We are a species, perhaps the only species, capable of changing our base nature—our ‘natural state,’ as it were. This profound functionality comes to us courtesy of free will. We have the ability to choose. All humans are born with it.
At any given moment, our consciousness is either egoic (mind’s gate: closed) or non (mind’s gate: wide-open to the world beyond the ears); it is either subjective or objective. In ego-mode, our perspective is couched in self-interest; we are given to behaving as ‘takers.’ In non-ego mode, we seek to serve and to understand others; we behave as ‘givers.’ The ‘tree is known by its fruit…’
The ease with which we transition from ego-mode to non belies the profundity of the change in perspective that is occurring in us. Although we remain the same person-soul, we can either be spirited as ‘predator’ or ‘steward,’ depending on which side of the bed we woke up on a particular morning, or if our favourite team had lost the night before…we could react to the same event in very different ways and with dramatically different outcomes. The way we react to our world, the way we see the world and our place in it, is fully determined by our choice of consciousness mode (our mental focus). The moment we recognize this, we see that our ego presents a barrier to our achievement of enduring happiness and fulfillment(for others, certainly, but for ourselves too; that’s the part your ego will never get J). There can be no enduring ‘satisfaction’ in ‘taking’ because there’s always something to take from someone, somewhere; something you don’t feel you have enough of. There is no opportunity for you to be satisfied. Ever. Taking and hoarding is all you will do. And then you will die, and all of that which you struggled to acquire, why you leave it behind.
As a care-taker, however, one is routinely contented.
Every transaction between you and another soul will conclude with your having attempted to make somebody’s day better. Think about it for a moment; how you felt the last time. You could feel that way a lot more often 😊. You never feel the need to ‘give’ in the way you can feel the need to satisfy an urge, because ‘giving,’ without getting something in return, is incomprehensible to ego.
Ego is something which continuously seeks release, satisfaction, satiation—therefore, while you are not seeing the world through the lens of your ego, you will never feel yourself wanting. While you are viewing the world from a place ‘beyond’ your ego, if you encounter need in other folks and are able to remedy it, you will—afterwards you will feel good in a way words can’t describe.
Ego makes it a struggle to keep the mind’s gate open to the world and to creation. We should not have to struggle. I don’t know of a single apple tree that struggles to grow its apples—if the climate and soil are good. Food, clothing, shelter, safety, security and community are our soil and climate; the modern phenomenon of burgeoning wealth inequality is making for very bad growing conditions, for an increasing number of people, all around the world. This is proof we humans have accepted for ourselves a different lot from that which Nature accords as our birthright. We not only accept misery, we are manufacturing it.
(A wee digression here: it is an egregious inconsistency in the reciprocity of the social contract if society does not look after its citizens in peacetime when in wartime those citizens will choose to defend their nation with their lives).
One has to endure pain in order for the body to gain muscle mass, strength and endurance; consciousness-wise we simply need to achieve alignment with the now [i] wherein we are fully connected to our world at each and every moment. The now is in fact the place we are conceived and born into. It is the place we live in as children, up until our ‘tabula rasa’ becomes so overlain with years of ‘socialization’ and life’s cares that we are overburdened and unable to get to where we need to be. The virtual reality ego manufactures for us has substance only between the ears; but the place god reserves for all souls to live in – the now— is everywhere. With the mind’s gate open, the ego’s ‘world’ is displaced by god’s, and the former loses all power over you. Whenever you engage the now, you experience a ‘release’ the magnitude of which no ego can imagine—and you find yourself utterly free from care.
You will be regularly surprised at the things you are able to do without having to struggle, but it makes sense because the creator will likely have placed as much thought into our design as he/she did in the conceiving of the apple tree and you will have been equipped with everything you need to get along quite well.
You will find yourself deeply appreciative of the abilities of the others in your community because you cannot be blind to their abilities with your mind’s eye open (duh!). You will appreciate how much they are like you and how little they differ from you. Eventually you will see humankind as one species among many; sharing the world with them—behaving as the world’s stewards; not as its masters.
This is all a product of existence in our natural state—that is, the state that is most natural to us, because we have the choice between ‘living’ ego’s creation or extending god’s at every moment. It is no more natural for us to live in ego than it is for the apple tree to live underground. Like the apple tree, we only begin life that way.
[i] Check out The Power of Now, by Eckardt Tolle.