Excerpt About What Is

Pitting Yourself Against What Is

By pitting yourself against what is, you are acting according to the delusion that you have a separate will and that you can have your own way, different from what is happening. This is one of the principles of ego: that you have a separate will and that you have choice. Even when you believe that you are helpless and can’t do things, there is the implicit belief that if it weren’t for your helplessness, you could have your own way. From this egoic perspective, it seems obvious that you need to tinker with things, both inwardly and outwardly. This manifests externally as manipulating other people to make them conform to how you think they need to be for you, and internally as constantly evaluating your experience to see whether it is “right” or not, and trying to change it if it doesn’t match your ideas of how you think it should be. “What state am I in? Oh, no! I’m being reactive—that’s no good—I should be just being. Now I’m being. Good, good. I should stabilize that,” and so on, as if it were up to you to make your state become this or that. If you contemplate your experience, you will see this constant activity. The moment you are identified with your ego, you are involved in this activity of trying to make yourself feel better, and not scared or unhappy or empty. All ego defenses are based on this principle of changing your experience to make it conform to how you think it should be.

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