"Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control."
Terence McKenna (via thenewzeitgeist)
"The ego is terrified of the truth. And the truth is that the ego doesn’t exist."
The Work of Byron Katie (via unconditionedconsciousness)
another thing about Islam:
Converting to religion should NOT be “trendy” for me. I have to be prepared to live without participating in spirituality because it’s hip. So many are inspired by Sufi writers that they are becoming household names, Jalal al-Din Rumi and Osho to name two popular ones, where their writing on love is being retranslated to lose its essence of God so we can put books full of them on the little desk in bathrooms. This is a cultural phenomenon of New Sufism. It is the commodification of religion…basically like how Buddhism and Indigenous Animism is being re-energized in the US. I’d argue that these have transitioned into different, false spiritualities that are merely appropriated, just like other great artworks we see here. If I convert to Islam, this absolutely cannot be a factor and I have to be ready for that. No more being a tryhard. That is a reason why I would have to wait; I’m 21 years old and I’m heavily influenced by trends, by cool, by hipsterdom. Drinking, trendiness, and ego are rapidly becoming my greatest obstacles.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be spiritual. Not in a broad sense, really, but for me. I’m taking a summer session called “Sociology of Religion” at my university right now and I thought it would go differently, but, I like it. It makes me imagine my favorite religious tradition, Sufism. I’ve thought about converting to Islam before. Something always held me back. Well, there are a lot of aspects of myself that would make that transition daunting.
But now, I keep thinking. I keep thinking that I shouldn’t be thinking. Most of all, I keep thinking that I shouldn’t be thinking about me so much.
My teacher is all about Buddhism. Inevitably, a lot of discussion revolves around human suffering the illusion of reason, what is real, and the ever-present Ego.
“Dervishes” know about the ego. They wear the tombstone of their egos atop their heads. They wish to destruct the ego and allow the immanent energy of God to channel through them.
Sometimes I think, I could never be a Sufi. In the past it was my sexuality that barred me. Then, my tattoos. I realize now that those things are illusory in themselves, and would in no way provide tremendous obstacles the way my ego would.
I have a gigantic fucking ego. Most of us do, naturally. But lately I’ve never been so aware of how much I put myself first. I think about myself all the time. I think about how I look, how I speak to others, and mostly (and worst), I contemplate how I must appear to others—physically, stylishly, in attitude.
I am a selfish creature. I could say that part of my indulgence in self has to do with relatively recent traumas I’ve experienced as an adult. I could say that I was hurt by others and my reaction is to put myself first. Some, many, would say that’s sensible. But that really isn’t good enough.
Sometimes, I don’t like to talk. I don’t like to meet new people. But sometimes, all I can seem to talk about is myself to total strangers. I keep meeting all these new people, what else am I supposed to say to them? Often I try to make myself the butt of the joke. I used to see this as “humility” but I think it’s mostly, now, out of some desire to be in the spotlight. It’s born out of an ego-driven desire to be noticed. To be liked.
Part of what attracts me to Islam so much is the visuals. It’s the ritual (granted, there are many, and I know so little about them). But I know if I am going to pray, to meditate, I won’t do it sitting in a pew.
Everyone has their preferences.
Before, I said I couldn’t surrender my life to Allah. I couldn’t believe in a God two years ago, or even one year ago. I still don’t know if I can. But more importantly now, I know there is no way I could immerse myself in the beauty of others’ religion if it remains just that: others’. I don’t need to do this to be interesting. I don’t need to do this to check something off my list.
I can’t remove the ink that peppers my skin, with depictions of devils and magic. And I don’t want to feel badly about things about my self, things on my skin that I really do like. I can never stop loving men. I don’t want to change that aspect of myself. Could I stop drinking? Could I change my diet? It would be unbelievably hard, but…probably. But in order to achieve no definition, only Muslim, I would need to work on shedding the part of myself that is MOST prominent and the one I would have, without a doubt, the most trouble with losing: my incredible, insatiable ego.
Learning to love the “self” differently…as in loving all other things. Having an ethos centered on love may be hard for a punk at heart…or, it may be the most natural thing in the world.
This has been a post.
nezua said: ego tells us we have arrived at the finish line when the only reason we are still there is because we haven’t yet started running.