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Article from "The Christ Within" (Find this page at https://www.facebook.com/MyInnerChrist/
December 30, 2016
"The Weight of the Ego" by Cindy Ella Rhodes Durkee
The one thing that weighs nothing but the heaviest thing we carry around with us is our ego. Some seem to just HAVE to show it off, scream it out, push it in our faces. It's the one thing that stands between our sucking the air out of the room and being a loving, helpful, guiding light in people's lives. Do you have to have the last say? That's your ego talking. Do you feed your urge to make yourself look smarter by taking an alternative stance without even understanding the underlying theme of a conversation or statement? That's your ego, and that behavior does not make a person look smart! Do you have to critique everyone's holiday greetings? That's your ego talking. Do you have to try to tell other grown people what choices they SHOULD make? That's your ego. Do you say "should" a lot? That's your ego. Do you criticize less fortunate friends or relatives? That's your ego trying to make itself even bigger by belittling others. There's nothing positive to say about the ego, not in context with how we are to treat others.
Where is the ego’s place in the life of a person who would emulate Christ? The Golden Rule, doing to others as we’d have them do to us, suggests that the ego takes a back seat as we consider the welfare of others first. It is an age-old law. In ancient China, Confucius wrote “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself” (500 BC). Mozi wrote “…One (must) do for others as one would do for oneself” (400 BC). Thirdly, Lao Tzu wrote “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss” around 500 BC. In ancient Egypt, a 4th century BC papyrus states “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.” In multiple locations in the compiled scriptures of the Bible from writers in the Middle East, we are admonished to “not take vengeance or bear a grudge,… and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18). Plus, in ancient India, “treat others as you treat yourself” was written in Sanskrit thousands of years ago.
The list can go on and on, but you can research this for yourself. The point of this is that Jesus, too, repeated these same words, emphasizing the age-old principle necessary for becoming an enlightened, perfected individual on this planet. At Matthew 7:12, he states “Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.” (See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_Trismegistus for more information about Moses and his connection with Egyptian ideals.)
This holiday season, I witnessed many people sacrificing their egos for the benefit of others. I watched mothers and father catering to the needs of trying children, cousins considering the smoothing out of family energy instead of insisting on their own personal desires, numerous people working tirelessly at necessary jobs that others would not do (and not complaining about it), and spouses attending events for the sakes of their mates’ happiness. This spirit of considering the needs of others over our superficial wants is enlivening, inspiring, and heart-warming.
May the spirit of the Golden Rule work in all our lives this coming year, and may we, too, like Christ, exhort both ourselves and others to embrace spiritual principles that truly do lead to life everlasting.
Blessings to you this and every day!