thing. And that’s exactly how the ego wants it.
The goal of the ego is to keep us mindless. “An ideal the ego wants: a world it rules, made up of bodies, mindless and capable of complete corruption and decay.” (T-19.II.6).
Why does the ego want to keep us mindless? “Because the ego believes that mind is dangerous, and that to make mindless is to heal.” (T-8.IX.6) In other words, the ego knows that the mind is where we can make a different choice – against the ego and for the mind of spirit. Which means the end of the ego. Which is why, to the ego, the mind is dangerous.
However, when we do return to our mind and choose spirit, we sense no danger whatsoever. In fact, what we experience is blissful peace, an all-encompassing love that embraces everyone and everything. All sense of my people or my body – as well as any sense of they or them – are replaced by a merging into oneness. It is the most extraordinary feeling we can experience as bodies.
Join me in Thursday’s Zoom discussion where we dive deeper into the nature of caring and how we can make the shift to experience that glorious peace. I look forward to seeing you then.