Excerpt About Inertia

The Rigidity of the Ego-Self Can be Experienced as Inertia

This rigidity of the ego-self, its inflexibility, can be experienced as inertia: the habit of going on and on in the same way, in the same direction, without change. Our perception, experience, and identity contain this inertia. Inertia can also be expressed as an automatic tendency to continue with and live out the status quo. The personality becomes part of the status quo; consequently, its way of perceiving, being, and operating can’t help but perpetuate the way things have been. This means staying at the same level of experience, the same level of discourse, having the same patterns and the same identity, and being the same kind of person year in and year out. This can manifest in specific and clear ways, such as the inflexible tendencies that are hard for us to break even when we want to. We might be always busy, always afraid, always angry. We might
habitually watch TV. We might habitually spend time in social conversation or gossiping. Even though we want to change those behaviors, it might be difficult due to the inertia of the personality. To love the truth for its own sake means that we’re going to be happy to see something new in our experience. Our inertia, our inflexibility, on the other hand, operates in just the opposite way. It resists change and thus becomes a limitation on our love for the truth. It is obvious how this works, but we need to see it in our personal everyday experience. We need to recognize how our inertia—our habits, our lazy comfort in the status quo—inhibits, limits, and even blocks our love for the truth. The truth, in contrast, is a quickening, a movement, a change.

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