By Tommy Acosta
(April 5, 2021)
Self is a concept held in thought maintained by what we believe; beliefs formed by our perception of our physical experience from birth to now.
There is the conceiver of the concept as well to be considered: the thinker rather than the thought.
The conceiver is not easy to spot because we live in this world of thought and seekers go through hoops, rituals, retreats, meditations to basically get to where we already are; which is of course the present.
But presence eludes as well because you can’t be here while thinking. Better said, you can’t be “here” when thinking while not being aware that you are thinking.
One of the perks enjoyed by those who can be in a place where thought is not, is this sense of all-ness, oneness peace, completion and joy that comes when one shirks the distractions: sense of self, etc.
It’s nice. But there are perks to thought as well.
There is the joy of here now-creation using all the tools abundant in this great sphere we call existence, thoughts being our greatest tool.
There are those who have gone through the envelope, shed the sense of self, known full well in their being the wonder of the universe we all co-create, who choose to love and cherish and enjoy consciously the uniqueness of their own sense of self; live in this world of physics and its laws, taste the nectar of all human emotions from the center of awareness and exist in the “All.”
Meaning, since the “I”- less center of Pure Consciousness is the “true” me, then obviously, all of me, including the parts I created like my wonderfully humble ego, are magnificent!
I’ll never forget when a friend dragged me to Unity Church in Sedona a while back for an “Egos Anonymous” meeting.
All my ego-mind could think was “Look at all those wretched people running from the uniqueness of themselves.” I opened my big mouth and I was lucky not to get physically thrown out.
For heaven’s sake, it is this thing we call ego that shapes each and every person’s unique personality. We know we are all of All, including Nothing, Something and Everything and that each being is the Presence present, even if they are unaware they are.
But for me, it is the personality, the quality of the sense of self the person creates, the fun, the joy, the humor, the intelligence, and especially, their egos, that I appreciate.
I truly like people with giant egos. And, I have found that some of the biggest egos in the world are those seeking to shun it.
Here’s a little story on how my ego saved my life. It’s only a story and stories are mere pointers but this one is a lesson learned as well.
Once many years ago I was in a boxing ring with a shorter opponent and I was peppering him with jabs because I had the reach. I was showing off, basically, daring him to hit me.
The next thing I know I hear people screaming “Kill him” Kill him. Finish him off!”
And I am thinking. who is it these people want killed? There was so much anger in their voices and I waxed philosophical about it for a moment until I realized it was me the crowd wanted killed.
What had happened was the guy I was boxing had caught me with a vicious uppercut to the chin and I was on the ropes getting clobbered. I was knocked out on my feet being held up by the ropes. It was a Bronx club fight so no one was going to stop it.
As I was getting hit and the peoples’ cheers turned into a pleasant drone I had this wonderful sense of detachment come over me as I realized the physical body and all its attachments really doesn’t exist; that truth is spirit and can never be confined in the physical; that thoughts are an illusion as is the sense of self.
I was One. I was in the center of “All” in that moment of complete peace; that was, until I realized I was getting my ass kicked in front of an audience by an opponent smaller than me.
OMG! That was it. My ego woke up! Me? Tommy Acosta being humiliated in a boxing ring by someone shorter than him? In the Bronx for God’s sake!!! While all his fans were calling for my blood? Maybe even laughing?
Right then and there I made the decision to die in the ring rather than give up and be forever branded as “No mas, Tomas,” or worse, relinquish my consciousness to another human being.
I woke up.
I came off the ropes swinging. Whacked him with a left hook to the top of his head, followed by a big right to his ear, staggering him . Luckily, before my bruised ego could launch the finishing left hook to the temple the bell went off and the final round ended.
I learned in the ring in that instant of illumination that thoughts are the bridge between our spirit and our bodies.
Thought is the intermediary. It is our navigation tool. Thought is how we decipher the physical universe our consciousness exists within and without.
There is creative thought; thus art, the great music and the great inventions of humankind.
There is destructive thought. Thus war, weapons, fear, disease, hate, etc.
It is a tool. It is a bane. But no matter how you cut the cake or far you run…thought is.
What’s nice though, we can turn it on or shut it off when we know where the switch is.
Gaining that awareness is the key to freedom.