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Excerpted from Out of Darkness Into the Light by Gerald Jampolsky. Copyright 1989 by Gerald Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"The ego's main message is fear - fear that we are all alone in a world of scarcity and that we must seek (but never find) what we are looking for. It does not know the meaning of love and it sees peace as its enemy."

Jerry Jampolsky, Out of Darkness, Into the Light, Part 3

Thereafter, I vacillated between believing there was no God and believing that God was surely out to get me.

I wanted my body to live forever. I fantasized about having my body frozen after death because maybe, just maybe, someone would discover a miracle drug that would bring me back to life and allow me to live forever. Before I was on a spiritual pathway, I saw death as the ultimate experience of the loss of control, and I sought to displace my fear of that by trying to control other people and the circumstances around me.

In spite of the external successes I had in my life, I always had a haunting feeling about the futility of life. That feeling was the voice of my ego, but I did not know that at the time. I felt there had to be more to life than I was experiencing. I thought there was no way on earth that I could continually protect myself from hurt or attack, from physical or emotional pain or illness. The bottom line for me in almost everything I did was my awareness of the impossibility of controlling death.

Whatever my ego said always felt like the truth to me. But now, finally, I see that the pictures my ego offers are only false images of the world and my place in it. My ego would have me believe that I am nothing more than a personality contained in a body that is limited to a particular time and space.

What Is the Ego?

I use the term ego in a different way than do most psychoanalysts. I view the ego as a false image, a form that is associated with the body and the physical self. It is a dream that denies our true identity as a spiritual self, a self that has no physical form.

The ego itself defies definition, but its effects on our lives are easy to discuss. The ego's main message is fear - fear that we are all alone in a world of scarcity and that we must seek (but never find) what we are looking for. It does not know the meaning of love and it sees peace as its enemy. It sees the world as a place of separation, of separate bodies and separate minds. It does not believe in wholeness or oneness. It would have us believe that our world is based far more on fear and attack than on love. It denies the existence of the spiritual self and tells us that reality is what we perceive through our physical senses. This book is about my struggle with the ego and my attempts to awaken to the spiritual self - the self that is not limited to a body or to time or space.

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