“A man of knowledge chooses a path with a heart and follows it and then he looks and rejoices and laughs and then he sees and knows. He knows that his life will be over altogether too soon. He knows that he, as well as everybody else, is not going anywhere. He knows because he sees. A man of knowledge endeavors and sweats and puffs and if one looks at him he is just like any ordinary man, except that the folly of his life is under control.” Carlos Castanada
I was recently engaged in conversation concerning the superiority of humans over the many animal and insect species, plant and stone families on our beautiful planet. The comment made to me was something about God blessing us with being the superior species. It was an interesting concept and one I had been raised to believe as a Catholic. However, I have come to seriously question this belief about our lofty superiority. It is this type of thinking that has forced humanity into an environmental quicksand that may prove our undoing. The point here is not to judge or condemn, but to question our entitlement to wreak havoc with our fellow beings and this precious planet we depend upon for our life.
First and foremost we are a species that poisons its own food, water and air. In the wild this would be considered the utmost insanity and not too smart, if we have any intention of surviving. The naiveté of many people when confronted with executives who make the decisions concerning toxic chemicals, adulterated food or excessive carbon emissions, is that they “really mean well and have no idea how harmful mercury, dioxin, PCP’s, pesticides and genetically altered foods can be to children’s health. Otherwise, how could they sleep at night knowing the horrible things that are happening just so they can make a living?”
Time to wake up and smell the organic coffee brewing, folks. Those executives do know and they still continue to poison their own family and yours. Do not try to rationalize their actions or you will make excuses to justify those actions and that is exactly what they want you to do. One of the challenges we face as human beings is to live from our ego. Then it is all about YOU—your need to be right, to be in control, to be justified in your actions. When you are able to recognize the manipulation of your ego, you can learn to use it for a greater good, rather than for a selfish and destructive act. The intention is not to attempt to kill off your ego, but to include it in the process of learning to love unconditionally.
Next: The 5 Mindsets
David Richo, in his book, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, outlines the five fundamental mindsets of ego that interrupt our ability to be here now and that distort reality. The five mindsets—fear, desire, judgment, control, and illusion—should not be viewed as bad. Each of these mental afflictions have a particular energy that can be used for positive mindfulness. The point is not to attempt to rid yourself of these mindsets but to channel their energies to work for, rather than against, you in relationships and when confronted with aggressive actions by others intent on harming your environment.
Fear can be a warning to be more cautious.
Desire allows you to open and reach out to others.
Judgment fosters viewing a situation with intelligence.
Control is needed to maintain some stability in your everyday life.
Fantasy stimulates the imagination and fosters creativity.
When we, as human beings, learn how to befriend these mindsets, we gain useful tools to support our spiritual growth and awakening.